After almost a lifetime of hating it I finally got the nerve to start removing my facial hair on a permanent basis.
I have always wanted to get rid of my facial hair, but like many others, I guess, it always seemed like a bigger step than getting my legs, chest, etc waxed. After all that grows back after a while and if you discover that you are not as trans* as you thought then no permanent changes are apparent.
Of course getting rid of a few hairs is not as big a deal as GRS but it is a visible change!
Ever since puberty I have heard about electrolysis and been fascinated as to where you get it done and how do you even find someone who has had it done for advice (I have spent most of my life pre-internet). Also as a child I don't think my parents would have signed the consent form or stumped up the cash!
Even as a young teenager I would shave my body hair, I come from the Planet of the Apes it seems, but I have never been able to get my face clean shaven.
So roll forward a few decades and I find myself living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I now have the internet and after years of uncertainty as to why I have always been drawn to wearing what society calls 'women's clothes' I have now learned about words like transgender and dysphoria, so I realized that to have any level of inner happiness I would have to be true to myself and admit that I am a trans* woman. Whenever I say that I feel so happy, and also a little sad that I didn't come out years ago.
Anyhow, I was fed up with shaving my legs and getting razor rash on my chest so I looked online and found a trans* friendly waxing salon not ten minutes drive from my apartment.
I had had a couple of waxing's, when I asked Sam, the therapist, what the machine in the corner was for. She explained that it was a Intense Pulse Light machine, a kind of laser for removing hair.
When I asked if it worked on facial hair I was expecting to be told that It only worked on genetic female hair, I was half expecting disbelief that I would want it done. Instead Sam just told me to go away and think about it for a few days.
When I went for my first appointment I must admit I was having second thoughts, and very nearly didn't ring the doorbell. But I knew that if I didn't do it now I never would and would always regret it!
I had to have a skin test the day before so I knew what to expect, but the real thing is painful.
It is like touching your skin with a hot wire. Luckily the pain only lasts a second while the 'gun' is touching your skin, but I couldn't help jumping a little bit each time. It was the anticipation as much as anything.
I am now waiting for the results to start to become visible. Apparently the hair will start to fall out after ten to twenty days, then when it starts to grow again I will get the next session. It takes about six in all, maybe a couple more if the hair is stubborn!
What I am looking forward to most is not having a semi permanent red face from having to shave twice a day, and of course looking that little bit more feminine.
(For younger readers when I was a teenager we called the police the Fuzz, I consider my facial hair to be a gender policeman, trying to keep me in my prison cell)
A few days ago I came home from work and as usual applied my make-up.
Nothing unusual there, but as I was checking my lipstick I suddenly, how can I put this?
I remembered myself.
I had for a for a few minutes forgotten that I had another personality sharing this body. I was and had always been Susane (I will argue of course that I have always been Susane. I discovered my real name when I was five years old).
It was as though the repetitive task of applying my make-up every day had hypnotised me and that I had never had another name, I was just another middle aged woman taking pride in her appearance.
Of course once the thought occurred to me the feeling started to fade and my old life reasserted itself in my memory. Afterwards, however, I had a feeling of elation so powerful that it hasn't really faded completely a week later! I must just stress that I do not drink or take drugs and I am not on any medication or hormones!
I think the elation came from the sheer joy that I had made a breakthrough in my transition, I had become unselfconscious. If you have learned to drive you know what it's like when you get to that moment where you stop thinking about which pedal to press to change gear and just do it, i think that's what has happened to me.
All my life I have wanted Susan to take over the controls (to continue the driving analogy) and now I have.
That's what the elation was, I have taken over, I am now always me and refer to my former name in the third person. For example the other day I went through his closet and threw out his clothes, leaving him just enough for work purposes and any occasion when he will absolutely need a suit.
I wonder if this is a common experience? Has anyone been their true self for so long that the old, false self is nothing more than a memory?