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Activity Stream

  1. cross2play added a post in a topic Starting a Cross dressing / transgenders support grp here in Toronto   

    Update August 21 2017, I want to inform here in Toronto I am in middle of changing my apartments , please bear in mind for links, replies, YouTube videos uploads on Shazy Jeo YouTube channel videos.
    Will shift into new apartment and keep you informed. ¬†Have a nice day everyone ! ūüėĄ
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  2. MonicaPz added a post in a topic Mental Health Professionals   

    Dear Chrissy and Emma,
    Have been in therapy for various reasons off and on in my life, (not gender related) both face to face and through the telephone.  
    Prefer face to face, but if I can't find a good therapist locally, which often happens in small towns, then I resort to therapy on the telephone, which I find just as good.
    Your friend,
    Monica
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  3. Gennee added a post in a topic Trans Health Conference (Philadelphia) - Sept. 7-9, 2017   

    Was going to go but I can't. A couple of my friends are going.
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  4. Chrissy added a post in a topic Mental Health Professionals   

    Emma,
    Thanks for sharing that! Yes, relationship is vital to any therapy working. I went to one therapist where we clearly didn't click, I stopped after 3 sessions. You need to feel comfortable sharing everything with the person.
    And you made a really great point about experience - having specific experience working with trans clients isn't necessary, a good therapist can work with almost any population, they'll learn from you and through research.
    Chrissy 
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  5. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Mental Health Professionals   

    Excellent topic, Chrissy. I'll add my 2c:
    I have spent the last 3 years working with a wonderful therapist, David. I was his first trans client and he readily admitted that it was all new to him, although with about 40 years experience he was of course aware of trans people. In many ways we learned together as I explored, studied, and conducted my introspection, trying to sort out my emotions and unwind my notions. He was constantly open and supportive but also a good backstop. For example, he once suggested I bring in my clothing collection for kind of a show 'n tell. That was so much fun, to be able to openly share with him what I liked, what I was buying, and to talk about the clothes. I've had several therapists over the years and it should be pointed out that they are not all equal by any means. It's hard to nail down what I'd look for but the most important thing is to feel a special connection.
    I also met several times with a local gender therapist who also has about 40 years experience. She's very well known in the area and immediately confirmed that I am trans. She was very helpful but I will say that I didn't connect with her nearly as well as David which is unusual for me as I tend to feel a closer bond with women.
    Now that I'm living in Seattle I have a new therapist, Shannon, who is as wonderful as David but is also a real gender therapist, as they are also trans (non-gender I think). AFAB they want others to use they/their pronouns. Shannon is simply terrific and was recommended to me by a couple of friends in Seattle who are therapists and asked around to help me. Shannon's name kept on coming up.
    So maybe that's a moral to the story. Be sure to use what resources you have to get references, meet once or twice to gain a sense of how you will enjoy working together. And then, jump in with both feet!
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  6. Chrissy added a topic in Mental Health and Crisis Intervention   

    Mental Health Professionals
    Hi everyone,
    There was recently, as part of a discussion in another Forum, some talk about mental health professionals. I thought it was worth putting this out as a separate Forum post, to give people an opportunity to talk about their own experiences working with mental health professionals and what they think is (or isn't) important in looking for one. The information I'm discussing below is specific to the U.S., so there will likely be differences in other countries (it also may at time be specific to New York - so my apologies if I get parochial at all).
    It's important to know that in most places you don't need any formal training or licensing to call yourself a "therapist."  So if you want to make sure you are going to someone who is properly trained and licensed (and licensing does provide some assurance that the person is responsible for following ethical guidelines, and that they will be properly trained and insured), you should also check the person's credentials (which shouldn't be hidden from view!). Therapy in the U.S. can be done by psychiatrists (who are medically trained), psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors and (other thoughts?). These are all trained, licensed professions (a social worker for example would have an LMSW and possibly LCSW license). To be licensed you have to complete a certain level of approved education, pass a licensing exam and meet other licensing requirements. Typically you also, initially, have to work under another person's supervision and have proper insurance. When it comes to cost, social workers and mental health counselors are typically going to cost less than psychiatrists and psychologists.
    Any of these can be properly trained to work with transgender issues - it's important to look to see if they have that training and/or have worked successfully with clients who are transgender.
    Another consideration is that, depending on what kind of medical transitioning you are thinking about, you'll probably need letters from mental health professionals to do that. It's a good idea to check your insurance (or medicaid, etc.) and/or the doctors you're thinking about working with to see what exactly they'll require (doctors usually just need whatever the insurance company requires). In my case, to get HRT I needed a therapy letter, and one from the mental health counselor I was seeing was sufficient. For my GCS I got a letter from my therapist (a mental health counselor) and had to get at least one from a Ph.D. level professional (a psychiatrist or psychologist). I was referred to a psychologist who met with me for one (90 minute) session and provided the letter (since I had one from my therapist already, he didn't require a lengthy process to provide the 2nd).
    Personally I've worked with 2 therapists in the time since I came out and transitioned, the first was a social worker, the second was a mental health counselor (I had to stop going to the first because he stopped taking my insurance). Both for fully qualified to work with transgender issues. One way of confirming that kind of thing also is to see if there are any mental health organizations in your area that make referrals - both of my therapists were affiliated with the Institute for Human Identity in NYC.
    So other thoughts on this topic?
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  7. UsernameOptional added a post in a topic Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools   

    Mabye there's hope in TX afterall....
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  8. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools   

    Texas Bathroom Bill Dies Again, Raising Republican Acrimony
    David Montgomery reported from Austin, and Manny Fernandez from Houston., The New York Times
    AUSTIN, Tex. ‚ÄĒ A bill to restrict which bathroom transgender people can use in public buildings and schools died in the Texas Legislature on Tuesday evening, a rare defeat for social conservatives in a state they usually dominate.
    The failure of the so-called bathroom bill at the end of a special legislative session was the second time in three months that the bill had fallen short, and it deepened the ideological discord within the Texas Republican Party. But it did not kill the issue entirely.
    The Republican lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, who pushed for the bill’s North Carolina-style restrictions on transgender bathroom use, virtually guaranteed that the issue would arise again in future legislative sessions. And it is still possible that Gov. Greg Abbott, who supported the bill, will recall lawmakers for a second special session to give the bill another chance at passage.
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  9. olcharlie added a post in a topic Texas set to pass transgender bathroom law for schools   

    'Bathroom bill’ dies again in Texas as session abruptly ends
    Paul J. Weber and Will Weissert, Associated PressPublished 5:10 a.m. ET Aug. 16, 2017 | Updated 6:00 a.m. ET Aug. 16, 2017
     
    AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas ‚Äúbathroom bill‚ÄĚ targeting transgender people died again late Tuesday along with many of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott‚Äôs summer demands as an already bruising legislative session was derailed by Republican backbiting that could preview an even nastier 2018 primary season.
    It is the second time that North Carolina-style bathroom restrictions have failed to pass in Texas, and Abbott gave no indication he would order weary lawmakers to stay in Austin and try again ‚ÄĒ which would risk a third failure over what has erupted into one of the most high-profile bills in any U.S. legislature.
    Corporate heavyweights from Amazon to Exxon Mobil lined up against the measure, as did some top law enforcement agencies, and opponents celebrated the latest failure despite the support from the governor and influential social conservatives who drive GOP politics and primaries in Texas.
    More here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/16/texas-bathroom-bill/571671001/
     
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  10. Briannah added a comment on a blog entry IN which Bree whines about medical things.   

    Thank you Chrissy.¬† I'm on Prilosec, and it helps, but it's not controlling it.¬† I discovered this liquid antacid called Gaviscon that I'm taking before bed, it supposedly created a foam in the top of my stomach to hold the liquid in as well as neutralizing the acid.¬† So far it's helped tremendously, and I got my stupidly expensive wedge today, so here's hoping.¬† ¬†‚Ä謆 I had to give up chocolate, I am a very unhappy Bree.¬† I like chocolate.¬† Good to know that about ice cream, will avoid until I sort all this out. ¬†
    Thanks Emma!  It might end up in a surgical situation, as I have a hernia issue that is probably related, so until there is insurance there really isn't much I can do but damage control.  Nikki is still plugging away at ACA forms to see if we can't get help with that insane Cobra payment, and the lifestyle changes seem to be starting to take hold, today was a good day.   Right now he's yelling at the computer, apparently it's hiding the place where he needs to input my passport info to prove I'm a citizen.  Apparently aca has doubts about me or something. LOL 
    At least Nikki is doing great.¬† Loves the new job, is currently face deep in car shopping (our buick is about dead and the van is a bit old to be doing hour commutes, it's time) and working hard on the house and prepping for the upcoming move to my mom's.¬† I'm having a bit of an odd reaction to that, it's the second longest place I've lived in my life, at just over 11 years.¬† Apparently it's the longest for Nikki.¬† But it's the first that wasn't a rental (that I'm old enough to remember anyway).¬† Sleeping better, has pep again, and it's amazing how much getting out of a bad job situation can do to improve all aspects. ¬†¬† Now if we can just sell a house and move to new town, life will be awesome.¬† It wasn't easy, and I freaked out more than once, but the more it comes together the calmer I am.¬† ¬†‚Äč It's nice to have my old happy Nikki back, that's the best part!
     
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  11. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Transition Anniversary   

    bluemoon,
    Thanks for your comment! I have to admit that although I do think about gender nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals and issues, I don't end up saying much about it - part of that is because I consider it something that I'm still learning, part of it is based on where I am in terms of transitioning. Having lived for 49 years (more or less - a little less actually) as a "man," and only now living as a woman, I admittedly don't like to let go of all gender norms. When it comes to clothing in particular I'm more likely to use male and female references because I finally get to wear the women's clothing that I feel I should have been all my life!
    But it is problematic to use gender references when it comes to clothing, people should be perfectly free to wear what they want without thinking about whether or not it fits their gender. So it's something I'm working on :-)
    Chrissy
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  12. bluemoon added a comment on a blog entry Transition Anniversary   

    when i went shopping a while back with my androgynous ex-girlfriend/fashion consultant, she chose very slim/tight fitting buffalo jeans with spandex for me after i tried on several different ones. the pockets have just enough room for keys and wallet but the keys are a little uncomfortable. the jeans seem very androgynous in style to me, but most people think in binary gender terms and allow little leeway in male clothes so anything not definitely masculine seems feminine to them.
     
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  13. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Transition Anniversary   

    Emma,
    It's funny you mentioned that about the jeans - recently I was having lunch with a male friend who said that a girl he dated pointed out that he had women's jeans on. He seemed ok with that idea, but wasn't positive - the first question I asked about them (he wasn't wearing them at that moment) was "do they have essentially useless pockets?"  (they did, so yes, they were women's jeans). I learned that it's both that the pockets are smaller, and the jeans are partly made of spandex, so they pull in (which means if your keys will fit, they'll hurt because they're being pulled into your leg).
    Something else re timing that I didn't think about before - I was kind of ready to start transitioning around April or May of that year (2015), but I was working at a school and I did a lot of exam proctoring. Since exams were about to happen, I didn't want the first time students (at least the ones who knew me) seeing me as a woman to be when they're about to take a final exam, so I waited until the semester and exams were done. The nice part was that meant that the students were gone, faculty was gone, and staff were on and off vacation - so I had a couple of months to get used to presenting as a woman at a pretty empty school. So by late August when classes started again I was much more comfortable.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  14. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry Transition Anniversary   

    Hi Chrissy, what a wonderful post! I will return to it as there is so much wisdom there. 
    I really feel similar about taking one's time, taking baby steps. I've not transitioned as yet but I see it on the hazy horizon. Some weeks ago I'd made plans to accelerate, to work on so many things at once, so I would present publicly by the end of August. A couple of weeks ago while driving back toward Seattle I found my anxiety increasing, almost to a panic. And then I had an epiphany: it's okay to downshift and go slow and as you said, it's probably for the best at least for you and me. So that's what I'm doing and am enjoying myself a lot more.  It feels right, like today I am wearing skinny jeans, a shirt that is pretty androgynous (but is male), and athletic women's pumps. Because of the skinny jeans I can't put my wallet and keys into the pants pockets so I'm bringing a bag that here again can go either way: it's a canvas messenger bag. I'm still a little nervous but it's more like excitement, as I will be meeting with my real estate agent, and later, attending a large party for the Obliteride bicycle ride that I'll be riding on Sunday.
    Please keep sharing your experiences and advice. You have so much to offer.
    Best wishes,
    Emma
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  15. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Transition Anniversary
    Hi all,
    I just wanted to do a quick post, yesterday was "officially" my 2 year anniversary of transitioning. I arguably started before that, but August 10, 2015 is when I began "presenting full-time" as a woman, and I haven't looked back :-)  It was shortly (like days) after that I started on HRT.  It's also now been almost a year since my breast augmentation surgery.
    When I look back, especially in the approach to my GCS (in December last year) I remember thinking about whether or not I would regret it. I really didn't believe I would, I think it was just that even the remotest possibility of that could have been devastating (since GCS is, for all practical purposes, irreversible). I haven't spend even a short moment of regret, so that fear didn't come to pass. The only moment that was even like it (but wasn't regret) was after 2 days of bed rest after surgery when I first had to stand up - it was such a weird, disorienting, uncomfortable feeling that I remembered wondering why I would have done this to myself - but that was just a response to how I felt at the moment, it wasn't a regret about what the surgery was for.
    I think the key for me to not being in a position where I would regret anything was that I took my time. It may not seem like it, given how much happened in just 2 years (and I recognize that objectively that is a pretty quick transition time), but when you're actually living it day to day, it's a pretty long time. But the process also mattered - at each point I took a small step, I figured out how I felt about it, and if it felt right, I took the next small step. I didn't try to immerse myself in living as a woman (not that that can't be the right approach for others, but this is what worked for me).
    The first few steps were in simpler acts of feminizing my look, until it drifted to a point where I had to go full on. Even then I was fortunate to have a friend who did a drag show and she let me guest perform, which gave me a "safe" place to present as a woman in front of a bunch of people. I did that quite a few times (she was really amazing, she pretty much let me guest perform whenever I wanted, I give her so much credit for helping me through the transition process).
    Each step not only felt right, but it felt like it wasn't enough, so moving on to the next step was easy, even necessary. I recall at an early early part of the process a good friend asked if I thought I would get "bottom surgery," and I said, totally sincerely, "probably not." I meant it completely at the time, but through the process that I went through I came to realize that it was something I wanted.
    One important thing that I've learned (or at least tried to learn) over time is to be aware of my privilege. I'm not Caitlyn Jenner, I'm not a rich white woman who could basically disappear and then re-emerge a few months later as a woman - I had to do it in real life, I had to transition while going to work, while riding the subway, while grocery shopping, etc. But still, I was fortunate to have insurance that covered most of the expenses (and the benefit of working in New York, where insurance companies are required to cover transition expenses). I also had a job that was not only ok with my transition, I think they really liked that I was doing it. And I was especially privileged in having close friends who were totally supportive and helped in so many ways as I worked through the process (especially my friend who was thrilled to have a new make-up shopping buddy and to share her knowledge of doing make-up). I'm also fortunate to have this website and the collective experience of everyone on it!
    There are so many people who don't have that kind of access and that kind of support - so I'm always looking for ways to help out (not financially unfortunately, being a full time college student doesn't leave me with much - any - discretionary spending money). Ways to be supportive individually, and ways to advocate more publicly for changes that will benefit transgender people with less resources (right now we have to fight Trump to just not lose ground - but there's always room for improvement).
    So that's all I have for this anniversary edition :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  16. EmmaSweet added a topic in Transgender News & Happenings   

    Jillian Bearden Starts the Colorado Classic as the First US Transgender Woman in a Pro Tour
    Jillian Bearden Starts the Colorado Classic as the First US Transgender Woman in a Pro Tour
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  17. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry IN which Bree whines about medical things.   

    Brew,
    I've experienced acid reflux, still do, it's not fun! The steps you're taking sound good! I also found that stopping eating earlier (several hours before bed) helps, and Prilosec (though that isn't a great long term solution).
    Over time I've also figured out, and try to avoid, foods that I know will trigger it (sadly that includes ice cream).
    Good luck with your efforts!
    Chrissy
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  18. EmmaSweet added a comment on a blog entry IN which Bree whines about medical things.   

    Hi Bree, it's great to hear from you but I'm sorry that you're feeling poorly and also, confronting such insurance isssues. I'm fine but will soon also be talking to insurance folks and I am very apprehensive. I'm seeing other specialists now (about trans transition stuff) and am asking them to avoid documenting my preexisting condition. I know you know what I mean.
    I really hope your pillow and diet control helps you past this. That has to be so worrisome. Just please be careful that you don't wait so long that the issue gets to be so big that, well, it gets too big. The most important thing is your health.
    XOXO
    Emma
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  19. Briannah added a blog entry in Learning to grow   

    IN which Bree whines about medical things.
    So.  I'd been doing rather well mostly the last year or two medically, ever since that emergency surgery issue in 2015.  So...Cobra for insurance between Nikki's old job and new job is $875 a month.  We don't have that much extra money.  We just don't, even with the really nice raise new job has afforded us.  And of course, I develop a problem.  My stomach acid is trying to digest the rest of me.  Acid reflux gone crazy.  *headdesk*  I have to more months until there is insurance again.  And I'm REALLY hesitant to scrounge up the money to go to the urgent care, for fear of what the senate  is doing with the legislation and inadvertently getting a 'pre-existing condition' and having them repeal that protection and then I'm really in trouble.
    So in the meantime, trying to control it with life style changes as best I can.  I just ordered a $300 pillow.  Seriously. It's called a medcline, and if anyone else here has acid reflux, look it up and see if it's good for you.  I'm a side sleeper, so sleeping on a wedge is a big issue for me.  This medcline thing is a wedge, but it has a hole built in for your arm, which both holds you onto the wedge at night and comfortable gives your arm a place to go on the wedge, but also keeps you on the left side, which reduces the acids ability to escape.  Now I have to wait for it.  
    Changed my diet according to the recommendations, and it's slowing down the burning feelings, but this really sucks.  
    Either way, it's a good reminder to myself to not get complacent about what they are doing with medical care laws.  For me, this problem is temporary.  For millions of retail and food service workers for example off the top of my head, this is every day reality.  Someone asked me why I care so much the other day, when I have access generally.  And this is why, because I can't imagine not having a reasonable end date to being able to get help, and then in two more months being able to.  There is a real fatigue in following the political crazy, but it's important.  
    Love to you all, and I hope you're all in good health.  
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  20. PatriciaAngel added a post in a topic how improve feminine voice   

    Hi Emma,
    Thanks for the tip. I will check it. You are right that better choice would be have someone who could help with my voice. On the net I have found person name Lucille Sorilla who help tg/ts people to develope femine voice. I know that she is from San Francisco. But I dont know her. In my opinion I think that she ask much money for the voice program. But I can try that dvd which you recommend me. I am actually 1mth on hrt. and people when see me. They say that I am woman:) 
    Patricia
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  21. olcharlie added a post in a topic Trump to bar transgender individuals from armed forces.   

     
     
    WASHINGTON ‚ÄĒ Five transgender people serving in the United States military¬†sued¬†President Tru‚Äčmp and top Pentagon officials on Wednesday, asking that transgender troops be allowed to stay in the military.‚Äč
    More here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/us/politics/5-transgender-service-members-sue-trump-over-military-ban.html
     
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  22. EmmaSweet added a post in a topic HRT Doctor: "Why I Wish All of My Patients Were Transgender"   

    I wrote the following email to the doctor (who keeps his name private) who publishes this blog. I found his response to be very helpful and interesting.
    My email to him:
    Hello doctor,
    I'm the one who added a comment to your post about "Why I Wish All My Patients Were Transgender": 
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. As a 61 year old trans woman who is only now seriously contemplating HRT (after so many decades of denial, shame, fear) your writing gives me hope. I’d like to be one of those who feels great and confident in her body and soul.
    A problem I'd like to pose to you, and which you might want to write about, is that part of the challenge of being trans is that there is no objective test for whether one is trans. I've gone through a lot of introspection, therapy, and study and I'm convinced that I am. So are my professional therapists. However I still suffer from a fair amount of self-doubt and questioning. I guess that's baggage from growing up when I did. But still...
    I'm thus taking it all slowly, one step at a time, and with each step evaluating my feelings, after whatever euphoria has waned at least a little. I'm thus at the stage where I feel that hormone treatment is probably the correct next step. So here's the question: might low-dose HRT be a viable strategy for evaluating whether one is trans or not? The assumption is that if a cisgender person started HRT that they would experience their own version of gender dysphoria. Likewise, a trans person would feel a sense of relief, perhaps some sort of completeness, upon the same therapy. And perhaps some would not experience anything at all.
    Do you have experience or an opinion on this? I've asked my gender therapist and another friend who is one: they both agree that this is a common experiment by trans people, who can evaluate their feelings and determine if HRT is right for them or not before permanent physical changes occur. That said they aren't endocrinologists!
    Many thanks,
    Emma
    And here is his reply:
    Hi Emma,
    Your question is totally valid.  I wouldn't presume to tell you what might be appropriate for you, as I'm sure you understand that would be a decision among you, your therapist, and your endo.  I will say, though, that I think it's quite reasonable for someone who believes they have gender dysphoria (with the blessing of an experienced therapist) to "test the waters" with cross-hormone therapy.
    I think it's difficult to use it as a tool to "prove" that the diagnosis of gender dysphoria is correct (or incorrect).  One reason for the difficulty is that, after I start someone on hormones, they often come back in 2-3 months feeling less dysphoric, but the degree of improvement is out of proportion to the dose of hormone (I usually start low and go slow) and the duration of therapy (short, only 2-3 months at that point).  I believe that this is due to a sort of placebo effect; people feel so much better after starting hormones because they are finally moving forward on the path to becoming who they know they should be (bad grammar, but you get my point).  This is incredibly powerful and can make it feel like the hormones are "working," when in reality it's probably more complicated than that.
    All that said, I think it's a fine way to proceed.  There is no "set" dose of hormone that has to be used for someone interested in transitioning.  For example, my patients who identify as non-binary may ask for low-dose therapy to achieve some changes, but not drastic changes.  And that's ok.  The hormone dosing schedule should always be tailored to the person's goals (and their risks, like if they have medical problems that make hormone therapy a riskier proposition).
    I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have other questions, and best of luck to you! 
     
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  23. JudyCDNJ added a post in a topic Makeup Kits   

    Thanks for great advice I will just that
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  24. UsernameOptional added a post in a topic Caitlyn Jenner shows support for Trump after Transgender ban   

    I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt... but I finally lost all respect for her even before Drumpf 45 made his sickening tweets about trans people in the military.
    I still say that "republican" and [insert any minority here] do NOT go well in the same sentence... no offense intended to any here who might be republican, but if you're here, you surely understand why so many of us feel that way.
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  25. alicebtrue added a post in a topic senior adults   

    ii am going to talk with my mental health people next monday, i want to be able to have someone that will support my decision and maybegit something in writting.
    right now the big boss doesn't like the idea, so i have to play a little politics

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