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This past weekend I spent a lot of time out at the National Tennis Center in Queens, NY (where the US Open is played). The LGBT tennis group I belong to was hosting the Atlantic Cup (which is a team competition between our group and groups from Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC). Although a shoulder injury keeps me from playing right now I went out to help and to stay in contact with the group (I've been a member for about 4 years, there are so many wonderful people there!).
I experienced 2, and then a 3rd group of people with respect to my "new" identity. Most of the members of my group already knew about my transition, so those people were just seeing me for the first time as Christie. Then there were the players from the other cities who never knew me at all, so those people were meeting me as Christie - I especially enjoyed that. Then there was the group (of 2 people) I hadn't thought about - a couple of members of our group who didn't know. When one of them arrived he addressed me as [insert birth name here], and I realized that I needed to correct that. It was fairly simple, I just hadn't thought about it happening (especially as this was on Sunday, so I had already been around there for a day +).
Everyone in the tennis group has been really great about it - as were all of the people from the other cities (and I know I'm not fully "passable," so many of them must have figured out that I was trans without being told).
As far as my transition, well I have my endocrinologist appointment later this week, so I'm quite excited about that :-) I'm holding off on any decision or action about a wig. I need to let electrolysis move along a little further, and give hormones a chance to start making physical changes. In the meantime I'll continue working with my natural hair to see what I can do with it. I will occasionally wear the wig out socially, I just won't "pull the trigger" on wearing it to work just yet.
I did reach out to one surgeon via email - I explained that it was very early but that I wanted to get some basic information, especially about timing, so that if and when the time comes that I decide I'm ready for surgery I'll have an idea of what to do. The one I contacted was the only one in NYC listed as doing all FTM surgeries. Well, it turns out his maximum price for SRS is $60,000. That, together with the fact that he only does that surgery in Los Angeles, pretty much makes him a non-starter for me. On Thursday I'm planning to ask the endocrinologist if he has an recommendations.
For years I wondered why do I need approval from two therapist for gender reassignment surgery and at times really aggravated me to no end but once I started it all became clear. You see, feeling trapped in the wrong physical body can taunt and consume a person to various states of mind that can lead to a dark place thus never seeing the reasoning behind the "why" behind the requirement for therapy coupled with living in the opposite gender for at least one year.
Here is the deal, feeling trapped in the wrong physical body there can be relief by wearing clothing of the opposite gender but that is usually hindered as many don't have a safe haven to wear clothing for an extended period of time and eventually as one grows older the feelings of being in the wrong physical body become more intense and can destroy marriages and cause one to become secluded to the point they are alone and now in their free time can become the female they should be to a limited degree by dressing in the role of a female for longer periods.
The danger here is we think that by setting an appointment for reassignment surgery with an informed consent is all one should need. There lays the problem, it's a completely different world living as a female 24/7 in each and every aspect of your life. It quickly becomes real when you are paying for something in a store and need to use your credit card that says John Smith when you are dressed female. You might get lucky as I did, sales lady looks at the name on my credit card and says, John Smith is your husband? I will need to see your identification. Me, no that is my name, sales lady, your parents have a strange way of naming their daughter. But not everyone will be fortunate for this to happen. Next up (which should had been firsts).
The female voice, a dead give away if not practiced. You are paying for groceries at the store, cashier engages you in conversation and although nobody would every guess that you were not female because you have taken the time to dress properly, age appropriate clothing and not to much makeup you say something and out slips the male voice, oooops, you get the idea.
In the real live experience you are under pressure either all the time or some of the time and for many will truly challenge their original thoughts of transitioning. Geez, can I really pull this off? What I mean is, once you have a vagina and breast it's a completely new world and you have no choice but to either blend in as part of the scenery, become part of the scenery or become ostracized for being a freak and with that comes depression, self-doubt or more leading to dark places OR you rise to the task of merging your inner female self with a new physical self from the affects of hormones.
Trust me when I say, you have no idea, no clue what one year of living in the opposite gender is like until you have been doing it for say three months and then look back 12 months later and can't hardly remember what it was like as a male and if you can more likely than not remember it differently how the full time female experience would be.
I challenge those taking this journey to write down their thoughts before starting HRT and therapy then say 10 months down the road read what you wrote and see how you think about the journey now. If comfortable, keep a daily journal of your ups and downs, like anybody living we have ups and downs and in the 12 month role they are magnified. When seeing a therapist there are gaps of time between visits and having these notes can help you engage with the therapist.
BOTTOM LINE: The real life experience as I see it now is that it's good for you while looking back I thought "what the heck".
Hopefully those traveling down the road for gender reassignment surgery will be fortunate to have a good support system in place to assist them with the 12 month real life test and it will go better this way. Personally I had (and still have) a wonderful female friend who not only supported me but traveled to California to be with me for GRS and then with breast augmentation was there for me too in my home taking care of me. You can not do this on your own, I repeat, you can not do this on your own so get use to the fact you will need a good support system which should be done before starting your journey, find out who are really friends and who are not and don't be surprised that many may be repulsed at the thought of you wanting to be female.
I was just scanning over the following page and saw that some people are asked to wait up to two years before being given HRT, that is outrageous. I think that HRT and real life test should be allowed together.
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I live in Ontario. We have a provincial insurance that covers doctor visits & surgeries (medical necessity, not cosmetic) Called OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). In order for Gender Reassignment Surgery to be covered under OHIP, you need to go through the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
In order for ANYONE in Canada to have GRS covered by their provincial health plan, they have to go through the GIC at CAMH, and the only ONE centre in the country is in Toronto. Yes, that's right, all of Canada has only one building that you must go to, in order to get assessed by a psychologist and a psychiatrist two times (4 visits) in order to tell if you are stable enough to qualify for GRS. Needless to say, the wait time is upward to 19 months - just for that process.
I waited and went through this process. I didn't want to initially, because the CAMH program has horror stories of the way they treated patients, that asks invasive questions about your masturbation habits and kinks and other messed up stuff. My endocrinologist assured me that the GIC had an overhaul of doctors and the program standards had changed (which threw me off when I was asked these types of questions after all - which sent me into a two month depression spiral).
There really is no public available information about the whole process and what to expect. The impression I had, was that you go through the 4 visits for the assessments, then they have a meeting and decide if you are stable. Then if you're approved, you get your funding letter. Then you find a surgeon, wait on their wait list and get the surgery. It used to be that only one doctor in Montreal (Brassard - who has now retired from FTM surgery and passed on FTM to Belanger) is the only doctor that performed surgeries in all of Canada that was covered through all provincial health plans. I'm not sure when this changed, but Ontario had made it so you didn't have to travel to Montreal. You could go ANYWHERE to any doctor who accepts OHIP.
I was told on the phone that I had unofficially been approved a month before my final visits, I needed to attend the last set of appointments to finish the process. Excited, I called a lot of doctors (12) in Toronto, all of which told me that they do not accept OHIP coverage (but if they did, there would be a $7,400 privatization fee), or never returned my calls. I wanted to find a surgeon right away so I had a name to give CAMH, and was shocked that in the biggest city in Canada, zero doctors accept our provincial health plan benefits.
At my final appointment at CAMH (last summer), the doctor said something along the lines of, "so you're going to Montreal then?" and that's when I told him my disappointment of not being able to find a surgeon in Toronto, and the fact that I felt like I wasted my time, and that transparency is a huge problem because there is such a lack of information on what to expect going through the GIC (I actually recorded this appointment on my iPhone because after the questions about how often I masturbate, what I think about when I do, what fetishes I had, positions in which I have sex, I wanted proof of their treatment. I do plan on putting the audio on soundcloud when I no longer need my funding).
So then, CAMH doctor told me that OHIP has a list of out of country surgeons that they accept in the past, and if I find a doctor who isn't on the list, they need to make sure they can be approved. I asked if I could get this list, and no, I couldn't, it's not available. So I posed the question along the lines of, if OHIP has a pre-approved list of surgeons, why aren't they sharing it? CAMH didn't know. Long story short, I left super disappointed.
So after about 4 months of being depressed and calling more surgeons in my area (that I could find through Google), I called CAMH back and said, sure, send me to Montreal, even though in my heart I didn't want to travel that far, I don't have the money to travel that far, and don't feel right about not having a physical consult because pictures aren't sufficient. This was in March. I got my OHIP funding letter and a package from the doctor in Montreal. I haven't filled it out yet.
Last month, I *magically* heard about a doctor that *might* accept OHIP 20 minutes away. I had a consult with her, and she was disgusted with my story. She said she would submit the paperwork to OHIP so she could do the surgery. I told her that my worry was that OHIP would decline me because they already approved Montreal and I would have to wait until that letter expires, in two years. She looked me straight in the eye and said something like, "they're (OHIP) going to have to accept that this is unacceptable and the wait list is too long for that doctor in Montreal, nobody should have to go to Quebec for procedures." I don't remember her exact wording.
I got a call yesterday confirming that the paperwork has been sent off, and it could take 3-6 weeks for a decision.
For the first time in a year, I feel like I have a hope of actually getting surgery close to home, but I am still worried that it's not going to be for a while.
So I realized last night that I hadnt really updated you guys lately. I dont blog NEARLY as much as I used to, but hopefully I can bring it back up at some point
So, so far I am LOVING my new job. The people here are SUPER supportive and understanding, and are well aware of me being transgender. They're totally cool with it, and even said that when it comes time for my surgery, as long as I give them a heads up before hand (which I totally would anyway) I can take the 2 weeks off to heal. My boss has been really cool about it and I love coming to work
As for my youtube, I am still attempting to keep up with it lol I have my new one (probably the shortest vid I've ever done!) and another one coming up at some point in the week. My upload times are scattered now with my new job, since I usually dont get home until around 4am on tuesday so getting up early on wednesday to film and upload is near impossible. I'm so tired! Either way, I'm doing what I can with what I have. Unfortunately my camera on my computer is nearly impossible to use as it freezes and the framerate lags like no other, so I'm reduced to using my ipod to film. Which can be a pain sometimes and looks sooooo unprofessional but....whatever. Use what I got. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Da5exjrQ8]
In reference to the top surgery, I DID find a surgeon! The hospital I were originally supposed to go with continues to be stubborn in saying "one year of HRT" is their "policy" and they refuse to deviate from it. So I told them I'd take my business elsewhere. I found another guy who does the top surgeries, and have talked to two people who have also gone to him and said he was great. Only bad review I found about him was about a girl getting lip injections and she sounded whiny and demanding so I didnt take it to heart. He does not require HRT or a year's worth of Gender Therapy (which is great because I called to set up an appointment with one of the gender therapist. The list goes on until next year!!!). Originally my appointment were supposed to be for August 18th but they had to reschedule for September 1st because the surgery consultant is on vacation.Which is longer to wait but I'll just have to deal with it.
So far it's looking like the insurance WILL cover the surgery since I am in pain and discomfort which disrupts my daily life, but until I see the surgeon and get all the info, I cannot be sure. Fingers crossed that they'll cover it!! The back pain has been horrible lately I'm now at a 44DDD and my binders hurt to wear, on top of the fact that they dont really seem to do much to hide my "issues" anymore....It's super depressing. While working bar I do get the occassional "mister" or "buddy" or "guy" and "he". But I still get the she, her, miss, etc....There's not much I can do about it. I did mention to my boss out of a joke that it's a pain because sometimes you just cannot correct them without seeming rude, and she patted me on the back and said to give it time. I'm just a super impatient person.
Being back on my Zoloft has helped a little bit, but I'm thinking of increasing the dosage (Yes, my doc said I could. She said to finish this week on 25mg then go to my 50mg that I have stashed away from a previous dose). So we'll see how that goes. I have resisted self harm for about a month now, and although I've had nights when I certainly were ready to break that stride, I have so far stayed away from it. I'm hoping to keep staying cut-free, and keeping myself busy at work seems to help. It's nice because a lot of my job, I'm either super busy or on my own out in the woods, which helps. Seclusion sometimes helps the anxiety.
Anyways, stay awesome!
I've made the decision to stop blogging on this site, there are two reasons for this the first is I have run out of things to say that have any real trans relevance, because living life as a trans woman has become so normal after my transition 8 months ago and taking oestrogen for over two and a half years. The second reason is, I suspect that many UK trans issues are different from within the US where most of the site membership seems to belong to. This is evidenced by the lack of comments and likes from some quarters to my comments and blog entries, this lends a rather parochial appearance in my eyes. To those of you who who do not fit that description, I am sorry to be leaving, and I'll miss you.
TW: Childhood abuse, molestation, flashbacks.
Any person who'd been following my writings would know that I use art and poetry and music as a way of dealing. So I guess that while I'm struggling as much as I am at the moment, I'm also producing a lot of artwork. Tonight was bad. Broken sleep for about four and a half hours mostly interrupted by flashbacks of abuse and molestation I suffered as a child. I keep thinking to myself, "You know, you really should be over this by now. The last time he laid a hand on you was a decade ago." But I still have nightmares. I still have vivid flashbacks that happen to me as if he's in the room with me. I have extreme anxiety attacks.
I wrote about my flashbacks, you can read about it HERE. (My poetry blog has a bit of swearing in it, so be aware.)
I find that certain tasks like cutting and washing and organizing my pencil case and arranging things helps stave off the worst of the attacks. I have terrible OCD that gets so bad some days I can't leave the house.
I don't know why things are bad at the moment. I've been sick. I've been struggling with getting transphobic friends out of my life. I'm struggling finding work. I'm depressed a lot. And now for some reason I have anxiety attacks and flashbacks making my already insomnia-stricken nights worse.
Is it weird that I'm looking for a job thinking "I could really use a holiday." I don't know. I'm mostly rambling.
Learned about the concept, "Living Apart Together," (LAT), when I was surfing the 'net for "couples living apart happily," as I love my apartment and my town, Beacon, but miss having a woman (I am a cisgender Lesbian) to love and care about, because my community (Dutchess County, NY) is very TLGB-phobic. My additional reasons are that I am a loud snorer, and have some other habits that I am too embarrassed to talk about.
Interestingly, "Living Apart Together," (LAT) came up. Most of the information about it came from England, Australia, and Germany, with a little about it from the U.S. This is probably because the U.S. is a relatively sexually conservative country.
How it came about was in England, during their census (like ours, every ten years), they noticed starting in the year 2000, but dramatically increasing in 2010, a lot of handwritten comments on people's census forms, explaining they were somewhere between being single and living together. The British government hired three universities to better explain this new social trend.
Most of these couples were monogamous, and had various reasons for being in LATs.
Also, without knowing it, I realized that I was in a LAT! Was very much in love and went with a transwoman for ten years, until her friends started getting married (at that time, Holy Unions), and she wanted to get married, too. Was very happy to marry her, but my reasons for not marrying was I knew Straight and Gay disabled people lost their disability benefits due to marriage, fear of bankrupting my beloved (she wanted to marry me anyways), because she would then be responsible for my medical bills and medications (at that time, insurance did not cover Gay partners), she lived ten miles off the bus line (she was ok dropping me off at the nearest bus stop on the way to work), and, as a butch, I was not comfortable with a fem supporting me. Of course, TODAY, I would have had an "underground marriage," (very common even today for people on disability), and would have kept my public housing apartment, using it for storage and as a mail depot, while living with her, just visiting my apartment once a week to clean, check my phone messages and pick up the mail.
The advantages may be:
- Be able to avoid getting "underfoot" with one another
- Great for those who travel long distances for work
- Be able to keep the relationship "fresh" and "special"
- Be able to connect regularly by e-mail, telephone, texting, Skype and snail mail
- Be able to be more romantic by sending packages and gifts
The disadvantages may be:
- In a crisis, may not be able to get together as quickly as you may want to
- Both of you must NOT have trust issues
- Won't be able to share quality time together on a day to day basis
- May not be the best way to raise children
Realized that my relationship was a LAT, even before they had a name for it. Also, I realized had we moved in together, our relationship would have very likely been short lived.
Today, I am open to a LAT, either as a prelude to a living together arrangement or as a permanent arrangement. Would try a living together arrangement on a trial basis, and, if there are problems caused by living habits, return to the LAT arrangement.
Here are some links about LATs:
Would like to hear from others who have been in a LAT and/or living together arrangement and what you think about each!
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Your world can change immensely in one day. Days, months, and years of trepidation gall away once the switch changes. Decisions, once made and committed to redefine the way we engage with the world.
in March 2015, I boarded a train for Montreal to take me to the Centre Métropolitain de Chirugie where my body world be transformed for the last time.
The record of my musings was recorded in this existing blog. If You like what I wrote, please let me know. I may continue at tgguide.
Recently I was invited to perform at a spoken word event for young black people in South Eastern CT. The title and theme of the event is : In My Skin. I was invited because though I am new to the Spoken word scene, I caught the eye of a fellow performer whom wanted to share my story. We'd performed two months ago at a school event and she enjoyed my piece as much as I enjoyed hers. The event is not for another month and I'm nervous about getting up in front of strangers to share either of the two pieces. the first is about being a mixed race kid raised in a white suburb and how that didn't matter to me until I learned how to be black. the second piece is about what it's like to be a gay black/white trans male and about the stereotypes I fall into..
I have a month to practice. The first piece aptly called "How to be Black." is radical if only for what it says.( My pride in being the best of both cultures, white and black.) The second named, 'In My Skin.' is about how being black doesn't really matter to other trans people, bu being trans matters to other black men. It's about catching the cold shoulder. It's about being gay and getting passed over for dates. it's not all negative. it's actually a little funny so far, and I wrote it just for the event. I'll share them when I'm done. Three more weeks until my Endo visit. August 18th can't get here soon enough.
I feel much better. It took me a couple of days to emerge from the mental crater left behind from my meltdown a week ago. Work and a business trip, took my mind off of things for a while. It was the perfect medicine for what ailed me which I knew would be the case.
I had to buy sports bras because running has become painful. 2 for $20 from Costco. Breasts are a pain in the a$$, but I'll take them. Lol! I am almost a size B which is crazy. My left breast is growing faster than my right. I don't want them to get too big. I like to exercise quite a bit, so they just get in the way. Plus being big breasted makes it harder to find dresses. I can always add padding if i need to.
Work is getting better. I finally feel like I am starting to fit in after 2.5 years at my current job, lol!
My wife did tell two close family friends, who go to our church and are the godparents to our kids, that I am trans*. My wife said that they were supportive, which is good news. Not sure other members will feel the same.
Thank you for all of your love and support! I cannot do it without you all.
I hope that you have a glorious week.
Love and Blessings,
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Why tears. Well I've always been an emotionally strong woman. Yes, strong as in vocalizing what I think and how I do thigs, as well as not needing a Knight to save me I can save him too... I'm a fighter after all.
Well in the last month I've been disciplined for not informing my commander about a lone child on street late at night! I asked if that wasn't part and parcel of my work to serve and protect, and if so. Give me a written instruction stating I should leave a defenseless five year olds on the street at 22:00 or anytime when I find a small child unsupervised. Disciplinary actions immediately stopped as no commander wants to be held responsible as the person who instructed members under them to disregard the safety of their community let alone that of children. But yes, that was in an emotional state of, I love children and no one is going to stop me when it comes to the future grown ups, because without them who are going to ensure our safety.
Now for my tears...
I got angered by family and friends, and my realization has come that only persons I have allocated a space in my heart can bring me to tears. So some apparent reason this has always eluded me. I'm hard, but soft to the touch, easy to look at and a major pain in the butt if need to bring my point over.
I've also found that children and animals are a sore point for me when mistreated. Even though I despised my moms dog for wanting to kill my Labrador and almost succeeding and biting me before I went into fighting mode. But that was self preservation on my part, I couldn't bring myself to say I'll miss him as he was euthanized, but started sobbing over Mike the Labrador who passed on years ago.
Does this make me emotionally stinted, as I can't comfort someone close to me in grieving. I know I can blame my brother who didn't even allow me to grieve after my father's passing, which ended with my foot in a demanding priests face, as he tried to take something from me.
But silent tears still flowed when the missing gets to much. Tears flowing when I'm angry is even worse because that means I want to punch someone., but those also only flows if I care about the person, but I don't want to see or hear from them till I'm ready for that person.
The one most of us hate would be tears that makes us revert to wanting to bobe alone. At that time to many emotions are attacking me just want to be alone.
Today's was that I wanted to release some anger I'm feeling towards a friend for calling me dumb when I couldnt find a him or the place we were going to. GPS didn't work either, nor the number of the place. Well I'm done with bitching for a bit, let me get ready for Eid as I have Muslim family and friends. Eid Mubarak to all, and have a blessed and heart felt day.
Michele is out......
Even in the darkness of this dark day, I must give thanks. I can sitll stand. I can still walk. I can still breathe. Some have reached they're day of quiet. I do not know why there must be so much sorrow in this world. I do not know why there must be so much hate. I hear those that have left us are speaking to me from beyond. I hear they're voices clearly like waves breaking upon the shore. They speak with one voice. Listen. It sounds like this. "The quality of mercy is not strained ...." ( William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene One).
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I've just moved back home after being away living at my parents' house for 10 weeks following separation from my girlfriend of 8 years. Early this year and following a long, gradual "sink down" into this bad unhealthy relationship I decided to take a "deep dive" look into that whirlwind of crazy thoughts in my head and to my horror (or so I thought at the time), discovered what is gender dysphoria. I immediately recognized myself. That led me to spend the next four months locked up in my recording studio downstairs, smoking excessive amounts of hash and watching crazy shit on the web while trying to numb myself as much as possible, somehow hoping this dysphoria thing would magically go away...yeah that really worked!
Finally in April, getting really scared I would trigger another downward spiral into other drugs or alcoholism (I have not drank since 2000) so I looked for and luckily found a clinical psychologist who specializes in Trans people like us and through several long emails and one telephone conversation, helped me realize I had to make this real and move forward with my transition. That led me to have a complete emotional breakdown and I left two days later. Since my ex has deep long term personality issues, a heavy drinking problem and always promised to work to help with bills but never did, leaving was easily justified without having to "out" myself.
After a couple of weeks, I decided I would come out to my 17 year old step daughter Isabelle as she is the person who is closest to me. Her generation is amazing...she totally got it and was actually extremely happy I am doing this and willing to encourage and help me through my whole transition.
My sister who is 4 and a half years younger than me was the second one I was going to tell. For the record I am 48. She is in psychology having gone back to school to earn her doctorate and will be finished before the end of this year. I met her at a Casey's restaurant in Ottawa and gave her the news. She was very compassionate about the whole thing, realizing her "brother" has been living with this "her" whole life. I do have to say it took her about a month and one visit to my own therapist to truly accept what I have and have to do... This has actually brought us much closer.
My ex has left me an incredible mess as she was a clothes hoarder and when I stepped in the house a week before last Friday, I walked over to my couch, sat down and still couldn't help but get the biggest smile on my face and take in a feeling of incredible relief and liberation. Relieved by the fact that I could start living as myself for the first time in my life and liberated by the fact I could start anew on my own terms. I also knew I wouldn't be going through this alone. Shortly after leaving 10 weeks previous, Isabelle asked me if she could stay with me. I said yes since it was ok with her mom and asked her to come to one of my sessions with my therapist. This was important to me as I played a huge role in raising her and want to be there for her always. My therapist later congratulated me about us having such a healthy relationship and added I am lucky to have her with me during this difficult time...
I am 6' tall and during the last year have lost 75 pounds by quitting wheat and closely monitoring my sugar intake. After moving back, I put all my clothes in bags except for the essentials I need for work and gave them away to charity... Shortly after having told Isabelle my little secret, she took me shopping at La Senza and I bought all new underwear having the plan to ditch all my boxers as soon as I returned home...I did that and it felt wonderful! Guess I have to start somewhere...
My therapist has pointed me to a group which meets monthly which helps a lot and she also helped me find a new family doctor who has agreed to refer me to an endocrinologist for hormones asap. This doctor's appointment in on August 12th and I can't wait...
My anxiety is through the roof...
In closing this first of many blog entries, I want to say how grateful I am for having found this site and also how proud and priviliged I feel of having this community from which I am learning a lot and already feeling a lot of love and support...
Thank you tgguide and I hope my entries will help others as much as reading this site has helped me so far...
With love from Gatineau, Quebec...
Magnolia flowers as with many plant flowers have perfect flowers or another term bisexual flowers. This means the flower has both a functional male stamen & a female pistil flower part. Also in nature some plants are mono-ecious, meaning male & female flowers are found on different parts of the plant. This is extraordinary to me because in nature it is so common place for organisms to posses both female & male qualities. A magnolia tree could be called transgender, without an...y other conditions or stipulations. If there is such evolving happenings taking place in nature all the time. Are we as human beings not part of this earthly experience? We are so caught up in female & male identities when in nature adapting to ever changes of environment is just all about preserving life. As long as the conditions within the environment are right, nature seems to find a unique way of reproduction.
I really never expected this.
When I first started out in this journey I told myself that I didn't care what I looked like in the end. I didn't care if people always saw me as a man who wants to be a woman. At least I would be honest. At least I was being me. I could finally let go of the pain of lying and projecting myself as male that I held onto for so long like some kind of comfort blanket... made of rabid raccoons - That kept me safe... in an emotionally scarring sort of way.
For a long time that was the truth. Some days were better than others in the beginning. Some days I felt I passed and other days I felt like people could see right through my wig and my makeup for the drag queen that I was. As time went on and the hormones took their toll on my face and body I actually started to feel less passable. It felt awkward but at least it still felt right. Looking back on it, the looks everybody gave me probably weren't them saying to themselves, "what a freak," like I thought they were - it was probably them being genuinely curious about my gender.
Looking back on a journal entry from early in my transition I remember myself stating that I wasn't sure about going all the way - that being androgynous would be enough. Funny that when I finally made it there it felt so wrong. Fear is a strong thing and I think that was my way of coping with the fact that I might not have been able to look like a woman - coupled with the fact that for a while I wasn't able to unsee my male self when I looked in the mirror. When people looked at me funny, curious about my existence, I just wanted them to see me as another girl in the street. My hair had gotten long enough (and thick enough) and I was so sick of the uncomfortable wigs that I stopped wearing them. I started to look not really one gender, not yet the other.
Recently I was beginning to notice that the attention was waning. Something in me started to panic. Maybe it's because I had gotten used to people's stares, I'd gotten used to room full of people who would take turns staring at me until it seemed like everyone had done it at least once. I didn't even realize that people stopped looking because they no longer register me as anything other than... female.
Wrapping my head around this is a little weird! Maybe it's because I thought it would never happen and for a while my inferiority complex (still lingering from trying to live as a man) wouldn't let me believe that I was being seen as a woman. The only time looks linger now is because they think I'm cute! The smiles people give me aren't sinister - they're genuine. New people don't do the double-take that they once did when I walked up to them. Chatting in a cafe just today when I brought up anything trans related my friend would lean in and whisper as though no one else in the coffee shop needed to know. It was our little secret and she looked so excited for me!
Now I need to decide what to do with this. Two years ago I told myself that I would move out of town, change my name and start a new life if I was ever able to go stealth. But with all the support and new friends I've made I can see that was a decision made purely out of fear. I've already decided that being passable is going to work a lot to my advantage but in my career and in my life I really want to get into trans support and trans rights. Why vanish when I could do much more by being visible? Apparently being passable is helpful in that regard and while I don't think that's right on society's part I want to do what I can to change the general public's viewpoint. Somehow. Slowly, surely.
Let's see what happens now.
When I was a boy much like many of you I did all the usual things, riding skateboards, bikes, hanging with my elementary school friends etc.
My home life at this time was pretty odd, my father was a car nut and that was all he cared about when he wasn't working. All his free time and free money went into a host of cars. We as his family never knew from day to day what type or kind of car he'd come home in. So it didn't take me long to to search outside my own yard for companions. My mother and grand mother were always together at my grandmothers house watching their soaps and couldn't care less where I was or what I was into, so directly behind my grandmothers house was another house just on the other side of the driveway, this house was home to a mother, father and five girls. I can't even remember their names now save for a couple of them, but none the less. I became friends with them and hung out in their yard playing everything from dolls to making mud pies, then the house next to theirs was directly behind my house and a young girl lived there named Tammy. She and I became best friends quickly, the other girls that I played with next door were older and more interested in boys their own age, but yet remained friendly to me, but as far as playmates and companions they were not. Now Tammy and I had a unique friendship. I was perhaps 8 or 9 years old when we met. Her father and mother were strange people and fiercely overprotective of her and with good reason, she was gorgeous even as a young woman. I think she was 10 or 12 when we met. Now her father would not allow her to come into my yard or vice-versa. So we had to opt to play together through a woven wire fence where we'd spend our summers days sitting Indian style talking and playing, I'd put my hand through the fence and pass her hot wheel cars and I'd lie on my stomach in the dirt to hold her dolls upright so that we could play barbie dolls and this made her so happy and we had a lot of fun. What interests me is looking back I was always outside in my white fruit of the loom underwear and nothing more and I always remember her as being neatly dressed and groomed.
Even to this day I think back and remember how my mother, grandmother etc; whomever was "babysitting" me always made me change into my undies before going out to play so that it'd make my school clothes last longer, but then again that was in the 1970's. Things were different, it was a different time. During all these summers I never ever pictured her as a sexual creature, it was all so innocent, then one day a family moved in two doors down from us.This is as they say is were the plot thickens....
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I woke up this morning feeling like this picture... so much of me and not sure how to spread myself so that i'm not defeated. first of all, i love life. i am finally enjoying being the person i've always been. and not afraid to live it. there is so much in the world that stirs me crazy, but one thing that will always stand strong and stand out - I'm a transgender human with lots of love for family, friends, and new people.
I Have been following all the Jenner news. This has stirred some of my recent thinking. What is the core of why we have our feelings and want so much to change. I think there is a certain desire to see ourselves as beautiful. Women express this better than almost all men. When I put on a dress I feel changed. When I see most other men I see most of them as lazy/unkempt, fat/heavy and scuzzy. This is the excepted image of men. I do not fit this image and I know I am stared at a lot by other men, usually in restrooms, who do not expect a beautiful looking man. When I look beautiful (Handsome) day-to-day, I am often mistaken for a girl, even when in unisex or masculine clothing. I usually do not go out of my way but I am well groomed, very tan, fit and now have longer styled blond hair. I think some of why I wish I could change is rooted in the concept of beauty - and if men could also be beautiful in what is currently a woman's norm early in life - I think fewer would be unhappy with their body image and fewer would want to change. Here is another thought. I think is more acceptable to be changed completely into a woman than it is to dress and adorn ones self in a similar fashion. Yes, I would love to wear a colorful attractive dress and show off my small waist and still not try to hide that I have a somewhat feminine looking male body. However, I feel less anxiety when I go through the complete effort of hiding any maleness as I look completely like a woman. Also, I actually feel safer in woman mode as I do not see myself as a homosexual; not wishing for men to lust for me in this fashion.
So, today I just watched my wife drive off. She's gone and I'm here at my mother's house. I was offered the chance to come back home so many times if I just do not change. It was very tempting but I know for sure that i'll just be depressed and ready to end myself if I keep living a fake life.
People keep telling me how this choice that I'm making is effecting everyone. Basically I'm the cause of everyone's in this situation. I understand that need a scapegoat for their pain but all I'm doing is being me. Most people get to do that with out getting a finger pointed at them.
I'm very thankful for all my supportive friends and some of the family that have been supportive too. This is going to be a positive change for me and I don't want to let others drag me down into the goo.
A couple or three months ago, I discovered a new channel in my cable channel line-up, and in doing so, spotted "Starsky and Hutch" in the primetime programming. I hadn't seen it since it went off the air, though I did see the 2004 movie. I've been watching the 1975-79 show since then, enjoying the action, and seeing things I never saw before.
I watched "S&H" religiously. I even remembered that the show, at least for a while, came on on Wednesdays. So why wasn't I able to sit back and watch the show and think to myself on occasion, "oh yeahhhh... I remember this episode!" It was like I was seeing each episode for the first time night after night. After about two weeks, I started googling stuff about the show - something you couldn't do back in 1975.
How can someone who was such a fan, remember only the characters? Oh, and the opening theme song. I also liked that big cannon of a .357 Magnum that Hutch used. And I remember that brown and white cardigan that Starsky wore on occasion. I even had a similar cardigan. I loved that cardigan. However, show after show, I failed to recognize any of the episodes. Every so often, it seemed like a memory was about to be triggered. And eventually, there was a scene in one episode that I thought I remembered. Or maybe I just convinced myself that I remembered because it got to the point that I felt like I had to remember. I should remember. I didn't even remember the touchy-feely-makes-you-wonder-if-they're-gay-lovers-but-they're-always-after-the-girls kinda characters.
After a couple more weeks of watching "S&H" reruns, and still not recognizing any of the episodes, I started wondering why. Yes, I liked Hutch's gun - I had a toy gun similar to his when I was a kid. And I liked Starsky's cardigan. Did I mention that I really like that cardigan? And that sweater I had made me sorta feel like Starsky. Then it hit me - I couldn't remember the show itself because of Starsky - I wished I was Detective David Starsky. With that .357 Magnum (instead of Hutch). That's why I can't really remember any of the episodes. When I watched the show each week, I apparently "stepped into the TV," pretending to be Starksy. I was the cop that got into shoot-outs, wild chases in that slick lookin' Torino, always lost out on the pretty girls to my partner. Hutch was annoying like that.
Now that I'm older, and have found different ways to be me...I can sit back and watch "S&H" for the first time. But I guess somewhere deep down, I still sorta wish I was Starsky...
While I was sitting at home-.. Enjoying a cup of coffee and having an online conversation with a friend of mine who're also a transgender person.
Just chatting about clothes, make-up and everything between heaven and earth, suddenly like a lightning struck my mind is filled with doubt.
Am I really a girl deep inside?
Am I just having a gender identifying crises?
Can I really live with myself if I start my transformation?
Or am I just going crazy?
Most of the time I feel confident that I was supposed to be a girl, other times the thought makes me sick..
And then I can't help to wonder-.. Am I really a girl?
Reason why I don't think I'm a girl:
1. I was born and raised as a boy, and never thought too much about my gender.
2. I lived my teenage years hanging with mostly boys, acting boysih.
3. I am a cold person, and I am not so much in contact with my feelings. ( Or atleast I want to believe that.)
4. I keep getting these huge doubt/guilty feelings once in a while.
5. I have not, and do not act "Girlish".
Reason I am a girl:
1. It feels right when the doubt or guilt don't strike me.
2. I've never been interested in most boy stuff, football, cars, sports generaly.
3. I do remember some incidence from my childhood, and teenage years where I asked myself ( Why am I not a girl?)
4. I love girls clothing I feel like a huge weight disappears from my shoulders when I wear girl's clothing
6. I have always felt more comfortable being with girls.
7. I view myself as a girl in my mind, when I think forward, I see myself as a girl.
8. The thought of being a girl makes me happy.
9. I like to believe my mind IS a girls.
AND THIS IS WHY I AM CONFUSED.
I don't want to be a boy, but I feel sick every time I start to think about taken the next "step", confronting my family..
It all makes it seem to much easier to just-.. Keep being a boy.. Since I lived twenty years as a boy.
It'd save me a lot of pressure, confronting..
But it also makes me sad thinking about not pursuing my dream..
I couldn't think of anything else that would make me as happy, as finally living in the big city.. As a girl.
But yet I have these thoughts of remorse.
And why do I have them, they're stupid, annoying and useless as ****..
But Yet they keep coming up..
I keep wondering if I'm trying to force myself into being a girl, but in reality I'm just a very confused boy?
I didn't grow up as a girl, frankly if I ever said I wanted a dress I'm sure my dad would have beated me half dead.
I never knew you could become a girl, I had the thought, but I didn't pursue it, and I didn't question my gender.
I was born a boy, so I must be a boy?
Writing this helped a bit-.. I'm very confused once this feeling of guilt and doubt hits me.
Have a great day
Wow So much has happened in the last year (since 5/1/2014) the day first saw my therapist and she said those fateful words “oh it sounds like you may be transgender.” I’d never heard those words before. But those words that have turned my world upside down. No actually they have turned my world upside right, but have turner everyone else’s upside down.
So here’s what has happen since I heard those words
On May 31st came out to my wife
Sometime in July, finally said I might be transgender.
August 29th went to my first Trans Support Group
August 30th came out to my health coach
October said that I am transgender
November 2nd came out to my colorist
November 10th met a trans friend
November 17th came out to my doctor
November 17th started wearing nothing but women’s clothes every day
About November 20th stopped having migraines
November 19th came out to my nail girl
December 3rd came out to my massage therapist
December 3rd through January 31st came out to about 25 sales women
About January 1st stopped taking all medications, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or antidepressants
January 10th saw new therapist
January 11th got fitted for my first bra
January 31st told 2 women at blood bank
About February 1st totally accepted and even embraced the fact I am transgender.
February 2nd came out to friend in Texas (1st guy)
February 18th told my new doctor
January 28th told 2 more women at blood bank
March 16th came out to my cousin
March 28th came out to my daughters
March 28th through April 30 came out to 10 other sales women
April 22nd met a new friend and she totally accepts me for me
April 25th came out to my best friend (2nd guy)
So now today I don’t hate myself. I don’t hate the fact I am transgender. In fact I love me for who and what am, and that’s a transgender woman.
On the day you I firs heard “you may be transgender” and there was a magic pill I could take to make me not be trans, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.
3 months ago I am not sure I what would have done. Today I am not taking it and there’s no way you can force it down my throat.
I used to look at it as a curse, but now see it as a blessing. I would not want to be not trans because I would not just lose part of me, I would lose me.
I am so much a peace with who and what I am I have not taken any numbing medications(sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or antidepressants ) in over 4 months and have only had 1 migraine in 5 last months. I think that’s really awesome. It’s not that I feel better than I ever have it that I feel alive for the first time.
So today I say I am transgender,
YES I AM PROUD TO BE TRANSGENDER!!
“oh it sounds like you may be transgender.”
PS by the way the translation “oh it sounds like you may be transgender.”
for me is "of course you not a sick disgusting pervert" which is what I thought for most of the first 55 year of my life" So in essence those words have freed me from my self made prison I spent my whole life in.
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I wrote a book - The Definition of Normal by E S Carpenter - because I studied psychology and learned that there is a ton of educational / psychology proof that TG / TV / CD people and their admirers are NORMAL! And I am very tired of the social beating these groups get, from the so called 'normal people'.
These lifestyles, along with LGBT have existed since humans have existed, and it is about time someone explain the educational information available, so the non-educators can learn. Seems almost all LGBT / TG / TV / CD education material is in Peer Review Journal Articles - not readily accessible to the general public. I have no idea why our wonderful higher educational system does not gladly offer access to this information - but that is a discussion for another day.
I studied the information in the book. The pschological facts are accurate. Yes, they are woven inside a love story. ...Believe it or not, for the reasons the character 'Lorraine' gives in the book: Most people can't process formal operational thought (theory only). SO I wrote a concrete operational love story around the information, so more people would access.
The book is free on Amazon to read. See how 'NORMAL'. Then let's talk if you want?
I’ve felt like crying many times in the last few decades but have never been able to really let it go. Yesterday was different. Fair warning: I don’t mean for this to be a “pity party” at all and I hope it doesn't come off that way. <big sigh>
As my wife and I walked to our neighborhood coffee shop yesterday morning I mentioned something that had been bothering me since the previous evening. Our therapist has encouraged me to communicate this stuff so I was following orders. Now, my wife has also been going through some of her own emotionally trying times. She stopped walking, we faced each other and she said, “I’m going to say something that may sound very hurtful right now. I really wish you’d stop thinking of yourself all the time.” Indeed, she was right, I was hurt pretty deeply.
Telling someone that they’re overly sensitive, only care about themselves, and all that, is about the meanest thing you can say to someone. Sure, it “puts them in their place” but more than anything it’s like slamming a door in their face. Afterward, the recipient can only wonder “Am I now again being so self-centered?” And since they face the risk of hearing those words again, they shut down, which only builds resentments and yes, sensitivity to minor slights. I thought about all that as we had our coffees.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t going to bring it up more at the café. And I didn’t want to talk about it on the way home, either. When we entered our house I said that I had something to say and we sat on the couch facing each other.
I told her that I have heard that line so many times in my life and I don’t think it’s accurate to say I am so self-centered. It’s such a hurtful thing to say especially to someone like me who is so careful to “learn all the rules” that people around me want to live by. I try to be “good” by internalizing and following them. And now the message I’ve received from her is that I should just shut down. At that point I was so sad. I told her that I wished I was dead. I meant it.
I don’t mean to be dramatic here but it’s true. Shouldering my trans feelings and shame since I was so young, trying to fit in, and always so careful to not be discovered for not really belonging with the boys, girls, men, or women. It sucks.
She gave me a big hug, told me how much she loves me, and told me how upset and angry she’d be if I did myself in. I think I told her that it was unlikely I'd follow through but I do often think that life is like a life term in prison, just waiting for the end.
She then suggested we go lie down on the bed. When we got in there I told her how sorry I am that I’m “this way.” That I am definitely not trying to manipulate her into something she doesn’t want.
About then I mumbled that I just don’t want to be rejected. And I started to cry. Sobbing, with those jerking shoulders, tears, and all. I think I carried on for four or five minutes. She kept assuring me that it was okay, that I should let it out.
When I was done I didn’t really feel like it was all let out. In fact, she asked me how I felt and I said it felt uncontrollable, like throwing up. You know, running to the bathroom and then convulsing uncontrollably. She agreed that that's what it's like for her, too.
So, that’s it. After waiting more than a half century, I finally got some real tears shed. I think it was helpful but I can tell there are more in there. It’s good to know that I have the capacity to do it. I suppose it’s also good for my wife to know how deeply I feel. I’m very lucky and grateful to be married to her.
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Well good evening!! This blog will serve different purposes for me, the main one is that it helps calm me down when I write, and I am able to express myself better thru writing. The transition is happening later in my life, I am 46, almost 47. I have been married for 21 years and have a son who is 15. And let me preface the spouse and son ARE NOT supporters.
I am 13 months into my journey, and it has been anything but smooth. I had just gotten a job as a big time corporate chef and working at a college, finding acceptance would be easy. Well to a point. I worked for a global fortune 100 company that had a pretty good HRC score, but alas we are located in Wyoming. Yep. A beautiful state, but still not to accepting. Now understand that I am not a trans female who wants to stand out, I want to blend in. I don't want to draw attention to myself. I don't wear dresses or skirts, I am a jeans and slacks kinda girl. Some have asked why not wear stuff other that boring jeans and slacks. The answer is simple. Dresses don't fit my personality. But to me it is the outward appearance that caused me to derail. I will explain.
See to me, getting on the hormones and wearing make up and such was so important, and yet that was my biggest problem. The outward look. Not an issue of passing or not passing ( I hate those terms), it was i worried so much about the outward, I didn't deal with the inward struggles. I was so worried about looking the part, i made a mess of the transition. No let me correct that...a huge mess of things. I regret how a lot of things went down, but while i can't change what was, i can sure make sure to fix the mistakes of the past.
Well thats where i will leave it for now. I will write more tomorrow evening. Thanks lovlies!!!