TRANSGENTRY Image and Lifestyle for Discerning Transgender People Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:37:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Hard Look at Your Public Image Mon, 14 Mar 2011 03:39:46 +0000 Identity and presentation are often — if not usually — very different.

How do you see yourself? How do you present to the rest of the world, and how are you seen by others? How cohesive are these two views?

Consider that everybody who maintains a public presence must know with acute accuracy how they are seen and perceived by audiences and individuals on a daily basis. Their careers depend on it. Celebrities, public speakers, salespeople, politicians and other public figures hire people to help them look their best, communicate effectively and project a positive and charismatic image to the world. The rest of us are out here on our own. No entourage of makeup artists, speech coaches, personal trainers, etc.

On the other hand, how many of us are secure enough in our own identities that we would welcome such a brutally honest look at ourselves as we REALLY appear to the world in order to improve our image? How many of us can let go of our comfortably ingrained personal sense of how we want to look, and hope we do look, and find out where all of our warts, wattles, scales, nose-pickings, nervous tickings, Quasimodo-like posture, fat rolls and dribblings are happening while we blissfully ignore them?

It’s all too easy to say that you don’t care about all that, you’re not so vain and self-immersed that it matters to you what other people think. However, if you want to progress on a pathway to success in any field or in any endeavor, you have no choice but to care — and care a lot. Especially as a transgender or intersex person.

Whether we delude ourselves with an overblown self image, or diminish ourselves by settling for too little, hiding from ourselves either way is a cover for fear of our own truths. Rationalizing our public image is so much easier to do and easier to feel good about, even though in reality it holds us back.

I, for one, have been a master of self-deception in this area. I have maintained a self-image of the way I want to be for a long, long time. My magical bathroom mirror has shown me a visage I find acceptable each day before I launch myself into society. Photoshop has been my friend in allowing me to tweak my image in ways I felt comfortable sharing with the world via the Internet. Occasionally, however, unalterable photographic evidence of my shortfall from this illustrious self image has displayed the ugly troll-like reality of me. Those shocking exposures have quickly been hidden in folders deep in my backup drives, rarely to be stumbled upon in horror again.

Today that delusional dance is no longer acceptable to me. I need to know for certain how I am seen and perceived by the world outside of my skull, by the people who interact with me every day. I need to know what every celebrity, public speaker, salesperson, politician and other public figure knows about themselves. I am finally ready to look myself in the camera’s eye and find out the visible truth — the way other people actually see me moving through the world — so that I can improve myself in real ways. No Photoshop to hide behind this time.

And as I discover who and what I honestly have to work with, I will be transforming myself one step at a time into the greatest possible reality that I can become, making the best use of what I have to work with. I hope that what I learn about myself will help you to align yourself with your best image, your best public presentation, and your greatest self-satisfaction.

I just want all of us to Be the Best we can Be, not just feel okay.

So, I took pictures.

Try to ignore the dogs, they’re just hamming it up for the camera. Seeking attention. Can’t imagine who they get that from.

So this is how I look today, full length, front, sides and back. Don’t laugh too hard at the bodybuilding t-shirt on my geeky frame. < >  is actually my favorite place to buy my sport supplements, especially protein powder. No, I’m not affiliated with them. But I am going to look into it.

What I see here is not as bad as I had braced myself for, but certainly not the image of myself I have in my head. However, this is where I start to merge the reality with the aspiration.

Good points I see are:

•    I’m not grossly overweight
•    I’m not terribly short
•    My hips are not overly wide

Short list, isn’t it?

Here’s what the photographs tell me I need to improve upon with posture, exercise, wardrobe, grooming, etc.:

•    My skull has a bizarre shape seen from the sides and I need to find someone who can give me a professionally engineered haircut to visually fix that weirdness.

•    I have a small hunchback caused partly from computer work, but mostly from years of subconsciously slouching in an effort to visually diminish the embarrassing and unfortunate chest I was cursed with from puberty. I believe this can be straightened up at least somewhat with proper exercise and conscious vigilance toward carrying myself upright. I have to commit to finding ways to accomplish that.

•    My shoulders are narrow and sloping. I need tailored clothing and proper exercise to visually square and widen my shoulders.

•    My hips, though not as wide as they might be, are still just a bit wider than they should be for a fit, manly silhouette. Exercise and tailoring will help visually correct this.

•    I have a disturbing kinesiological misalignment that causes my right arm to stick out from my body in an odd manner. Must find out what causes this and how to correct it.

•    I have a short waist and need to find clothing that visually lengthens my torso.

•    I have small feet and must choose shoe styles that look larger without fitting my feet badly.

•    I look soft all over and need to harden myself up; i.e. cut the bodyfat down.

This list is a good start toward making some significant self improvements just from reviewing these photos. I plan to take photos fairly regularly as I try various approaches to correct these problems, and I will be focusing on other problem areas as I uncover them. So there will be before-and-after images of transformation happening here, and I will be passing forward the solutions and resources I discover while improving myself that you might also benefit from.

Be watching for future postings. In the meantime, your observations and queries are always welcome.


header image courtesy

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A Shirt That Fits – Testing Mass Couture Tue, 08 Mar 2011 06:46:17 +0000 Tonight I ordered my first made-to-order dress shirt from Mass Couture.

Mass Couture is a German-based online business with factories in China that sells made-to-measure clothing for department store prices. It is also a network marketing business if you choose to become a member as I did. Membership gets me reduced prices on merchandise, and if I make a little money in the deal then it’s all good.

This is pretty exciting to me because if this turns out well it could be a very attractive option for transmen and transwomen to get made-to-measure clothing without the angst of visiting an unknown tailor (they do generally tend to be highly gender-conservative) or locating a trans-friendly tailor, and without the time, travel and expense involved. The clothing line is based on menswear, but everything is available in men’s and women’s measurements, and there are women’s flats available in the shoes catalog.

That’s right, they make custom fit shoes, too. Ladies, are your eyebrows raising yet? Fashion flats (so you’re not so tall) to fit your feet (how difficult has that been for you so far? Guys and gals?).

Short of dresses and high heels, you’re covered.

Hmmm… Maybe I should have ordered shoes first instead… ?

In any case, I will be giving you the blow-by-blow of my experience with Mass Couture from tonight’s order to my impressions of the final product. I will also ask my favorite tailor to tell me what she thinks of the quality of the shirt I receive and pass on her observations to you. Photos will be shared.

The first stage of the process tonight was to take measurements, specify the details of my custom shirt, place my order and pay for my initial order. The initial order includes the cost of the made-to-order dress shirt ($19.90) plus a one-time setup fee for my personal account ($20.00) to be applied to all future shirt orders. There’s also shipping ($9.90) and a payment processing fee ($2.00) that PayPal charges.

Since I have signed up as a Member and paid a membership fee, my costs are in reality a little lower than yours would be as a Customer, but not by much. I am giving you Customer costs for each step you would go through in the ordering process. If you’re curious, you can see my personal Mass Couture website here.

The process of ordering the shirt seems a little backwards in that I ordered a custom shirt in a fabric of my choice, but I will receive a swatch kit with my first shirt which will include fabric swatches and a measuring tape. Hence, my first shirt choice is to stick with white and was measured with my own tape until I can get the swatches. Here’s a page showing exactly how to take the measurements they want for the shirt.

Naturally when I went to get my sewing measuring tape I could not find it anywhere. I wanted to get going with my new shirt so I opted to use my Myotape.

The Myotape is a great solution in particular for those of us who take our measurements by ourselves for various reasons, either for sewing, for monitoring physical progress from hormones, diets and/or weight training, and other related applications. I bought mine a few years ago from where I also buy almost all of my sport and food supplements — protein powders, vitamins, electrolyte drink mixes, and so on.

With measurements in hand I next went to my Mass Couture website, logged in and was taken directly to the shirt specifier page.

This image is in German, but yours would be in English.

Here I built my shirt exactly the way I wanted it, choosing my fabric and color, front placket, back treatments, pockets, cuffs (including French cuffs), buttons and buttonhole options, thread colors, shirt bottom cut, and even got a matching handkerchief, all for the same price. I saved the finished shirt by giving it a name and posting it to my “Wardrobe,” entered my measurements and my shipping address, and then sent the shirt to my shopping cart.

In the shopping cart I was given a breakdown of charges and the final cost for the shirt, shipping and fees. There is a one-time setup fee for each item you order, whether it is for shirts, jeans, shoes, belts, suits, etc. which establishes your own personal account with your specific measurements for each item. Your measurements are then kept on file so that from now on all you do is order your items according to your specifications for materials, colors, monogramming and other details. Again, for a custom fit dress shirt the setup fee is $20.00, but the fee varies for some other items. You can also change your measurements within a two-inch range for no charge, so if the fit is a little off you can remedy the size before your next order. They impose the two-inch boundary so people don’t order shirts for their friends without paying a fee for the friend to have their own account.

Once I made the decision to buy I proceeded to the PayPal checkout. As soon as I made my payment I was sent an email with two invoices — a Product invoice and a Service invoice. Nothing more to pay, these are just for my records.

Now it should take 3 to 4 weeks for my shirt to reach me. When it gets here I will give you a complete report, with photos.

Stay tuned — this could get exciting!


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Your Transgender Self Image Sun, 06 Mar 2011 05:17:56 +0000 Where is the impasse exactly between who we want to be and who we are? How we present to the world vs how we see ourselves from the inside? Just how much are we fooling ourselves simply to get out the door and face the world every day with some inner sense of dignity and propriety?

Here is the dilemma I am wrestling with:

I see myself as this guy…

But I realize clearly now that I am this guy…

How do I come to terms with this reality? How can I manifest myself as something closer to the image I aspire to and further away from the image I currently present?

I know, some of you are shaking your heads and saying, “Just be happy as who you are, don’t worry about what other people think.”

Well that’s fine and dandy if you have no ambitions to achieve success and glory and the enthusiastic company of hot babes.  I have such ambitions.

The fact is, people judge us by the way we look, act and speak. This is mostly a subconscious evaluation based on a lot of social as well as personal conditioning, but the fact is that it happens and you have to accept that it does.

And it happens quickly: In her book, You’ve Only Got Three Seconds , Camille Lavington says that people on average decide how they feel about you within the first 3 seconds of meeting you or even seeing you walk into a room — and their first impressions are virtually irreversible. However unfair you may feel this is, it’s an ingrained truth of human nature and it affects you directly as far as getting jobs, getting loans or financing, making friends, getting dates, or making contacts for your business. How you walk, talk, carry yourself, and how you look, all matters.

In short, Image Is Everything.

As I have mentioned before, celebrities, speakers, salespeople and others who are publicly visible know this and leverage it to their advantage. If you want to succeed at anything you do, you have to learn to do the same thing.

Question: How many successful people do you know of who are not in the public eye at least part of the time? This includes public speaking, interviews, video and photography.

Answer: All of them. Frankly, if they weren’t highly visible you would not know about them.

Of course, notoriety and distinction are two sides of the same coin that we will discuss another time.

Now, you don’t have to be born with natural good looks and a perfect body to be attractive; far from it. When you really look at the people our society holds forth as attractive, what you will see is that they have done remarkable things with themselves through self confidence and a signature personal style. We find them attractive because they project it from the inside — not so much from how they look but how they feel to us.

Granted, once a person begins to gain some public notoriety they immediately get aligned with image consultants who shape them up professionally in short order. This is frankly a service that all transgendered people who really want to succeed in the world need to avail ourselves of.

Unfortunately the cost of professional image consultation is impossibly prohibitive for most of us — myself included. So I am going to do my best to figure out how to make this kind of expertise available to us in other ways that we can all access reasonably and reliably.

Because this is what I am committed to do for myself, I want to share whatever I discover with you.

As a transgendered man, a most basic reality that I constantly wrestle with is the fact that these are the guys who get the girl.

And the choice careers. And the money. And the toys. And all the validating attention that I crave.

Naturally I want to be like those guys. But I’m this guy.

So the challenge is, how do I place this size 8 guy in those guys’ size 11 shoes?

Because the basic primal-driven reality —

Between this guy — and that guy —

Is — Who is she going to choose?

And that’s the bottom line.

I’m determined to get to the bottom of the bottom line.

Stay tuned and find out what happens next!


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I Mop Like a CEO Fri, 25 Feb 2011 06:55:23 +0000 I mop my floor at work every day. It’s a beautiful floor, the kind of floor I want in my own house someday when I finally “grow up” enough to have a house. It is a polished concrete floor with a deep brown mottled dye. When it’s wet it looks like a brown pool.

I mop my floor everyday like a CEO would mop a floor. Like I own the place and it’s my name on the door. I clean like a professional. Like I should be cleaning in a suit and tie. I think myself into doing every task with the values, skills, confidence and finesse of a professional.

I mop like a CEO. Everything in life is pointless if I don’t hang on to my pride.

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We Are Haute Couture Sat, 19 Feb 2011 00:35:43 +0000 In the realm of fashion and style this is an incredibly exciting and opportune time for those of us who are transgender and otherwise gender variant.

The current trend in haute couture is toward gender blending. If you have any interest in fashion and personal style (and if you are visiting TransGentry how can you not?) then this is your moment to be a trendsetter rather than a follower of fashion.

We Are Haute Couture Today.

Here are just a few links for you to enjoy:

The Rise of the Tildas:  Soon we’ll all be dressing with the beguiling androgyny of Ms. Swinton
Simon Doonan Jan. 28, 2011

‘I was hoping I was gay’: Transgender model Lea T on her sex-change – and how she became the darling of the fashion world
By Tamara Abraham

Masai Fashions – A New Look – Transsexual fashion 2010 Art institute

You can be sure this blog will report on anything fresh I see!


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A Transman and His Money Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:10:56 +0000 If there’s any group of people on the face of the planet that needs to actively learn how to generate independent income and not rely on conventional businesses to hire them, it’s us.

With a few exceptions, I think I can safely say that finding a job as a transperson – especially in our recent economic crunch – is almost impossible.

I know. I just spent the past 20+ months looking for work. Luckily I finally found a job. I am severely underemployed, but minimum wage is still better than homeless, which I was literally about 2 weeks away from when I got hired.

Now, maybe you’ve seen it somewhere, but I have not seen a discussion of transgender finance anywhere else. Like most people, we don’t like to think about money, talk about money, or give the appearance that we’re even interested in money because, you know, that’s just bad. Greedy. Right?

Money is a nasty thing.

Of course, we’ll discuss our body parts and sexual preferences and practices all day and night with almost anybody who will listen, but can we talk about money like we want it, need it, would love to have it? Noooo way!

Rich people are Evil.

Isn’t that what so many of us believe? That all bad things come from the pursuit of wealth? That people who do manage to get a cushion of cash are bad, selfish people?

But – don’t you wish you were financially secure? Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to worry about money for just a week? A day? To have enough. Would be nice.

Especially for people like us whose livelihood hangs by a tiny thread that can be snapped at any second by a bigoted boss or coworker, or by corporate downsizing in general. If your company decides to start laying people off, who do you think will be solidly on their hit list? Even if it didn’t happen, just the worrying about it, losing sleep and battering your nerves is torture, isn’t it?

You know you’d like to be financially secure. But you can’t envision yourself as an evil rich person.

And that is why you have no money.

But – all affluent people really are evil – aren’t they?

If you really believe that’s true then answer me one simple question as one contrary example:

Who do you think contributes most of the independent funds to charitable organizations? That would include LGBTQ and other civil rights organizations, too. Who can afford the large contributions that most of us can only pony up a mere percentage of?

In fact, who do you think establishes most charitable organizations in the first place?

The only people who can afford to do it, of course: People With Money.

In fact it’s been my experience that most people who have enough to share tend to share it, and do so with heart, soul, warmth and grace.

“Yeah, well, they only do it for the tax breaks,” I hear someone say.

My reply is, even if that’s true, why is this a bad thing? What’s wrong with taking tax deductions? Do you like the idea of handing more money to the IRS than you have to? Of course not!

But you know what? You and I do just that every year, year in and year out. Why? Because we don’t want to think about it.

We leave money on the table for the IRS, for our favorite discount store, for our banks (fees, fees and more fees!), buying gas to drive to places we could walk or ride a bike, buying junk to play with and junk to eat – we do it because we don’t want to think about money.

We don’t want to be bothered with budgets and spending plans, and keeping all those boring records that confuse us and give us headaches, even though when you get right down to it, there really isn’t so much to keep up with if we would just form a habit to do it a little at a time as we go along. Be consistent with it. Take care of it and then put it away.

Really, not thinking about what we spend before we spend it generally results in our having to think about it a whole lot after we run out of cash and have to scrape to get by before the next paycheck.

So why don’t we just deal with it?

Because we don’t like THINKING about MONEY. For lots of reasons. Most of which we don’t even understand and aren’t aware of. And that’s Evil.

But – why do we hate thinking about our finances?

Well, at best we find it mind-numbingly boring. But the worst thing is having to think about the money we should have, but don’t have because we don’t manage what cash we do get our hands on.

We don’t manage our money because we don’t like to think about it, often because, frankly, it’s too painful to face our own financial stupidity.

Many of us channel our disappointment in ourselves into resentment towards the people who have the money we wish we had – money we need just to survive – money we believe on some level we should simply have. Money we feel we deserve.

Here’s a reality smack in the head: We Do Not “Deserve” to have money if we don’t do the things that are necessary to have it.

On the other hand, some of us feel we don’t deserve to have lots of money, or happiness, or fulfillment, or anything else “normal” people have — for a myriad of reasons, some of which may be wrapped up in feelings of inadequacy related to our gender variance, we sabotage ourselves before we even get started.

With few exceptions, people who have enough wealth to be comfortable deserve what they have because they have disciplined themselves to do the things that are necessary to have it.

I’m not one of those people. My parents were not wealthy, but my father made a good living. My parents were afraid of money, though, so they didn’t grow the decent income they did have; they just kept it in the bank, dormant. Their savings account was their “investment.”

I grew up starving for what money could buy. I wanted everything. So I spent my own decent income as fast as I got it. Then I discovered credit cards and everything went spiraling downward from there.

Last year when I got so poor that I lost utilities, lost phone service, lost Internet access, was riding a bike everywhere to save money — started running late on rent and was facing eviction — the dogs and I were getting thin, sharing eggs and oatmeal and not much of it. All because I did not know how to make money.

For the first time in my life I was unemployable. But then, for the first time in my life I was looking for work as a transgender person.

I will never know how much being transgender worked against me, and how much was this wicked economic downturn, but for whatever the reasons might have been I could not get a job. Period.

Meanwhile my freelance income had dropped off to nothing and I did not know how to promote myself. Honestly, I didn’t have the confidence to promote myself. So I wasn’t generating business. No clients, no income. No money.

I began to see my dogs’ ribs sticking out and there was nothing I could do about it.

Now That’s Evil.

For myself, I have decided that the pain of confronting my own financial idiocy is less than the pain of being poor.

Do I want to be rich? You betcha.

Do I know how to do it? Hell no.

But I’m learning. And I’ll be writing what I learn right here.

Because if there’s ANYBODY who needs to know how to generate independent income in this world, it’s us.


image courtesy

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Transman In the Mirror Mon, 07 Feb 2011 04:01:58 +0000 Guys, I have decided to start the blog here at TransGentry again.

I know, it’s not like it ever really got under way before.

Lately, though, I am feeling driven to write about some of what I experience living life as a gender variant person that I feel must be common experience for most of us – and sometimes not so common. I have also learned a lot about life in the last couple of years. What I have learned has changed me, mostly for the better, but it has also exposed some weak areas that I do not like. Knowing gives me the opportunity to do better. In the meantime I often feel like a lesser person. But that will all change. That must all change.

I have lists of things I wish to accomplish. I will be sharing those with you and inviting you to share as well. I hope we can all experience new and enervating successes together by helping each other achieve whatever it is we want – starting with figuring out what the hell it might be that we want.

When you finally sit still and think about it, knowing what your really want is the hardest thing.

On many levels I can’t fathom that anybody would want to read my ramblings. But I have been encouraged by some people whom I respect to get up and do this. And lately I do feel driven to write. So here goes.

Every day I am confronted with the uneasy question of how others see me. I currently work in a public area, I present myself to the public every day, and I never know what exactly they see when I step up to them, smile and say, “How are you today? How can I help you?”

I don’t know if it is real or just my own perception that people greet me normally at first, but then they begin to get “that look” on their face. It’s a look so many of us know all too well. It’s that look that says, “Something is not quite right about this guy – I don’t know what it is — and I’m not sure I want to know — I just want to get away from him now.”

And then they scurry away with that thin tight smile on their faces, and they won’t look me in the eye.

Maybe I have bad breath. Or maybe my tranny is showing.

I am feeling the need to get past my fears of confronting myself – my weaknesses, shortcomings, and most difficult, tearing away my carefully constructed inner self-image and building a new self-image based on my external reality. I am determined to get on top of the things I want to change in myself. I am bracing myself to see for real exactly what I have to work with here, and what I am working against.

I think a lot of photography will be necessary. I’m not looking forward to this. I am looking forward to the result.

Clothing is a very big deal for me, which is why TransGentry began as a preworn clothing store for transmen.

My friend the tailor says, “All clothing is costuming,” and she’s right. Most people don’t realize how important what they wear is – and what their choices of attire really say about them.

For transpeople, however, clothing – costuming – can literally be a life-and-death matter. At the very least what we wear, or how well we can manage to pass, or especially if we decide we do not care to adopt a gender identity at all, can determine where we eat, where we work, where we live, or any number of other essential living conditions.

And it can literally get us killed.

For me, realizing that I really was a man all these years and finally putting the puzzle of my life together to see a picture of my whole self for the first time since I was three and Knew – realizing who I was again as an adult allowed me to start making decisions about who I wanted to be.

I could finally begin to grow up. I could decide what kind of man I wanted to be.

It wasn’t a hard decision and it didn’t take long to make it, but it’s sure taking a long time and a lot of work to wholly manifest it.

I want to be a suit-and-tie guy.

I want to be the man in charge, the man with the answers and solutions, the man who makes things happen, gets things done. The man who commands respect as soon as he enters a room.

Unfortunately my lifelong enforced female socialization, along with my slight physical stature, are not helping me to embody this dynamic and powerful self-image beyond the movies inside my head.

Now, I understand that the suit and tie are designed to make any man look professional. Like other uniforms, the suit is designed to make anybody look good. It is absolutely costuming. However, the whole image becomes caricature if the suit flat out does not fit properly.

If I put on a suit that has been tailored in such a way that it emphasizes the unfortunate feminine qualities of my physique then I am not presenting the image I need to present. Or, as I am afraid I have inadvertently done for a very long time, if my clothing is too big or otherwise does not fit, then I look like a 14 year old boy wearing his daddy’s outfit. Definitely not a powerful masculine image.

I know I have to get this handled if I want to manifest the success I can now aspire to attain, now that I know who I am and can set real life goals for myself. I can be the man I want to be. But I have to look the part.

People decide what they think of you in the first few seconds they see you. It’s just a bald fact. The only way I am going to burn the immediate image in their minds of who I want them to see when they meet me is for me to take a cold hard look at what I’ve got to work with in reality, and find out what I can do with myself.

I completely believe I can make myself into whoever I want to be.

This blog will be a journal of my rite of passage, as well as the day-to-day living that happens along the way. A lot of it will pertain directly to living in the world as a transman. A lot of it will be about simply being a person in the world today. I will be curious to see which condition is most significant.

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A Whole New TRANSGENTRY Sat, 05 Jun 2010 17:53:48 +0000 NOTE: Site Updates are In The Works!

Be watching for a new Survey and a FREE downloadable Poster,

plus NEW Twitter and Facebook pages

Coming Soon!

Image and Lifestyle for Discerning Transgender People

TransGentry is an online venture currently based in  Tucson, Arizona. Owned and operated since January 2008 by transman and entrepreneur Broderick K Blocker, TransGentry exists to help Transmen and Transwomen develop a professional image, dynamic self-actualization and a wholly satisfying lifestyle.

We intend to expand TransGentry over time to include a swap site, a social network, a directory of trans-friendly tailors, and hints and tips for dressing up, pursuing success and getting what you want out of life. TransGentry will feature an assortment of services and resources, plus lots of fun and excitement because otherwise, what’s the point?

We will continue to expand our offerings and influence so keep watching and get involved.

Your input, as always, is welcomed and encouraged.

Thank you for your interest and support!

Click here to Contact Us for more information!

Copyright 2010 TransGentry. All Rights Reserved.
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