roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)

Updated 28 March 2017


Addendum 1 As Trump was elected and he has deemed it favorable to appoint some of the most inept and anti-LGBT people he could find to fill cabinet positions (the people who lead various federal agencies), AND the Democrats failed to stop their confirmations (I thought for sure they'd filibuster), some of what I wrote is or will soon become outdated. I believe housing and HUD is unaffected and might not change during his tenure, but much or most of everything else regarding federal agencies is or will soon be outdated. I will make appropriate revisions in the future.

Federal court interpretation I doubt has changed or will change in the near future, though if Trump's nominees for vacancies follow the same track as cabinet ministers, this will be jeopardized. It'll still be an option, but the rate of failure will rise since a higher proportion of judges will be bigoted Republicans.

Addendum 2 Much of this will need to be revised to reflect my greater literary and tactical proficiency and awareness. I was less perceptive and less experienced last year, and have gained much experience and insight since then.

Addendum 3 The EEOC and HUD are on the same track now that they were during Obama (though some circuits momentarily are against the EEOC on sexual orientation). However, Trump and Sessions fucked us over royally regarding Title IX's enforcement by the DoE and DoJ. While one may still sue (and it seems successfully) via Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in federal court, the DoJ and DoE seems to have withdrawn from the process.

I don't know the federal processes and regulations well enough to predict competently, but Sessions and the DoJ could soon conspire with Carson from HUD to end their transgender/GNC protections as well. I've read HUD cannot change its policies as readily as other agencies, and the NYT article did say Sessions needed the other one's cooperation, so maybe my and other transpeoples' HUD cases will continue undisrupted until their natural conclusion. I'm definitely uneasy, though.


Discrimination: Wartime Mobilization and Maneuvering

Well, fuck this shit! You were minding your own business and generally being awesome, and someone came along and demanded you not be an overt femboy and/or whatever else, and you were reasonable, and yet they won't cease destabilizing your life. You are now more or less forced to declare war, and will possibly have to stare them down in federal court at some point. This is going to consume a huge proportion of your time and mental energy at the onset, and intermittently for however long it goes. Hopefully you have a great case and the relevant agency's personnel are worth a damn and will fight this for you in court if/when it reaches that point. Preferably, the opposing entity will soon recognize the error of their ways and your life was not seriously upset. Quite possibly, you have lost a great deal and you two will be irreconcilable enemies to the bitter end. Either way, this information should help.


Making a Formal Complaint With the Government

This process depends very massively on what general area the offending company falls into. I laid out the responsible agencies and empowering laws in a previous chapter. So, my comments will be brief. Sometimes you can go immediately to the respective agency, and sometimes you need to attempt a less drastic manner of resolution before you are able to file a complaint. In a few scenarios, you can actually complain to multiple agencies for the same offense, such as if you work for a federally funded school with 15 or more employees. The applicable agencies and laws have their own regulations on such things as timeframes and procedures and remedies. HUD is mandated to either conclude an investigation within 100 days or formally explain why this deadline cannot be met, while the DoE appears to take potentially much longer. You might not even be working with a federal agency because your state or city actually gives a fuck about its LGBT citizens. In general, they are all empowered to- and prefer to- seek less aggressive and peaceful resolutions with those you are having a problem with. If a suitable arrangement can be reached which all parties find acceptable, the matter is settled then, and the agency/DoJ can later take the violator to court if the contract is broken. If not, if it is deemed discrimination took place, it can be referred to the DoJ or some equivalent agency and prosecuted in civil (in rare cases, criminal) court. Keep in mind, though, the EEOC apparently very rarely takes someone to court on the victim's behalf.

If the HUD process is any indication of the usual process, you will first be contacted by some sort of intake department, where they record people's general allegations and determine whether they allegations would fall under their jurisdiction. Then it would be actively investigated, and this is when you will be expending great amounts of energy and time (at least you should be) interpreting and explaining your evidence to the investigator. You will want to relay what the critical parts are and why, but also present the entire conversations (you probably will have to upload the files and link them, rather than send them via e-mail directly) rather than merely fragments. Judges and investigators need to hear the entire correspondence to establish context and such.

During or just before the investigative phase, the option for a peaceful non-lawsuit resolution will be available to both parties, and will be pursued if you and they wish this. If one or both of you elect to give the middle finger to the notion of peace and conciliation, war it shall be. I cannot advise you on whether to do this as the combination of variables and possibilities are innumerable. I will say, these can be enforced through government court order if violated, and it may very well be ideal to accept an agreement which protects your gender non-conformity and your position at whatever and wherever rather than seek monetary damage and the satisfaction of defeating an enemy in a series of battles. In my situation, given the disruption caused and my need to depart regardless, I wouldn't have accepted less than monetary damages and a proper relocation timetable, and her refusal to do more than give only a month and moving costs made a decision to pursue war to the bitter end very easy to make.

Remember all that audio evidence I very strongly insisted you record for future use? Well, if you have not done it by now, you have the pleasure (meaning, the reverse) of listening to all of the relevant parts, scribing the general course of the conversation and the moments which are useful, determining the parts which are imperative and why, scribing a few of the most impactful quotes and times to quickly catch an investigator's attention and make their job easier, writing a general in-depth summary of the files' contents and reasons they are pertinent, and then replaying and ruminating on the crucial parts a fucking maddeningly high number of times over a course of days or even months. I was having new realizations on what I had many weeks after I recorded them and sent off a detailed explanation of the audio files! Of course, you also need to process, explain, and send written and other correspondence as well, and do the same with other manners of evidence.

Remember that you not only need to prove discriminatory intent and action, but also that the entity you are accusing is not exempt from these laws. The Fair Housing Act, Title VII, Title IX, etc, do NOT ban discrimination in those areas absolutely. There are usually exemptions within those laws. The exemptions in the FHA are very complicated and in reality very few would be considered exempt. If the landlord advertised the place on Craig's List but meets all other applicable conditions, it's not exempt, for example, and presenting an ad of that nature would prove your claim. Title VII only covers employers who have 15 or more employees generally, so you may wish to prove employee numbers if your employer is small. Whatever your situation is, make sure you understand the exemptions as well as the prohibitions, and do what you can to prove they don't meet the exemption standards.


Demeanor and Character: Ignore These At Your Extreme Peril

Unfortunately, a case isn't merely decided by cold and hard facts and evidence, as scientific theories are. Such facts and evidence per se can indeed prove a crime was committed, but the behavior and general likeability of the two combatants will factor into what compensation will be awarded. In other cases, some inference and weighing of trustworthiness favorable to the plaintiff/complainant will be necessary for an accusation to be upheld at all. This section is even more urgent during a trial, but the results of an investigation will to some degree affect the outcome of a trial and even who has to start one, so I placed it here.

There are three general aspects of you and your opponent (as well as witnesses) people will rate and consider when they ponder the case and various evidence: Objectivity, Honor, and Personality. They determine how accurately they are perceiving and describing things, whether they are being truthful and exerting themselves to ensure they don't make incorrect claims, and how agreeable and compatible they are with people. The third category can affect their perception of your own perception and how justified your enemy was in taking adverse action.

Objectivity is very good in general, but it is especially important when your claims and interpretations cannot be irrefutably proven by evidence alone. If you are perceived as very rational and not prone to emotional outbursts or emotionally influenced beliefs, the person/court will be more likely to take your word on something. Being very thorough and unemotional when giving testimony and freely admitting things which are favorable to your enemy when confronted with such questions will facilitate this. Honor is even more important, as neither investigators nor courts take kindly to those who deliberately misrepresent aspects of the case, or who behaved dishonorably with the other belligerent during or preceding the discrimination. Always exert yourself greatly to ensure whatever you accuse the enemy of is correct, and never give into the impulse to torment the other party or make things easier for you by lying or dissolving an agreement. If your enemy does this first, use it as character evidence!

Personality is a factor I have unpleasantly collided with when trying to have HUD investigate my case and proving my case to a magistrate. The landlord's strategy largely consisted of maximizing my apparent weirdness to others even to the point of blatant and willful exaggeration. Furthermore, my very elaborate and precise manner of speaking to the investigator, combined with me addressing at length what furrydom was and how it is incorporated into my attire, quite possibly amplified this to the point the investigator herself became prejudiced and assumed I was just too strange and that was why I was evicted. If the general perception of the investigator, judge, jury, etc., is that you are unsettlingly unusual or generally abrasive or otherwise dislikeable, then they are liable to believe a general incompatibility with others either was the true reason for the adverse action, or it was a secondary factor and thus the punishment should be lowered. My fashion choices, me being a furry, and my normal manner of speaking all will heighten the risk of people concluding I'm unsettlingly unusual and perhaps somewhat of a jerk about everything, so this aspect will be my weakest of the three going into any trial.

I would guess the average person would have little or zero deficiency in this area. If you're autistic or openly a furry or brony or whatever else, even if you have high social intelligence and are courteous to people, your enemy will likely try to capitalize on them and exaggerate how offputting you actually are, both deflecting the underlying discrimination accusation and establishing a mitigating factor even if they are found guilty. You would be well advised to defend yourself with hard and witness evidence, and to counterstroke by pointing out the enemy's personality flaws, especially if they were threatening and belligerent when you started asserting yourself. The more damage you can do to the perception of the enemy, the stronger your position becomes. Of course, I don't suggest you stoop to their level and assert things you know to be untrue, or use 'low blows'.


Countering Attacks Based on Broniness/Furriness

Since this general treatise was written with bronies and furries such as myself at the forefront of my mind, I will write a section about how they should best counter these assaults on their Personality level. If you are neither one of these, it might assist you anyway if some aspect of you is inherently similar. Anyway, if you are openly a furry or a brony, this might be one way your enemy will counterattack. Even if you don't pester people about it and only discuss it when it's relevant to a conversation or asked, it is possible this will be used as a tactic, especially if someone took an intense disliking to you about it and is a loyalist of the enemy. Probably this would be a likely scenario only in an apartment or shared house living arrangement because you can dress however you want there and this is where various aspects are most on display generally. However, it might come up in an employment situation. This section is written with the assumption you have indeed not been creepy and intrusive about this. If you have, I encourage you to eradicate that terrible social tendency post haste for your own and everyone else's welfare.

This almost certainly will not be the centerpiece of their strategy, so you probably won't need to spend much time explaining this to an investigator (or on the stand if it is brought up there). How much time you spend would depend on how openly and heavily furry or brony you are. If you dress as I do ordinarily, you will need to spend some more time explaining this and how it is incorporated into your outfits or presentation, especially if the enemy is denying gender discrimination and asserting it was furry/brony discrimination instead. If your situation is covered by an all-inclusive law which prohibits discrimination for any irrelevant reason, your position will be stronger.

For furrydom, my explanation to those who ask is the following: "Furrydom is a community of people who are enthusiasts of anthropomorphic characters, such as Disney's Robin Hood and Zootopia. Our subculture is very creative and has the highest number of artists per capita. Generally, each of us chooses a species we most identify with and create a primary personal character, and this 'fursona' and species is how we present to other furries." It doesn't take much to explain furrydom on a basic level. For bronydom, my response would be, "Bronydom is a community of people who are enthusiasts of the newest My Little Pony series: Friendship is Magic. The aesthetical qualities of the characters and artwork, the quality of the storyline, and the primary lessons of friendship and tolerance are the main reasons we are drawn to the show and its universe."

I extremely strongly advise you to NOT preemptively refute negative stereotypes. Denying furries tend to have sex in fursuits or denying bronies are pedophiles before those things are even mentioned or asked about will just raise suspicions and make you seem ill at ease about being yourself. If sexual aspects of either subculture are raised, calmly state there are pornographic elements there just as there are in any other subculture or any other concept. There is far less sexualization in bronydom, so, for furrydom, you might go as far as saying furries are comfortable with sexual expression relative to societal norms, but it is not the primary impetus for the subculture's existence. Again, only address a misconception or stereotype if the enemy has used it against you and you are asked for an explanation. Likely the questioning won't be more personal than that if you haven't been creepy as fuck about it. If it is, it probably is best to respond with affrontedness and decline to answer. If it's in a courtroom, I imagine your lawyer would immediately object and probably the judge would uphold it (meaning you are not to answer it).

Finally, I suggest you try to incorporate these traits and fashion choices into your gender discrimination case by explaining such things as plushies and adorable animal artwork and a MLP interest are seen as effeminate, or at least acceptable for females to have/wear. If you were female, while these things might be unusual, they wouldn't cause nearly the same discomfort or revulsion as they would for males. You are being treated differently on the basis of sex because you are wearing/interested in things which are considered unmanly and inappropriate for males, which is in essence the rationale for adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the Sex category interpretation. While gender non-conformity most often refers to wearing female clothing and having feminine mannerisms, it includes anything which is atypical for your biological gender. Your precise fashion choices being unusual for either gender does not invalidate a gender discrimination claim, especially since you are getting even more flak for it as a male. Additionally, it is related to gender discrimination because it is amplifying the prejudice people have against male crossdressers. Alone it might be a problem for some people, but combined they have a synergistic effect on bigots. Relay these concepts to the investigator and your lawyer, and instruct your lawyer to incorporate this into your side's counter-offensive strategy if/when the enemy makes it pertinent.


The Home Front: FHA and the HUD Mechanism

As housing is very important and I have a heightened familiarity with this area due to being plunged into war with a landlord AND an investigator, I will add a sub-section specifically about that so that all who are having to fight on their Home Front may benefit maximally. This part somewhat works in concert with the next section since you likely will be having to do both. As this saga is continuing to unfold, I will update this substantially in the future as I acquire more experience and knowledge. This is the process as explained by HUD.


Complaint and Intake

Depending on where you live, you may be working with a partner of HUD rather than HUD itself. While everyone is subject to the FHA and federal (HUD, the courts) interpretation of it, not all housing agencies interpret Sex the same way the federal system does for some reason. Thus, in many areas, going to a local or state housing discrimination agency would be futile. If you are in one of those areas, HUD will retain jurisdiction and do the investigation themselves. If you live in an area where the law/agency uses the same or better definition of Sex/Gender, or specifically includes gender identity and sexual orientation, HUD will instead relay your case to them. Only if they refuse to take it or delay substantially will HUD assert responsibility and reclaim the case.

There are several ways to file a complaint. My online complaint didn't even make it to the system, so I advise you to mail or personally visit if possible. Either way, I advise you to call their intake department and ensure it actually is in the system. If you have been threatened with or have had started eviction proceedings, emphasize that in your complaint and in your follow-up call to intake so they are more likely to expedite the process. Their investigation won't be expedited this rapidly probably, but the time before intake starts on it may well be reduced from 6-8 weeks to 1 or less if it's an urgent case. You will then be called by some intake department person and will be asked various questions about the discriminatory acts and the apparent motivation. Assuming you are a femboy rather than a random person led here by a Google search or whatever, you would assert the basis of discrimination is Sex and gender non-conformity. Unless you or the intake person catastrophically fuck this up, it should be determined to fall under their (or a lower level partner) jurisdiction rapidly. You will then need to sign the complaint and then send it back (this can be done in several ways, including e-mail), though do make sure there are no severe errors before doing so.


Investigation

This is the manual investigators are supposed to use when they investigate a case. Whether they follow HUD's doctrine and procedures is another matter (mine certainly didn't). Read this to understand what to expect from them, and also use as a basis for appealing a decision if the investigator botched the job. Anyway, eventually, this department is supposed to receive the case, a staff member assigned to it, and then pursue it. If there seems to be an abnormally long delay between intake and investigation, call or e-mail the intake staffer to inquire. Mine was expedited, and the time between when the first documents were sent and when the decision is made was ~70 days. So, expect this to consume at least as much time. They have a 100-day standard, meaning from the "filing of the complaint" (I surmise that means when someone first complains, rather than when this level starts work on it) there must be a decision rendered or letters sent to the parties explaining why this cannot be done. As my case and my presentation of it were abnormally complex and this started for real just before Christmas, had it not been given higher priority, mine quite possibly would have taken longer. So, I suggest you expect to not have a HUD decision and any overwhelming pressure on the enemy in the form of a federal lawsuit for a minimum of 100 days. However, a pending investigation in local court may convince the judge to suspend a decision, so HUD may assist you indirectly this way in the interim.

What the investigator actually elects to do is unpredictable, but, they are supposed to have at least an initial and a final meeting with you, and preferably at least some face-to-face interaction ordinarily (mine called me once and never visited me). Mine called me after I read and then responded to the many requests for information, but yours might call you first. Arrange for at least an hour for the conversation, preferably two if it is abnormally long (mine lasted ~90 mins). It is imperative that you have worked out the critical things to relay and to emphasize to this person, especially if you have done what I advised and have a great deal of information they must analyze. Remember that even if they are highly competent and intelligent, they are still an outsider to this conflict and its prelude, and thus cannot possibly acquire as great an understanding and recollection of it as you. They may forget or overlook a critical and decisive piece of evidence, or misconstrue something so that it seems innocuous or minor when it is vital. Thus, both in the interviews and via e-mail, raise and reiterate these things if there is any possibility they are not aware. Construct for them the series of events which constitute actionable discrimination, and always link each event to a specific piece of evidence if possible. Include as well aggravating factors so that the investigative staff's impression of the enemy's Objectivity, Honor, and Personality will fall and so the legal section will have more to work with when arguing your case. Honestly, you should operate under the assumption your investigator is somewhat stupid and you should thus make it nearly impossible for them to overlook or misunderstand the most vital parts of your case (though that still didn't help me). Barrage them mercilessly with information which will enhance your case, while also enabling them to see relatively easily discrimination has taken place by re-emphasizing the critical components in one document or e-mail.

Also, your investigator will probably handle conciliation if one or both of you are desirous of this. Pretty much, you can get from this manner of resolution what you could from trial, if not even more. This is essentially an end to the war through a peace treaty rather than fight until one side is totally defeated. HUD and the other agencies seem to by default prefer conciliation and are supposed to encourage it within certain bounds, though one or both can refuse to settle it this way without penalty. This very nicely expounds on the concept and how they are supposed to pursue it. If your investigator rules against you and she/he did very little to facilitate or encourage conciliation, you might be able to use it as a basis for appealing. If your opponent seems amenable to providing whatever it is you need or see as necessary for atonement, I would suggest you end this at this stage to prevent figurative bloodshed for both sides.


Success: Reinforcements Will Arrive!

If you have performed sufficiently and they aren't fuck-ups, the investigator and their superiors will conclude discrimination has taken place. Read Steps 6-8 to see what they say on this. I hope to actually get to this point and thus have direct experience and observation to relay. For now, I'll give my impression as naturally talented strategist.

I am sure their ALJ option is more rapid, and I suspect less complicated and overwhelming. However, I also suspect the potential rewards are lower and it is less hospitable to a very complex case presentation. Note that in both HUD's summary and the full FHA is included the word 'punitive' when listing the various forms of recompense for the federal trial option, but not for the HUD ALJ option. An ALJ apparently is within HUD's apparatus, as is the mechanism for a first appeal. I suspect, regardless of whether there are attendant disadvantages, the chief advantage here is rapidity of resolution. They are exhorted by the FHA to start the hearing 120 days after a charge is issued or explain in writing why this cannot be achieved, and the judge is similarly exhorted to make a decision 60 days after the end of the trial or explain why this cannot happen. Assuming my hunches about damage limitation and speed are correct, it would be advantageous for you to consent to an ALJ option if you don't expect much or any punitive damages, don't have an extremely complex case to present, and/or you are becoming exhausted and need the war to end more rapidly. I presume these would be same reasons the enemy would consent to this method, with the addition of having lower attorney's fees (you would have a lawyer provided gratis).

Whether you have to file a lawsuit yourself or have HUD and the DoJ do it, I would assume it will require much more time for it to be processed and be conducted. I would hope it would at least get to trial within a year, but I have no way of knowing at this time. If your landlord was being an unmitigated prick or you need there to be a process conducive to complex evidence and the analysis of such, you might want to decide on a federal trial. Remember that there is the option to have a case heard by a jury and that IIRC only one party needs to consent, so you will very possibly have to persuade an entire jury rather than just one highly trained judge. If your Personality level is low, especially because of your interests or other forms of eccentricity or genuinely bad things, your enemy will likely elect to have a jury trial both to delay the trial and increase their chance of victory, as they only need to persuade one random untrained person you were creepy and dislikable and that's why you were acted against. This would be harder to do with a judge (at least, I hope so) and he/she would probably convict if a sufficient case is made. This, of course, would be one reason for the victim to go with an ALJ: to preclude such a strategy.


Failure: Appealing to HUD's Senior Echelon

Addendum: My appeal was acknowledged on 28 June 2016, and approved in January 2017. So, over 6 entire months transpired between them receiving it and making a decision! Darkly amusingly, the approval letter came 1 day after Trump's inauguration. I received a new investigator from an entirely different office within my Region.

You may yet be able to garner federal reinforcements if there is deemed to be insufficient evidence. However, you will need to put in a lot more work, because now you have to make a lengthy and adroit case to their senior level using both what you already had and different information and evidence. You not just have to prove discrimination took place, but that the team overseeing your case fucked up. My case is unique. My investigator's mishandling was so extensive and so consistently detrimental to me that she had to have actually been at best antipathetically negligent. I actually proceeded to file a formal complaint of misconduct along with the appeal. If you have to appeal, I doubt you would also need to file a complaint with HUD's Inspector General. That being said...

Preferably, you will be given a final interview, and told or could infer why you are on the verge of losing. If not, use that as one reason in your appeal. In either case, you will receive a packet of documents containing a summary of the evidence reviewed by the investigator (and presumably his/her superiors), the perception of that evidence, and the precise prerequisites which were thus not met. It will also contain instructions for appealing which include reading the Final Investigative Report and where to mail it, and miscellaneous other things. I overlooked this at first and wasted 12 hours on an appeal, so I will stress this to you now: that summary is NOT the Final Investigative Report, and you need to ask for this report to receive it. I do not know why, but they do not by default send the parties the FIR. The summary of the evidence and conclusions itself was about 8 pages, and the FIR was 32. Expect to be angry and disgusted with their incompetence upon reading it, especially if your case is at all similar to mine. Especially if you are furious, if you must write an appeal right then, do NOT send it right after. You most assuredly will need to refine it regardless.

The process detailed online seems somewhat different from what was detailed in the packet. The online version states you must send just a letter requesting reconsideration, and then both parties are allowed to present evidence both new and used. The written version indicates one needs to include all of this and a detailed list of errors in the report with the request rather than after. Thus, I very highly suggest you compose and send everything at the outset, and those things that cannot be sent physically (pictures, audio files) should be linked in the document. The site states they will essentially re-investigate the whole thing, reviewing the original evidence and report as well as the new set. Whether they actually do that I cannot assert. It would be wise to assume the manpower used would be comparatively low and there will be weight given to the original findings by default. Thus, I would not list inconsequential errors, and compile a list of the significant ones in descending order of severity. Do what you can to capture their attention and interest in the first page or two, clearly describing the catastrophic errors and omissions, even giving precise quotes and times in audio evidence. If the investigator was given evidence which directly contravenes the findings and the senior official reads and sees this quickly, it should cause her/him to be quite motivated to confirm your adamant and unambiguous assertions.

The summary was awful and contained three errors which were catastrophic to my case, and the FIR was so astonishingly bad I proceeded to swear a charge of misconduct, even raising the possibility she was bribed. The investigator asserted something on two critical points which were contrary to the audio evidence, and stated in pictures I was wearing tail and paws when I was not. In my appeal which will go out tomorrow, I will seize the official's interest by quoting the part of the audio evidence verbatim which contradicts the investigator. Me saying I have the enemy (I wouldn't use that term when speaking to HUD or in a court, BTW) on tape making admissions, then quoting those admissions, will make any reasonable person seriously question the lower findings and listen to the moments in the files for themselves. Just two minutes of listening will confirm my account. I uploaded the pictures I had shown the investigator via e-mail onto Google Drive and linked the pictures in the document. If they only look at those three points of protest (and they can without any further input from me), that will be enough to persuade them. There is a section entitled "Substantial Secondary Problems" immediately below the "Critical Errors" section. The errors were so numerous I struggled to come up with an optimal way of grouping and listing them, but I did manage to do so elegantly. While they will need to confirm all of them to assert rightfully they're true, they can see very clearly why there is a contradiction or error and what it is.

Again, you probably will not actually have to file a complaint against the person, and will instead only appeal to the FHEO Director of Enforcement in DC. If you do actually have to file a misconduct complaint, my understanding is the separate HUD Office of the Inspector General has authority there. I elected to send what I created to appeal as the main body of my complaint to the regional special agent directly, using a cover letter to explain why I did that, summarize my allegations, and give contact info. I sent off the documents to both places simultaneously. Probably you will only need to appeal to FHEO. I strongly advise you to only accuse someone of misconduct or incompetence if the errors are very numerous and/or severe. Incompetence is a rather high bar, willful and malicious incompetence even higher. Accuse with insufficient cause and your Objectivity and Personality with them will certainly fall. I may on a future date upload and link my document after making various redactions, but it likely won't benefit people much since my case is so unusually terrible and complicated.


HUD Fails Entirely: The FHA Still Provides A Way of Pursuing

Generally, if a government agency declines to prosecute a case, there is still the option of suing the accused party yourself. Unless a prosecution is in progress, the ALJ ruled against you, or you have already settled with the party in conciliation, you are granted the right in the FHA to take your case to federal court. Furthermore, Section 813, Subsection B grants the judge the discretion to waive court fees and to provide a lawyer. Section 706, Subsection F, Paragraph 1 (I could just say 706-F-1 or 706 (f) (1), but I like seeing myself talk too damned much) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 grants the same right to those with employment grievances, which is great for us since the EEOC rarely does more than give a letter to the person certifying the right to sue. So, if you are poor and are unable to find an attorney or even pay the $400 in filing fees, you can petition the court for allowing you to sue 'in forma pauperis' (this applies only to court and filing fees, not to counsel), and this is a standard right anywhere. What is noteworthy about these two laws is the judge can also appoint an attorney for the plaintiff or grant continuances while they try to find one, which is generally unheard of in civil trials. I would hope by default the judge would grant at least counsel if your initial filing is well constructed.


I wouldn't be optimistic about finding meaningful assistance from organizations. My attempts to receive legal assistance from three legal organizations- including one general LGBT and one transgender- were actually worse than useless because I lost time and emotional energy for nothing in return. Lambda Legal was the worst of the three because I was given three leads which were not at all applicable to my situation or location. The lawyer who called me from Cobb Legal Aid wasn't even aware the FHA and HUD protect transgender and GNC people, and told me representation was nearly impossible. The sad reality is these organizations even when well managed are overburdened by unfortunate people who are even worse off financially and emotionally than I am. I wouldn't assert you shouldn't try, but don't expend much resources pursuing the option unless one is actually promising.

What you CAN do, however, is use a lawyer referral service for your area which will pair you with a suitable lawyer (in this case, a federal civil rights specialist) with whom you can confer for 30 or 60 mins meaningfully for $45 or whatever they charge for consultations. Be sure you compile an outline which includes a description of your case that is informative but not excessive, and also the critical and secondary questions you have. At worst, you will have received extensive advisement from an actual professional rather than a militaristic raccoonboi with too much time on his paws, and at best you will have found a lawyer who will represent you pro bono or maybe for reduced contingency fees (you pay them a set percentage only if you prevail). If and when I get to this point, I will relay my newly obtained experience and insight.

Additionally, there is a middle-road option between full pro se and full representation: legal coaching. I will cover the concepts of pro se and assisted pro se representation more extensively in a more appropriate section further down. However, this concept is akin to what I described, only they are available long-term for advice and supporting functions. If you cannot find acquire full representation but you have some spare resources, and the time and energy and intellect necessary to represent yourself in a courtroom, this would enable you to achieve maximal effectiveness and minimal blundering for a self-representation strategy.


Holding the Line in Magistrate/Small Claims Court

If you are facing eviction, there is a substantial possibility you will have to hold the line here while HUD investigates. Unless you elect to hire a lawyer or can find one to aid you for free, you will have to be the lead and sole tactician in court. Additionally, you MIGHT be able to pursue the entire discrimination claim there as well. This section will be very applicable in either situation. Some of these concepts I laid out in pre-conflict chapters.


Information is Power and is in Many Places and Forms

I stumbled upon these realizations somewhat belatedly because they're usually not immediately apparent to a layperson. Obviously, you need to understand eviction (often called 'dispossessory') laws and possibly ordinances for your area, and those can usually found online. Also online are such things as the code of regulations and standards which courts and judges must follow, certain laws governing rules of evidence and other court processes, and miscellaneous information on the local courthouse websites. However, there are books published pertaining to more advanced concepts such as legal customs and preferences for eviction/housing or whatever, something a legal code may not much or at all describe. There may be a text pertaining to just one level of court for your state. For these things, you would go to a law library or perhaps a regular one if it has the books you need. You can also access online repositories at the law library which ordinarily would require paying money to use. Once I stumbled onto the fact we had a law library at the justice complex in my town's center, I went there to read a book on the Magistrate Court processes and norms and such, and a book on Dispossessory trials for my state. There also were books on the subjects of pursuing civil cases pro se, the federal civil process, and possibly other subjects. Oh, take pictures with your phone of pages which contain useful and applicable information, as that way you easily will have a record of the info and not have to pay for photocopies.

The other major way of acquiring information alone is to attend trials of the sort you need and directly observe the various processes, general tempos, and the styles and demeanors of the judges (obviously, you will wish to observe the judge you will have most of all). Generally, all trials are completely open to the public and there is a regularly updated list online and at the courthouse (at least, there should be) of the scheduled trials and their type and presiding judge, so you should encounter no obstacles to this. Once you know your trial date and judge, pick one or two dates before the start of your trial/first hearing to gather this crucial first-hand knowledge. You can then fashion and amend a general operational strategy to optimally suit your scenario. Be sure to silently write or type whatever you find to be noteworthy, and/or record the entire thing discreetly for later perusal.

You could also speak to an actual lawyer. A consultation would cost a little money and would allow you to ask questions your research and observations could not answer. If you have to pay $50 for a short conversation with an evictions lawyer to minimize the chance of paying hundreds to appeal a decision by the magistrate, that is a bargain. If you are poor, 'legal aid' would probably be useful merely for advice and direct lawyerly observations, but would not be likely to provide you with representation. There may be other charitable organizations with lawyers who will give advice but likely not representation.


Mobilizing For Battle

You will need a variety of things for your trial, especially if you will be fighting unaided. The primary thing you must keep in mind is this level of court is quite expedited, especially eviction cases. You cannot merely present hour-long audio files or reams of written evidence to the court and expect them to process it. You need to very rapidly prove the very most critical components of your case as seamlessly as possible. Thus, limit audio evidence you will present to small fragments with the most incriminating comments. Perhaps add short set-up commentary for each fragment in your condensed audio file so you don't have to interrupt the playing to do that there. Try to limit all audio evidence to within 5 minutes if at all possible, up to 10 if you really must. If you have no special audio recording equipment or editing software, you will have to play the relevant parts aloud from one device and record them with/onto another. Obviously, if unilateral audio recordings are illegal where you live and you recorded anyway, presenting them in any form would be suicidal and pointless, and you would be presenting critical files with highlighted passages instead.

Another critical thing to do is create a document containing an extensive outline of the case and its various points you need to address, using the observations you ought to have made to determine how much time you will have and other various characteristics. Oh, yes, the styles and preferences of judges can vary massively on this level. On at least one occasion my judge said, "I do not grant those fees.", meaning she has CHOSEN not to rather than she cannot due to the law. If this level of court follows the same patterns nationwide, until you observe the judge for a while, their behavior and the court process will be unpredictable. This will determine your presentation and various other things, as much as courtroom process laws and regulations. Remember that in civil cases it is customary for the plaintiff to begin their case first, so you're going to have a barrage of accusations and denials to address as well as presenting your case when it is your turn, unless the judge repeatedly invites the other person to interject.

I advise also mentally rehearsing how you will communicate various core matters as well as refute those things which you are aware of that the enemy is likely to raise. Quite likely the process of proving your case won't be as simple as presenting the audio files and other evidence and the judge immediately listening/reading/looking, because with audio especially, magistrate judges can be reluctant or even downright refuse to listen. Mine elected not to listen after the landlord was deemed to have confirmed the contents, and since I was denied the method I had so massively depended upon and was not fully prepared to communicate and reiterate every crucial thing verbally, the judge thus had a poor understanding of the scenario. It is imperative you be able to adequately communicate yourself both what you need to prove and what you need to disprove.

If you need to call any witnesses for your defense, learn your area's standards of serving people if any of them need to be subpoenaed. If you have sufficient time and this is a viable method, use a certified mail service which requires the person named to sign and not just anyone there, and present the receipt to the court clerk as proof of 'perfected' service. Compose a list of questions you will have for them which will prove or reinforce various facts and add them to an electronic device (or paper if you lack even a smartphone, or preferably both), preferably a tablet. Additionally, I insist you create series of questions for each witness you do not wish to call but believe the enemy may for their own purposes, so that when you are given the chance to cross-examine them you will not run the risk of forgetting something important or awkwardly verbalizing what you can manage to remember. When applicable, write questions which you intend to ask only if the previous one was answered in a certain way, or if triggered by an allegation that was made which you had already foreseen. Contemplate your questions for all possible and certain witnesses very extensively and numerous times, and ensure none of what is intended is superfluous, misleading, or will needlessly endanger or harm you. Also, you may or may not have the option of question the other combatant directly, so be prepared to examine them as well.

Also, do not forget, even if you are contesting something primarily on discriminatory grounds, that very well might not be the only defense available to you. If you only protest on grounds of discrimination, that probably will be the only thing considered by the judge, and probably will be the only basis considered if appealed. If you get a transphobic judge or the judge just doesn't believe you proved your case, you are more likely to be shit out of luck. However, if your research provided definite or possible other conflicts with the law, do not hesitate to raise them in your brief or answer, especially in an eviction case. While the enemy (assuming they started the case) might be free to refile immediately or soon if the case is tossed on one of those other grounds, it guarantees a delay and forces them to exert themselves more at the very least. This is what caused my former landlord to have to refile, giving me about three weeks before another fight and forcing him to pay another $80.

Ensure all miscellaneous things are completed by the evening before the hearing or trial.
  • All batteries are charged and within the intended devices.
  • All necessary files are saved onto your mobile devices.
  • All necessary devices are placed into your carrying objects
  • All necessary documents, as well as a paper notebook and pen (preferably two pens), are in a document pouch or envelope and that is placed in a carrying object.
  • You have showered, so there is much less which needs to be done before departure should you have a mishap.
  • Your electronic devices are absolutely, positively silenced. No, this is not merely turning down the volume on the side of the phone. Go through your various settings to ensure nothing will make it vibrate, ensure the things which have an independent volume/vibrate level aside from your Bluetooth headphones (if you listen to music) are set to zero sound and vibration. You do NOT want to disrupt the court in any way.


Marching Into Battle

Ensure you are not relying on a hat or cap for this day, as it is a universal custom in courtrooms to have people remove those and similar head coverings not worn for religious or medical reasons. There's also no point in refraining from crossdressing and donning other girly things since you will already be using a gender non-conformity defense and thus should look the part. As much as I dislike this, I do not advise one enter there wearing tails and other extremely attention-seizing items, as at best you would be seen as naturally repelling in personality and give the enemy an excellent chance to obfuscate. You can probably get away with dressing in a moderately resplendent and casual manner in this court level. I elected to wear my Everyday attire, with a couple of modifications due to the nature of the excursion. I honestly had no utterly ordinary female 'business casual' clothes, so that was my option short of going to Goodwill for purchases. I wasn't going to forego or expend anymore for this fucking court process, anyway.

If the way it proceeded for me is the norm, if it is an eviction case, you will arrive at the appropriate courtroom by a given time, take a seat, await the judge's arrival, and then have a 'call of the calendar'. You and the landlord being there and answering will make the matter 'contested', whereas if one fails to appear the other wins a 'default' judgment, and if neither appear the matter is dropped and thus the defendant effectively wins. Your area might have mediators which you and the enemy are encouraged or required to meet with prior to trial. You will have to use your best judgment in this situation. Ask whether any mediation agreement will bar you from seeking redress at other levels. If not, if it's a matter of eviction, give the period of time you need to relocate in an orderly and moderately rapid manner if you indeed wish to leave. If they will agree, there's no need to fight them in front of a magistrate. I suggest making peace on this front if none of your grand strategic plans would be thwarted, as a war on multiple fronts simultaneously (local court, relocation/reemployment, HUD or whatever) would be at best exhausting on you.

I suggest starting your recording devices when you enter or even before so you will have no chance of forgetting and thus not be able to review the day's conversations later or prove something useful which was said or done there. A court on this level might not be a 'court of record' and thus not document anything that transpired at all. If there is a prohibition on unilateral recording by state law, you likely won't be able to use it as evidence, unless there's an exception for public areas where there is no reasonable right to privacy such as courtrooms. I am not sure whether it will matter if only that court level (as opposed to a ban by law) generally prohibits unapproved recordings once you start dealing with federal agencies, and I also am not sure whether the rules and prohibitions they have on recording and recording devices apply to all manner of them or just include those things which would be disruptive or require special installation. I still don't know whether the Magistrate Court guidelines for my state were meant to apply to extremely inconspicuous phones or whether violating a rule is actually illegal or just sanctionable by the judge at the time. As you can see, even one of my great intelligence and strategic and tactical abilities has gaps in their knowledge and limits to capabilities.

As I stated before, the plaintiff generally goes first, which means if you are not the plaintiff, you will be having to both stroke and counterstroke during your turn most likely. Dispossessory hearings at least here are rapid even by general Magistrate/Small Claims standards, and I suspect the same applies everywhere else. The reasons I stated a notebook and pen (the old-fashioned kind) is part of an essential deployment configuration is, a judge might misinterpret someone tapping on their tablet to enter points to address and they also can fail, whereas if you're writing the intent is obvious and the paper (and probably not the pen: better bring two) will never malfunction. Write down those things which were raised that need context/background added, and those things which are completely untrue. Counterattack on those points when you are invited to present your case.

When you speak, try your utmost to minimize any chance of you tripping over your own words, and also to come across as rationally and honorably as possible. Judges will rate your Objectivity and Personality much lower if you are provoked by the other side and start lashing out and interrupting, and Objectivity will suffer if you are exceedingly emotional in your presentation. Present the facts unambiguously and as irrefutably as possible, and when/if appropriate describe the emotionally detrimental effects the enemy's misconduct had. Your schwerpunkt will be to prove discrimination, and close behind is to prove there were no plausible alternative motivations for the firing/dismissal/whatever. The tertiary or other secondary objective is to damage the judge's impression of the enemy in general, particularly Honor and Personality. Do not raise irrelevant and embarrassing things because it both is dishonorable and will likely backfire, but anything which pertains to your case and the enemy's interactions in that general period is fair game generally. Do not underestimate the effect of damaging someone's general character, as I made that mistake and the enemy's furious offensive along those lines caught me off guard and very nearly forced me to have to appeal to State Court.

If you have brought a discrimination complaint to this level or it's something else and not an eviction hearing, you may well have to attend court on multiple days or be there for much of one day. If it is indeed an eviction case, unless many witnesses are brought it probably won't take long and you will quickly know the judge's decision. Landlord-Tenant laws vary wildly from state to state, so your threshold of victory might be lower than mine was. If you are victorious and it is a simple eviction case, the landlord might just resign themselves to having you remain there as long as you please and enter into ceasefire negotiations. If you had to fight a large business, especially if you won substantial monetary damages, they probably will appeal and thus make the next section relevant to you. Where I live, one is allowed to evict for any reason besides discriminatory ones, which means even if one is shown to have made discriminatory demands and thus have discriminatory motives, any other plausible and legitimate reason that the judge feels is proven would validate the eviction. This meant, as the judge was deceived by the landlord, even though I proved discrimination, she would have issued a writ of possession had there been no pending action from HUD. The hearing actually consumed an hour and the judge placed the case in 'under advisement' status for three days before suspending the case for a month. This is very unusual for an eviction case here.


Beyond Magistrate/Small Claims

Either a decision was appealed or one of you elected to go to a higher level first for whatever reason. The next level of court and above is not a 'people's court', which means either you need a lawyer or you had better invest a colossal amount of intangible resources (time and energy) becoming as good as one for that set of circumstances. Magistrate/Small Claims is somewhat informal, as it was designed for those without lawyers to pursue or contest grievances. You don't need to know the formal terms for a motion or understand a complex set of rules for whatever it is you are wanting to do. Higher levels are designed with the expectation lawyers will be doing the fighting, and the judge will not likely be pleased if a rank amateur disrupts the process with her/his incompetence. I was actually rather pessimistic about pro se/pro per representation when I wrote this section, but I discovered much encouraging information which causes me to see it as more feasible for those with certain traits and circumstances.

One thing you need to understand if a case is being appealed is whether or not it is 'de novo'. Here, a trial in State or Superior Court resulting from an appeal of a Magistrate Court decision is 'de novo', meaning the case is being tried anew. This is important depending on what side you are on and other factors, because the court will not merely review the legitimacy of the magistrate's decision. All the facts and witnesses will have to be presented again. Using my example as a way to explain this, if the judge had ruled against me, within 7 days I would have had to leave or appeal to State Court. I could then present a better case due to rules of evidence and customs which are more friendly to the evidence I had, though I would have had to find a lawyer or learn how to be at least semi-competent at self-representation. If appeals of Magistrate Court decisions were NOT de novo, I would not have a second chance to present my case, but I would also have had an easier time of it because I would have been limited to explaining why the judge's decision was erroneous (beyond just misinterpreting what she was given). If the judge ruled against her and she appealed, we would have had to put on a full case all over again if de novo, and if not de novo I would have had to prove the decision contravened the law or was otherwise improper. If no such grounds for reversal exist, if the appeal is not de novo, the appealing person is screwed because the judges won't care about how good the case presentation was.

If you are being evicted and you lost the case, appealing would suspend the writ of possession until the matter is decided, which could be months. This would grant you additional time regardless of whether you do anything else substantial on your behalf. If your landlord asserts to you they can have you out in a short time no matter what, most likely they are either ignorant of law (which would be very sad for someone in their line of work; my landlord may well have been that stupid) or are bluffing you. My landlord didn't seem to realize I could and would be given the time I needed regardless of his wishes, and he would have learned this the hard way had developments been different. Of course, if you had sued or counter-sued for money, you would appeal for monetary reasons. If you cannot be fired without a court order and you went to court largely or primarily for that, appealing might suspend the order allowing your termination. These possible scenarios combined with whether the appeal is de novo will determine whether appealing would be appropriate, as well as the general strategy for that level.

As I said earlier, organizations probably are not going to get you free or discounted representation. You might be able to get a few questions answered for free from a lawyer from your area's legal aid organization, but likely no more. You probably should at least pay the $50 or whatever for a consultation with a lawyer to help you get your bearings, and hopefully also get you a lawyer for the case either fully or as an as-needed adviser. Beyond that, if you are going to go it alone, you need to review all available texts which pertain to your situation and level of court, and you also need to sit in on more than a couple of trials. This will be really hard if you have a job you need to go to, even harder if you lack a mate or close friends to provide additional manpower. You cannot half-ass this. You do not wish to annoy judges with improperly worded or timed motions, or complaints that you don't know what to do. You need to develop the competence and proficiency necessary to adequately present a case without advisement from the judge or anyone else. You're not merely playing tactician here. You need to more or less be on par with those with doctorate degrees in law, at least in this particular matter and location. Pro se can be done well I am sure, but, if you're not a homemaker or on disability, even with high intelligence and tactical instinct, you will be hard pressed to achieve that because you only have so many spare hours for self-education and all other needed things. And, of course, you need to have the emotional stamina and interpersonal skills necessary to do this.

Of course, appealing to the next highest level, or starting at a higher level, also brings with it unique challenges. My understanding is jury trials generally do not exist in the lowest level, but they do higher up if one or both parties make a timely and valid request. You would in that event have to participate in jury selection and advocate to a jury and not just a highly trained judge. State Court has different rules and customs than Magistrate, and they may well conform to overarching state and federal laws. Thus, much of what you learned in the first level is not applicable here. You will also be able to engage in 'discovery' maneuvers such as depositions and direct written questions called interrogatories, and this will be very difficult if you have no counsel to do this for you. Higher levels are vastly different in many ways, and this was why I so dreaded a situation where I had to maneuver in State Court while finding a better home environment. The landlord wouldn't have given a damn about how unfair and burdensome that would have been, and you should assume your opponent is similarly callous. This can be done without counsel, but even if you have no work obligations it will be a massive project. Of course, you can then impart that knowledge to others as I have done here, so it will not be a total loss.


Self-Representation Details and References

I discovered a decent repository of information on this and related topics recently, on a site called Nolo. While they don't explain everything and need for people to purchase the books people have published under their auspices, they are respectably generous with free legal information and thus I feel they have struck a fair balance. Keep in mind that while I have natural tendencies and traits conducive to general strategizing, and I have a marvelous and autistic orientation to strategy and tactics, I am not a fucking lawyer. The authors of the pages and books are, and they have done more than I have. I may have a natural superiority in tactics and strategy and articulating doctrine, but they have a LOT more experience. Heed well what I have said, but also heed well what they tell you in the following: Representing Yourself, Representing Yourself FAQ, Ways to Save on Legal Fees, and Hiring a Lawyer as Coach. The first two are very link-intensive, and I strongly insist you click on and read all of them in addition to the four I have linked here. There is a lot of information on matters related to lawsuits in general as well as self-representation relayed in there, and the book they keep referencing I'm sure has very much more usable information, though you can acquire it for less on Amazon and many more are there.

Speaking of books, there are two others which are highly acclaimed but also highly expensive. One is on trials in general and the other is on depositions. There are many other legal books on there, though I could find none with decent ratings specifically on gender or housing discrimination lawsuits, or discrimination lawsuits in general, or even federal civil trials in general. Once you have a list of books you feel would be useful, I would suggest renting as many from the library as you can and only buying those you either need full-time or cannot acquire from the library at all, if cost is at all a concern. When/if I read these I will interpret and disseminate critical acquired information and concepts on here.

The consensus seems to be, doing a lawsuit in propria persona is actually feasible and not a near-impossible feat. They also seem to conclude full representation for cases which would gain one under 25k is not feasible anyway, thus many are forced to either do everything alone or have a lawyer on the sidelines to occasionally advise and/or perform secondary supporting functions. So, my first impression seemed more pessimistic than reality. However, you need to consider this... I am an ideal candidate to pursue a lawsuit in propria proper a.k.a 'pro per', and yet I am not eager to conduct such a campaign because it would necessitate an extremely high and undesirable level of mobilization. I am disabled and have no volunteer obligations, so I can generally set my own schedule. I am highly intelligent, highly attentive to details, am highly honorable, and I have an extremely high natural affinity for affairs such as this. However, there is a LOT that I would need to do, and I do not work quickly at all. What I do is superb, but it requires much time to prepare and construct. I would need to read at LEAST two books just to figure out how to question someone, and then I would have to determine who and how I would do so, and then hope I can sufficiently mitigate my natural weaknesses at verbal interlocution. Imagine if I actually had to work or take care of children while attending to this! Even a person with zero mental health issues and obligations would be seriously burdened.

That being said, it may very well end soon after the lawsuit is filed. If their own discovery motions gain them evidence which seems quite compelling, the opposing lawyer/tactician may well deem it preferable to settle with you. Of course, what is acceptable only you can say. Remember  that if it goes fully to trial and the matter is decided in pitched combat, not only can it be appealed, but they also can elect for a jury trial. If you are your own tactician in court and if you have liabilities on Personality, this will be substantially disadvantageous for you. This would just prolong a drain on time and emotional energy, though you might also gain a lot more in the end.


Conclusion

There is a massive amount of information in this chapter. So much that I had to divide it and post each part in a separate Inkbunny journal since their limit is 100k characters! I hope you will not need to apply all of what I have written, but you do have it if you are not that fortunate. I excel at communicating experience, information, and theory to other people, and thus I feel this is the most effective single manual a femboy has access to, and this probably is the best non-book text in existence on the matter of discrimination. Of course, I cannot possibly convey absolutely everything I know, and cannot possibly cover every conceivable scenario. You will have to do much research yourself to meet your needs, but this will set you very nicely on the right path.

If you wish for me to clarify something, provide information not in here, or wish for me to advise you on something (Discrimination or anything else), you are more than welcome to message me here or the other places I reside in. I consider it a sacred duty to enlighten people on matters I have heightened knowledge of. If you are encountering an emergency, you are advised to note that in the title, because under normal circumstances I generally postpone reading messages until I am prepared for such, and I might not feel ready for up to a week or even 10 days (the autism has its attendant disadvantages). I also beseech you to provide me with your own direct experience and knowledge on areas or scenarios I am not well educated in, and also to correct me if I have made an error.


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Updated 28 March 2017


Addendum As Trump was elected and he has deemed it favorable to appoint some of the most inept and anti-LGBT people he could find to fill cabinet positions (the people who lead various federal agencies), AND the Democrats failed to stop their confirmations (I thought for sure they'd filibuster), some of what I wrote is or will soon become outdated. I believe housing and HUD is unaffected and might not change during his tenure, but much or most of everything else regarding federal agencies is or will soon be outdated. I will make appropriate revisions in the future.

Federal court interpretation I doubt has changed or will change in the near future, though if Trump's nominees for vacancies follow the same track as cabinet ministers, this will be jeopardized. It'll still be an option, but the rate of failure will rise since a higher proportion of judges will be bigoted Republicans.

Addendum 2 Much of this will need to be revised to reflect my greater literary and tactical proficiency and awareness. I was less perceptive and less experienced last year, and have gained much experience and insight since then.

Addendum 3 The EEOC and HUD are on the same track now that they were during Obama (though some circuits momentarily are against the EEOC on sexual orientation). However, Trump and Sessions fucked us over royally regarding Title IX's enforcement by the DoE and DoJ. While one may still sue (and it seems successfully) via Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in federal court, the DoJ and DoE seems to have withdrawn from the process.

I don't know the federal processes and regulations well enough to predict competently, but Sessions and the DoJ could soon conspire with Carson from HUD to end their transgender/GNC protections as well. I've read HUD cannot change its policies as readily as other agencies, and the NYT article did say Sessions needed the other one's cooperation, so maybe my and other transpeoples' HUD cases will continue undisrupted until their natural conclusion. I'm definitely uneasy, though.


Discrimination: Laws, Concepts, and Early Maneuvering

In the previous chapter, I described in great detail the general concept of self-defense and the various manners of accomplishing it, while also stressing heavily violence is very uncommon generally even in a comparatively violent and anti-LGBT country such as America. It is very unlikely you as an out femboy will be assaulted for that or any other reasons. What is FAR more likely to happen is a different form of aggression, one that is generally not violent but potentially at least as destructive and debilitating. Discrimination against LGBT individuals is rather rampant in at least the USA, and even worse against transgender and gender non-conforming people, and worst of all against trans women and girly males (guess patriarchalism and misogyny is still much in existence, but not as blatant). I recently had to relocate under fire because a landlord grew tired of my crossdressing and the furry accessorizing and thought I would be dealt with swiftly and quickly if I resisted him. He found out I was actually a very dangerous and dedicated opponent who knew the legal system far better than he did, and he will learn I have remedies even if HUD's investigation concluded no discrimination took place. This saga, however, gave me a substantial amount of knowledge and insight I can now impart to you, and I am especially suited for this because I am at heart a tactician and these contests are really in the end legal warfare and maneuvering. Since I do not work and my experience pertains to housing, a substantial portion will pertain to housing and HUD. Most of the concepts and maneuvers can be applied to any realm, of course.


Legal Concepts

The key to properly responding to discriminatory action is knowing what constitutes such under the law and whether what you experienced can be addressed. You neither wish to go to war with someone who has committed no crime, nor decline to do so when you could have had the system exact vengeance upon them on your behalf. As this is a treatise on being a femboy, the focus will be on gender identity. As I am American and the overwhelming majority of furries are American, the focus will be on American law.


Bathroom Usage: A Commentary on a Current and Emergent Issue

I commented on this in Clothing and Accessories, and I'll do it here since it's also very pertinent to this section... Especially if you have no desire to use the female bathroom, ignore these laws even if you live in one of these states. If you live in NC or somewhere else these thoroughly idiotic laws were passed, if you still wish to use the men's bathroom (assuming you're biologically male and not a FtM aspiring femboy), there is absolutely nothing conceivably legal that could be done within the specifics of these laws even if a police officer arrived immediately after you entered and verified your biological anatomy. A huge reason for these recent and stupid uproars (besides religious conservatives being dimwitted in general) is the fear predatory males will invoke gender identity protection and casually stroll into the women's rooms and cause mayhem. There seems to be no real outrage over the prospect of the reverse happening. The other reason is just general anti-trans bias, and most assuredly the more of a flamer you are the more of that sentiment you will incite in people. However, this general scenario of males in male bathrooms doesn't incite fear in people and 99% or more of people will keep their disapproval to themselves. I have pissed and crapped and refreshed makeup many times in male-only bathrooms in both suburban and urban areas, and have yet to encounter disapproval.

Even if you had gone into the women's bathroom and somehow had a cop confirm you used the wrong one after catching you red-handed (and how likely do you think it is a cop would be right there investigating these matters, or even be told of a potential violation in the first place?), the NC law has no punishment listed anyway and thus it is only symbolic in that regard. Additionally, while many women and their male protectors are indeed both hysterical and fully anti-trans, once they see a very girly person casually using the bathroom for legitimate purposes, most will ignore the person, and a few maybe will leave momentarily. I seriously doubt there would be noticeable objection to me using the other bathroom even though I am quite detectably a male in my face and voice. If you're not creepy and awkward and act like you belong in either place, you will not have a problem if you don't live in a shithole.

The more likely scenario is either your place of employment or your school decides you don't conform enough to the gender norms of whatever bathroom you prefer (and very possibly to both unless you're passable), and those general areas of life and applicable laws will be discussed in great detail. However, these new laws that Republicans are passing in a fit of ignorant hysteria, don't pay attention to them. They change nothing legally or culturally. Everyone will continue to not care where you pee and crap and freshen up, and literally 1 in a million will be found out and charged because these fucking laws aren't enforceable anyway.


Multiple Levels of Jurisdiction: Local, State, Federal, International

Unless you are dealing with a governmental agency, a place and person is subject to several levels of laws, and must not run afoul of laws on all levels if they are to be not guilty of a crime. Any given location is subject to local (city or county), state, and federal regulations. If you are European, you might have redress at an international level since the members of the EU seem bound by certain EU-level laws and courts. If you're American, you don't have an international option. Even if federal law and state law do not protect you in a given scenario, you would be protected if the county or city has deemed that act illegal. Some cities protect the classes of gender identity and sexual orientation in addition to the default ones in employment, housing, and local government services. If I had no federal protection but my former residence was within such a city or town, I could have fought an eviction attempt and even sued her on the basis of discrimination in the lower level courts. The reverse was true, so I had to invoke federal protection in my local hearing while HUD investigated.

A critical thing to note is a lower level may be more inclusive than the higher levels, but never less so. So, a city couldn't decide to remove, say, disability as a protected class, but it could add classes to its discrimination laws as well as expand its definition of 'disability' beyond what the Fair Housing Act and HUD define it as. There is one caveat to this: I am moderately sure that state and federal installations within a city wouldn't necessarily have to obey the city's laws in that regard. If the federal government didn't protect sexual orientation, I don't think it could be forced to do so in those more inclusive locations. I am far from certain, but, the federal organization might be able to legally ignore state and local laws. It becomes even murkier if territory is owned by the federal government and is deemed a 'federal enclave', especially if a federal agency isn't the entity in question.

Laws and regulations of a higher level by default supersede lower ones if the company, person, or entity in question take funds from the higher level. For example, if an entity takes funding from HUD in any way, they are subject to HUD's agency regulations in addition to the FHA. If a school takes funding directly or indirectly from the Dept. of Education or some related program, they are subject to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Generally, taking taxpayer money commits one to playing by that level's and that agency's rules. There are many other examples of this too numerous to name. Thus, even if an entity would have been immune to anti-discrimination laws and actions, it may well be successfully prosecuted if it can be shown they have taken public funding. Remember this if you must fight someone. Also, the relevant laws generally forbid someone from retaliating for pursuing a discrimination complaint or exercising rights, so even if you fail to prove your original case you might be able to prevail on that ground.


Protection Under 'Gender Identity' Versus 'Gender/Sex'

On a federal level, there aren't any laws which specifically include gender identity and sexual orientation. Some federal agencies have included those categories in their policies regarding their own employees and the programs they oversee. The laws that grant them the authority to run programs, interpret the laws, and determine whether discrimination has taken place, however, only go as far as to list Sex or Gender. Especially for transgender and gender non-conforming people, this actually isn't much of a problem right now, and I will explain why.

The classes of 'Sexual Orientation' and 'Gender Identity' are very unambiguous. If they were enshrined in a federal law, the agencies charged with investigating and enforcing could not say, "Well, we don't consider gender identity to include femboys and crossdressing." or, "Homosexuality is not a sexual orientation." They and most of the country would have to respect gays, femboys, etc and there would be no avoiding that lawfully (unless the person or entity is exempt; I'll get into that a bit later). This would be ideal for the LGBT community. Some states and local areas have added those classes to their own laws. There is a proposed all-encompassing federal law called the Equality Act, but currently it cannot be passed because our legislative system is garbage and Republicans are too numerous (if you're upset I'm being political again, hahaha, it gets worse). Perhaps later in 2016 it will happen...

'Sex' and 'Gender' (I think the laws generally say 'Sex') are more open to interpretation, as counter-intuitive as that might sound. It's not merely as simple as treating someone differently for having a penis or a vagina, as apparently 'sex' and 'gender' were not explicitly defined. Obviously, when these lawmakers passed the original legislation in the 60's and 70's, they had no other understanding than males and females who looked like males and females because there wasn't a real transgender movement, and thus didn't see it as important to define the words. The interpretation of the parameters have been broadened for females, to include such things as becoming pregnant, being the victim of domestic abuse, and sexual harassment (though that now also covers males). In the last several years due to changes in popular attitude and Democrats enjoying success in the highest levels of government, the agencies charged with enforcement and interpretation have expanded the definition to include not behaving or appearing as would be normal for their sex.

The rationale is as follows... Gender/Sex is a protected class. If a boy has long hair and wears skirts, and they are fired/evicted/whatever because they are not behaving or dressing as a male supposedly should, it is related to Sex. They were acted against because they are male and chose to resemble a female. Thus, it is Sex-based discrimination. This also is sometimes applied to cover sexual orientation. A male is desirous of sexual relations with other males. Their employer/landlord/whoever acted against them because they believe it is wrong for someone with a penis to lust for others with penises. Thus, it is related to Sex/Gender, and thus it is discrimination for that reason. This works well enough for femboys/trans/GNC (gender non-conforming) people and sometimes for gays and bisexuals (and heterosexuals if a gay person only wanted gays or whatever) as long as the relevant agencies are run by liberals and conservative douchebags cannot replace them. If the worst happens and Cruz is made President (and they seem to have a great deal of power deciding on department heads here in the USA), and his party retains a majority in Congress, those protections will likely end in short order because the laws don't define Sex/Gender to include what I just discussed, or add those aforementioned classes. Federal courts have also at times interpreted Sex/Gender in this way or upheld an agency's or lower court's decision, though Congress and the President also decide federal judges and soon the legal system would cease offering that protection sooner or later as well.


Who and What Protects Me Federally?

The precise law and agency which apply depend on your set of circumstances. The general scenarios (gender is the focus, but sometimes sexual orientation is protected by the quoted laws as well), and the appropriate legislation and tasked agency, are as follows:

  • Housing (general): The law is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly called the Fair Housing Act or FHA. The responsible office is Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), within Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If there is a state or local housing enforcement agency which has laws/policies similar to or better than the FHA and HUD's interpretation of it (pretty much, if they are LGBT-inclusive), they are the responsible agency instead, though HUD will intervene if they send it to them or they tarry. Also, you may go to federal court immediately, or after HUD denies a complaint. This is the HUD complaint process.
  • Employment (private sector, state and local government): The law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The agency for Title VII is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Additionally, the Department of Justice states one may go to them when the accused is a state or local government agency. Note that generally an employer needs to have 15 or more employees to be subject to Title VII. This is the main page pertaining to general protections for LGBT members of the workforce.
  • Employment (federal agencies): The laws and orders are The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (note that this also bans discrimination for anything not pertaining to performance, so merely being a furry/brony would be protected), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Executive Orders 11478 and 13672 (latter is an alteration of the former). The responsible agencies for the 1978 law (only one of the two following agencies may be chosen if using that ground) are the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The agency for the 1964 law is the EEOC, though one needs to go to that agency's EEO counselor rather than the EEOC directly. The one for the order for federal agencies rather than contractors, I am not sure of. One may pursue a complaint on multiple grounds for the same incident, and the process is laid out here. Note that federal agencies are subject to the quoted laws regardless of number of employees. This is an overview of the protections and process for complaining.
  • Employment (Dept. of Education-funded programs and places): If your place of employment is an educational facility which takes federal funding, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is an applicable law. Note well that religious institutions, military schools, and places that have been traditionally one-sex are exempt from this law even if they take funding. The entity which addresses discrimination for this is the Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education.
  • Education: The applicable law is Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Note well that it only covers programs, schools, and other facilities which take educational federal funding (though the vast majority of public K-12 schools do), and that religious, military, and traditionally one-sex schools are exempt from the law even when receiving federal funding (yeah, that's shitty and it surprised me). Also note this law protects parents and employees as well, making it in effect an employment discrimination bill as well. The entity which addresses discrimination for this is the Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education. There is a nice advisory piece from a transgender organization here. Also note sexual harassment- rather than discrimination in general- on the basis of sexual orientation, is considered prohibited by the DoE, but a recent case and federal trends should compel them to fully modernize soon.
  • Public Accommodations: Astonishingly, there are none that apply, as Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not include gender/sex and other categories. Actually, several other sections and laws leave out one or more categories which are usually taken for granted. However, if your local or state level has laws pertaining to this which include sex/gender but not gender identity, you may succeed by using a defense on the former.


Core Tactical and Strategic Concepts

You have been provided with the classes femboys would be protected under, the laws which would protect you in most scenarios, and which entity precisely to go to. There are certain principles and concepts which are applicable regardless of what area you are facing discrimination in, and regardless of what agency you are going to for redress. In scenarios you have more intimate and prolonged contact with the enemy- such as employment and housing- there will be some differences in experience and tactics, but these basic concepts will apply regardless.


Establishing Motivation: Verify, Verify, VERIFY!

To even have an investigation go onto the next level- let alone prevail in court- it is indispensable to prove that the motivation for your eviction/firing/whatever was discriminatory. It is not enough to merely accuse someone of taking action because you are an overt femboy. While your testimony will be a factor in a case, you need to prove they at least likely acted against you for that with evidence. Preferably, this evidence will be the accused's own words and deeds over one of the three media: written/typed, video, or audio. Testimony is not at all ironclad evidence and could even backfire if the one you call lies or performs badly. If the person you are accusing can be read or heard making transphobic slurs or admitting your crossdressing is unacceptable or whatever else along the same lines, no amount of testimony in the world can overcome that. Audio or video is superior to written since it leaves no room for doubt of authenticity, though written definitely is better than testimony alone and is far easier to submit to a court or investigation, and in some areas surreptitiously recording conversations you are a member of is illegal. This is a concept I wish to extremely heavily impress to all: YOU NEED TO CAPTURE THE ENEMY ADMITTING HIS/HER GUILT. If you do not have this moment, your campaign will either fail or require much more resources to succeed. I learned this the hard way due to forgetting to record the first conversation with my former landlord after he decided to expel me.

As I threatened to go to HUD in that first conversation with her, she was on notice and changed how she described the situation when speaking to me afterwards. My audio evidence is still valuable and it allows me to demonstrate her counter-accusations are implausible and that she disliked the feminine qualities of my dress, but me being a furry paired with her subsequent evasiveness greatly complicated the campaign. There is no 'smoking gun' moment I can easily present now. I have to present several moments over several recordings to demonstrate the points I need to. I had to repeatedly pressure her to tell me exactly what about my outfit she objected to for me to get her admissions, and the investigator noted this and seemed put off by it though I didn't do anything wrong. The witness to another event long before this evidently lied to the investigator. Combined with having an incompetent and seemingly antipathetic investigator, the determination was there was insufficient evidence. Had I recorded the first conversation, I could have easily demonstrated even to a moron she objected to my crossdressing regardless of variant (I will get more into that soon) and this was why I was being evicted.

I will delve into the actual maneuvering in another section. However, always remember that you need to  prove your accusation of motive, and it is very imperative you disprove the likely counter-accusations of poor behavior or performance. You might still prevail if the enemy's accusations as well as yours are deemed to have likely happened (a local magistrate found both to be true when I contested my eviction), but it will quite possibly reduce your awards and might permit your firing/eviction in the early stages if local or state laws allow such actions for any reason besides pure discrimination. If there is trouble starting to happen, you should be recording every conversation you have with the person in question, and do so covertly.


Are You Handing Ammunition to the Enemy?

While proving discriminatory motivation is of paramount importance, your second priority (assuming you were well behaved) is disproving or mitigating claims made in defense that you were disruptive, lazy, or otherwise unpleasant to deal with. They might not be able to legally get rid of you for being a femboy, but they can if you behaved atrociously or were terrible at your job. I value honor very highly and thus I am not encouraging you to be dishonest when refuting accusations. However, assuming the accusations are false or made without proper context, you need to prove they are wrong or misleading, preferably with the enemy's own words. Be mindful that while you might overall be able to prove your conduct/competence/whatever was never a factor in their decision, their defense will gain plausibility if they can present messages or other evidence of you being enraged and aggressive, regardless of how justified it is.

Make no mistake, especially if/when you get to trial: you are at war. If they are bigots they are even more prone to deliberately mislead people about you to prevail. They and their lawyer won't give a damn about your attempts to be forthright and fair. They will exaggerate incidents, fabricate problems after the fact, and possibly even persuade witnesses to lie about you due to loyalty or fear. If you elect to posture and strike out at the enemy soon after they discriminate, they WILL use that against you, and then you need to conduct damage control. Of course, they will never explain to the investigator or court that you were belligerent only after they made a series of threats and dissolved an agreement you two had, or whatever your situation is. They will just demonstrate you were an aggressive jerk and assert you normally are an aggressive jerk. My landlord did this in magistrate court, making numerous accusations about my behavior and showing the judge an especially provocative message I sent to him after he made various threats and claims which included being friends with judges. I almost had to appeal to stave off eviction because the judge was bothered by this, though I did just well enough to cause her to postpone while HUD investigated.

If at all possible, you need to prove with their own words they never saw your performance or behavior as problematic. The second best method is demonstrating through their failures to mention problems of that nature up to that critical moment, that whatever it is they fault you for now was not a concern. Of course, no one is perfect, no one is completely compatible with everyone, and sometimes flukes happen. Explain special circumstances behind incidents that were raised, and be truthful and admit fault if you did commit some sort of transgression. If you were angry and counter-postured post-incident after many provocations, explain this and provide evidence for your explanation if possible. Judges and juries will place far less stock in some behavioral accusation your enemy proves correct if it was done after the firing/eviction/whatever and they were the belligerent fuckwad for the entire time between then and your outburst.


Prepare For Initial Defeat- Federal Protection/Reinforcement Usually is Belated

Assuming the main incident is termination of employment or tenancy (very severe compared to other possibilities, aside from police misconduct) and neither are funded or run by a federal agency, the unfortunate reality is the federal process probably will be very separate from the local/state levels. Especially in matters of housing, you will probably have to fight the landlord on the state or local level and have to understand both those laws and the federal ones. It's very possible that if your employer fires you, you can't actually suspend or have countermanded that decision either legally or through a company's appeals mechanism. The federal process might come through for you only after having lost your job or place of residence. In short, you may very well win the war and profit from their misdeeds in the end, but you will possibly be swept from the field and made to retreat in the initial stages.

For example, my situation was I was a month-to-month tenant in a house with a landlord who did not receive federal funding. While I complained to HUD for gender discrimination, they did not forcefully block the landlord's eventual court actions to evict me. I was entirely on my own with regards to finding representation and knowledge, and I had to face off against him alone in the lowest level court here in my state: Magistrate Court. Here, landlords in month-to-months must give 60 days' notice, and the reason for termination can literally be anything BUT discriminatory. I won in court the first time due to her trying too soon. The second time, I should have prevailed because the buffoon declined to enter a reason for seeking eviction, but the judge ignored that defense, and we went to my discrimination defense. I showed the judge the documents which proved gender expressions fall under Sex federally because this information seemed little-known even to trans people, and I think the judge wasn't aware of that until that moment. I then had to prove both she behaved in a discriminatory manner, AND that there was no other plausible reason. I failed to achieve the latter for reasons I will describe further down, and had the judge not been convinced the former was also at play and had there been no HUD investigation, I would have lost. However, she stayed the case awaiting HUD's findings, allowing me to not have to appeal while I finished relocation. HUD very indirectly saved me, and provided otherwise zero advantage or reinforcement.


Precautionary Tactics and Maneuvering

To maximize your chances of success should you have to report and maybe sue for discrimination, you should be prepared for the possibility from the beginning, rather than react and plot only after something has happened. It also helps to be intelligent and have a talent for tactics and strategy like I am/do. If you are armed with knowledge of laws and processes beforepaw and have preserved all relevant conversations and missives by the time a war starts in earnest, you will be excellently situated to respond and eventually win. If you suddenly have to take a crash course in laws and customs and do the other things necessary to prove a case during an emergency, you will emotionally and in general be in an atrocious situation.


Importance of Understanding Local/State Laws and Court Customs

As I described above, the initial battles quite possibly will happen in a lower-level courtroom rather than a federal court. Unless there are laws or regulations which can be used to prevent an employment termination from being carried out immediately, you probably won't be able to delay a termination and will only respond to it afterwards. Housing is another matter, as in the modern era every location has protections in place for tenants who would contest an eviction, and housing is considered more imperative and immediately urgent. Other scenarios would have already happened and thus be irreversible, and thus would be purely a matter of punishing them afterwards. Regardless of what your situation is, you should have at least a moderate understanding of what your sub-federal protections are and how to utilize them, and then do enhanced research if you need to (or feel compelled to in the absence of any conflict).

There are a couple of core concepts to point out which are applicable to someone regardless of their location. The first is, there is a level of local court which is designed for the majority of people to quickly and easily have a grievance addressed, and in which it is more feasible to fight an opponent without an attorney. Some areas call it Small Claims, others such as mine Magistrate Court. Chances are if you're fighting a landlord, you will first end up here. The advantages are it is more 'user-friendly', less expensive, and allows someone who cannot afford a lawyer to contest a matter without being almost guaranteed a humiliating defeat. A huge disadvantage is because the process is more simplified and expedited, things like audio evidence and other evidence which is complex either cannot be admitted or is only partially usable. You also don't have much chance to put on a case or correct mistakes, and the course of a hearing in that level quite possibly will be as much dictated by law and regulation as it is the judge's personal preference. In higher levels, attorneys are more or less necessary for most, but the structure and process is much more uniform and friendly to those with elaborate cases. As cases are much shorter and interaction with the judge more intimate, you may either be helped or hindered depending on your psychological and personality characteristics and the circumstances of the case.

The second thing (which is somewhat related to the first) is, a landlord cannot legally immediately expel you generally. There may be varying exceptions within which that is permissible. In my home state, a tenant can only be immediately removed if they're committing a crime in the home (including drug use) and the police come in and arrest them, and in that circumstance it's not a typical eviction requiring the usual process. Assuming you're a good boy and not doing illegal things, the only way you can be lawfully evicted is through an order of the court called a 'writ of possession' after a hearing. A landlord could have your things removed and the locks changed while you're at work or whatever (and I suggest you ponder that scenario and how to preclude it), but then they would be in blatant violation of the law and that could be pretty rapidly addressed. You need to be summoned to a hearing, respond, have a judge rule against you, and then not appeal before the order goes into effect, before you would be forced to leave. If you are in a lease rather than month-to-month, the landlord additionally has to prove you broke a term of the lease and quite possibly ALSO prove you were given a chance to correct it first.

If you are in a more liberal area, you may be able to seek redress in a lower court/process, and not necessarily have to rely on a federal agency and court which might be backlogged much more severely. The federal process is there if you need it, but I suspect it would be more efficient to go to a lower level first if you can. Depending on your area, some levels of court within a state are not able to grant injunctions or 'equitable relief', and you'd only be getting a monetary reward if you go that route despite that. For example, here the non-appellate levels are: Magistrate, State, Superior. Only in Superior could I be given an order for more than money and things. There are also differences in regulations and customs for whatever tiers of court a state has. There are many variables to consider and I cannot possibly cover them all here. I would suggest visiting a law library for your area if there is one, or maybe a regular one if it has legal texts. Things like laws and ordinances should be available online for free, but the more obscure or specialized things might only be found in hard book form or in a repository online you have to pay for.

Finally, you need to understand what your state's laws are on recording other interlocutors. The federal system and 38 states have laws which are known as "one-party", meaning only one interlocutor needs to consent for the conversation to be lawfully recorded. The other 12 are either "two/all-party" or have unique stances. California, Florida, and Pennsylvania are three large states who have banned this tactic unless all consent (and few will incriminate themselves, or even take kindly to the suggestion, if asked to consent). I find this deplorable because it facilitates the oppression of citizens and the concealment of crimes, but I alas don't run this dysfunctional nation. If you live in a state where you may not record conversations without all people's consent in your situation, you will have to resort to inciting useful comments in written communications from foes and those who aren't predictable. Of course, someone who is doing wrong will not be as likely to admit guilt in writing, whereas most don't even conceive the idea they might be recorded in face-to-face verbal discussions. This seems to be the best list of recording laws. Remember, though, that you can still record them since it would be impossible for anyone to know at the time (just don't let anyone see your screen while turning on/off the sound recorder app), and you will thus be able to review any verbal conversations for things you may have forgotten and to reinforce your testimony. The files themselves would be inadmissible evidence at least on a local/state level and possibly also on the federal level, as well as utterly irrefutable evidence of your own crime should you ever present them.


Alienate Hostile Landlords/Employers Preemptively

I'm sure that title often evokes confusion or images of one being an aggressive jerk immediately upon meeting them. What I mean by that is, don't dress 'normally' when you meet a prospective landlord or employer. Sure, you will not be accepted by people who are bigoted and allow that to corrupt their decision-making process, and there are more transphobes (applicable even to femboys who don't identify as transgender) than there are merely homophobes. So, you might be rejected repeatedly before finding a suitable one. However, do you really want to be 'normal' when you first meet them and be accepted, only to be plunged into bitter fighting later on when they see you're highly effeminate (and God forbid if you're also furry or brony)? I have barely started this war with my old landlord as I write this after six months since the initial incident, and it will intermittently demand my attention and work for who knows how long. I know people often understand me as a combative tactician, but, this is NOT FUN. I could have invested those resources into other matters and have not been as encumbered emotionally if this had never happened. Save yourself the trouble and hide little or nothing from them, and that way whoever accepts you will be guaranteed to not be prejudiced. Wars never injure only the defeated opponent, and they will be much harder on those who aren't rich and powerful regardless (meaning, you and me).


Understand Official Company/Agency Policy

Whether you are contemplating attending a college, moving into a place, or working for someone, you ought to know not only what local and state laws apply, but also how this prospective place treats and views its LGBT members. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 currently protects gender identity due to the responsible agency's interpretation of it and congruent court decisions, I doubt close to 100% of businesses are complying. In fact, I'm sure a good many companies in America don't have policies protecting gender identity and sexual orientation, and maybe assume they don't even have to refrain from firing them. Remember that laws merely dictate what is legal or illegal. Those laws must be enforced, and often they are not enforced until well after the damage is done. As I said just before, wars will exhaust and hurt the victor as well, and probably aren't worth the monetary rewards or satisfaction in the end. Don't allow yourself to enter into a hostile environment. Also, remember that while the people who initially receive and approve you may be inclusive, those who will be in authority may not be.

Preferably, a company on its website or brochures policy handbook or whatever will go out of its way to explain they stand by the LGBT community. If they do, then the question should be easily resolved immediately. If not, find the relevant policy or ask directly what it is. If their discrimination policies do not include gender identity/transgender specifically, this is a red flag and you ought to avoid them if possible. If you don't have that luxury, at least ask whoever your contact is or whoever their policy person is whether they understand Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers gender identity and mannerisms as per the EEOC's interpretation of Sex. If it's a DoE-funded educational facility you're going to for work or education (religious schools are exempt, but you'd be insane to approach one as a femboy anyway), ask if they understand gender identity/mannerisms are protected by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 as per the Department of Education's interpretation of Sex. If you're told they don't recognize such decisions and laws, if you are going to go with them anyway due to either necessity or stupidity, mobilize for war preemptively in case it happens.

Speaking of mobilizing, you should help yourself acquire the habit of covertly recording conversations right then. Probably the first one wouldn't help if you do have to fight them, but recording the first encounters (or doing as much of this through e-mail as possible if recording is banned) will allow you to review them for information you forgot or misinterpreted, and to generally review your verbal performance. Even when discrimination is non-existent at that time, if a conversation or meeting is important, record them so you can review them later on if you cannot remember everything, or have to prove something if there is some other problem. You will have reprogrammed yourself substantially to remember this tactic if and when there does start to be resistance to you being a femboy, and thus far less likely to forget during those critical early encounters where they will most severely incriminate themselves. You can easily record conversations covertly these days with a smartphone and a recording application (they should come with your phone by default, at least on Android phones). Try to record from a tablet/dedicated recorder/other device simultaneously as well, in case the phone defies your will.

Speaking of company policy, one thing you need to ascertain when you're planning to work for a company is their policies on covert recording. While the state's laws may permit the act, companies are often free to prohibit such a tactic and punish those who violate it and are discovered. If you do have to fight these people later on, if they foster corruption and secrecy by barring any recordings, know that if you are still employed by them or wish to return to work for them, presenting such evidence will likely permanently end/preclude that arrangement. They will still have to pay damages if they are proven in court to have made discriminatory demands, but the amount might be lowered and they probably couldn't be ordered to rehire or retain you since you broke their policy. Of course, they couldn't use it as a justification for adverse action until after they were made aware of the justified transgression. What and when you choose to do vis-a-vis employer recordings you will have to decide based on your set of circumstances, but remember this variable.


Early Stages of Conflict: Gather Evidence!

Hopefully it will never come to this. But, it might. Maybe your manager says you should not look so effeminate when dealing with customers, or your landlord says your crossdressing is potentially deterring new tenants from moving in, or your school says your girlishness or some aspect of it is distracting students. Hopefully it won't be a terminal (losing your job/home/school) encounter and you will have time to both mobilize counter-offensively and explore alternative venues. Either way, you're now on notice that you are being judged for being a femboy and they're liable to do something about it. You now need to start silently maneuvering and mobilizing, gathering evidence pertaining to their motive, your character, and their character. If they do not proceed or if measures short of outside intervention resolve it, great. If not, if you heed this and the rest of this section well, you will handily kick their asses sooner or later.

From the first incident onward, you need to have the capability of recording (again, assuming you legally can: don't wanna present evidence of YOUR crime along with evidence of theirs in open court!) on a moment's notice. If a landlord is the troublemaker, you will be having irregular interactions with some degree of expectation or notice most likely, so that will be an easier process. If work or school is the problem, you might opt to resort to recording constantly while there so that any and every noteworthy discriminatory or otherwise useful comment would be recorded (and train yourself to carry your phone somehow). This also would ensure if you are called to have an important conversation and you forget to turn your phone on, you will still have recorded it (again, CARRY YOUR PHONE AT ALL TIMES!!!). If you want to expend even more resources and can find a way to do it, go for wearable miniature video cameras and covertly film them as well for additional effect and irrefutability.


Here are the important tactics and concepts:
  • I actually wrote all of this before remembering some states outrageously ban one-party recording. I'm having to correct and clarify and add after that realization. If a paragraph is exclusively about audio recording, substitute that when applicable with "written". Also, when you are forced to use texts and e-mails in lieu of audio and there is an objection, give a truthful or even fabricated innocuous reason you need to rely on that. "I am uncomfortable and awkward speaking verbally and I have less difficulty here where I can take my time." would be a truthful one for me. "My voice is out due to illness." would be a probably-false one for either of us. I don't consider it unpardonable to be deceptive if you're forced to do this and you're not falsely incriminating them. Just don't remind them this is a more easily verifiable medium and you're planning to ambush them!
  •  If you have an impending meeting with someone and you are having difficulty remembering to record or you just wish to be 100% mega-ultra sure you are recording, turn it on when you remember, even if it is hours from the time of the meeting. Also, do something to ensure you cannot forget to take your phone. Like, keep the bag it is in on you always, or place the phone in a special location you must access to leave such as a door handle.
  • If your state is "two-party", those you believe are trustworthy allies, ask if you may record you and she/he speaking. You can also have them write whatever testimony or observations they have to offer on you and this situation and then sign it. If you have no allies you'll either have to chance this with someone whose loyalties and reaction you aren't fully certain of, or forego this entirely.
  • Oh, yes. If you are recording for vast amounts of time, you will really want to end your recording when the conversation ends (and in general you need to end it before your phone dies if you are to keep it), and note approximately how long the exchange lasted. If you forget to do both and you can't remember approximately when it happened, and verbal conversation is constant, you get to scan through the entire thing to locate it!
  • Your devices should have an appropriately sized SD card and Hard Drive, so it can save whatever data you will need. Furthermore, you should have these files saved onto each the SD and HD in that phone, plus your home computer and a virtual medium such as Google Drive. This way, even if you have even a horrible catastrophe, you will not lose all of your evidence.
  • When having one of these pivotal conversations that you are recording, adroitly incite them to say certain things which will benefit you. Remind them you have always had positive work evaluations, or you have always gotten along well with the other tenants on that floor (or in the house in my case), or that you have had no disciplinary problems and have high grades, or whatever. Remind them again or ask them to concur if they don't beneficially answer the first time (assuming this is the truth; don't dishonor yourself).
  • If there is a complicating factor in your case, such as you wearing furry/brony accessories or you having somehow misbehaved, it is imperative you have them admit that your crossdressing or whatever other feminine trait alone would have precipitated their confrontation or adverse action. You will still have a case if you prove they had discriminatory intent and committed a discriminatory action. However, the ease with which you can prove your case and the compensation you will receive will fall, and their defense will be more plausible if you don't have them undermine it on tape.
  • Related to the above, if you dress colorfully rather than settle for boring neutral and subdued crap so many seem apt to wear, this will exacerbate any bias people already have against male crossdressing, and they later on might try to use the defense you dressed abnormally for either gender, even deny you really dress as a female at all (yeah, my landlord went there). Thus, deliberately ask the person whether they would object if you still crossdressed but with less resplendence. If they say yes, they have defeated their own defense. If they say no, it's up to you to decide whether to acquiesce or to defend your fashion choices to a judge or investigator later, though I do comment on that concept later.
  • Speak to other people who are close to the situation and would thus be qualified witnesses. Casually discuss what is going on and ask questions which, if answered truthfully, would benefit you. You will want them on tape/e-mail/text telling you these things both to have supportive testimony in presentable form, and to later destroy their credibility if they turn against you due to fear of reprisal, loyalty to their superior, hatred of you, and some combination thereof.
  • Have people verbalize other things which would be beneficial to you in your set of circumstances. I have been stressing the importance of getting admissions of objection to your crossdressing or gender presentation in general, but you may be able to counterstroke on other grounds. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 bans discrimination for ANY reason not pertinent to job performance for federal employees, and a discrimination law might have the same standard in your area for all workers, or maybe for residents or students. If you're being accused of being too gay or whatever else, you can fight on grounds of sexual orientation. Gather and then fire at them as much ammunition as you possibly can within the bounds of reason and ethics.
  • Do not threaten to fight them, or reveal your knowledge of discrimination law and maneuvering, until you have gathered all evidence you will need to irrefutably prove your claim and/or there is no feasible alternative at that moment. If you appear as if you will be combative and invoke this and that, they might intensify their actions or refuse to provide anymore meaningful evidence. You could even feign ignorance of the process or powerlessness to help fuel their arrogance and recklessness!
  • If you have all the needed evidence from them, if circumstances permit, approach your first contact for addressing grievances. If this and subsequent efforts show them to seem intent on domination/ignoring, then inform them they will be fighting a very costly war with you and entreaty them to reconsider their idiotic decision, or go to the outside agency immediately and let them be the bearer of bad news.


Early Stages of Conflict: Attempt to Prevent War!

Sun Tzu in his Art of War repeatedly stressed the importance and moral imperative of avoiding war whenever it was feasible, and the veracity of this doctrine I have experienced many times in many ways. While you need to be both capable of and willing to destroy them if they insist on suppression and bigotry, it generally would be better if it didn't come to that and you merely had your manager fired or whatever. There are different ways of resolving something 'in-house', depending on applicable laws and regulations. It would be preferable to start pursuing these options at a strategically very well-timed point: not too late to prevent war from breaking out, but late enough to allow you to gather needed evidence inconspicuously in case your diplomatic attempts end in failure. Keep in mind that this evidence you collected will help your efforts at this stage as well, as your manager is not going to be believed if he says you were belligerent yet is on tape saying your crossdressing is the problem. Of course, as you pursue these avenues, it is best not to fully reveal your motivations and plans for escalation unless that seems to be the last recourse before open hostilities. The list in Who and What Protects Me Federally? is more comprehensive, but these are the ones which have a high likelihood of being encountered by the average person.


  • Employment: What this entails depends on the HR's mechanisms for that company, whether it is unionized, whether it's a federal agency, whether it is an educational program that takes federal funding, etc. If it's a private company, if it has trans-inclusive policies, it may be as simple as going to HR or your boss's superior. If it's a federal agency, there is an EEO counselor to go to. If this is an educational facility taking federal funding, there must be a Title IX Coordinator there to approach. If you are in a union, they at least should provide ample reinforcement. There's also the option regardless of informing your manager she/he is breaking the law and giving them the option of backing down, perhaps with the added advisory you have the hapless fuck on tape.
  • Housing: If you are in regular, private, non-federally funded housing, HUD regulations for fund recipients would not apply. If the person in question is not merely a manager or superintendent but is the owner, there isn't any internal manner of resolving it past threatening to sue them and intimidating them with your knowledge and figurative firepower they so generously granted you. I suspect most or all landlords who take HUD funds are subject to this and this. If you are in a public program which doesn't take HUD funds, there probably is a special process there. Most likely you're in the first category, and thus war might be inevitable.
  • School/Education (general, DoE-funded): If you're a student or employee of these places which takes DoE funding, you will have a Title IX Coordinator to go to for redress. If your school/whatever is not religious, assuming this person is worth their salary, they will inform the principal or whoever that whatever it is you are complaining about regarding gender (excluding dress restrictions, if they impose the same on all students) is disallowed by Title IX. It may not get you anywhere, but that is a step mandated by Title IX.
  • School/Education (underage, religious and/or non-DoE funded): There unfortunately is no recourse unless your state or local area bans gender discrimination, and even then you may not be able to do anything if they don't adhere to it and your parents won't help. I am angry and extremely embittered about this, possibly beyond my means of adequately conveying such. We don't give a damn about child welfare in this country. We say we do, and conservatives scream that the loudest when they pass these farcical bathroom laws or other anti-LGBT measures. But, we don't as a culture give a shit about children and instead view them more as cattle, and this utterly repulses me. I was compelled to say this while we are on the topic, and I care not in the slightest who or how many take offense.
  • Public Accommodations: You might not have much luck here since you would have a limited number of options, the applicable federal law doesn't cover gender/sex even in the traditional sense, and you wouldn't likely be prepared for a fight unless you're even more defensive and misanthropic than I am. It would be advised to start recording every time you enter an unfamiliar establishment (or maybe even the entire time you are out), as it wouldn't actually hurt besides maybe a slightly higher drain on the battery (my 3,000 mAh phone battery fell 2% in an hour when recording, so it's very slight). If you do have to contest discrimination, you could of course demand to speak to the manager of the offending person, and then that one's manager if there is a higher one for that location. There would then be 'Corporate' and district managers and such.

    This is going to be extremely negatively received by very many LGBT people, but it's based on reason and reciprocity... Unless the incident was egregious (the good/service is critical, violence, etc), I suggest not pursuing it even if you have them dead to rights. Let them exclude as patrons whoever they want and not contribute to their deranged hysteria about being oppressed Christians, and merely go somewhere else where femboys are valued. Most of them do not deserve non-interference because they keep intruding in our lives, but I think mere disassociation would be preferable to dominance one way or the other. We have better things to destroy each other over than cakes, and maybe they'll eventually shut up. Right now, though, both sides are wasting energy try to utterly dominate the other on even trivial matters.

A final word on this. Regardless of who and where you must go, you ought to review your audio evidence, select the most incriminating/exonerating moments (and be sure to include some conversation preceding those moments to help give context) and then play or send it to this first contact if asked for it. You may also have to send written/typed explanations of audio evidence in addition to sift through them for evidence and contemplation. Be prepared to spend an entire day or two doing this, especially if you're having to break down in elaborate detail the course of those conversations. Of course, you would also need to ruminate, highlight, and explain textual evidence, but that won't require as much work most likely. I would at this phase focus on proving discriminatory intent and deeds primarily, as elaborate and aggressive defenses in the form of derogating your character likely will come only after they've been warned they will be facing investigation or trial. Especially if there is an absence of reports or missives pertaining to poor behavior or performance, you really just need to prove whoever is breaking discrimination laws/policies.


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Defensive and General Preparedness

While the chance of even a femboy being a victim of a crime in an average area is pretty low, there is a fair chance that someone will eventually be called upon to use physical force to resolve an emergency situation. Maybe it will be a mugging, or an assault motivated by hatred for your lifestyle. Maybe someone else will be in danger and you have to help. Maybe some buffoon wants to fight you or someone else at a furmeet or another low-threat event. Whatever the scenario, you will very much regret being ill-prepared if/when it happens. Of course, I also know the number of ways one can use force, and the various factors and characteristics attached to each way, are overwhelming for a newbie to sort through. I expended a tremendous amount of energy conducting research and deliberation on the matter of defense in the field, and also non-defense varieties of preparedness. As I identify as a strategist and tactician, perhaps I was even more suited to plot and plan in this area than the previous subjects.


Defense: General Overview and Core Truths

There are a variety of methods one can utilize to combat an assailant, and each of those methods have with it advantages and drawbacks, as well as various minutia which are easily not even realized but are in fact very important. If you have the wrong method for a situation, or choose your product poorly, you will be thwarted or suffer some other consequence when you utilize it (if you even get that far). I will explain the various methods of self-defense in detail. First, however, a few basic facts which are inescapable:

-In a situation where you are actually engaged in combat with someone, it will be difficult or impossible to use more than one method simultaneously. Your primary means of defense had better work, because you might not be able to switch to a secondary means of defense at all if it fails. You probably will be unable to adequately hold onto and properly utilize more than one thing at a time, at least without previous training. Switching items takes time (if you remember or are able at all), and quite possibly you won't even have an option beyond bare hands if you fail to subdue them with the primary method.
-A tool of defense can very possibly be worthless if it's not usable at a second's notice, especially in an ambush situation. Thus, whenever possible, you ought to be holding such an object in the field, rather than have to reach for it in a panic (I need to take my own advice).
-The object you are holding will likely be noticeable by the average person. Thus, items which would alarm the average person or police when openly held would at best be usable in situations where you are fortunate enough to have substantial warning. Such items thus have limited potential even if extremely deadly.
-You need to be able to carry these tools in something, or affix it to something, that is on your person, for it to be a usable field item. Depending on your choice of clothes and accessories, you may have to become creative or change your configuration to accommodate that item. This applies to defense and general items alike.
-You need to be psychologically prepared to inflict the damage your object/method is capable of once you determine you must employ violence. That means, if you are using a firearm or a knife, you need to be ready to attempt to maim and kill your attacker at all costs, or it is just at best a decoration, at worst a nice weapon for your assailant to use.

Remember all of these truths when you are deciding on a defensive strategy. Next I will expound on the various means of self-defense, and why I favor or disfavor it as a weapon.


Methods of Defense

There are several of these, and it was very stressful to me to research and weight the various factors and traits of these things and fret over which things to purchase. I have not had to actually test any of my objects, theories, or doctrines yet, thankfully. Though, that also means my direct experience beyond ease of retrieval or carrying feasibility is zero. I have only been able to acquire information, and conceive and ponder possibilities. I have determined from all my envisioning and contemplation that the object type which would grant me a desirable outcome in the majority of situations would be pepper spray (though I would need three types to adequately address the widest range of scenarios), and that the method of self-defense which was most versatile and most readily employable was unarmed combat.


Firearms

My state is, for good and for bad, a gun-friendly state in a gun-friendly region. Obviously, not everyone reading this would even be able to get a permit to carry a gun with them, so possibly this wouldn't be a realistic contemplation anyway. I do suggest, if you are legally able and can afford it and nothing would make it undesirable, to retain a firearm in your car and house after proper training (yes, I know higher firearm levels at least in America tend to equate to higher crime and suicide levels, but stable, mature, and law-abiding people might as well own one if they have the right). This section fixates on carrying and situations away from one's home and car, so that is what I'll advise on.

The sheer lethality and deterring power of these weapons was also the reason why I deemed them impractical as a default weapon. Yes, if I had at distance between me and the target, my chance of setting to flight or killing him/her would be the absolute highest, and I would have the highest chance of prevailing. There are three fundamental problems with this method:

1.) Aside from those scenarios where the person just sees the gun and runs in terror before I decide to shoot, there is no moderate option for force here. Either I attempt to grievously wound the person, or I cause no harm to them and possibly die. This thing only has one setting regardless of whether I actually need to kill someone or am sure I need to resort to that. Also, I might actually shoot or kill someone else by mistake if I rely on this. All of that makes it impractical as a default primary method.
2.) Because it is so lethal, I cannot casually hold a handgun, or even openly carry it holstered. Disregarding whether that is legal for an average citizen to do here under any circumstances, that would bring so much unwanted attention and cause such alarm. If I can't hold a weapon casually, the chance of it being successfully used in a crisis falls.
3.) Even if the above didn't apply, I would need to create and implement a way of carrying this. My clothing choices and my need for many accoutrements within my bags meant I would have to fashion a special way of carrying it or forego it entirely.

Of course, I'm sure I'd also have to register it and such, and acquire at least minimal training for it. It was entirely inappropriate for my set of circumstances. It's nice to have if it is practical to take with you, but it would be a terrible general choice.


Tactical Knife

This was even worse than the firearm, as it had all of the drawbacks and liabilities of firearms and none of the benefits. Like a firearm, to use this against another person is to commit to maiming and possibly killing them, though there might be more control over its lethality at least. It's a melee weapon, so to use it I have to be very close to the assailant. This would cause some alarm to openly hold, and also I would risk lacerating myself if I did that anyway if it was not a retractable or folding variety. The thing that all the experts agreed on about tactical knives is it is imperative one undergoes knifefighting training to use it, which meant I would be expending great amounts of time, money, and energy just to competently use something I wasn't eager to rely on in the first place. If I was to be trained in combat, I thought, I might as well just go for regular martial arts, as at least that is supremely versatile and can be used if all else fails.

I think it would be generally foolhardy for one to pursue this form of defense, at least as a primary one. It carries with it too many liabilities, and it also lacks the deterring or stopping power a gun would have. It would just seem more intelligent to train in unarmed combat if you're going to go through training (and I'll further explain why shortly).


Unarmed Martial Arts

I don't advise this as a deliberate primary form of defense, but as both a reliable secondary and as an emergency primary if ambushed.  There are several reasons why I favor this and would like to receive training in this one of these days (sweating and physical exertion are just so terrifying to me!):

-You and your limbs are the objects, and can thus be used at will. If you are ambushed, botch deploying your primary, or are in some unique situation where nothing else is appropriate, even if you are naked you can utilize it.
-If somehow your primary fails to succeed and you're being charged from a few feet away, you cannot use an alternative weapon. You're already in melee range. If you don't have martial arts training, you're extremely vulnerable at that moment.
-With enough training, you will at least have a decent chance against an assailant in many or most scenarios.

I haven't the foggiest idea what martial art to suggest or how many classes to enroll in. I assume at least some offer the versatility and stopping power I value, but which ones I don't know. Keep in mind once you enroll it is a commitment of resources, and you need to follow through to not squander them.


Chemical Spray- Tear Gas a.k.a 'Mace'

It is important to be cognizant of the fact there are in fact multiple types of sprays people have access to. The most common type is pepper spray, or OC for short based on the active chemical name. There is tear gas, which these days is generally CS (a newer and less toxic form; CN came before it), which I assume is a liquid aerosol version of the rounds police fire off to disperse people. There is also spray which is a hybrid of OC and CS or CN. What all of these have in common is they are ranged weapons that are designed to quickly incapacitate someone, which is great not just for untrained femboys but also old or disabled people, and even those who are trained in martial arts (why grapple with someone when you can just put them on the ground from many feet away?). That being said, they function differently and have differing chances of success, and the brands have varying potencies and types of projection.

As the name suggests, it causes intense tearing, the fancy term being lachrymator. It also causes coughing and extreme mucus production. So, it makes a person very uncomfortable and at least partially incapacitates them, though it doesn't cause blindness like OC does. Tear gas takes up to 30 seconds to take full effect, which is an eternity if you're in a struggle. Worse yet, the psychotic and intoxicated tend to have high resistance to tear gas, and they are obviously more likely to be aggressive. I thus found it too dangerous to rely on alone, but the hybrid option very much appealed to me since I would simultaneously hit an assailant with both and thus the chance of a complete failure was very low. I went with this and the smaller MK-2. I gravitated away from it as the potency of the OC part was rather low and it is a stream-type (I will explain both concepts/terms soon), there was no other hybrid as good as that one, and cone-types with much higher OC potency were available.


Chemical Sprays- Pepper Spray/OC: Properties, Traits, and Suitability

There was just so much information I had to chase down, absorb, and base policy and acquisitions on. OC versus CS/CN scarcely begins to address the massive diversity of spray products in general (mainly OC). There is size, effective range, the effusion pattern, regular spray versus foam, foam versus gel, what was the proper standard to use to determine potency, whether I should bother with spray with a dye feature, rate of effusion, and even spray containers in gun form. Fucking Hell, all of that I had to endure just to choose an optimal spray least likely to fail me... But, hey, you're reading the work of a master of strategy and diction, so you get to be spared most of that hunting and pondering! If you wish to do more research, here is a very long thread with a great deal of useful information.

OC is a highly potent inflammatory agent to the eyes, respiratory system, and even skin. It also causes intense coughing, it causes intense burning, and it makes one involuntarily shut the eyes once it makes contact with the eyes. Furthermore, a natural reaction to being sprayed is to immediately close the eyes and either keep them closed or rub them, so it will quite possibly effectively blind a person before it even contacts the eyes directly. Furthermore, if a person is wearing glasses, the foam-type will coat them and will also effectively blind someone temporarily. Unlike tear gas, people cannot develop a physical resistance to the agent itself, though possibly to some degree someone can be conditioned to panic less and disregard symptoms, especially when the strength of the spray is low. My understanding is, if the spray is potent enough and well aimed, everyone will be effectively incapacitated, even if they are insane or intoxicated. It needs less time to take effect than tear gas, and I suspect a good spray would cripple someone within a few seconds if well aimed and timed.

I generally recommend pepper spray is used as the default primary means of defense, and more than one carried and incorporated into a multi-faceted defensive strategy. I carry three sprays: a keychain as a reserve attached to a belt loop via a carabiner and magnetic keychain in case I don't have anything else with me, a large/main one attached to my tote bag via this holster, and a foam in my satchel bag in case something happens within a train or bus or building. I saw this default configuration and strategy to be successful in the widest variety of circumstances, and I will explain why as well as what the drawbacks and risks are.

There were two reasons above all else I favored OC so highly. The first is OC works rapidly and on the vast majority of people (if not everyone), even those who are psychotically enraged or intoxicated. Thus, it will almost never fail to work, though people have varying pain thresholds and reactions to it and some will be more catastrophically affected than others. The second is, this is a ranged weapon type, so I do not need to make contact with the assailant to utilize it. This is a major reason I chose this over electrical disablement weapons, as they were just as effective or better but required me to touch the person while depressing a button, and hope I didn't stun myself or become injured in the process. Of course, these also require minimal physical exertion to activate, so anyone who is able to raise their arm and push down on the actuator with their thumb is able to attack from however many feet away. I am neither physically strong nor am I trained in combat other than those Choi Kwon Do classes my father for some reason insisted we take when I was 13 (if I even just remember the proper way to kick 23 years later I would be very gratefully pleased). I need to avoid having combat descend into melee at all costs, or I am very likely to lose or at best suffer injury. This effortless amplification of force and deployment is the same trait firearms have, with the additional advantages of being non-lethal yet extremely painful, and non-alarming if I am seen holding it, which were related other reasons I chose OC. It also is effective against aggressive animals.

There are, of course, drawbacks to this type of device. They are numerous, yet the aforementioned positives still outweigh them, and carrying three sprays on me helps me avoid or attenuate some of the drawbacks.

-As this is a spray, blowback or inadvertent self-exposure are real risks, and this is intensified by wind and wider spray patterns (stream, gel, and maybe foam are resistant to wind) and close encounters. While I suggest UDAP and Fox Labs because of how horrifically powerful they are, this same power can also incapacitate or seriously distress you quite easily (spray a few short bursts into a toilet and breathe in the bathroom for 30 seconds, and likely you be affected).
-Somewhat related to the first, unless you have a massive fogger bear spray-type container, you need to aim at least reasonably well to strike the eyes and mouth (harder to do if in a combat situation), which is harder if you are further away and it is windy. This is why I strongly encourage people to use cone sprays, as it is moderately resistant to wind and also moderately wide.
-The spray types which ordinarily would be superior options would be the equivalent of detonating a nuclear weapon on your own position if used in an enclosed environment: you, your enemy, and neutrals alike will suffer terribly. Foam will work in both environments well enough, but might lessen your weapon's overall advantageousness if used exclusively.
-The target, if they are sufficiently calm and prepared tactically, can mitigate a spray's effectiveness. Closing the eyes and mouth (or, worse yet, covering them) and not inhaling when sprayed would disrupt the mechanism of effect. As OC works both on the eyes and the throat (and also the skin), it is unlikely your weapon will be rendered useless even in the rare occasions they are prepared. But, partial or total mitigation is possible, which is a major reason you should not just depress the actuator and flail around blindly until it stops spraying.
-Speaking of which, these do require some discipline or at least relative steadiness during a time of emergency to use successfully (though fog-types reduce this need). Spray bursts and watch the target and where the stream's going. Remember these things can be depleted in as little as 3 seconds of firing, maybe 10-15 for larger ones with moderate rates of effusion. If somehow they manage to take defensive measures, you will see this, which means you should stop and then spray in short randomly timed bursts to catch them when their figurative shields are down (they probably will at least be stationary or withdrawing while they're taking evasive action).
-I will be rather political here now. Some states and countries limit or ban 'defensive weapons' (they actually do seem almost always used defensively despite their power), which criminalizes the act of having spray at all or above a set size (often or usually limited to keychain units below 1 oz if the latter). This is one aspect of modern liberalism which really pisses me the fuck off. I and other vulnerable people are supposed to be at the mercy of a mugger or rapist? No, fuck that, and fuck all these liberals who believe in disarming us! Anyway, now that that's out of my system... If you live in one of these areas, you will have to decide whether to break the law and risk being caught, or forego this. Even if keychain-sizes are allowed, that really isn't best as a main device due to its short range and discharge time, though it's far better than nothing.

Firstly, the unit of measurement that most heavily denotes potency and that is the most favored is MC%, or Major Capsaicinoids. SHU and OC% (the resin that contains the MC that is responsible for the extreme inflammation and pain; people actually ingest it normally when eating hot peppers) are inferior measurements alone for whatever reasons. I believe multiplying OC and MC would give an accurate impression of raw strength, independent of other factors. The explanations of the various measurements and the types of MCs, and how SHU and OC are combined to calculate 'nozzle heat', confuse even me and I don't feel explaining them further would be helpful. However, remember that a spray has other characteristics that determine how much heat is projected at any given time and how rapidly the target is overcome, such as rate of ejection and the non-OC/MC components' effect on rate of absorption. Those last two are difficult or impossible to determine without direct personal testing and willing victims, and really the only way to ascertain effective strength and delay is for those who have been hit with it to describe how bad they are.

A critical feature that likely virtually everyone overlooks is the spray pattern. There are five kinds, and all are critical to accuracy cross-contamination/collateral damage (which very well could include you) potential: stream, cone, fog, foam, and gel.

-Stream is a narrow and forceful pattern which increases distance and decreases the chance of blowback or contamination, at the expense of greater difficulty in hitting the target's face and lower rate of saturation of the face and eyes. This is not preferable for enclosed environments, but not as bad as cone and fog.
-Cone has a somewhat wider area of effect and requires lower proficiency to hit the target and will be inhaled more rapidly, and is what I and others suggest for those who are not trained in spray marksmanship. However, it is more susceptible to course alteration from wind, and will very easily make an area impassible (which can be good or bad), which makes them quite bad for enclosed environments.
-A fogger has an even wider area of effect than a cone, with all the aforementioned advantages and liabilities amplified, with one caveat: these tend to come in larger canisters under higher pressure, so this somewhat counteracts the force of wind at a given range relative to a cone equivalent. This would be ideal in mass assailant situations given the massive area of effect, though if you're facing the wind quite possibly all of you are going to be struck to a degree. These are difficult to incorporate into an EDC (EveryDay Carry: explained later) configuration since it's like carrying bear spray. They tend to have different handles and usage positions than the other types. Also, haha, don't use this indoors or you and everyone who walks in for possibly hours will much regret it.
-Foam type is as it sounds, sticking to the person as it rapidly melts and having a pattern between stream and cone. This is extremely preferred for civilians in enclosed environments since it isn't a highly diffused liquid, with the drawback that for exactly that reason it isn't as readily inhaled by the target. However, this type perhaps is superior when the aggressor is wearing glasses, as it coats whatever it contacts in a thick and opaque substance, forcing the person to remove the glasses to navigate if they're sufficiently coated.
-Gel is also used to deal with miscreants in enclosed environments so the entire area isn't made uninhabitable, but the field of fire is narrower and thus requiring more proficiency. It is more or less foam in a stream form. Advised only if a person is trained in spray marksmanship.

In addition to patterns and levels of MC, there are a couple of other features to keep in mind.

-A few have a dye included to make the person literally a marked person to facilitate their discovery and arrest. Some apparently have UV dye, which seems pointless as police don't ordinarily search with UV lights. I would use one with a long-lasting normal dye that is still very potent. Probably this one is the strongest one with regular dye.
-There are a couple of pistol-shaped designs which are stream-types, and there might even be one for civilian use that fire pellets. While they would offer the visual deterrence of actual firearms, it also would come with the same liabilities (alarm, police interest) unless it's normal where you live for people to openly carry firearms. You might be able to aim and fire them more easily, though.
-Another feature is the size of the canister, especially those which are not sold as keychain units. You quite possibly need to keep a spray in a holster that is attached to you or a bag, and you need to thus know what size holster to acquire if you do need one. A holster can be made to hold a spray too small, but it cannot hold one that is too large (especially too wide). If you wish to acquire a keychain unit, you need to be able to retrieve it quickly. I strongly recommend attaching it to a magnetic detachable keychain, and NOT a keychain which requires you to fiddle with it (so-called Pull Apart) to separate.


Chemical Sprays- Pepper Spray/OC: Recommendations

If you wish to invest in this form of defense, unless your area limits the size to keychain-size (up to 1 oz/29 ml), I suggest retaining three types: keychain as a reserve you always carry, a cone of 2-4 oz as a default device (if you are feasibly able to, a larger fog-type that police often use would be better), and a foam-type for indoors (I suggest this more strongly if you use public transit). Only with this triad was I able to be sufficiently equipped for all main scenarios. If you cannot carry or afford more than one, if you use public transit, I would suggest a foam-type as a general purpose one is critical. If not, then I would probably suggest a med-large cone or fog-type (and you need a holster unless you can carry it in a bag AND rapidly retrieve it) as a general purpose.

As for brands to go for, I would go with Fox Labs or UDAP. If you read and remember my explanation of intensity measurements, you will know MC is the main determinant of overall potency, multiplied by OC. Using that multiplicative standard, UDAP's "World's Hottest" line would be the second strongest, and the "5.3" line of Fox Labs would be by far the strongest. I don't know what the rate of discharge is for either, alas. Additionally, Fox uses something called TPE in at least the basic 5.3 which is in its own right an inflammatory agent and may also cause the OC to set in more rapidly. Until I learn differently, I would generally go with Fox Labs, though the president of the company is shamelessly a fundamentalist Christian and this is apparent when going to the site. UDAP was founded by a bear attack survivor, so he is very motivated to make a very strong product while the other guy probably fears Hell if he lies about his. I've heard great things about both. Oh, make sure you test them with an extremely short burst outside or in the toilet to confirm they work, and also periodically shake them when you're in the field.

You may wish to acquire more than one of each of the sprays you decide on and use one for target practice and acclimation. It would indeed be prudent to feel how difficult it is to depress the actuator, gauge whether it shoots high or low, and determine how well it does in wind. Of course, you want to make absolutely sure none of your neighbors are at risk when you're training, and preferably you wouldn't be affected by the live fire drills either. You could also get inert units like these, though the name is a bit of a misnomer since they can and will cause distress if one is exposed to it. They also cost more than the actual OC spray, incredibly.


Electroshock- Properties, Traits, and Suitability

Except for tasers, these are in effect melee weapons. They come in many forms: flashlights, batons, large and small typical stun guns, and the pistol-shaped tasers. Some have rechargeable batteries built in, some use 9-volt batteries which can be alkaline or NiMH (newer rechargeable version). This is an excellent article on the realm of electrical incapacitation. While there are not as many units of measurement with these as with OC, there is still great potential to be misled by ratings and quite often companies give very inflated Volt figures which by itself means nothing. It seems that these devices to a lesser degree share an advantage with pepper spray: most or all will be critically affected by it. However, melee stun devices require several seconds of contact to have maximal effect, while tasers take down people instantaneously. Ultimately I decided to acquire a stun gun as a general secondary weapon and a primary for close-quarters environments, but I would not decide on this now since I have a better understanding of my limitations and the subject of combat in general.

Stun devices use two units of measurement: volts, and milliamperes/milliamps. While you want a decent amount of both, the measurement to look for and that is frequently or usually omitted in product specs is the latter. Volts are akin to the 'attack' accuracy value in some RPGs , while amperes are akin to the 'damage' stat. Volts determine the device's penetrative capacity, while amperes represent the incapacitative and lethal capacity. The upper limit for stun devices is 5 milliamps/0.05 amps, because a higher level starts to make death and permanent injury possible. If you search for stun guns online, you will see many models with ostensibly extremely impressive Volt figures: tens of millions of volts many times. This means nothing more than how well it penetrates, if the volt number is accurate at all. You want one which is at or very close to 5 milliamps. These devices often have lower voltages (well under 1m, sometimes under 200k), but since that is enough generally and they have higher milliamps it is more than sufficient.

Stun devices come with unique advantages and applications. Some combine stun device with flashlight (which is a weapon category further down) so it is an illumination tool that also serves as both an electroshock and blunt-force (and even piercing or slashing in some models of electroshock or pure flashlight) defensive implement. There are stun batons or clubs, which obviously are dual-purpose weapons which the average person- especially the average femboy- would not be advised to acquire and use. Some are disguised as something else so they are a counteroffensive ambush weapon, while others are regular handheld devices which often are MEANT to be seen and heard. Yes, speaking of which, these devices also have an aural-visual (fancy word for sound/hearing) deterrent none of the other classes have (well, unless you count firearms if you fire a shot into the air). The one I have is indeed VERY loud when fired into the air, and is also rather bright. Thus, you might deter someone from advancing just by turning it on. The melee devices work through a combination of pain, startlement, and generalized nervous incapacitation, while tasers work primarily through the latter and from afar (though they also can be used as melee if the shot misses or is not effective).

There are two main drawbacks to a melee stun device. The first is they are melee. It is never preferable to be grappling with an opponent or be close enough for them to strike you. They also require you to have the button depressed the entire time you need them to be live (perhaps some models allow one to activate it just by gripping it), and I am not sure that is reliable for the average person. The second is this requires time to be effective enough to effectively incapacitate or cripple someone. It must be held against someone and discharged (preferably on the torso or neck) for several seconds generally before the nervous system is disrupted enough to render further resistance impossible. That's a long time for something to go wrong, such as you losing your grip or the person disarming you somehow, or just being injured in the scuffle before the cretin goes down. This would be a great thing to have if you can dual-wield and hold OC in the other paw, and your OC does not successfully repel him before he closes in. As a solo defensive implement, it is better than nothing, but not preferable.

There is a unique but often prohibitive drawback with tasers: they are quite expensive to own. Their guns START at $400, and accessories like the holster and new cartridges cost more than my stun gun did. They do replace people's tasers free of charge if it is left at the scene after being deployed if they provide a police report and proof of purchase. However, they send electricity in cycles, and once the electrodes impact the person and they go down, the taser can be reactivated multiple times. The police can be called in that time, and in the interim I would just casually spray OC in their face and maybe even the crotch while they're down to ensure if my taser died first they'd be in no condition to fight (no, I really wouldn't have remorse in that situation: such people are merely vermin to be collected or exterminated as far as I'm concerned). However, the upside is tasers have a laser which indicates where the round will fire. Especially in situations where they are further away, they thus are more accurate than pepper spray. However, relative to other tools, they seem rather complicated to use. Also, while tasers usually are legal to own and are not considered a firearm, they also for visual purposes count as a firearm, thus you may deter criminals but also have police ask you for ID and why you are wearing it periodically.

Both varieties have a massive limitation: they cannot be used on more than one assailant. You might be able to shoot one with a taser and stun the other with the electrodes on the gun, but otherwise they all are one-person weapons. Especially since the melee incarnations require time to take full effect, you are probably fucked if you have two or more assailants to contend with. There are other limitations. They will have limited or no effect if there is much clothing between the electrodes and body, which would be especially problematic in northern regions in winter time given how much insulation people need. Stun devices do not effectively blind people like OC does, and I also get the impression electroshock can be resisted to a greater degree by certain people than OC. You also will often need to remember to periodically charge and return these (except for tasers it seems), both of which are quite easy for the average person to forget to do for months.


Electroshock- Recommendations

Your situation may warrant a different choice. However, for the average person and femboy, if you're going to use one at all, I would suggest a high-amperage device such as this one I acquired and linked earlier. Vipertek products seem highly rated and at least appear to me to be potent, but most people who rate things are clueless buffoons (even more so when rating stun guns) and their voltage claims are rather outlandish, so I cannot say for sure. This one is rather large, but has a strap and as well as a special defensive feature to preclude someone from grabbing onto it. If you have a large carrying capacity, or just REALLY want something that is both highly intimidating and will serve as a long-range melee electroshock weapon, batons would be an option (maybe it would be a cool thing to show off at a furmeet, too). Batons would also be effective on aggressive animals. Omega makes them and they make stun guns as well. They seem very forthcoming about their products, but they apparently were fine with having their products tested on animals and that is bad, and they also have a very limited selection after all these years. If you work night-time security or traverse very dark areas to or from home, you could also go for a stun flashlight (preferably one with high lumens), though I cannot find one that can both shine and shock simultaneously.

In ideal circumstances, I would say an optimal setup would be wielding two items simultaneously: a taser and pepper spray. It would probably take some deliberate training to be able to effectively hold and use two things simultaneously, and also tasers are extremely expensive. However, if you have the carrying capacity, money, and motivation to pursue that path, that would be my recommendation. A fogger would likely be an ideal spray device if you could manage it due to its very high rate of discharge and the effects that has. You could deal with one or multiple assailants at range with the OC, and then tase someone if it proves insufficient. You could replace the taser with a firearm to grant you more stopping power and to have a multiple targeting capability for your secondary, but that also would mean whoever is shot might never arise again, and firearms are far more difficult to acquire and legally carry.

If carrying capacity is limited or you are unable/unwilling to dual-wield, I don't see a reason to buy a stun gun. I still carry mine on my Lemonbrat satchel bag, attached to the metal ring near the bag via a carabiner and holster, but I seriously doubt it would see action if I do have to use force in the foreseeable future. I would find it difficult enough to properly use my OC with both paws, and I suspect most are the same way. These are just too limited in general strength and versatility relative to OC, and if I must choose just one it will always be OC.


Tactical and Ordinary Flashlights

Another type of item that can be used in combat is the flashlight, particularly the ones with the 'tactical' qualifier. Those actually serve four roles: illumination, partial incapacitation through brightness and strobing, electroshock, and good old fashioned brute force and trauma. As some stun guns also served as flashlights, these two categories combined frustrated the shit out of me when I was compiling data and deliberating on choices. I don't think the overbearing liberals in any states have managed to ban large flashlights (maybe they started doing that in Europe; they tend to be even worse than New England in that regard), so, with the exception of the ones which can shock, these should be unrestricted. I don't expect this section to be as long as the previous two, but there are numerous factors and traits to consider.

There are several units of measurement for light, the most common three being Lumen, Lux, and Candela. This best explains in depth what they are. Personally, I would ignore Lux since it by itself seems to be a meaningless value without a corresponding distance and I don't remember any flashlights giving both when I sought one. That leaves Lumens and Candela/CD. Lumens mean how much total light is given off and nothing more. Candela denotes the concentration of a beam, which translates into range (which is itself a commonly listed measurement). To greatly aid in the explanation of these two measurements, I will compare two extremes: an indoors light bulb and a laser. Let's say they both have the same Lumens rating. The light bulb projects light equally and omnidirectionally, so its Candela rating is very low and thus its range is very low. A laser has an extremely tiny beam width, so its Candela rating with be astronomically high and thus the range also astronomically high.

Why am I bothering to explain this to you? Because, if you want a flashlight that will practically melt someone's face in a confrontation rather than illuminate a very wide arc, you should be fixated on lights with very high Candela relative to Lumen. Conversely, if you are fixated on the illumination of vast spaces at any given angle you hold it, you need a light with low Candela relative to Lumens. If you can find something with adjustable focus, you would have a light that does at least a moderately good job at either (and it ought to give ratings for the two furthest settings), but how many good tactical flashlights have that feature I do not know. For purposes of self-defense in hostile encounters, you want high Candela and lights that can 'strobe'. Strobing is when a light flashes on and off very rapidly (the shorter the intervals the better). While this is extremely bad for epileptics, strobing concentrated beams causes disorientation and pain to normal people as well. A light which is extremely bright AND strobes will pose an extremely formidable barrier to an assailant, and before that moment it merely would be an ordinary illumination device. Of course, the more intense the beam is, the larger and/or costlier it generally is.

If for whatever reason photons don't repel someone, it can be used as a kinetic force weapon. Flashlights which are called tactical and are actually good (if something is very cheap and has amazing stats on Amazon, it's usually a Chinese-made thing with bullshit descriptions, such as a 2k-Lumen light for $10) are designed to survive such things as impacting the ground from substantial heights, falling into puddles in rainy weather, and bashing someone over the head in an emergency. This can be used in the same manner as maces or clubs, or wielded as a spear would be to strike the person with the face of the light. These have to some degree bezels (also called 'strike bezels' , 'crenelated bezels', 'crenulated bezels', probably a few other things) at the end. These allow one to better illuminate in certain scenarios by placing the head on a surface, and both help protect the lens and assist the wielder when breaking glass or counterattacking scum. Some have bezels that are sharp and narrow deliberately to facilitate digging into and tearing flesh in hostile encounters. It is a manner of warfare at that point least befitting of femboys, and this is clearly not an ideal defensive implement in general, but we cannot always bring or hold our favored device. If it comes down to that, my advice would be to sort of go into berserker mode and attempt to cause maximal damage to the face and neck without remorse while screaming and snarling until the aggressor flees or one of you goes down for the count. This is literally war at that point and he (or she in a few rare cases) is the enemy. If you have to make their face resemble ground beef before they run or are clearly helpless (I would even advocate not stopping at their incapacitation, if not for laws forbidding that and the risk of being arrested for murder), so be it.

Flashlights have a unique set of roles in the general subject of combat and preparedness. As I mentioned, some progressives in power want to totally disarm everyone and have passed laws to that effect, so this actually might be the best legal defensive device you can acquire (though if the bezels are sufficiently militaristic it might run afoul of a law or building policy here or there). You of course want a flashlight to illuminate dark areas both to detect people trying to mount an ambush and to avoid tripping and falling on your pretty face. A very bright flashlight offers a manner of defense and immobilization no other device can offer, and it can be aimed far more easily than can spray or a gun. Of course, this item's potential is curtailed during daylight hours, though the chance of being attacked also declines significantly during daylight. I would suggest carrying at least a non-defensive light of some kind just for safety and utility, but I advise investing in and carrying a tactical one with a high Candela rating if at all practical. Oh, yes, don't just stand in one place if you're strobing someone. They can still advance towards you if you don't move. Same for using spray.

The flashlights can be categorized roughly in three ways: miniature ones which can be attached to a loop or something similar and offer superior portability at the expense of function, larger ones with massive stats which are meant as portable searchlights and not as melee weapons but also have good 'face-melting' capability, and the intermediate ones often called tactical flashlights which are not prohibitively large and can do either job reasonably well. Generally, the last category is what you want, or the first if you really just need illumination above all else and cannot afford or carry a tactical flashlight. Nitecore, Olight, Fenix, and Surefire are highly lauded brands, the last one being extremely expensive due to it being made in the USA and being of the highest quality. I ended up acquiring a smaller searchlight-type with high Candela for its cost and size, because I deemed high power preferable to crenelation and melee. It is also rather heavy and very difficult to carry properly, and this actually deters me from carrying it now that I've had it (and it also is quite often a useless implement given the time of day of an excursion, anyway). I more recently acquired a highly portable (it's the 'Flashlight 1PCS' one) one of the first category just so I'd have illumination, since I routinely forget or disfavor the first. You'll have to look around on Amazon and decide what would be ideal in your current set of circumstances. Be forewarned there are many, MANY worthy choices, and also you will need rechargeable batteries and chargers. If you can somehow use a flashlight in one paw and spray in the other, I think that would be the best configuration at night, at least for an untrained person.

See and come towards the light, young femboy, hahaha! Sorry, I could not resist.


Conclusions

I have described in excruciating (probably much more so for me than you the reader) detail the manners of defending oneself, and I didn't even get into the miscellaneous things such as kubatons and combat pens and regular batons. You have many choices and you can even simultaneously employ two and have access to more. I also gave some rather brutal advice about what to do if the worst happens, perhaps to the point it seemed as if such events were very likely and you would die if you failed. Allow me to counterbalance that somewhat:

-Criminals are generally motivated by greed or addiction, including the violent ones. Therefore, failing to mount a defense at all more often than not would not be injurious or lethal, and mounting one would be quite likely to send them to flight even if you wouldn't have won if it continued to the end. The violent bigots (there tend to be very few of them, but watch out when they're drunk!), rapists (who might mistake you for a girl and strike because of that), and the more deranged robbers are the ones you would need to win against at all costs. Discerning the last one from the ordinary mugger is difficult to do before you're actually hurt or killed, of course.
-Except for the bigots and the depraved lunatics, merely being aware of them and outwardly appearing vigilant and prepared is enough to win by dissuading them from striking. Human predators behave fundamentally the same way as animal ones. The latter prefer the weak, injured, and unaware prey over the healthy and potentially dangerous ones. Criminals are no different.
-Always look around you periodically and be holding something, preferably a big something. Criminals will often note that and wait for a better target, and if not, you at least knew they were there and will have the opportunity to use your implements. Very often or usually, the victims of violent crime you hear about who decisively lost failed to do this and were ambushed.
-In the rare event someone does start insulting you, it would be rational to refrain from shouting derogatory exclamations at them, even if they do deserve to be sprayed or punched in the face for their insolence. If they become violent, you might become injured or lose completely, and even if you decisively win with laughable ease, you have to deal with police reports and prosecutors and such. It's usually not worth the effort and risk.
-With all the above in mind, FFS, don't live in terror at the prospect of leaving the house or being obviously a femboy and/or LGBT, even in a conservative area. Very few people who identify as social conservatives care enough about a stranger living a "sinful" lifestyle to even comment to you about it, much less become aggressive. The more primitive sorts also generally elect not to act on their hatred, if for no other reason than fear of losing and the legal system.
-To build upon the above... Very violent crimes are unusual and most violent crimes are not committed with a firearm (and many of those that are have criminals as victims). Hate crimes are highly unusual and most often do not result in injury or great violence (though they are more often more severe types of crime relative to non-hate crimes, and are usually classified as violent), usually have only one offender, close to half are committed by an acquaintance, rarely are committed with a weapon at all, often are committed while intoxicated (I imagine many of those were at bars), and are seldom committed due to sexual orientation. I relied on these:
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hcrvp.pdf
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hcv0412st.pdf
http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/pages/wel...  
http://www.avp.org/storage/documents/Reports/2014_HV_R...
-The level of violence towards transgender people in general is indeed higher than the other minorities, more so trans women (and femboys would for those purposes count as such), and even more so Black trans women. However, hate crimes in general, and crimes in general, are still infrequent. I am in super-femboy mode visually all the time, and I have not been attacked or refused services. The number of murders of transgender people the media and LGBT organizations keep proclaiming as dire, for the entire USA, is ~20. It's NOT open season on trans people and femboys! Transgender discrimination from even police and government is indeed at alarming levels, but I will cover that in the last chapter.

Really, after having invested some time and energy deciding on a comprehensive defensive strategy and becoming at least minimally accustomed to the tools, just live as you wish expecting nothing will happen while knowing something might. Get a good OC spray, maybe a tactical flashlight or stun baton, enroll in martial arts classes if you are able, and be appropriately vigilant, and likely nothing will happen in the first place.


General Preparedness and Utility

This should be brief as I've explained various facets of this in previous chapters (especially the end of Clothing and Accessories) and your needs and preferences will dictate what you acquire and how you carry them. While a femboy needs to be prepared for trouble, they also need to prepare for various other needs. And, they of course should carry such accoutrements and devices in style! The set of things you carry with you routinely every day is often referred to as "EveryDay Carry", or EDC for short. My EDC is extremely large, and yours will probably be much lower. What is important is yours will meet all routine and many non-routine needs while also projecting a look and theme you prefer.

There is a doctrine I adhere to when I am planning configurations. I guess it could be called the Dual Purpose Doctrine: all items- especially bags- must serve to both serve a practical role and beautify in the process. For each general object and type, if I can find something that is visually appealing and congruent with my general themes/imperatives of adorable and furry and colorful, and that is both affordable and sufficiently functional, I am to acquire it. Obviously, the things that are concealed (cosmetics devices, carabiners, etc) usually have a lower priority, and the very visible things like bags are given very high priority. Function is the main concern, obviously. I'm such a colorful, adorable, and prepared femboy, hehehe! To achieve this takes a great deal of forethought and deliberation, but if you're bothering to read all this you're both inclined to and capable of achieving that.

The number, style, and designs of the bags/purses you'll have to work out for yourself, as needs and aesthetical preferences vary wildly. Keep in mind if you are in scenario (taking public transit, cannot leave your desk at work, etc) you cannot readily retrieve things in storage (car, home, hotel room, etc), you must have with you all items necessary for you to be alright for that period of time. This ranges from medicine to cosmetics to food to water to electronics. This is why I have 3 bags with me ordinarily on different parts of my body, and a 4th on my left side during conventions. If I am only grocery shopping I can get away with 1 but usually bring 2 (neither impair my grocery-carrying capabilities). However, when I am out for longer excursions, I need three to carry or have attached to them all necessary things. I liberally incorporate retractable keychain reels of varying sizes and resistances into my field configuration. This does ultimately cause me to be carrying routinely ~5 kg of things, and maybe as much as an additional kg at conventions, but I am prepared for any ordinary need or unpleasantry in an idiosyncratically adorable manner!

Of course, the items that go on and in the bags- and other areas like belt loops and pockets- are also quite important. Reflect for a while on the various things you commonly have needed or experienced, and how often you need them. If you go for a multiple bag/purse system, I advise you to place the most commonly needed things which are small within your purse or whatever is at your side, and then less commonly used and/or large items in the less easily accessible bags. If you only need one, or both are equally accessible, it doesn't all that much matter where they go. For very small things, however, you will want them stored in smaller pouches such as these within the purse or bag.

If you are like me and are at all prone to overheating, you will want a fan. This one is great for field purposes and even glows! However, it and other stuff will need rechargable batteries and a way to charge them (you can charge the ones in the necklace fan directly with this; would reduce wear on the fan and give convenience). We already mentioned cosmetics. You need access to water, so you should likely have a bottle with you. Mine is in a rainbow bead holder leashed to a retractable reel on/in my tote bag. I advise people to have medications they will or may need, including OTC anti-inflammatories and anti-diarrheals. There are small pillboxes which can be mounted to a carabiner or keychain. You will want food, of course. I rely on granola bars to fill and sometimes for protein (and they also double as dessert!), and fit them in pencil bags from Lemonbrat which are stuffed in my plush backpack. I sometimes stuff a box in my tote bag if I'll be in the field for a long while. Tortillas are cheap and filling and easily placed, if money is a concern. Electronics have to be transported as well, and the larger it is the more carrying space it takes and weight it adds. You also will want something to power a dying device if you forget to charge at home. Miniature umbrellas would be nice to have if we're caught in rain, preferably ones with rainbows or animals or whatever it is you favor (mine has paw-prints of each of the rainbow colors!).

There are many miscellaneous things which are difficult or impossible to conceive and acquire immediately. The list is nearly endless. Maybe you have a favorite plushie you wish to bring both for aesthetics and for emotional support? They fit in tote bags such as mine. You ought to have a handkerchief or a similar cloth with you for a variety of scenarios. I have a repurposed digital camera pouch attached to my satchel bag that serves as a rudimentary first aid kit (the liquid bandage is especially useful on difficult areas like knuckles). Gum is nice both to expend nervous energy and to produce saliva when my mouth is dry. If I must write something, a pen would be required. If I want a safeguard in case I forget to apply deodorant at home, a smaller field one is needed. Few realize that there is a specialized umbrella called a parasol, or that there are regular ones that block both sun and rain heavily. Maybe you would have use of a stopwatch (I use one to time myself during AA meetings, and it has run for over two years on the original battery). There are many other possibilities you and I can envision and encounter a need for.

I don't feel people generally give enough thought about needs and how they can ensure they fulfill them. They're fortunate if they can meet a fraction of them while away at all, let alone do it colorfully. The demands of life and lack of knowledge of things cause even intelligent people to curse in frustration but soon become preoccupied with something else and forget to correct it. One's emotional welfare is quite dependent upon the minimization of physical discomfort and inability to meet various needs or challenges, especially those of us with psychological disorders. Be the fruity and pretty boi who's also highly prepared and maximize your happiness!


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Hair Care and Augmentation

As someone with long hair but limited resources, I have rather ample experience with maintaining hair with minimal hassle, products, and salon visits. As with the cosmetic tutorials and guides, the guides on hair care are written as if intended for my fursona with his vast amounts of spare mental and physical resources, rather than the average person who just wants to avoid doing catastrophic damage to their hair and have it look admirably good. Thus, if you are like me and just wish to wash and dry your hair with minimal complications, and maybe augment it slightly for not much more aggravation, you will find this helpful. If you wish to prance around as if you were a legendary erotic fashion model like my fursona is/does and need the best hair possible, while that most certainly is not a bad thing, I cannot much help you since I neither emotionally nor financially could bother with most of the products and rituals. Remember my aesthetical doctrine with regards to ongoing maintenance and preparatory needs preaches simplicity and resource conservation over the reverse.


General Maintenance

Ordinarily, what is required to maintain long hair is limited to a few components: shampoo, conditioner, a detangling brush, and a hairdresser for maintenance trimming and care at regular intervals. If you don't wish to change the natural form (from wavy to straight or vice versa) or color of your hair, you don't need the various accoutrements and products advertised such as a curling iron/rod, blow dryer, specialized brush, heat protectant, etc. Everything else is optional unless you literally are a model.


Shampoo/Conditioner

The shampoo and conditioner I use might not be ideal for you since it is labelled for those with visibly thinning undyed hair. I guess it would work for those without such a problem well enough. I have been told the inexpensive types of conditioner and shampoo are not very good to hair health and to go with the sorts such as Bosley you would find at a salon, so that is my recommendation as well. There are innumerable brands and descriptions to choose from, and since you should be seeing a hairdresser anyway if you want anything more than a regular men's style, you should ask them what is best while you're there. Possibly you will pay more buying things there than over Amazon, so I don't recommend acquiring products there unless there's a sale going on. Also, while Bosley is not listed on Leaping Bunny, they say they are cruelty-free and Peta concurs. At least the shampoo and conditioner are also vegan.


Brush and Effects on Hair

A detangling brush is a brush that is designed to comb out knots in the hair with less damage and hair loss. The bristles usually are rounded at the tip and are easily flexed as hair is combed. A detangling brush is in essence a regular brush for those who have relatively long hair. They are many brands on Amazon rated over 4-stars and mine kept losing those rounded tips, so I will just let you search with that term and decide on what brand you want. If you have naturally wavy hair, at least in my experience, a brush will 'break up the curls' and cause the hair to appear more voluminous as a consequence. If you have this hair type and wish to retain that feature after showering, brush only when wet. If you feel your hair doesn't appear voluminous enough if left that way or you just don't like the look, brush when it has dried. Until I utilize hair extensions (which I will discuss further down), I will brush mine after it dries so it appears thicker, as the reverse causes the hair to form into distinctive and curly locks, which would be my preference if my hair density wasn't as low and self-consciousness so high. Straightening wavy hair completely or curling straight hair requires more time and products, alas. Heat protectant, an iron, possibly a different type of brush, and possibly products to increase hold would be needed to do that. You may need these anyway if you use hair extensions and they and your normal hair won't ordinarily match.


Salons

Unless you wish to have hair typical for a male, I would highly encourage you to go to an actual salon rather than a barber or a cheap general service place. Depending on how extensive your hair care regimen is and other needs/lack thereof, you don't need to go to one often. I go to mine only once every 6 months and that seems to be sufficient for me. Obviously, if you wish to have more done while you're there, this would be your default place for that. I have a feeling most salons are LGBT-friendly, but you could always call those which interest you to ensure they are. If you are trepidatious still about cosmetics or you wish to establish a more elaborate cosmetics routine than this guide was designed for, you might as well select a place that does makeup as well so you can be trained by a professional.


Hair Augmentation- Ordinary

Remember that everything has a cost of time, stamina, and money, and the more you add to any given routine the more of all of these you will pay, and the more your emotional state is liable to suffer. I have not done all that much above basic maintenance, as I just haven't been able to spend much time and money pursuing more advanced routines. I have gathered a fair amount of information on the general topic of augmentation since that was/is a major fixation of mine, and I will impart what I obtained.


Mousse and Blow Dryer

This is the simplest and most straightforward way of making one's hair fuller. I honestly cannot say even approximately what effect it has or whether the effect is appreciable at all, as I don't have a clone of myself with untreated hair to compare treated hair to. On some days it seems my hair is fuller from the mousse, some days it seems there's no difference. Your results might be better or worse. Anyway, I have Redken Volumizing Mousse 07, and Southern Belle. I sense the former has more effect than the latter, but I could well be wrong. This type of product is used after you step out of the shower and towel-dry your hair, while your hair is still damp. You then need to blow dry it to activate it, which means you need one of those as well. If you have wavy hair naturally and wish to have those thick curls, don't brush it after it is dried. The mousse serves multiple other purposes, such as heat protection (so this might be what you need if you're going to use a curling wand or iron afterwards) and preventing frizzing. Again, unless you are a model or just have a personal need to have luxurious hair, untreated hair that is dried naturally should generally suffice.

Blow dryers are inexpensive, and mine cost something like $20-30 at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago and it still works. My hairdresser tells me the diffuser attachment (it is a large piece with many rods that connects onto the end) is best for achieving wavy hair, while straight undiffused drying is best for straight hair. I use my diffuser attachment, bunching my hair on each side onto it and allowing it to dry on High for a minute or two. This can also be used alone if you cannot wait at home for it to dry before departing, though I like to finish showering 2-3 hours before departure so I can avoid losing 5-10 mins from having to use the dryer. Also, remember that heat is a major enemy of hair and will progressively damage hair, though compared to curling wands/irons the temperature applied by dryers is mild. To minimize damage and time-inefficiency, it would be best to only use a dryer when mousse is applied first.


Extensions

If the hair type of the extensions and one's hair do not match, irons are necessary. I imagine for those with straight hair the process is simpler, as most of the extensions I have come across are straight. If you have wavy hair like I do, either you need to acquire an extension which curls in the same manner yours does, or you need an iron to straighten or curl both simultaneously after the extensions are affixed. I will touch on the types of irons and what to expect if you elect to use them, but here I'll discuss the extensions themselves. By the way, in case you have the same impression I did from the name, extensions increase not just the length but also the thickness, so if you want only thicker hair, these are still what you want. When I start using these, I will have direct observations and practical experience to relay. For now, I have research and theory.

There are a variety of types. The one I predict most people reading this will opt for is the Clip-On. As the name suggests, you clip these onto your hair at home. Each unit actually consists of multiple pieces called wefts, so you will be attaching many extensions rather than just one. Of this type, you can choose between natural and synthetic. The former will last much longer and come from actual humans, the latter comes in more colors and is much less expensive but also deteriorates more quickly and cannot be heat-styled. If you have a fair amount of money to spare, or find having extensions is so important but cannot bother with Clip-Ons and the additional work they entail, you can go to your salon and have them put in using various methods. The types that are put in at a salon can cause hair damage and even permanent loss if done improperly or are overly relied upon, so that must be done judiciously even if money isn't a problem. I will focus on Clip-Ons since they entail the lowest cost and risk of damage and/or pain. Most of these were written while envisioning the natural type since that is the most realistic and versatile type.

-It is imperative you acquire a type of extension that matches your hair type and color. While you can change the structure and color of your or the extension hair, that will add to costs and cause damage. Do it routinely, and the hair will more rapidly degenerate. If it is the extension you're routinely treating, of course, it will need replacing much sooner.
-Clip-On extensions reportedly last up to a year before needing to be replaced under optimal conditions and quality. What usage frequency or level of decay they had in mind when they said that, I don't know. I suspect if they are worn infrequently and are rarely washed or heated, they will last longer than a year before truly needing replacement.
-Extensions need to be washed every so often, and must be washed separately and carefully. The more products are used on it, the more frequently this is needed. As this translates into deterioration, use products only if absolutely necessary or you really want the effect they provide.
-It is advised to take extensions to a salon so the length can be trimmed to match your normal length. Unless your hair is already at or near its terminal length, you might not be able to feasibly do very infrequent visits for maintenance trimming since your hair would start exceeding the extension's length.
-It is not advised you wear these indefinitely, and to remove them before sleeping. Fortunately, they can be removed in a few moments (and apparently don't require much more time to put in).
-Be cautious when buying extensions and be sure you are acquiring a set you are able to use, as they normally cost over $100 and are unreturnable once the packaging is opened due to it being considered an intimate item akin to underwear. Synthetics cost far less and they can be experimented with before procuring the real thing, but they are less realistic and durable, and are often meant to be used as highlights than as actual augmentation.


Hair Augmentation- Balding

You may be unfortunate and have hair that is thin enough at the scalp for skin to be easily seen. Not only does this preclude having bangs in the front, but it also will make a femboy extremely self-conscious and displeased. I ordinarily remedy this problem with my kemonomimi cap, but, I am unable to wear one in courtrooms, and due to acts of discrimination by a former landlord, I have been and will be in court. Thus, I have some direct experience with products designed to at least give the illusion of thicker hair on the top. There are also a few things that will trigger increased hair growth.


Powder + Spray

The pair of items I have direct experience with is the Bosley Thickening Fibers and the Non-Aerosol Spray. Both are necessary, as the former does the actual thickening and skin concealment and the latter secures the former to the hair and scalp. The fibers are in the form of a very fine powder, and you dispense it by tapping a finger against the small container while it is upturned over the desired area after your hair is dry. It diminishes the impression of thinness in two ways: it attaches to hair and thickens them, and coats the bare scalp so the color matches the hair and thus appears to be hair instead. The spray seals the powder to the hair and scalp and possibly has a thickening property of its own, so that regular movement and wind will not dislodge it. A bit of a warning about that... Be sure to not spray too close to the scalp since the force of the spray will otherwise propel some powder on the hair. It is possible I was not thorough enough with the spray, but, despite my best efforts a little powder was loose and either fell onto my face or drifted too close to/over the hairline. This was not very problematic once I discovered that and spent more time attending to that, and much rather would have used that over nothing. Also, be aware that this is very much a visual-only illusion: the hair feels very unnatural and rigid where you apply these, and thus you will want no one running their fingers through it.


Thickening Foam

Bosley produces another product for this matter, and I assume it can be used in concert with the above. From what I can tell, their Step 3 foam (the shampoo and conditioner mentioned earlier are Steps 1 and 2, respectively) doesn't actually reverse hair loss, but makes the hair that is there fuller and thicker. As with the above products, these are not prohibitively expensive if used everyday, and are highly inexpensive over a given period of time if used situationally. I would suggest using all three simultaneously, though you will need to allow this to fully dry before applying the powder and then spray. Used alone, this would not cause that weird and crusty texture I mentioned earlier, but it would of course be less effective than the whole trio.


Supplements and Drugs

There are also products you can use to actually trigger the reactivation of follicles and to thicken growth of existing hair. I have zero experience with these but have acquired enough information to comment on them. Biotin is a vitamin supplement which is actually very highly rated by purchasers for augmenting nail and hair growth, and is the only one of these three I would wholeheartedly endorse. You may wish to cut the pills (which apparently are very small) into fractions since the dosage relative to the recommended intake is so very high, and this will also improve an already decent cost-efficiency.

There is a topical substance called Minoxidil which comes in liquid or foam which seems to be moderately effective at hair rejuvenation, but it seems to either lose effectiveness eventually or is not able to stop the progression of baldness and thus hair loss will eventually resume (I'm not sure how to interpret their remarks on the drug's long-term effectiveness). You also need to take it forever, and going on and off of it apparently ruins its effectiveness permanently. However, it usually doesn't cause any side effects, so if you feel comfortable paying for and using it, it will at least temporarily reverse the trend. There's also a foam that combines this with the above supplement and some other agents that directly target the hormone that causes baldness as well as other things, and it is more highly rated than the minoxidil alone. $10 a month (it's a 3-month supply) isn't bad.

You can also go to a doctor to be prescribed things (by the way, hair seems to be within the realm of Dermatology), the main thing being finasteride/Propecia. While it seems more potent than the above (and combined they amplify the benefit), it has been known to screw with sexual function for some while on it, and for a few permanently ruin their sexual and emotional health (sometimes upon stopping it, which is weird). The same goes for dutasteride/Avodart. Baldness apparently is caused by a type of testosterone called DHT, and these help block the production of it. So, these are in effect hormonal pills, and occasionally they seem to do the job all too well and permanently. Actually, aside from the destruction of sexual function, low genital size, and crippling anxiety and depression, the elimination of DHT would be an awesome thing for femboys, now that I'm reading this... Anyway, yeah, I don't know the chance of temporary or permanent side effects, but it seems common enough for me to not want it. It just seems dangerous to fuck with that hormone. Of course, you might be bolder/crazier than I and deem it a worthy undertaking, and hopefully it will work splendidly!


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Hair Removal

There are numerous ways of removing disliked hair from the face and body, and I had to expend a good amount of time and emotional energy determining what the ideal methods were and why. If you are a femboy, quite possibly the single most upsetting biological trait of yours is hair below the scalp, especially on the face. I kept having visible stubble no matter how forcefully I shaved, that was the one area of the body I couldn't conceal or clothe, and even makeup didn't seem to work. In fact, as I write this, I need to make an appointment for a follow-up laser treatment... Anyway, your ideal set of tactics will vary according to your physical characteristics and aesthetical preferences and monetary resources, but, with all circumstances and factors being ideal, I would suggest laser treatments for hair issues in general and starting with the face, and one or two adjunct methods  during and after that. My explanation of the various methods will make clear why this should be the ultimate recourse generally.


Electrolysis

This is an extremely time-intensive and money-intensive process, with the advantage of it being useful for all skin and hair colors. The method of eradication entails insertion of tiny needles up the shaft of the hair and into the follicle, which are then electrified to destroy the follicle. This I assume is approximately as painful as this sounds, though I never proceeded because even with the 10% transgender discount I would have paid $100 per weekly session for about 50 weeks. This was JUST for the facial area, mind you. Unless you are treating very small resistant regions or various characteristics make laser removal (the other permanent solution) impractical, I strongly argue against electrolysis. It is probably no less painful than laser removal and many times more expensive.


Waxing

I assume everyone understands the mechanics of this sufficiently, so I'll just explain why it's not ideal. First, you need to allow enough hair to grow before it can be violently ripped out, so on a good percentage of your days you will look scraggly, and most people cannot remain within their house and away from people for days at a time on command like me. Second, you either have to go to a salon or work out a home remedy on your own, which is more time and energy spent on research. Third, this is obviously very painful, and even more so if it somehow takes skin with it. Fourth, this is perpetually done every 2-4 weeks, and thus a constant major bleed on energy, time, and money. I have no idea why people rely on this solution other than people are generally stupid or grievously ignorant.


Tweezer and Epilator

The process is fundamentally the same as waxing, sans the wax and paper, and thus has most of the disadvantages. Thus, it must be repeated about as often as waxing, though it is less acutely painful and easier because of the reduced area of effect and the exclusion of wax. There are two devices which are used for this: the manual tweezer everyone is familiar with, and the epilator- a mechanical hand-held set of tweezers on a drum that rapidly turns.  I recommend this more as a stop-gap measure while permanent solutions are pending or in progress rather than as a sole permanent measure.

A manual tweezer has a very limited area of effect and thus would be an extremely time-intensive method of removing facial hair in general. However, its simplicity requires very little time and energy to master the process, and such a device allows you to grab onto and yank out hair which is far shorter than an epilator can manage. In conjunction with lasering and an epilator, this is a valuable and useful tool. On its own, excruciatingly slow and aggravating. It is best used to remove hairs an epilator left behind. If you have this natural compulsion to feel, play with, and remove stray hairs- especially those around the lips- this also will be helpful.

An epilator has a larger area of effect and is merely moved over a part of the body to work, which thus allows a rate of tweezing perhaps 100x faster. However, this also means it will cause a lot more pain at any given time and might make usage unbearable. This is the one I acquired and it respectably serves its intended purpose. I have been told that repeated epilation or waxing will cause progressively less pain and thinning of hair regrowth, but this has happened to a low degree or not at all with me, and I certainly wouldn't advise people count on that when making decisions. My laser treatments have killed about 75-85% of the facial follicles, so there are a significant number of hairs remaining, but few enough to not make epilation an exercise in self-inflicted torture. I doubt I could have employed this as my sole remedy. You can either wait ~2 weeks and do all hairs en masse, or epilate repeatedly and have only a fraction of total hairs be visible and removable at any given time. The first is the least costly in time but the most painful, the second costly in time but less painful and easier to pull off.

A couple of additional things on epilation:

1.) Most of this was written with the facial area in mind. This was not just because this is generally the highest-priority area for femboys, but also because it is quite possible epilation will be prohibitively troublesome on other areas. I was not as sensitive to pain of that sort on the face and it was started only after I had undergone laser treatments. The other parts of my body just seem more sensitive to that type of stress, and even with less dense hair growth. While others may be different and this can- and commonly is- used for other areas of the body, it is very possible you will be unable to do so, especially without previous laser treatments. And, you will be expending far more time epilating if you incorporate more areas into your routine, anyway.

2.) Apparently removing hairs or shaving too closely carries with it a heightened risk of ingrown regrowths, especially on legs and arms. I do notice 1-3 hairs do indeed get stuck under the skin on the face for a while following epilation, but the low number and the tretinoin render this a negligible problem. If you have a great disposition for this phenomenon, you will have to perform exfoliating and moisturizing regimens or abandon epilation. Otherwise, don't pay any mind to those exhortations to do the regimens, as they are needlessly deterring and usually unnecessary.


Depilatory Cream

This is a substance that literally dissolves hair and allows it to be wiped off. While this generally does what it is supposed to, there are major limitations in addition to the risk of more or less giving yourself mild chemical burns. My research on this solution dissuaded me from attempting it, though your experience and needs may deviate from mine substantially.

The advantage to using this is it supposedly removes hair slightly below the skin line, so the effect is greater than can be achieved with shaving. The disadvantages are numerous. Firstly, there seemed to be a unanimous agreement amongst the brands and reviewers that using this on the face, crotch, and genitals was ill-advised. Second, even with use on the limbs and torso only, you run the risk of having dermatological problems because remember this DISSOLVES HAIR IN MINUTES. Third, it is quite possibly less convenient than shaving as far as the process goes, though also simpler in terms of equipment and number of products. All things considered, I wouldn't necessarily advise against attempting this in lieu of shaving, but be forewarned you may well deem it an inferior method and have to go back to shaving. If you are adventurous enough to use this on the face (I didn't remember any reviews of people trying this for the face, but found a very memorable review of genital use exhorting people to NOT try it), please do tell me if it worked well!


Manual/Bladed Shaving

This method of hair removal I find to be utterly inadvisable in all but a few scenarios. It is costly, complicated, dangerous, and has an overabundance of information I had the misfortune of having to sort through when deciding whether to do this or electric. There is both cartridge and 'safety' shaving, there's all manner of shaving cream, there are other associated products... However, my frustration I will transmute into your benefit by sharing what I have learned.

The advantage to manual razor shaving are that it cuts closer to the skinline than the electrical equivalent, the aforementioned 'safety' razor supposedly superior for that. While there are some men who like a customized shaving ritual and this would be another advantage to especially safety razor shaving for them, at least for a femboy or a MtF girl who wants to be rid of facial hair entirely, the pleasure derived from performing an elaborate process every morning is probably zero. Thus, this would be a preferable manner of routine hair removal only if depilatory creams are not feasible, and if somehow epilation/wax also were not feasible, and you just need that additional closeness which electric razors cannot provide.

The disadvantages to electric shaving are numerous. It is far messier than electric razors since you need shaving cream/butter. Since multiple products are having to be utilized and replaced, the maintenance costs are pretty high (there even is a company that opened up just to address the astonishingly high costs of cartridges). Since there are many items to use and remove and such, you lose more time and energy. Of course, if you mishandle the razor or just go over a bump with it, you will nick yourself or maybe worse in some cases. If you elect to go with the old-school types of razors, you will pay a small fortune just for the razor handle and- if you use a knife-type razor- a razor strop. The number of products of either type of bladed shaving are bewilderingly great, about as bad the cosmetics. Also, the advantage I mentioned might not even be perceivable, as I never noticed visually any difference between shaving with a blade and an electric razor.

The most common method of bladed/manual shaving is Cartridge, which is the modern variety that utilizes disposable cartridges with multiple blades and various features such as a gel strip and heightened flexibility. They seem to be easier to use properly than the alternative varieties, but they need to be replaced rather frequently and might be more expensive than even classical shaving. The other common method is the so-called Safety razors, given that name because most of the blade is concealed, an improvement over the even older-school full shaving blades. They use different handles and require a different posture, though you can use both sides of the razor blades. This might be less expensive to actually maintain, though you will commonly be advised to acquire a good brush and some form of shaving substance above the typical cream in a can, and the cost of the razor handles is pretty high, so you will be paying more up front to start shaving this way.

Unless you really have no other alternatives for whatever reason, I really do advise people to opt for electric razors. I hate this method of shaving and I abandoned it long ago.


Electric Shaving

There is also a bewildering number of brands and features associated with electric razors, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. They can do most of what the bladed ones can do for a LOT less hassle. For days  I cannot epilate (pending laser treatment, hair not long enough and I need to leave home, or I need to leave quickly), I use my inexpensive Remington. It literally consumes only ~2-4 minutes of my time to shave my face with this, and paired with the previous laser treatments, it serves its purpose well enough.

The advantages are it is extremely rapid, is reasonably effective, and is low-maintenance (or, should be; some tutorials and product descriptions really complicate this process). Additionally, there is an advantage or two which are offered by each of the two types of electric razors: foil and rotary. Supposedly, the rotary type can better serve curved areas of the face and offers a lower risk of irritation (my foil razor seems to do just fine on both counts; maybe my old rotary just sucks), but is more difficult to clean due to razor head complexity and cuts less deeply. The foil type, in contrast, cuts more deeply, is easier to clean, and seems far easier to use even on curved areas given its shape (straight across, on 1 or more foils), but with the drawback of increased risk of skin irritation supposedly. I suggest people thus invest in a foil razor, though if you're feeling adventurous you could invest in both and tell me whether you notice the same things I do.

The disadvantages are it costs slightly more to acquire a decent electric razor, and this method appears far more costly and difficult than it is because of various product innovations and reviews. There are razors that cost well over $100 (possibly $200 or more; I don't remember for sure) that come with a mount that cleans the razor bit between uses with some liquid solution you also need to buy. The various brands all brag about various features or technology with names and importances they came up with. Do you buy this $30 thing or the $200 one that does this super-swell job of cleansing these blades you hope are appreciably better than those of the $30 one? Do you get rotary or foil? Do you need electric shaving lotion before or after? Are you really supposed to replace the razor or blades every 6 months? The answer in general is: no, you do not need lotions or a pricey razor that has fancy cleaning cycles, and you do not need to replace something so often. If you have chronic irritation after you shave or just like the way one of the pre-shave things feels or smells, by all means get one and use it. However, I use no such accessories- only the razor itself. Since I have sparse facial hair and rely on epilation primarily, my razor- which probably would have been serviceable for years with my pre-laser beard- should function almost forever. Don't allow yourself to be misled or confused: you only need a good low-medium end razor most likely.


Laser

So, this one I have been espousing for this entire entry, and I will explain in detail why. Contrary to the way many or most commentators characterize this, this is indeed a permanent manner of hair removal. It only appears to be temporary because follicles have dormant and active cycles and the ones which were dormant at the start become active later on. Also, if you for some reason have an increase in testosterone or some other rare condition or factor, hair that exists does become thicker and darker. The follicles that are sufficiently zapped are dead and do not regenerate. This is a permanent solution to facial hair, but it will also require a substantial investment in emotional energy, time, and money. If you were prepared to wax away hair forever, this is comparable in the level of pain and aggravation per session, only the sessions are limited in number. Of course, there is also a rather dizzying number of variables and factors which must be considered, and I will simplify that for you.

The process itself is as follows:

-You choose some sort of aesthetical center for treatment. It can be your dermatologist's place (that might cost more, especially if a doctor is the one doing it), or a general aesthetics center offering a wide variety of services. The one I use is the latter.
-You are assessed for treatment suitability. Your skin tone, hair color, whether you are on or doing something that will heighten the risk of dermal damage, budget, and miscellaneous other things are taken into account, and a type of laser is selected. I don't remember the name, but the least expensive type they use is also only recommended for those with pale skin.
-You have the option of numbing gel before treatments, though this will increase your treatment costs ($75 versus $50 per session for me). While this may or may not be needed, I suggest at least for the first time you invest in this. I did not, so on the first session I felt as if my nervous system was being repeatedly assaulted and was almost crying even 15 mins afterwards.
-You lay down on a bed, and your face is prepared with a gel commonly used for ultrasounds. The facial area will require maybe 10-20 minutes from when you walk in until when you leave.
-How exactly the laser is applied depends on the type and device. The default one they use for people worked in pulses: the device was applied to a section, a switch or button was pressed to send a brief pulse (it was quite noisy), the device was moved, another pulse sent, and so on. Once I was given one of their more expensive types for free due to my severe wait time, and that one was constantly active, the wand being slid across the face and singing whatever follicle it ran across. Either way, expect it to hurt significantly.
-Assuming you are able to allow the doctor or technician to finish the process (perhaps a plushie would help comfort you), you are advised to use sunscreen and spend minimal time in the sun for the day, and they possibly also apply sunscreen (at least mine do). You might be given a small cold compress, but I never felt they were helpful or necessary.
-You are asked to set an appointment 4-8 weeks later if you are undergoing a set round of treatments. While I don't know how common this is, at mine clients are given the option of tipping the technician when they are checked out. Don't be a douche and decline to do that if that is an option. I would guess 10-20% would be the expectation.
-In follow-up sessions, the energy level is gradually increased as the number of outstanding follicles diminishes, which somewhat counteracts the reduction in pain the reduction in follicles would bring. However, this is necessary to eradicate the more resistant follicles, typically around the mouth (those have been fucking hard to get rid of).

The advantages of this method are: you save resources (including time and energy) ultimately by resolving the issue near-completely for all time despite the comparatively steep costs (I actually just paid $300 for 6 full-face sessions via a Groupon offer). The disadvantages and potential complications are, however, not insignificant. As I mentioned, this is basically consensual photonic assault, which poses a variety of risks even if done correctly. If your people are competent and you haven't lied to them, likely you will not suffer the worst-case permanent issues or even the serious temporary ones. However, especially on your first or second session, you might have redness for days and numerous whiteheads like I did. This method is not suitable if you are on antibiotics (apparently they make skin more sensitive to photons) or if you are tanning (and you really shouldn't be attacking your skin like that, anyway: the Sun is bad, especially for pale white femboys!), and the going will be harder or even impractical if your hair color and skin tone are not optimal (another reason to avoid the sun like a vampire).


Also, there is an effect which is sort of both a positive and negative depending on how you feel. Some follicles won't die, but will lose all pigmentation. I have a few colorless hairs on my face now, and while that is suitable aesthetically, they're still there and can be felt, and also cannot be destroyed by means other than electrolysis. This only happened to something like 1% or less of them, though. Speaking of gray or white hairs... If you are in your 30's and are having a belated awakening like I did, you need to get this done soon before your hairs start losing color naturally and thus cannot be eradicated this way. The only other option would be electrolysis, and I explained why that is not ideal.

Regarding selection of a place... I suggest looking at Groupon or that Amazon Local thing first, then analyzing the companies' website and reviews to determine whether you ought to go with them. You may elect to get a consultation first (this should be free), but you ought to know ahead of time whether you are an ideal candidate after reading all of this. The vouchers I believe generally only cover the cheapest type of treatment that I described above, so if you don't have pale skin and dark hair, you will have to pay more than that probably.

To conclude this section, I will reiterate this having lower costs for a lifetime of money, energy, and time. You will pay less of these in general and will have superior results anyway, but the price is steep and condensed into a relatively small window. Obviously, if your doctor or aesthetician says this is not suitable you likely should follow their recommendation or get a second opinion. However, this generally will be the superior option, especially for pale and dark-haired Caucasians. Most of the rest require hair growth before they can work and are perpetual, and electrolysis is horribly expensive and slow and possibly even more painful than this.


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Clothes and Accessories

Perhaps I should have made this #2. Everyone knows us femboys love fashionable and girly clothes! Anyway, there are many things to consider and be apprised of in this category, things I had to discover myself with exploration and experimentation. There are several distinct categories of leg wear alone, and women's sizes differ from men's sizes. This is also the thing which frightens femboys the most, acquiring and wearing feminine clothes. It dismays me to see so many people- femboy and otherwise- live in needless repression and unrealistic fear.

This section will broach and elaborate on a series of concepts or things which are imperative to know for one reason or another. There were several discoveries which I would have loved to have been made aware of straight away, and I consequently wasted money and time having to learn myself. By imparting critical things to you, you will be able to explore far more rapidly and efficiently. Clothing covers a massive range of sub-topics and article types, and I feel most of them lack the merit in broaching at all. Also, this is already a behemoth.


Irrational Fear- Most Just Don't Give a Damn

I have come across very few femboys who actually dress as such outside of special occasions or home. This is horrible, even more so since it is unnecessary. Humans generally have an instinctual aversion to causing conflict or discord. No doubt there are also fears of physical or verbal violence should they wear women's clothes and are not totally 'passable'. There no doubt often is fear of condemnation by those close to them, and having a veritable atomic firestorm on one's social front is never pleasant. If one of those people (say, a homophobic parent who's paying for a femboy's college education) has a capacity and inclination to cause destruction, that is a different matter which must be assessed objectively. What I'm going to address is the unease which seems almost universal amongst femboys about standing out.

I lived in a relatively conservative suburban area for a couple of the years I've been a femboy. For over two years there, every single time I left the house, I not only crossdressed very colorfully, but I also wore a tail. I just completely disregarded societal norms and carried myself as a very girly raccoonboi. Some of you are marveling at my courage and assume I was taunted regularly. Past the initial series of decisions to upgrade my appearance, this wasn't courageous, because virtually never did anyone vocalize anything unkind. 1-5% would be insulting or just erupt into derisive laughter, but the remainder were at worst obnoxiously inquisitive and at best utterly enthralled. This was an area not especially friendly to those who are non-heterosexual and transgender. Sure, it wasn't Bumblefuck, Nowhere, but still not a liberal area. People often wanted my picture and I received a fair amount of adoration and attention, too. Unless you are in a special situation where you rely on an anti-gay parent or are surrounded by savages, I don't think you have a legitimate excuse to insist on being normal.

Likewise, if people in a conservative town usually left me alone and almost always were friendly when they didn't, most assuredly the employees at a lingerie store or the women's department aren't going to object to you buying women's clothes for yourself. Hell, you're helping pay their salary! Even if they disapproved of your lifestyle, remember my remark on the natural inhibition against open conflict. You are not important enough to them for them to forcefully overcome that natural fear and aversion and tell you you are not welcome, and they also likely would be fired for the effort anyway. And, if THAT doesn't persuade you or you have pathological anxiety issues, there are businesses which are explicitly and highly LGBT-friendly. You do not have a valid excuse for not acquiring female clothes personally. The fear is not commensurate with reality.

Now, stop being normal and go wear a skirt and tail! There's no reason not to (again, barring you being in a special scenario). And, besides, femboys are about the only males I'm attracted to and I'm tired of never seeing another of my kind outside of conventions (and even there we almost don't exist it appears).


Special Note About Recent Anti-Transgender/Femboy Bathroom Laws

Speaking of fear, this has exploded into the consciousness of the nation since I started composing this. I'm going to address this succinctly and bluntly... Nothing has changed, regardless of which bathroom you would prefer to use. These laws are completely unenforceable generally. Think about what would have to happen for someone to even be confronted by police. The cases of people being arrested for using the 'wrong' bathroom is and will be miniscule, and the chance of even being bothered by someone for it is not much higher. Transgender people have uneventfully used their preferred bathroom before laws and policies either way were enacted, and they will continue to do so afterwards. While a major impetus of these laws and the uproar with Target is indeed general transphobia, the other is the irrational fear of insincere males exploiting gender identity reforms vis-a-vis bathrooms and assaulting females. If you're clearly a femboy and not acting suspiciously in the women's room, few women are going to object. If you prefer to use the men's room, as you will read in a later chapter, violent crimes in general and especially hate crimes are unusual. You will undoubtedly make some uncomfortable either way, but very few are going to protest. I have used the men's bathroom many times in both conservative suburban and liberal urban areas now, pulling up my skirt at the urinal and peeing many times (VERY unusual for a boy in there, let me tell you!). I have applied makeup at the sink many times. Those massive gender transgressions have resulted in just ONE person in over two years mentioning I was in the wrong bathroom, and once I told him I was male he accepted this immediately and wanted my picture.

Now, I am not dismissing the very disproportionately higher levels of violence against trans people, nor am I denying some areas are inhabited by many people who are violent. I do not suggest pulling up your skirt and peeing at a urinal if you live in an area where such people are assaulted regularly without having substantial self-defense capability. If you live in such an area, I exhort you to get the fuck out of there and into an urban area ASAP. However, if that is not a factor, the rates of violence even against trans people are low. Don't live in terror if you live in an area where a bunch of fucking Republicans decided to make an issue out of this, especially if you still prefer the male bathrooms. Nothing has changed.


Legwear: Many Variations For the Same Body Parts

Clothes that cover the legs and hips are far more varied in women's fashion than men's. With males, while you have two or three different fabrics, the general structure is the same: pants and shorts of substantial construction. Women have far, FAR more choices than pants and jeans. There is the pantyhose-type we are all familiar with, there are 'tights' which have the same structure (closed at the feet) but are somewhat heavier, there are 'leggings' which come in such a variety of thicknesses and materials that they are worthy of their own chapter. 'Stockings' can mean anything from pantyhose to long socks. You need to know precisely what you want to avoid acquiring clothes you dislike and/or cannot use.

Pantyhose is very light nylon that has a wide range of colors and opaqueness, and that is closed off at the ends so the entire leg and foot are enveloped. If you want something which will keep you warm and will endure for years, this is not it. It generally serves only aesthetical functions and is comparatively fragile. Some of my early purchases were of this type, and I quickly disfavored them once I found alternatives because they were too sheer (you WILL need to shave your legs wearing these!) and would keep pushing against my feet and toes.

Tights are essentially a heavier variant of pantyhose. It is still a closed-toe garment and is often nylon or some other stretchy material, but it tends to be more opaque and can be utilized for thermal protection. If you want what amounts to pantyhose that will keep you warmer and remain serviceable longer, this will be your preferred type. One or more of my early acquisitions were of this type, and while I disfavored them less than the pantyhose, the closed design at the feet made wearing them less desirable than I had hoped. Oh, yes, keep in mind since these and the above have such a structure, you have to be mindful of your height and the suggested max height ranges. IIRC, one or more had a max recommended range of a few inches below my height and they still fit, albeit with pressure on my toes.

Leggings are what I gravitated massively towards due to their open-foot design, opaqueness, and their ability to provide varying levels of thermal protection. They come in a variety of materials and thicknesses. As my experience with leggings is overwhelmingly or exclusively derived from American Apparel items, I will refer to their products. American Apparel is very much pro-LGBT and they have many other legging designs, and they frequently run 50% off sales. I generally have assigned my leggings into three categories: Everyday, Insulating Field, and Light Field. I am wearing this right now. Everyday clothes are supposed to have a higher comfort and lower maintenance level, and this particular design is moderately insulating. Field clothes must be pretty and colorful, but also not cause me to be uncomfortable. The Insulating Field consists of these, specifically the turquoise. This material is heavier and thus sufficiently insulates on colder days. Light Field is this, a color I am especially fond of but made from a material that does not insulate worth a damn and also will faintly show leg hair if I neglect to shave. Oh, also, these leggings are Medium and Large, and I am approximately 65 kg, 180 cm tall, and 88 cm at the waist/hips.


The last conventional legwear-type category is socks. You will find them primarily on Sock Dreams, as well as the other stereotypically femboy items such as arm warmers. The massive thigh-high socks are called, unsurprisingly, Thigh-Highs. You can purchase an adhesive to roll on your legs, or invest in garter belts to hold them up. I was not able to keep mine up at thigh level without using garters, and that and preferring mono-colored leggings caused me to move away from socks. Actually, you might be able to get Thigh-Highs to stay up without either adhesive or garters if you wear something underneath. My Thigh-Highs will stay up on the very rare times I wear them over my Everyday/Home leggings. Note that you can use socks in conjunction with any of the other types, and this applies to the above categories as well obviously. On that subject, especially socks that are lower on the leg would compliment well legwear and a skirt. If I wasn't so fond of my furry leg warmers I might seriously consider a new field configuration using socks.

The last legwear-type item is called leg warmers, which are more or less very loose-fitting socks with no feet.  I have noticed this type is very unusual. In fact, I don't remember encountering anyone else wearing these that I can remember. If you ever have seen Cleo from Heathcliff, those are leg warmers. The name is somewhat misleading I feel, as they don't necessarily provide much warmth (mine from American Apparel are loosely knit and would be bad at insulation). I deem leg warmers to be almost a purely aesthetical type of clothing, actually, as other items would serve a thermal role far better, and these are excellent accentuators or augmentors in certain configurations. They are a noteworthy component in my various outfits.

They come in a variety of designs, but I will present three groups to demonstrate both the range of options and their massive capability for aesthetical augmentation. I use these from American Apparel for my Everyday attire. They add a great deal more color to legs which otherwise would just be sport one shade via the leggings, and the cuff height is extremely adjustable. These from Sock Dreams come in a few patterns and materials, and a few are also apparently serviceable as arm warmers as well. Legwear is their forte, so they will be a major solution for any such needs. The third is the highly conspicuous and colorful furry variety, things most associated with raves and the 80's. I own these (they sell furry skirts, too), and the furry companies Lemonbrat and Pawstar also produce them and a myriad of other objects small and large. As all three appear to produce furry cuffs, skirts, and leg warmers, you can easily go full fucking femboy flamer on society and acquire a matching set for general use!

So, I have explained the various types of legwear and hosiery and your curiosity should be running rampant. May you now choose wisely and not have half a dozen or more things laying in storage indefinitely due to lack of interest or feasibility!


Skirts and Related Concepts of Great Importance

I'm sure you understand generally what a skirt is and thus I am not going to explain THAT to you. However, there are a few related items that aren't obvious but are highly important.

Skirts are generally not utilitarian in nature. You might find a couple of skirt designs with a couple of pockets, and there is also the Utilikilt which essentially gives your kilt/man-skirt (hey, a skirt marketed to males is still a skirt, and holy FUCK they are expensive!) the capabilities that pants and shorts possess (store things on and in it). I've also heard of the concept of 'skorts', though I don't know if any of the designs' shorts component have the things normal shorts do such as belt loops and pockets. Therefore, generally, especially if you want colorful and really gay and girly-looking skirts, you will be devoid of carrying capacity on that type of article. This puts you or anyone else adopting that outfit at a severe disadvantage, because it is extremely helpful to have something with belt loops (belts and belt loops are kind of important for wearing tails, too) to attach things to, and pockets to place things in. You can carry things in a bag, of course, but I would MUCH rather have my wallet and all it carries on my hip rather than in a bag that can be suddenly snatched or just misplaced.

So, what can you do if you prefer skirts? The answer is: wear both! There is absolutely nothing stopping you from wearing shorts underneath a skirt. Actually, you could also do what I did until I obtained a set of femboy clothes and wear a skirt over pants, if you truly want to give normalcy the middle finger! But, I much prefer the former aesthetically and probably you do as well. As you will be trying to wear shorts which cannot be seen unless you're retrieving something from them, short of improvising a solution with scissors and a pair of pants or regular men's shorts, you will need to find women's shorts with little or no inseam. I have two such pairs which I discovered at Goodwill (that's a great option for clothes in general, though ensure nothing you're buying has stains or other damage), and one or two pairs I fashioned from a spare pair of pants and a pair of scissors before the Goodwill acquisitions. My mini-skirts are much longer than the shorts, so people see the shorts only when I need to retrieve an object from there. This allows me to retain the advantages of wearing pants/shorts while also retaining the aesthetical characteristics of the skirts!

My shorts are utilized to carry the following:

-Wallet with my cash, state ID, three cards I always use for purchases, and reserve transit card.
-Repurposed slender camera case containing my military ID (father was an Air Force veteran), debit card, a credit card not ordinarily used for purchases, and main transit card.
-Retractable key holder fastened to a belt loop directly, and leashed to a carabiner with yarn for further security.
-Pepper spray attached to a belt loop via a carabiner. The spray is wieldable with minimal effort via a magnetic keychain. I strongly advise everyone to invest in potent spray such as that and this in case the worst happens, but especially femboys and females.
-My big and fluffy raccoon tail via a belt.

Another crucial consideration for those who wish to wear skirts- especially those who are new at it- is the type of waistband the skirt has. A skirt which has an elastic waistband (American Apparel generally states on each page whether it is elastic or possesses a zipper/buttons; also, the furry rave ones are all very elastic!) can accommodate at least a moderate range of figures, whereas one which is opened and closed not only usually has a very limited tolerance but is far more difficult to don/remove. I could gain 25 kg and these Large skirts (damn it, they stopped carrying the velvet skirts!) would still fit me. Especially if the skirt isn't listed by numerical size but rather by Small, Medium, etc, you would be unlikely to choose so poorly you couldn't wear it. As a frame of reference, I have an 88 cm waist/hip and I can wear nylon and spandex Medium skirts and leggings comfortably, and as best I can tell my numerical size is 8-10.

The last thing pertains to the resplendent furry customized skirts I brought up in the last section. People at Pawstar or Lemonbrat or Vinyl Doll can and will deviate from their standard design if you wish for it or whatever else to be so, as they make everything themselves by hand/paw. You need to know what the dimensions of their default design are to begin with, or you will be at risk of having to order a second one. The skirts might by default be too short for your taste and you will thus wish to ask for more length. The truly important thing to be cognizant of is, these skirts are a cross between a circle skirt (a typical roomy mini-skirt) and a pencil skirt (hugs against the hips and thighs; I have no clue why women elect to wear such restrictive clothes), meaning there is a high chance they will not be roomy and flared enough for you to comfortably traverse, and that chance rises if you wear a tail. Thus, you likely will need to ask for a "flared" skirt. That seems to be the term such fashioners use to describe a skirt wider at the bottom. I had to order a second one from Pawstar largely because the bottom lacked the shape and circumference for my purposes and structural needs, and the second one is just flared enough to pose no problems. Do not make the same mistake and not specify you need a flared one (assuming you don't genuinely prefer the default version).


Secondary Clothing and Accessories

While it dismays me few furries have ever been excited about my appearance despite the enormous level of thought and energy I have invested in the whole process, I am sure at least some of you who are new at this thing or furry/bronydom in general really want to know where I acquired this or that. I will point you all in the appropriate directions so you also can expeditiously outfit yourself with the most adorable stuff which often is also critically useful!


Arm Warmers, Gauntlets, and Cuffs

Sock Dreams was the one who sold me my arm warmers, and they not only are highly inexpensive but also are insulating. If I wear two of them on each arm, on all but the very coldest of days, especially if I am marching, those are sufficient for my arms. They have taken the place of flannel shirts I used to have to wear when outdoors, then promptly take off and somehow stuff in my tote bag upon entering a building because it provided far too much insulation around my torso and arms. These protect my arms in an extremely lightweight and compact design, meaning I can easily store surplus warmers in my bag and usually not need to remove them when indoors. They also provide sun protection for me, of course. These also caught my attention and I wish to purchase one sooner or later.

Sock Dreams also sold my gauntlets. They cover the remaining length of my upper extremities- save for the fingers- in a very gayish manner, blocking UV radiation in the process. They have two other niche purposes. On mildly cold days which are slightly excessive for my bare paws, if I forgot to bring my gloves, they can be used as a substitute. On very cold and blustery days which are making my arms uncomfortable due to wind blowing up the very loose outer sleeve of my arm warmers, I will work the cuff of the gauntlets around the edge of the arm warmers so the wind can no longer travel through. If you are desirous of gauntlets of different designs, I believe some of their arm warmers are essentially gauntlets.

As I mentioned earlier, Pawstar, Lemonbrat, Vinyl Dolls, and surely others on Etsy and elsewhere, produce and/or sell these furry cuffs. I assume at least some of them can and will customize such things to some degree. Please bear in mind that since the cuffs are so small and are so much closer to your face relative to everything else, if they use a thread color that badly clashes with the color of the fur, you are likely to notice it. Pawstar uses black and they have no alternative thread color, and the fur cannot hide that seam at the end, and thus I have until recently declined to wear the hot pink cuffs I received months ago since I was too self-conscious about it. The others I have no idea.


Kemonomimi Cap

I acquired my cap with a medium blue base and very fluffy lupine ears (she didn't have raccoon ears specifically and it was close enough for what I was trying to achieve) from AnimeNoms, one of countless such people and companies on Etsy. She is extremely friendly and grateful to her patrons, even sending me hand-written notes expressing thanks with my orders. The cap serves multiple purposes: 1.) It is obviously furry, so if they see nothing else, other furries will know I'm likely one of them. 2.) It is very congruent with my fashion themes of adorableness and feminine raccoonishness. 3.) I am extremely self-conscious about my low hair density at the top of my scalp (not typical baldness, just sparse all along the middle-top), and this entirely obscures my scalp and thus obviates that cause of anxiety.

However, this has two drawbacks I have to counteract: 1.) I cannot wear the cap with nothing underneath because I otherwise would sweat directly into the cap (and I overheat a lot even with fans), causing a gross tactile feeling at the forehead and exposing my cap to facial grease and more rapid discoloration. 2.) It increases somewhat my ordinarily high susceptibility to overheating by further insulating the most heat-emitting part of my body! To resolve #1 and just make the cap more secure, I acquired a rainbow headband from American Apparel (they also make rainbow wristbands of the same material), and place the cap on top of that. I have a second one in reserve for excursions in which I expect to sweat significantly. To resolve #2 and my general proneness to overheating in the field, I utilize this (this is a critical item, as many times it is burdensome or impossible to hold a fan, this one is powerful, AND resists hair cloggage) and this to power it, and this will allow to recharge the batteries within the fan and thus reduce wear on the connectors and increase time/energy efficiency.


Jewelry, Bags, and Miscellaneous Other Accessories

This is the realm which necessitates more exploration, as there are innumerable varieties of each type of accessory and very many types of accessories. I can tell from where/who I procured my stuff, and point you to areas where you are most likely to find something appealing. However, your preferences and circumstances are unique and you cannot merely acquire everything from one business.

As I hope this treatise becomes heavily disseminated and spoken of, and I always like to name and praise those who perform a service correctly, I will link all the makes even though you likely will go with something/someone else. I linked where I acquired my satchel bag and cosmetics bags in the Cosmetics section closer to the end, and I'll do it again here: satchel bag and pencil bag. I own a plush raccoon backpack from an obscure anime named Rascal, and I think I purchased it on eBay from China. Mine is quite roomy and is aesthetically respectable. My wallet was made by this person, but he only made one and he might not be active. I am especially fond of the wallet because it has a strap which can in turn be secured to a belt loop with a carabiner, and it is very compact (this is highly important if you're wearing women's shorts due to the small pockets). I own a Celestia necklace made by this one, and is quite pretty and colorful from the figurine to the beads on the string. I own a MLP scarf made by her that is quite lovely. I once bought a Bright Heart Raccoon necklace from her.

Note that most of these things were found on Etsy. If you want hand-made items in general and things made by fandom artisans, this is by far the best site to venture to. Various independent artisans and companies reside here and are more than happy to make your life slightly or substantially better by making and sending your purchase. As these are independent crafters, it is very ordinary and expected for people to ask them about customization. Do not be shy about asking one if they can do a different character or change the dimensions of the item. I didn't search for things from other subcultures or universes, but there were many MLP/brony artisans and wares over there. The next best site would be eBay as far as I am aware, as there are many artisans and companies who have set up there. Of course, many of these items are made by companies overseas, but you might not be able to acquire them or a suitable alternative anywhere else. I have heard the name Hot Topic come up several times both for MLP items and general femboy items, though I have zero direct experience or observation. Also, do not forget that conventions are excellent places to personally find artisans and peruse items, and I highly recommend you make all of your cons double as fandom shopping trips (incidentally, my conventioneering guide is here)

While we are on the subject of customized items... There are some objects onto which you can have an image of your choice emblazoned. Tote bags, messenger bags, shirts, canvas pictures, etc, are suitable for this, and there are a handful of places to go for this online. Cafepress has the widest variety of customizable objects and is a large site with numerous sales, but their interface is unwieldy and they seem to have ceased offering 'All-Over' shirt customization (the image area spans the entire shirt rather than a small area). My tote bag and my shirt I acquired from them, and they have emblazoned on them commissions I purchased from artists (if you ever see a crossdressing raccoon with a shirt sporting his fursona, that will be me: say hello!). If you want shirts with an image area spanning a shirt facing, this and this may be the best places to try. Also, while we're on the general subject, if you want prints or canvas versions, for non-erotic stuff you could use Cafepress. This company offers a very wide variety of mounted art types. This one is a furry company/artist who makes prints and sells a few other things. There are other sites who produce a variety of objects with their or your own images which can be found with adequate searching online.


Brief Note On Maintenance: Re-fluffing Fur and Defuzzing Clothes

Various items will need occasional maintenance, and these things are usually never made apparent to people at the outset. Things with fur such as your tail, plushies, and furry skirt, will need to be brushed periodically or the fur will become matted and not feel soft. I actually thought Kaleusthes's fur permanently developed that texture on most of him due to him being held and smooshed in my bag and such, but all he needed was a pet brush (this one also works well but is much larger). I often brush my skirt and tail as well. No matter how gentle you are, though, you are going to tear off a slight amount of fur, and a new item will lose a lot of fur at first because much of it is loose to begin with. Obviously, artificial fur doesn't grow back, so especially on your companions, be as gentle as possible. I cannot say how many years of regular brushing it will take noticeably erode the fur of a tail or skirt or plushie, but I find leaving the fur alone indefinitely is intolerable and thus I do brush all my furred items at varying intervals.

Some items such as the American Apparel leg warmers and knit gloves will develop large bits of what resembles lint or fuzz, colloquially referred to as 'pills', and something such as this will remove them. Be forewarned, these can and will easily tear holes in your fabric. The aforementioned leg warmers should be defuzzed with that only at the setting where the blades are furthest away from the grate. This one is more highly rated and thus probably less frequently tears holes in clothes, but it is more expensive, and I certainly would not use it on a treasured item. The arm warmers I own from Sock Dreams develop moderately large pills over time, and the first defuzzer I linked did cut holes in them a few times. For my arm warmers, gauntlets, and fursona shirt- as reckless as this sounds- I have found a cartridge razor shaves off the pills rather nicely and is not prone to cutting the fabric. A relatively cheap razor that has been used several times for shaving I pressed into service and works well. I don't know whether a brand new one would be too sharp, though the $5 arm warmers would be a wise choice for an experiment. Anyway, stretch the fabric out and very gently run the razor across the surface, and the fuzz will come off quite nicely. Defuzzing will renew your clothes which are prone to that and thus cannot be avoided forever without substantially impacting their/your appearance. New items seem to fuzz up more rapidly. There is no other defuzzing device I know of which is safe and effective.


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Cosmetics

This aspect I found to be quite intimidating and daunting at first, because there were so many components which so many tutorials spoke of and each of those items had to be utilized in a very specific manner or you were doing it wrong. Moisturizer, toner, foundation, concealer, BB cream, powder versus liquid foundation, several types of primers... Even the beginners' tutorials I found to be overwhelming! These tutorials' recommended sets of items and processes were needlessly complicated and expansive, and I felt as if I was expected to utilize everything or attempt something as if I was a seasoned expert. What I came across just seemed to promise me I would need to expend substantial amounts of energy and time on makeup to do it properly. I don't remember coming across a page which precisely instructed me on the limited number of things I needed and a correct but simplistic manner of utilizing them. With this in mind, I will lay out a precise regimen that is modest in scope and complexity, so those who need to know where to start and who just want to conceal blemishes can do so with minimal anxiety and confusion. I have a doctrine of rapidity, economy, and efficiency on matters of clothes and cosmetics, as the more time, money, and mental energy I am expending on preparation or maintenance, the worse my emotional state becomes. You can most assuredly use more or different items and apply them in a more painstaking and time-intensive manner, but I will hold your paw through a very simple, rapid, and effective process for concealing blemishes if that is your primary or only objective. My experience on everything else is limited, and I also have a limited experience with cosmetic brands in general.

Check this section periodically if you are desirous of utilizing cosmetics and experimenting, as even as I write this I am experimenting with new items and acquiring knowledge to add here.


The Ethical Ramifications of Brands

I assume most of the readers of this are furry, and thus I assume most of you care more about animals than the general population. Given the industry's continued ties to animal testing, for those of you who are enlightened and care about ethics, I am composing this. Those of you who don't care about animal welfare can skip this, though shame on you if you are such a person!

If you wish to avoid patronizing a company which engages in or otherwise facilitates animal testing, you must choose carefully. All of the major mainstream brands seemed to not qualify as 'cruelty-free' for whatever reasons. The term 'cruelty-free' means no animal testing was used to produce or research those items or each of an item's components. The organization Leaping Bunny verifies whether a company is truly "cruelty-free", and their website is http://www.leapingbunny.org/  Additionally, some companies also produce certifiably vegan products, which means no animals or animal products are ingredients in the products, though Leaping Bunny only deals with animal testing. Of course, it is up to you to determine whether you are satisfied with certified cruelty-free or will only settle for vegan.

Of course, as with the normal varieties, a vegan or cruelty-free product can perform badly due to formulation or some other variable, so be mindful of quality and suitability when you acquire cosmetics. I used Amazon a while ago to replace cosmetics, and I remembered that many of those that were indeed truly cruelty-free had lower ratings, while it seemed most of the mainstream brands were highly rated but of inferior morality. Regardless of whether ethics factors into your cosmetic procurement strategy, you need things which are durable and easily usable. My experience with the core items is limited to The Body Shop and thus I don't have any alternatives to offer, but, if you wish to experiment, I advise first checking a product on Amazon or some other appropriate site (The Body Shop's own customers seem free to down-vote its products, so I use the site's products' ratings) to see how highly rated it is. If it has over 4 stars, I would consider it worthy of consideration. Just be sure the company is certified by Leaping Bunny rather than immediately assuming it's cruelty-free because the brand itself says it is.


Facial Cosmetics: Overview

Alright, first, you may be wondering what you need for concealment of blemishes and in what order to use them. There are two general routes to go here. The first is just one item which does a moderate job at concealment but is obviously less complex. The second entails a series of items which are to be used in a certain sequence. I honestly don't find I save much more time using the first relative to the second, and the second offers greater adaptability and allows for easier re-application if needed.

The second option is to be used in this order, with the bolded items being absolutely essential: moisturizer -> primer -> concealer -> foundation (powder or liquid). Some primers double as moisturizer, and some IIRC also double as foundation. Some foundation is liquid (sprayed on or applied as any other gel would be), some is powder. There are many various options and variations available even for just one sub-type of product, let alone combinations of them. You are free to conduct research and experimentation, and completely disregard what I lay out here. For now, let us stick to the aforementioned regimen for the sake of demonstration and simplicity. For this setup, you would also need a brush to apply the powder foundation, preferably a large one commonly called a kabuki brush.

The second approach is just one item, something known as BB Cream, or Beauty Balm. You apply it to your face with your finger (the same way you apply primer), acting as a sort of moderate-strength foundation without having to apply primer or get out the brush and foundation tin. I generally don't prefer this method because I only save 2-3 minutes applying just this, the concealing effect is somewhat or substantially weaker, I cannot easily reapply it as I can powder, and it is more of a stain hazard (mine is, at least) since it is a smearable light brown gel rather than powder and clear primer. If the idea of using multiple items even with the benefit of this guide deters you, however, this might be preferable for you.

Oh, one quick thing. I do not advise using cosmetics if you expect to sweat much after using it. I generally don't wear any cosmetics in warmer months during grocery shopping for this reason. I sometimes also don't use cosmetics when leaving for conventions in warmer weather, but will apply it after I arrive and succeed in cooling down.


Facial Cosmetics: Basic Equipment

I utilize The Body Shop brand of cosmetics for the face. They are a highly socially conscientious company that also generally produces highly usable products, and I have seen no need to deviate from what I know at this time. If you purchase from them as well, if possible, wait until they run large online sales and acquire as much as possible at a 40%+ discount. Though, the stuff seems to last so long it might not matter much either way. Also, if you go with them and do not know your ideal shade, if possible visit one of their shops and ask the clerk to determine which shade is best for you. Otherwise, you probably can determine the best shade after one or two attempts on your own (if you're white and pale like I am, their foundation shades 02 and 05 both worked for me).

So, these are the core items I use for the face. I will present you with the specific URLs as well, so you can immediately run with this and not have to do research.
-Primer (this one is larger and slightly more highly rated) This is what keeps the powder adhered to the face. The second one is purported to further improve certain aspects of one's complexion, but our focus will be on the powder adhering quality.
-Concealer (This one has a higher area of coverage and is retractable) Applied after the primer, it serves to bolster the concealing effect on spots where the foundation alone would be insufficient. Birthmarks and discoloration from other causes would be the usual places to apply this. Note that the pencil lasted so long I never even came close to having to sharpen it before I lost it.
-Foundation This is the concealing powder for the face in general. This goes on after the concealer, and works in concert with it.
-Retractable Kabuki Brush Kabuki brushes are large and designed to apply powder to the face quickly. This one is retractable and thus is suitable for field duty. This one also serves an aesthetical role since it's pink and pretty! Smaller retractable brushes meant for applying powder do exist, as do brushes for other roles.
- BB Cream (if you have darker skin, this would be the one to acquire) This is the stand-alone product I mentioned earlier. I use Shade 1.


Facial Cosmetics: Basic Process

It seems so much easier to physically demonstrate this than to textually explain it. However, I'm going to attempt to textually instruct you all since I haven't a clue how to create and submit videos on YouTube and would rather not aggravate myself attempting to learn. Plus I feel my communications proficiency is sufficient to convey what I aspire to. If there are no mistakes, the full routine can be completed in ~3-5 mins once you have acquired adequate proficiency. This walkthrough assumes you are utilizing the same types of cosmetics that I use (as of 28 March 2016). If you elect to use liquid foundation or concealer, your routine will have to be substantially altered.

Primer: It is quite easy to overuse this because it takes little to cover a large area and it is completely undetectable by sight as you apply it. Gently squeeze the bottle and extrude primer onto a finger. You'll have to experiment to determine how much is enough for a given area, though the second primer I linked is more rigid and thus easier to precisely dispense. You then would coat one side of your face with it by gliding your finger across your face repeatedly. You aren't able to see the primer once on the face, but you can feel it. You likely can sense when you're gliding your finger on skin coated in primer versus when it's on untreated skin, and thus eventually be able to sense when you applied too much or not enough for a given area. Eventually you'll develop a sense of how much is enough for each side straight away and bolster your application efficiency enough to apply it in ~30-60 seconds without rampant overuse.

Concealer: After finishing the application of the primer, take out the concealer and rub it on the darker/redder spots of your face only. Concealers of this nature are meant only for substantial blemishes which foundation alone will not fully or sufficiently mask. Be sure the concealer is about the same shade as your own skin, or maybe a shade lighter at most. The foundation is supposed to go over it and render the concealer (and preferably whatever it was used to mask) invisible.

Foundation: Retrieve the kabuki brush, swirl it in the powder cake about 3-5 times, then apply it across one half of one side of the face with several strokes. Repeat this for the other half of that side, then the two halves of the other side. Swirl in the powder one last time, then apply the powder to the middle of the face (nose, around lips, chin), then drag the brush all across the face so that you are equalizing the powder distribution. That is my general method of applying powder, as any fewer applications or brush strokes cause me to fear underapplication (though where the line is no one can say with any specificity). If you're also doing your forehead (I do not since I always wear a kemonomimi cap), you will need to raise the applications by one or two.

You do not need to rigidly adhere to what I laid out, of course. I am being this precise because I remember how utterly unsure I was even after doing it several times. It took practice and seeing the powder rub off on fingertips hours after application for me to realize I more or less got it right and it was adhering to my face. Oh, and, speaking of powder coming off the face, it should not blow off even from rather substantially high winds, but it WILL rub off onto whatever surface comes in contact with your face very readily. Thus, if you tend to rub a sleeve or shoulder against your face to scratch an itch or whatever, you will need to retrain yourself to cease such behavior.


Secondary Items: Description and Process

The process I have laid out will conceal blemishes admirably for the average femboy, but it will otherwise not have a brightening or accentuating effect. There are several other types of cosmetics which can be utilized to that effect, and there are advanced strategies for the application of powder makeup as well. I have no experience with the vast majority of that because I don't feel it is necessary for me, I am frustrated enough just trying to keep up with what few routines in general I have, and some things such as eyelashes and mascara don't seem practical or safe to me. Also, keep in mind that for a given part of the body (nails, eyelids, face, lips), you generally need multiple items to properly expand into that area. Even for something as small and seemingly effortless as the eyelids, you need three objects: eyeshadow brush, eyeshadow powder (possibly many colors- you also can blend colors!), and eyeshadow primer (regular primer apparently isn't very suitable, and I have noticed the eyeshadow diminishes far more rapidly than it should with just regular primer). Any expansion you undertake will require much research and several objects if it is to be done properly. And, God forbid if you just look up how to do a general makeup job, as you might feel as if you need college training to do everything correctly!

That being said, I do have a limited range of experience outside the basic facial concealment and tone-evening routine, and this will probably rise somewhat rapidly over the next year as I experiment with eyeshadow, blush, and the group of lip product types. Just remember that each area you wish to add to your makeup routine substantially increases your preparation time, and each one poses a risk of further time loss in the event of having to correct a mistake. Once I lost something like 15-20 mins downtown because I wanted to apply lipstick, and I had to then make a series of corrections and adjustments following a mistake.


Nail Polish

This is something that is very pretty but comes with substantial costs of time and frustration. I have used three brands of nail polish, in order from best to worst: Yume Lacquer, The Body Shop, and American Apparel. As you must apply this while at home and are deliberately sedentary, and the use of your paws is greatly limited while it solidifies, this is quite problematic to utilize. I couldn't even get around to applying it before or during FWA 2016, because that would have taken an hour or two I just didn't have. This also makes it very dangerous to any clothes you are wearing, and thus I encourage anyone applying this to be naked or wearing clothes they don't care about during this process. These same liabilities also make repairs problematic, doubly so if in the field.

The brand you utilize is absolutely critical, as some will dry comparatively expeditiously and some seem to never dry. I do not know what in the chemistry causes the solidification progress to hasten or slow, but clearly something does, and that something varies between brands. The American Apparel type just seemed to never dry and I gave up trying pretty quickly. The Body Shop was tolerable but trying to properly apply it and prevent distortion and unevenness gave me fits. Yume Lacquer allowed the most rapid resumption of movement and its glittery composition made any unevenness in application invisible, but they are an independent company who I came across at AWA and whether the formulation is truly cruelty free I cannot say either way (I didn't think about the policies of the makers of the components used to make the polish at the time). For all of them, the polish didn't truly harden and become fully resistant to gouging and indentation for 12-24+ hours. Worsening this problem is the fact it is preferable to use top coat on nail polish (a clear liquid applied after the polish hardens enough to accommodate that), which resoftens the polish and lengthens the time needed for it to dry to a given degree. Due to the time needed for polish to harden, the time required in applying it, and the preclusion of most activities while applying it, I strongly recommend someone does this the night before they must depart, after showering.

Also, I tried a couple recommended ways of expediting the solidification process, and neither were feasible. Supposedly cold hastens the hardening, so, if that is true, sticking your fingertips in cold water or in front of a freezer would be beneficial. I tried both, and not only were they not feasible regular methods, but they had no appreciable effect anyway. Thus, as far as I am aware, no feasible method exists for expedited hardening. If one does exist, it would probably cost more, anyway.

Here is the optimal process as best I can describe for applying polish and top coat.

-After showering the night before, complete all tasks that entail heavy use of your hands and/or departure from your desk first. You will regret it if you apply polish and then very soon have to eat or make a call or something.
-Once you are sure you are able to remain at your desk and do nothing besides surf the internet and apply polish for ~2 hours, dip the brush into the polish to a depth that is proportionate to the surface area of the nail you are going to paint. In other words, you need only a bead on the lower part of the brush for a pinky, but for the thumb you'll need to dip most of the brush in.
-Transfer the polish from the brush to the nail QUICKLY. You should not be gliding the brush + polish onto the nail for more than 15 seconds, because after that it congeals enough for the polish to stick to the brush and become misshapen as it's pulled.
-Perform this on each nail on one hand. Depending on the polish, wait 5-30 minutes before applying a second coat to each one. If you settle with one coat, the dull flesh color of your nailbed will be quite visible through the first coat. It usually takes two to make the polish sufficiently opaque. Applying a massive amount in one coat to avoid having to apply two seems to offer poor results at least for me.
-In between applications, I suggest placing a heavy object on the back of your hand, as a tactile (and aural if you forget its there and it falls over after you move it) reminder not to move it. Also, use the stopwatch feature of your smartphone to assist with timing.
-5-30 mins later, begin work on the other hand, repeating the instructions above.
-About 10-30 minutes after applying the two coats on the second hand, apply the top coat to the first. You only need to do this once per nail. The top coat should rather easily glide on with no resistance. If you are encountering any friction, you are not using enough top coat, or possibly you have started too soon.
-Oh, yes, top coat is used to reduce chipping and to make the nail glossier. You can refrain from applying it if you are short on time or don't have it. Your nails should hold up well for 1-2 days, but after that they start flaking or chipping rather rapidly.
-About 10-30 mins later, apply the top coat to the other hand.
-10 to 30 mins after that, if you have gloves or mittens, wear them to act as a barrier in case you accidentally whack a nail against something. These I found work nicely for such a task, though be careful not to apply much pressure to the nails soon after donning them or the polish will adopt the pattern of the fabric.
-NOTE that a polish which dries as rapidly as Yume Lacquer can have these steps completed on the lower end of the ranges quoted. Also, if you did not apply polish the night before some engagement but you just HAVE to have this polish on your nails, if your polish is that or something similarly rapid, you can complete these various steps within 45-60 minutes. As you are having to get ready and do this and that with such soft polish, I strongly suggest you wear gloves for a while after finishing to protect both your paint job and your pretty femboy clothes. Rest assured, unless you found a way to harden nails almost instantaneously, your polish will be soft and indentable for the rest of the day/evening.
-I have found I can adequately and rapidly restore the paint at the tips when it has eroded enough to become noticeable. To do this, use a very lightly saturated brush and run it over the bare nail. The drying time at this stage will be very low. If a large chunk has come off, you either will have to improvise a repair on that section or just fully strip and repaint it.

While polish as you can see is extremely time-consuming relative to the other cosmetics, they do make your paws (or hooves, or hands if that's what you prefer) substantially prettier. I can maintain a respectable paint job for about 7-10 days before it's not worth the effort or becomes impossible (nails do grow after all, and more and more will be bare at the top). I also stumbled upon a secondary benefit to painting my nails: it severely inhibited my habit of chewing my nails and raking them across my teeth.

Oh, yes, removing polish! I actually often just scrape my incisors against the edge of the paint and tear off chips that way, but that doesn't work well for the entire surface area. You COULD use that method or something similar exclusively and eschew polish remover, but honestly I don't recommend it. For the parts where the polish has adhered especially strongly, or when I just don't want to be spitting out paint chips trying to be monetarily efficient, I use nail polish remover. I use this almond oil variety and it does work (get some cotton pads from them or someone else, too!), but I suspect the traditional heavy chemical remover would remove polish with less liquid and time.


Lip Products

My range of direct experience thus far is limited to "lipstick", and my range of knowledge beyond that is preliminary at best. This is an extremely complicated area of the body, with several subtypes of lip products. There is Lip Stick, something everyone is aware of. However, there is also Lip Liner, Lip Gloss, Lip Balm, Lip Stain (which seems to be Lip Stick with fewer colors and far greater duration), and Lip Primer. There are multiple ways of applying Lip Stick alone! There is a brush people can buy and utilize for applying Lip Stick, or you can apply a liquid form of it, or use the traditional retractable stick. Hell, you can apparently also use Lip Liner as Lip Stick, and use Gloss either alone or on top of Lip Stick. I almost felt dizzy when I was researching this family of products some days ago, because there was a staggering number of details and complications involved with just this small realm alone! I recommend, of course, not bothering much or at all with this for now if you are overwhelmed with similar ease upon such discoveries. However, I have a limited amount of knowledge to impart to save you time or an initial headache.

If you wish to rush to this part of the body immediately but don't want to have to decide on multiple products and wish to spend minimal time researching, Lip Gloss is what you will want. It is easily applied and is glossy and comes in a huge variety of colors, but it also apparently dissipates rapidly. However, Lip Stick on its own, unless it's of a special long-duration formula, also dissipates rapidly, with the added drawback of looking like warped paint on an old house towards where the lips meet. So, Gloss would be my suggestion if you like colors and wish to dive in with minimal effort.

Lip Stick is FAR more complicated than people generally imagine, and you should not utilize the average variety of it alone (I know from personal experience: last paragraph in this section) unless you don't mind reapplying it every hour or two and trying to prevent that unpleasant warped paint effect I mentioned earlier. If you wish to use only one subtype for lips and want something heavier than Gloss, you will need Lip Stick that is specifically advertised as being all-day or something similar, or the less colorful variety advertised as Lip Stain. I've also read of people using Lip Liner as Lip Stick. The Liner apparently prevents Lip Stick from smearing outside the lines that are drawn on the border of the lip, and is far more adherent than Lip Stick. I have never used it and thus haven't a clue how it works.

If you don't mind utilizing multiple items to beautify the same tiny region, then, from what I gathered from sifting through several pages, you would want Lip Liner or Lip Primer (which seems to do for that type what the facial primer does for powder) along with your Lip Stick. I have never utilized anything besides The Body Shop and Lime Crime Lip Stick, so I have absolutely no advice to impart on the optimal application or brands of the other types. I just wanted to advise people who want to start with Lip Stick to get something in conjunction with it if it is not a long-lasting version.

Finally, my experience with Lip Stick... I have thus far used The Body Shop and Lime Crime. The first one comes in the typical stick form, the second is a liquid version you spread across the lips with a felt-like applicator. Both of them are highly rated and cruelty-free, and at least Lime Crime is vegan. Both of them had the same underlying problem, and more recently I discovered it was not due to a faulty design: they diminish and warp within 2 hours of application. Especially if I was sufficiently diligent and self-conscious, it wasn't unsightly. However, having to be so mindful of that effect is emotionally attriting, and also we will forget at times no matter how attentive we are. I believe I will need to acquire primer to make the Lime Crime type I currently own casually usable. If the fading and matting were not issues, I would be wearing Lip Stick far more often. As it stands now, I opt not to wear it outside special moments because it's too bothersome.


Eyeshadow

I have very limited direct experience currently (10 April 2016), but definitely enough to effectively advise, especially with the overarching doctrine of simplicity in mind. As with most other areas, you need multiple items to start on this one: a specialized eyeshadow brush and at least one dish of eyeshadow at a minimum, and preferably specialized eyeshadow primer (every site urged people to use that type) as well. Especially if you wait for a sale, the cost is not at all significant (though I guess that term is relative and subjective), but it's frustrating to have to invest in that and then this on top of the thing you want to apply. Also, you will want multiple colors probably, so that's more items you need to acquire. Also, speaking of colors, the various sites keep alluding to or urging 'blending', which is I'm sure what it sounds like vis-a-vis eyeshadow color. If you're already cautious and daunted, don't bother with this nonsense. It's most certainly not necessary to apply eyeshadow or even blush in a manner that is appealing, honestly.

Preferably, you will have eyeshadow primer to apply to the eyelids. If not, regular primer or maybe even nothing will suffice, but be forewarned the color will fade more rapidly and be less appealing at the start. I don't need to explain how to apply the primer, I presume. I then sweep each side of the brush once onto the powder, apply it to a lid, and do it once or twice more for the same lid. I don't really have a set brushing technique for eyeshadow, as the main concern is applying it in sufficient strength to the eyelid and maybe just slightly above the top of the eyeball, while keeping the eye closed and the lid accessible. I gently pull on some lashes or just very slightly touch the very bottom of the top eyelid to keep it closed and accessible, and the brush once it makes contact with the lid also helps keep it gently closed. So, yeah, that's pretty much the process: keep the eyelid closed and apply to where the eyelid is rounded by the eyeball. If you want to mix two or more colors together, feel free to do that.


Blush

I have also very recently incorporated this into my routine, though it does add maybe 1-5 minutes to any makeup routine and I run the risk of losing time and product in the event I apply too much. The name rather accurately conveys its function: to add a sanguine hue to the cheekbone and cheek. This is applied after the foundation is, so it mixes with that powder somewhat. For this, you need a blushing brush in addition to whatever blush you prefer. Unlike foundation, it is meant to be applied sparingly and to a limited area. Other people's preferences may vary, but I find blush is appealing to me only when the cheeks are just slightly to moderately darker than the rest of the face. I applied more my first time and found it repelling.

After the foundation is applied, take out the blush and the blusher brush. Your precise method of getting powder on the brush will vary depending on the product you have. I acquired this with the rationale of being able to apply foundation-color powder when I feel I need to counteract overapplication of blush, though I probably could have gone for the pure one-tone variety without any real consequence. I stroke my brush across the powder 3 times, half on the blush and half on the regular, and then just intuitively sweep the brush in short-medium motions across the cheekbone area. I do this 1-3 times per cheek, until the shade is darkened so that I can barely detect a difference with a casual look. Given the size of the dish and the area of application, this thing very possibly will effectively last forever. Additionally, the application will last as long or even longer than the foundation.


Conclusion

That completes the range of cosmetics I have any appreciable familiarity with. There are many types I did not cover at all, and there are many, many varieties of those types I did cover which weren't expounded or mentioned. If you are eager to expend time, energy, and money, there is ample opportunity for experimentation and full mastery of the various cosmetic areas. If you are like me and just want to make your blemished face IRL less repulsive with minimal effort, you now know exactly how to achieve that. Neither is right or wrong, but do keep in mind that the more components you add to your preparations, the more chances there are for mistakes, the more the cost will be for cosmetics up front and per departure, and the more space you will need to dedicate to various items. Speaking of carrying/storage space...


Carrying Your Field Makeup Devices Both Efficiently and Stylishly

You have these various devices, but you now are tasked with having to carry them with you if you value the ability to do touch-ups in the field (or have to do the whole damned thing if you suck at time management like I do and just had to forego a home job). If you do not plan this out carefully, you might be chronically frustrated trying to fetch this or that accoutrement from your bag or purse since the object is so small and the purse so large. Or maybe you lack that problem but your bag is dull, or it isn't appropriately sized. I have a manner of carrying both my field cosmetics and other critical commonly accessed small items, and this solution also fits in with and augments my adorable animal fashion theme.  

Their complete collection of bags is here. Note that these are not only very femboyish items aesthetically (doubly so if you're a furry), but also serve critical functional purposes. I will delve into this concept more in the Accessories chapter, the combination of fashion and function. If this design also strikes your fancy, your cosmetics carrying problem has now been resolved. And, there will be spare room in both the satchel and pencil bags to store additional items (your phone in the former, and Q-tips and cotton pads in the latter, perhaps?)!


Facial Dermal Care: Do NOT Ignore Acne!

I want to stress this to all femboys and aspiring femboys, and to all people in general who care about their appearance: you are liable to incur scarring from regular untreated acne or from overenthusiastic pimple popping! I have a few relatively minor pits on my face (I just checked when I got to that, and it's worse than I had realized... *whimpers*) which won't recede because I had exercised poor judgment and was ignorant of the danger of scarring or distortion from even mundane things like inflamed milia cysts and pimples. When I more closely scrutinized my face and sought the advice of a dermatologist, the damage was done. It's usually not even noticeable by others (and I would be highly uncomfortable if someone was that close to my face), but one is one too many to a self-respecting femboy!


Preventing acne can be achieved through one of two routes. The first is through medication, which is honestly a much easier route since, according to my dermatologist's office, if I'm on medication I don't need to bother with toners and exfoliants and washes since it is itself an exfoliant and cleanser of sorts. The standard treatment is tretinoin, a gel one applies to their face approximately once every other day. There is also something called Ziana, which is what I just described but also with clindamycin phosphate. Ziana seemed to work best for me, though the tretinoin by itself works almost as well. There are other dermatological medications and remedies, but the gels seem to be the primary treatment.

The other route is more aggravating and more costly even if you have good insurance (insurance may pay for tretinoin, but not for toner and exfoliant), but this the one most people go down since they don't need medication or it was never suggested. The three things people are exhorted to acquire for their face are, in order of use: facial wash, toner/astringent, exfoliant. Before I was prescribed tretinoin, I utilized products of each category from The Body Shop. Specifically, wash, toner, and exfoliant, plus a sponge and cloth in conjunction. From what I could gather online, wash and toner are used together 1-2 times a day, and exfoliants are meant to be used last and 1-4 times a week. Moisturizer is supposed to be used after the first two, and that is recommended whether you use all these things or just a tube of tretinoin. My dermatologist recommended CeraVe, and I assume it does what it should.

Oh, yes, one last thing. Do not forget to remove your makeup after you return home and have no further need of it, as failing to do so increases the chance of breakouts and also will smear on whatever you lay your face on. There is such a thing as 'makeup remover', though honestly there's no reason to spring for that and eschew your regular soap or regular facial wash unless you are using super-adherent stuff.


 
roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Commissioning Artwork

If you somehow are a non-furry and non-brony femboy who was directed here, this chapter might not be pertinent to you. This treatise is predicated on the assumption the person has a fursona or ponysona and thus is focused on furries and bronies, but this section can also be applied to non-anthro personae. If you have no persona and have no desire to commission an artist, you will be happy to hear the rest of this series is pertinent to everyone.

So, you have a femboy character or persona and you can't draw worth a shit. Well, the good news is there are plenty of artists who will be more than happy to draw it for you with sufficient remuneration. The bad news is, well, the number of artists is overwhelming and there are many factors to consider and deliberate on. I am someone who is extremely biased towards order and efficiency, and after having acquired some experience as a commissioner, I have prepared a strategy for those who are similarly inclined.


List Compilation

I strongly suggest people start compiling a list of artists and their various characteristics before they even decide to commission one. Whether you do this after you determine a commission idea or before, it will be imperative for you to have a list to refer to once you are ready to commission something. I would suggest a list which categorizes artists in tiers of style preference (you really do want to go with someone whose style you are fond of, preferably extremely fond of if at all possible), and each entry contain the following:

-Their prices for each type of commission (sketch, ink, flat, etc), and the price increase for each additional character.
-What they tend to specialize in and favor, and what they seem to do extremely well (a couple of artists I notice do orgasmic faces in a way that is highly appealing, some specialize in femboys, etc).
-What subjects they will not do, and whether they will draw erotica. If you don't have erotic or otherwise 'objectionable' ideas, this isn't necessary. For me, it is.
-Whether they seem to be often available, and whether they seem to prefer YCHs (Your Character Here; the artist decides the scene and people commission the artist to render their character in that scene) overwhelmingly. A few artists seem to do almost exclusively YCH commissions, which limits their suitability but often or usually makes their commissions less costly.
-Any special considerations or factors, such as special rules they impose on the commission process, or whatever else.

I suggest that any artist you wish to add to your list, you look up on some fraud site such as Artists Beware before doing so. While the majority of artists- like the majority of people- are well meaning and will do what they are paid for, a few are prone to not doing this. There are a few high-profile furry artists with great talent who have a reputation for unprofessionalism, and the last thing you want is to approach such an artist and have your joy and enthusiasm transformed into indignation and rage.


Considerations

There are several major variables and factors which will rule out or make more desirable an artist before you even approach them for an image idea. The following factors will have a very great effect on which artists will be suitable and which will be incompatible:

-Some artists specialize in femboys, some never draw them or even dislike drawing them. Peruse the artist's gallery to ascertain whether they have experience with femboys. Preferably, the artist favors that subject.
-Determine whether you want your image to be erotic, and whether there are any potentially objectionable fetishes/themes in this image. Some artists will not draw things which are blatantly erotic, some will not draw nudity at all. Of those who draw erotic scenes, the vast majority have some number of things they will refuse to consider. If your scene involves underage characters (especially below the teenage years), rape, scat/vomit, or snuff, your viable list of artists will be drastically shortened. Of course, if your image is PG-13 or below, they almost certainly will not object, though if it's underage many will refuse to draw anything even remotely sexualized.
-How much content does your idea have? Meaning, how many characters does your idea have, and how much action and detail is involved? Is it a regular image or a character reference sheet? If it's the latter, it is effectively a multi-character commission since they have to draw your character multiple times, so they generally cost a substantial amount. If you have a procession of scenes for the same event which you want illustrated, whether it is a comic commission or a series of regular ones, this will cost you massively.
-There are many types of commissions, and the level of work the artist must do to render it will determine cost. If you wish for only a black and white sketch or ink commission (inks are essentially more refined sketches; I assume you know what a basic sketch is), this will require less time and less money. If you want 'flat color', that will be in the moderate range. If you want 'full color', it will require more time and money.
-If you have multiple ideas you want drawn and lack the money to have all of them drawn, determine which one you want most and then choose the artist accordingly. In my case, while I have many ideas I wish to have illustrated very much, I can only settle for one by a professional and well respected furry artist. I most need a modern picture of my fursona in the Strategist form, so I will choose this when I start actively trying to commission again.
-Somewhat related to the above. If you really want both an erotic and a generally presentable version of your character, are constrained by financial concerns, and don't mind both being derived from the same basic pose, explore the option of commissioning a multi-version picture. Changing minor details such as clothing or arousal/orgasm requires far less effort. The pictures from Tsaiwolf, for example, was a two-version one which economically served multiple needs of mine.
-Try to determine in advance how much time you need to analyze a WIP to determine everything which needs correcting, and how many times you will be asking for correcting and tweaks. This is rather important for two reasons. First, if you are highly deliberative and perform badly when you must make rapid decisions, do not seek stream commissions! Second, some artists have a cap on how many times they will edit something. If you anticipate you will be desirous of more tweaking than they likely will allow, you should at either raise the matter with the artist and discuss costs for alterations past that number, or choose someone else.


Approaching Artists

Once you have decided on what you want drawn, which artists you wish to task with it who will consent to the subject matter, and which of those are/might be open, you would then approach those artists. Some have a set protocol and form they want clients to use, some just prefer PMs. There are a few noteworthy things to mention about this stage:

-Artists need to know what your characters look like in order to draw them. Overwhelmingly, they prefer suitable visual references. Some artists will not draw something without a visual reference, which means you will initially have to commission an artist who will work on textual references and instructions. For your first commission, you may wish to go with an image idea that also doubles as a great reference picture for your character.
-Ensure you understand this artist's Terms of Service before commissioning them. Preferably they have one, though some of the lesser known ones haven't gotten around to crafting one.
-Understandably, artists generally react very poorly to the following things: 1.) Trying to haggle with them. 2.) Being impatient and asking for a status update an excessive number of times. 3.) Being inappropriately friendly or chummy. Take care you do not do any of these or engage in other inappropriate behavior.
-Determine whether this is a stream or regular commission. As I explained above, if you are bad at making rapid decisions on commissions, stream commissions are not compatible. If you are the reverse and/or are very easily pleased, you might be better off with a stream commission. As I tend to be extremely analytical and fret over pictures of my fursona, I never will seek stream commissions these days.
-Understand that probably you will be in line to be served, and that artists need time and emotional stamina to work. It is very possible you will be waiting one or more months for the artist to get to your picture. If you are highly impatient or this is a time-sensitive piece, ask if you can pay more for an expedited commission (paying a premium to cut in front of everyone) and communicate your needs.


Active Phase

There isn't much to say about this. I just have a few advisory exhortations:

-If the artist seems to have genuinely forgotten about your commission, politely remind them. Coming at them menacingly doesn't behoove either of you, even if it is their fault and they were careless.
-It is very difficult sometimes, especially if we ourselves are not trained in artistry, to ascertain whether a concern we have about a WIP is a genuine error or something meant and ought to be so. If something about what you have been given still bothers you after a few days, politely raise the matter to the artist. Do not just remain silent due to fear and then be stuck with a picture you permanently have misgivings over or requiring you to reapproach them for corrections. If the artist behaves condescendingly in response (rather unlikely if you proceeded as I laid out above), at least you know they were a bad choice.
-After you give final approval, you have a shiny new image with which to serve your social purposes! What do I mean, exactly? Well, when people post a submission, people who look at new submissions will see it, which will draw them to that page. Probably they will only be interested in the image, but there's a small chance they will peruse the rest of your gallery or your journal entries. The artist also will most likely post the image to her/his gallery, and all of their active watchers will then see it, and a fraction will investigate at least your gallery. Particularly if the image is pornographic (yes, I have verified these get far more attention), you'll have surges of new visitors. One of them might become your friend. Either way, you'll be slightly better known and have another watcher or two. Thus, you are helping serve your social needs through aesthetical progress!


roketsune: Animated icon of me, done by http://www.furaffinity.net/user/p-aei (Default)
Table of Contents


Chapter 0 - Table of Contents, Preface, and Definition of Femboy
Chapter 1 - Commissioning Artwork
  • List Compilation
  • Considerations
  • Approaching Artists
  • Active Phase
  • The Ethical Ramifications of Brands
  • Facial Cosmetics: Overview
  • Facial Cosmetics: Basic Equipment
  • Facial Cosmetics: Basic Process
  • Secondary Items: Description and Process
  • Carrying Your Makeup
  • Devices Both Efficiently and Stylishly
  • Facial Dermal Care: Do NOT Ignore Acne!
  • Irrational Fear- Most Just Don't Give a Damn
  • Legwear: Many Variations For the Same Body Parts
  • Skirts and Related Concepts of Great Importance
  • Secondary Clothing and Accessories
  • Brief Note On Maintenance: Re-fluffing Fur and Defuzzing Clothes
  • Electrolysis
  • Waxing
  • Tweezer and Epilator
  • Depilatory Cream
  • Manual/Bladed Shaving
  • Electric Shaving
  • Laser
  • General Maintenance
  • Hair Augmentation- Ordinary
  • Hair Augmentation- Balding
  • Defense: General Overview and Core Truths
  • Methods of Defense
  • General Preparedness and Utility
  • Legal Concepts
  • Core Tactical and Strategic Concepts
  • Precautionary Tactics and Maneuvering
  • Early Stages of Conflict: Gather Evidence!
  • Early Stages of Conflict: Attempt to Prevent War!
  • Making a Formal Complaint With the Government
  • Demeanor and Character: Ignore These At Your Extreme Peril
  • Countering Attacks Based on Broniness/Furriness
  • The Home Front: FHA and the HUD Mechanism
  • Holding the Line in Magistrate/Small Claims Court
  • Beyond Magistrate/Small Claims Court
  • Conclusion

Foreword (11 April 2017)


This massive series of essays were written in April of 2016. I tend to learn, adapt, and improve very rapidly at this stage of my life, which means that though these were composed less than one year ago this evening, the quality is substantially lower than it would have been had I written them now. I have acquired much more information, gained much more literary proficiency, developed much more insight, lived or experienced many more events- in the preceding 12 months. I suppose what I'm trying to convey is my apologies for these documents being of substandard quality relative to my current abilities. If you've come here from the panels I have led of the same name, some of what you heard me recite is different or more refined than what you will read here, and I do apologize for that. This series was approximately 300k characters total, and I will need all of the available hours and days in the near future to further other fronts and attend to personal matters. Thus, this series will not be refined for a long time.

That being said, most of what I stated in all of these chapters is still correct, only perhaps not optimally communicated. What I communicated in the lectures was a very condensed version of this treatise. If you have the time and you find my expounding and theorizing to be informative and rewarding, these entries will probably be highly appealing and useful despite the disparity in quality then and now. I've gained a huge level of insight on interpersonal affairs and dynamics in the interim. And of course, Trump was elected and he's appointing the most anti-LGBT crackpots he can find. The parts which are most deficient are: the laws and presidential orders in Chapter 7, how to communicate with investigators and present cases in general in Chapter 8, my discrimination case saga in Chapters 7 and 8, and speaking with artists/arranging commissions in Chapter 1.
 


 
Preface


One of the things I excel at is imparting knowledge I have gained from research and direct experience. In fact, if I do enough of these treatises and start doing multiple panels, I might as well be called "Strategist-Professor"! As I have been openly a femboy to some degree for over two years now, I have acquired a substantial amount of experience and knowledge about the various aspects of this lifestyle. As I had no one to directly guide or advise me on the innumerable products and concepts, I had to conduct an extensive amount of experimentation and blundering to acquire the knowledge I now have, which is quite costly in various resources such as time, money, and mental energy. I very much wish to save as many aspiring femboys as possible such high levels of uncertainty, trepidation, and waste, and this is the main impetus for creating this journal entry and leading panels on the subject.

It is also my very great wish that through relaying my experience and through my mere presence, I will dispel much of the irrational fear of standing out that furries, bronies, femboys, and people in general possess. I see so many furries and bronies not wish to don such accessories even during their meets, and virtually every femboy I have come across will not crossdress outside of their home or special events. This fear of the consequences of non-conformity is generally excessive, destructive to a person's soul, and harms our society as a whole. Unreasonable fear is one of the great enemies of mankind, and I will assault that enemy with my limited means at every feasible opportunity. While I think this is merely a coincidence, I find it very fitting and opportune that I was compelled to craft and post this during not just a time of personal struggle with discrimination, but also a time of national struggle as so-called bathroom laws abruptly surged into our consciousness. It severely angers and affronts me to watch these so-called "limited government" fools across the South try to maladroitly regulate bathroom usage and simultaneously retaliate for their defeats in various other LGBT-related matters. There's already too much pathological aversion to causing discomfort over benign differences, and they are now attempting to intimidate the most vulnerable minorities back into their supposedly proper place? No, I will not allow more fear to be proliferated unchallenged! I shall be a beacon of hope and light for gender non-conforming people- especially the males who wish to feminize- during a time others attempt to propagate darkness and timidity!

Oh, yes, if/when I start leading panels on this or any other subject and you are there, you are very welcome to record the entire thing in audio or video format. In fact, I will remind everyone there to do this if possible so they may listen to it later, and also to present to anyone they know who wishes to listen/watch. I will be recording my panels via audio and will post them somewhere. Of course, you now know you will be subject to being recorded if you attend, though I can't imagine that would ever pose a problem for anyone. While we're on the general subject of promulgation, you are enthusiastically encouraged to share links to the treatise and to the more condensed verbal presentations wherever and whenever there is a need or desire, so long as it's done properly and within the decorum of the place or community.

I also wish to add, while this is centered on males who wish to have a feminine aura rather than MtF, this guide will be helpful to those transgender people who wish to fully present as female since most of what I expound here is also applicable to such a goal. I myself identify as genderqueer and am thus transgender, though I present as an effeminate male rather than female, and thus I do not have any first-paw familiarity with transitioning past the removal of facial hair.

This guide will be refined and augmented periodically as I acquire more experience on the various fields. While I have sufficient experience and knowledge in each major area to give at least a rudimentary explanation right now, I will continue to accrue experience and increase my ranges of familiarity, especially in such matters as hair, cosmetics, and discrimination. That knowledge which I do accrue, I will eventually incorporate into this series so all may benefit. If you have any questions on any part of this guide or the topic of being a femboy in general, feel free to ask me either here or in PMs.

Finally, to those who are outside the target audiences but found your way here anyway... If you are a femboy or aspirant femboy and you stumbled onto this despite being neither a brony nor a furry, the vast majority of this guide to being a femboy is applicable. Actually, I imagine a few of you won't be from either subculture and won't even intend to become a femboy at all, but stumbled onto here through a search on one of the constituent aspects/topics. If you're one of those stray arrivals, I still believe what I have will benefit you.  First and foremost, this treatise was fashioned with the goal of benefiting mankind in general, only the specialty is the realities and facets of being a femboy. You are welcome to ask me a question if you can reach me on any of the locations I frequent if I somehow failed to provide what you needed.



Definition of a Femboy


The definition of 'femboy' which is accurate in all but the very rarest of cases is: A male (either biological or psychological) who possesses a substantial number of feminine preferences and mannerisms. It is an extremely nebulous definition because there is an extraordinary level of variance in femboys. Some have short hair, some have long hair. Some choose not to wear skirts and dresses, some do. Some love to wear the stereotypical leg and arm warmers, some have other clothing preferences. Some prefer to dress in a sexually enticing manner, some prefer to be more conservative. Some are transgender (such as me), some identify fully as male, and a few are not even biologically male. Some prefer only male pronouns, some prefer female, some prefer either one (I am fine with being called feminine terms despite me being more or less cisgender). Some are introverted and meek, some are extroverted and bold. Some are very much bottoms, some are very much tops. Femboys are as diverse in appearance and personality as furries as a whole are.

The definition which encompasses the vast majority of femboys is: A biological male who dresses or wishes to dress effeminately, and has other stereotypically feminine preferences (plushies, pink, other adorable items, etc). Usually when you meet a femboy, if they are openly so, their most defining feature is a feminine manner of outfitting. Crop tops, women's jeans, skirts, dresses, arm/leg warmers, panties and other lingerie, purses, etc. Usually 'femboy' means feminine dress/accessorization most of all. I estimate 90% or more of self-professed femboys who are liberated often or usually outfit girlishly. Whether we are speaking of the fetish or the lifestyle meaning of the word, it usually comes down to clothing primarily. Thus, femboy is more or less synonymous with male crossdressing.

Of course, there is more to being a femboy than clothing generally. Usually a femboy does not like having visible facial hair, and so they will often seek to permanently remove it. Some femboys have somewhat wider hips than the norm, others wish they did. Many femboys have a voice which is at least somewhat softer than usual for a male, and probably most find a feminine or gay voice to be preferable. Many or most femboys have or wish they had feminine mannerisms such as hip-swaying. Of course, many or most have at least some interests which are considered feminine. Speaking of interests, I theorize that a major reason furries and bronies have such a high level of femboys and/or awareness of the concept compared to the general population is because the standard interests and features of those subcultures are indeed feminine. Plushies and adorable animals and MLP are feminine, so femboys will naturally gravitate towards those communities. Of course, the fact they are around 80% male also greatly bolsters the per capital level of femboys. Since these subcultures are also highly artistically inclined and LGBT-friendly, the draw for femboys is further amplified. Furrydom in particular seems to have a high level of both femboys and femboy awareness.

There is a popular perception of femboys which sometimes deviates from reality. Like all stereotypes, the ones for femboys are often or usually true, but not always. While the overwhelming majority of femboys are gay or bisexual, there are a few who are heterosexual or asexual. I don't know how many femboys are stereotypically libidinous, but I and another I know are not IRL (my fursona is extremely sexually active, though). Perhaps the majority of femboys are submissive bottoms, but some of us (me included) are dominant and prefer being on top (I actually don't like the idea of being the bottom in anal IRL at all). Some femboys are actually quite athletic and physically capable. Some femboys are IRL and/or IC well endowed. Some of us have very masculine interests (I have a military fixation and am a gamer when resources permit). Unfortunately, even amongst those who are fully accepting of transgender people and femboys and the like, occasionally they will expect us to be something we are not. This probably isn't a common occurrence, but this may be a cause for conflict which the average femboy should be prepared to contend with.


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