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Work ID

By Chrissy,

So today I almost got kept out from going back to work from lunch!!!

Ok not really.  But! We have ID cards to get into the building - mine hasn't been updated yet re my name and picture (for no apparent reason I was waiting until my legal name change went through, but HR confirmed I don't need to).

When we scan into the building our pic comes up on a computer monitor at the security post near the entrance.  Usually this doesn't matter as I know all of the security people so I doubt they even look at the screen.  Today after lunch I entered through a side door where there was just one, new security guard.  AS I waited fot the nearby elevator I saw that he kept looking between the screen and me, looking confused :)

I don't know what he would have done, a maintenance person I know happened along right then and stared chatting with me, confirming I work there. (Pretty sure I could have convinced him if I had to)

Anyhow, tomorrow morning i'm going to get a new card with corrected name and picture :)

First, if any of you haven't heard the Junior Vaquez remix of Whitney Houston's "Step by Step" - you should check it out :rolleyes:

This has been a productive week in terms of coming out for me. I've now told all of my closest friends (in person or in writing) that I am transgender. In most cases it wasn't a surprise to them, and the support has been universal. My favorite light-hearted response was from my friend Chris (who is my closest friend among the group) who said "Woo hoo! Does that mean I'm hip?" (he does magic, so I leave it to each of you to decide if it's possible for him to be "hip").

The most substantive positive response was

"This is celebratory news. Please let me know how I can be a friend/supporter/ally/whatever you need. I know there's lots swirling around, and if you need to chat/bounce things off anyone, you've got an ear and a hug in me;) Truly.

Thanks for sharing, and as you continue, please let me know how best to support. There are lots of feelings around pronouns/language. I'm adaptable to whatever works for you. I love you as the person you are and am grateful we are friends."

Followed by an offer to start calling me "Christie" if I wanted (I don't do that in my day-to-day life yet, I don't feel like my external presentation matches that - but the fact that it's now come up probably means it will happen soon, at least in my personal life).

I've also told both of my supervisors at work, and a co-worker with whom I'm fairly close (and found out from her that another person was picking up some hints already - and was positive about it, which was very good considering she is over my 2 direct supervisors).

On the personal side, productivity came in the form of not trying to figure out "an answer" - my initial reaction (to many things) is to think that if I just think about it for awhile, and ask the right questions, I can come up with an answer right away. Well that's not going to happen here, the only way I'm giong to find an "answer" is to keep taking steps until I reach whatever destination is out there for me (or not, there might not really be a destination - as I write this I realize there probably isn't!).

So my approach now is to just look for steps that I can take - take them - see if they feel comfortable - then take another step - repeat...

There was a negative event at work, but one that lead to positive. I overheard several students (overheard is an overstatement, they were talking loud enough that one could think they were trying to talk to me from a distance), they were joking about the idea of a male (I couldn't tell who they were talking about beyond that) wearing a dress to a student event that night.

It wasn't something I could directly address (I'm staff at the school), but I did mention it to my boss, who apparently brought it up with her boss (the one I mentioned earlier), who suggested that they should probably incorporate sensitivity training into student orientation (and I believe she's sincere, she's not the type to just talk about it). So that was good - but the really good part is that it inspired me to try to take more steps to be out at work. It would be inappropriate for me to address the students directly about the issue, but if they ultimately get the point that I am TG it might make them think more about what they're saying.

Well, that's all for now - oh, tonight I'm telling my sister, first family member...

xoxo

Christie

pressing on...

By Chrissy,

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update - on Wednesday my therapist said she would write the letter I need for the endocrinologist, and I have an appointment to see him on August 6 (I made the appointment before having the letter knowing that there would be some lag before I could actually get an appointment, he's apparently very busy).  I know there are some tests they'll have to do first, but my medical history at least doesn't seem to have any counterindicators to HRT.  So I'm hopeful that by mid to late August I'll have started.

Every thought that I have about it is positive - it makes me feel happy, content, sometimes excited - never hesitation.  I think having some time pass since the school-wide announcement went out, and the fact that I'm presenting more and more female, has allayed much of the fear that I felt earlier.  It's gotten to the point where it's strange to hear or use my prior name!  (I'm also starting to look into a legal name change).

One thing that I'm a little hung up on right now is rest rooms.  The schools position is simply that I should use whichever rest rooms I feel are appropriate.  The problem is that I still feel like I'm presenting somewhere in the middle, so I think I feel a little uncomfortable using either!  (they are planning to add a gender-neutral rest room, which I'd probably start using until I feel that I sufficiently "pass").  Then of course there are rest rooms in other places!  Ugh.  Interestingly, the bar that I often go to recently moved (and changed it's motif a bit - it's now officially a "drag bar"), and they now have "Men" and "Women" on their restrooms, which they didn't at the previous location!  It seems like step backwards to me :-)

That's where I am now - I have a few more days off before going back to work, a little more time for introspection before rejoining the working world!

xoxo

Christie

Hi everyone,

So I just recently discovered this site, and since my transition is still relatively new I thought a blog would be a good idea - to keep track of things for myself and see what others might have to offer :rolleyes:

I guess I'll use this entry for a little background. My transition began in earnest about a year and a half ago (it was sometime in the summer of 2013). I started with cross-dressing and discovered quickly that every time I took a step thinking it was for reason "A" it turned out it was really for reason "B." With cross-dressing, I thought I was doing it for sexual/fetish reasons, but very quickly realized that wasn't my reason at all. The first bit of evidence that I recall is that the first time I shopped for clothes (on Venus.com) I went in thinking I was looking for "hook-up" clothing - when my order arrived a few days later I found that I hadn't ordered anything like that at all - what I got was arguably cute and flirty, but not hook-up. So that called into question my reason for cross-dressing.

Even then, it seemed like cross-dressing was just it's own thing - I started doing it at home, and then eventually got up the guts to get dressed at home and actually go out! But still, at that point when I was a boy I was a boy, when I was a girl, I was a girl. The first break in that was my JLo bag from Kohl's (my favorite brand/store combo!). I bought it for cross-dressing as I needed a bigger bag so that I could carry a change of shoes. But almost immediately I started using it every day, boy or girl. Not the boldest, most obvious "statement," but it was a start, it was the first item of clothing/accessory that I used either way.

Now I'm at point where I'm "feminizing" as much as possible - but it's really my thought process that's become more important. I'm hung up a bit on the question of what this - what being transgender - means to me?

More later - thanks for reading!!!!

After almost a week of playing phone tag I finally got in touch with my doctor last night.  I was trying to talk to him about getting a finasteride (sp?) prescription (which he took care of) and a referral for an endocrinologist.  When I originally left the message for him I hadn't said why I was asking for these, so on the phone with him was when I told him that I had come out (I don't like using that term for some reason) as transgender.

I've been going to him for a number of years now (10 or so?  Maybe many more, maybe a few less - time is hard to keep track of), and I like him alot.  Beyond being a really good doctor, he's very friendly, he's ALWAYS on time (my prior doctor was almost always 45 minutes to an hour late for appointments), and he's holistic in his approach.  Consistent with all of that, as soon as I told him I'm trans* he congratulated me, and then asked about my support system.  He then gave me the name of an endocrinologist, and said that once I'm on the hormones he would be able to do the follow-up, but that an endocrinologist was better for setting the initial levels.  He also said that he works with a number of trans* patients, which made me feel even more comfortable.

I haven't officially decided on HRT yet, but I feel like it's going to happen, and possibly quite soon.  I raised the question with my therapist last week, to see what her general "guidelines" are in terms of providing a letter.  She said she doesn't really have any, she's worked with a number of trans* clients and has done letters for them at all different times.  For now she thinks we still need to work a little more through my lingering doubts (which I suspect were really fears, not doubts, but I completely agree with her on this point).

So I now have a pretty decent support system in place - my doctor, my new gender therapist (who I like a lot!), a bunch of close friends who are incredibly supportive, a job that is also very supportive, this website!, an electrologist who I like (and who is also a transwoman), and next Wednesday I'm going to a trans* support group in the city.

As a "side note" this week was the first week when I started to introduce myself as Christie, and be referred to as Christie by a number of people, and it's starting to feel normal :rolleyes:

This actually gives me the confidence to send the email to my sister that I wrote over the weekend.  I had to spend some time on it to make it non-confrontational.

A month or so ago (hard to keep track of the passage of time these days) I found myself becoming addicted to "Ghost Whisperer."  I had seen bits of the show in passing in the past but it never caught my attention until now.  For those who don't know, it was a show from - well, sometime - with Jennifer Love Hewitt in which she could see ghosts of people who hadn't been able to "cross over."  She helps them resolve whatever it is that is keeping them "Earth-bound."  And regardless how neat and sappy the episode is, it never fails to get me to cry at the ending as the ghost "sees the light."

I've never been a particular believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, but I'm a strong believer in the ongoing work of the subconscious.  I believe that it's always vigilant and ready to tell you "you need this, you're ready for this."  I believe that's why my sudden addiction to this show.

My parents passed away about 10 years ago, within about 3 months of each other, and both too young (my mother was 67, my father had just turned 69).  My life, which had been unraveling in slow and not-so-slow motion up until then, went into a full-on tail spin not long after that.  I don't want to go into those details, and I know there are many, many people who have had far worse experiences, but I'll suffice it to say here that my experiences were not run-of-the-mill problems.  I also spent a lot of that time blaming my parents, and not necessarily without cause.

They made a decision when we were born (I have an older brother and sister) that they didn't want to do what their parents did, which was to push them towards or away from particular careers, basically pushing them in the direction they thought they should go.  But in doing so, my parents (I believe) went way too far in the other direction, failing to provide any sense of direction or encouragement to us.  As a result I failed to develop follow-through and beyond that a belief in myself and that I could accomplish things.

Anyway, last night while I was doing my volunteer gig at a comedy theater there was a show going on that wasn't catching my interest, so I found myself going into my own head.  Perhaps a comedian had made a parent reference, but something got me to thinking about them.  And I realized (and this is where "Ghost Whisperer" comes into play) that I needed to forgive them, because until I did I wasn't going to be able to move on, at least as effectively as I can.

And so I did.  Right, wrong, or otherwise I blamed them, and by doing that I was keeping myself focused on what they did wrong and the impact it had on me, rather than taking charge of my own life.  I think I got into "Ghost Whisperer" because my subconscious saw the show's structure and realized that I needed that, and I was ready for it.  It also might have some up because I was wearing my mother's high school ring.  And especially right now I need that, because I've started a journey here that requires (REQUIRES) me to believe in myself.  I find that when I feel any sense of "doubt" lately it's really fear, it's the fear that I will never be "passable," that people will always see a "man."

So there you have it.  My review of "Ghost Whisperer" :rolleyes:

xoxo

Christie

(P.S., for further evidence of my belief that it was time, "Christie" was my birth middle name, and it was my mother's maiden name)

 

 

 

 

Well, my name change became official this past Monday (the 19th).  I was hoping to get some documents taken care of, but was thwarted by the court, they hadn't recorded the last filing, so I couldn't get the certified copy of the order that I needed.  I got that this morning - yay!!!  But then the social security office was closed (at noon!  what's that about!?!?).  I'm hoping tomorrow morning I can get social security and driver's license done, then I'll have what I need to plow through the rest of my list (that'll take a few weeks, but I've prioritized it).

I'm also changing my gender identification for social security and driver's license, they required 2 different certifications (one from a doctor, one from a therapist), but I have both documents now.

As I filled out the payment form at the court I realized it was the first time I officially wrote my new name on something, that felt very good :-)

I went out Monday night with a couple of friends for dinner to celebrate "name day" - we went to a TGIF's in Jersey.  The evening started off very nicely as the hostess complimented my make-up (which was especially nice as it was the make-up i had on all day, just a little touched-up before dinner).  I'll do something more tomorrow night assuming I get my driver's license.

xoxo

Christie

Hi everyone,

I took a somewhat unexpected next step on Friday - and it came with a pretty big bit of self-realization.

Since I started wearing a wig regularly (going on 2 years now) I've been rather relaxed about haircuts. The last couple of haircuts were self-inflicted - I mean "self-done" - and so my natural hair has, I'm sure, not looked so great. But it didn't matter, nobody was seeing it - even if I just went downstairs for laundry, etc., I'd at least wear a baseball cap.

It occurred to me that if I actually met someone and started dating, they would eventually need to see it. So I've known for a little while that I at least needed to get a real haircut and not keep doing it myself. At a practical level I wasn't sure how that would work - would I go someplace without a wig on to get it done?  Unlikely. Would I wear it and take it off when I got there? That seemed likely, but possibly awkward.

I had lunch with a friend on Friday (Bastille Day!!!) and mentioned all of this, and showed her a picture I had found on-line of a hair style that I thought might work for me (BTW, my hair is quite thin, and there is some male-pattern baldness, that's what's made going natural so difficult for me). She agreed with the style, and with my "plan" to go to Supercuts after our lunch. To help me along she insisted that I send her a selfie when I was done :-)   I like that kind of thing, being "backed into a corner" helps overcome any last-minute jitters.

So I went to Supercuts. There was one guy and two women doing hair - I was hoping not to get the guy - I didn't. I explained to the person who did my hair that the last cuts had been my own before I took the wig off, and I showed her the picture I found. I knew she couldn't do exactly what was in the picture, I don't have enough hair :-(   But she got the idea, she knew what I was going for, and she did a great job!!!  I had fully anticipated that I would put the wig back on when we were done, but then I didn't, I went home "natural" (and mind you this was in the city, so "going home" involved a 10 minute walk in Manhattan to the PATH train, a 20 minute train ride, then a 10 minute walk home). It's not my "fantasy" hair style, but I'm not likely to ever have that (see above re "not enough hair", plus I don't think the Farrah hairstyle is so popular these days).

Below is a picture I took after I got home (so my hair was dry). A "pixie cut" as I came to learn is what it's called :-)  Pardon the exposed bra strap and lack of any make-up!

The self-realization happened because as I was walking home I felt a sense of liberation from not wearing a wig. I realized that I had let my wig(s) represent my gender - subconsciously I only felt like a woman with a wig on. Not that I won't ever wear them again, but I need to work through this (especially now that I'm on summer break, so I have some freedom to ease in). Friday night I had to make a trip to Rite Aid, so I decided to do it without a wig. Then yesterday when I went to play tennis I didn't wear it, and again today I went to the gym and the supermarket without it. It really does feel good, it feels like another step towards authenticity :-)

***Please know that I'm not criticizing wearing wigs!!! I know a lot of trans people do, and obviously I was for 2 years and probably will continue to do so. I just personally need to know that I'm fully me with or without it***

Here's a pic -

Chrissy_new_hair.jul1417.thumb.jpg.01a8b 

And unrelated to this post - here is a picture of Cinammon. I got her a few days before my GRS (at Duane Reade when I was getting my surgery-related prescriptions), she went with me to Philadelphia for the surgery, was with me through the entire recovery and ever since :-)  Particularly in the few weeks right after surgery, when I couldn't really write in a journal, I often talked with her about things that I was feeling...she's a great listener, she doesn't judge, she just smiles :-)

Cinammon.thumb.jpg.2c1a9e9620ae8b3c31250

xoxo

Chrissy

Good morning everyone!

First a few updates.  Today, in addition to the little make-up touches I've been adding over the last few weeks, I did my eyebrows and am using lipstick (and lip gloss), and wearing a cute new necklace I bought over the weekend.  A picture from this morning is below.  I did get a "sir" at 7-11 today, but I'm ok with that, he knows me (I stop there regularly on the way to work), and he was looking strangely at me after that (a mix of confused and amused, or something like that).  I've also decided to start using Christie at work (I might segue to it by having "Christie" in my signature line but signing off as "Chris."  I just have to decide who I should "announce" that to and how, as opposed to those for whom i'll just start doing that.  I also "came out" to my tennis group, and when I got my NYC tennis permit on Saturday it has Christie on it (they didn't even question it).

Over the weekend, taking up on Karen's suggestion in one of her recent blog entries, I spent some time down by the Hudson River (on the pier off of Christopher Street).  It's one of my favorite spots, and an area where I almost always feel at peace (perhaps in part because of my personal technology ban when I'm there).  I started with the question she suggested, do I have any hesitations about starting HRT?  (by way of background, I haven't actually decided to start HRT, but I do have an appointment with an endocrinologist on June 20 to discuss it).  My initial gut response to it was "no, but perhaps some doubt."  To me this makes some sense as I doubt that people are often 100% certain that it's the right thing, at least until you start it.  There are no doubt some who are, but not everyone.

I then explored those doubts - which I've done before, but a new strain of doubts revealed themselves this time around.  That is that I feel like I've often made very bad decisions (and not everyday decisions, but more "life changing" ones - I mean, everyone makes bad decisions).  So I spent a little time thinking about what they were, and then why I think I made them (after figuring out if they really were that bad).  I won't go into detail about what those specific decisions were, but a through-line for them is that I simply hadn't thought sufficiently about the consequences.  In one case (deciding to go to law school), the decision itself could have been ok if I had thought more about what I was going to do with it.

In an earlier decision, the decision to not go directly to college after high school, I know that I was thinking too short-term.  At that time I was living at home, and making decent money (relative to my pretty insignificant expenses), and I didn't want to give that up.  So I sacrificed the long-term for the short-term.

That brings me back to transitioning generally and HRT specifically.  I take great comfort in knowing that (1) I am looking a lot at what it means, and what is likely or possible to happen, (2) I'm discussing it in depth with a gender therapist, (3) I'm going to talk to a doctor about the implications, and (4) I'm discussing it here and getting feedback :rolleyes:   So perhaps I will at some point feel 100% certain that it's right, or maybe I'll feel 95% certain and decide that's good enough.  Either way I've got some time.

Probably the big take-away from my thinking and writing this weekend is that I can't make any decision based on fear.  I have to know that I want it, and fully understand (as much as possible) the consequences.

xoxo

Christie

Christie.jun0115.jpg

I went to a TG support group at the LGBT Center here in Manhattan last night.  They meet the first Wednesday of each month (there are 2 groups, 1 for transwomen and 1 for transmen).

I'm hoping that the way it went last night is not typical of the group.  We (actually "they," I was pretty quiet) spent the entire 90 minutes talking about Caitlyn Jenner.  I'm hoping it's just because it was such a big story, and that the group isn't just a current events discussion group.  I was really hoping for an actual "support" group after all.  I'll definitely go again next month, and in the meantime there was 1 person there who I already knew (from the Thursday night Stonewall group), so I might get together with her sometime and can find out more about the group (she's been going for about a year).

On another front - I'm meeting today with the Dean and Associate Dean of the school where I work, they wanted to meet to talk about how they can help with my transition.  I obviously have nothing to compare to, but I feel really great about the support that I've been getting here!  It almost makes me feel bad that I was looking for a new job :rolleyes:.

updates...

By Chrissy,

Happy Monday good people!

On Friday I went and had my tests done for HRT.  Assuming they all come through ok then I'm on my way, my next appointment with the endocrinologist is August 6 (though if they notify me before that that everything is ok I might try for an earlier appointment).  My sense of peace and contentment grows by the minute!  Currently it's just the possibility that something will come back negative on the tests that causes me any anxiety.

Electrolyis is going wonderfully!  I've had 6 or 7 sessions now, and the change is already very noticeable.  When I shave in the morning there is so much less to shave!  I think we're 4 or 5 sessions from doing the initial clearing.  I had done some at-home laser before starting, so that might be making it go a little quicker.

My electrologist also gave me a good pointer on working with my voice this past week, so I spent some time over the weekend practicing at home (it takes a little effort to not feel weird talking to myself, so I start out talking to the cat, because that's perfectly normal!)

On Saturday I put on my new wig and decided to leave it on the rest of the day to start getting used to it.  It was fine until I ate dinner.  I hadn't pinned it at all, so that's when it started to slip off.  I think put in a few bobby pins and that seems to secure it nicely.  I'm going to try working with wig tape as well.

I had planned to "unveil" myself as a woman on July 27 (the Monday after I'm off of work for a week), but electrolysis is making me think twice.  I'm still at a point where I have to not shave a couple of days before each session, and I'm not sure how I feel about how I'd look wearing a wig with stubble.  I'll play with that next week when I'm off and see.  I do plan next week to wear the wig out as much as possible!

xoxo

Christie

Good morning everyone,

I've now finished just over a week on HRT, and a full business week with my "Real Life Test."

There's nothing really to report on the HRT front, which isn't surprising.  I did start a "chart" that I put on my bulletin board so that each week I can write down what, if any, changes I noticed.  This week the only possible change was reduced libido - though I can't say that with 100% certainty yet.

The "real life test" is another story.  I broke through and wore my wig, along with breast inserts, to work and pretty much everywhere this week.  This morning I had an appointment with a surgeon (about my shoulder) and for a moment I considered not wearing it there, but then decided that this is either full-time or it's not, I can't pick and choose.  So I did it, and it went well.  I did have to use my old name for insurance reasons, but they picked up on my transition quickly and added "Christie" to their records (the doctor needs a second to catch up - when he took me to his assistant to schedule surgery he alternated between "Miss Cunningham" and "he" - but that's fine :-)

The only time I can see being out and not wearing the wig is to the gym - that may come as well, but for now I won't just because I don't know how wearing a wig on a treadmill would go :-)

One pleasant discovery was a different type of band for holding the wig on.  It's a band that goes around your hairline and fastens with velcro, and the wig holds on to that.  Far more comfortable than pins, and so far it seems quite secure.

Otherwise to make sure I keep moving forward I just remind myself to "do what I do" - meaning, don't deviate from what I would have otherwise done in order to avoid anyone seeing me with the wig on.

I also went by the LGBT Center this week and got signed-up for their Transgender Resources "system."  I have an intake scheduled in a few weeks so that I can hopefully join a closed support group (the drop-in one that happens the 1st Wednesday of each month has been a disappointment to me so far).  They're also looking into places where I can donate clothing :-)

xoxo

Christie

Top Surgery

By Chrissy,

Hi all,

So today was my top surgery! I had it done by Dr. Jeffrey Rockmore - I can't say enough about him, his staff, and the St. Peter's Surgery Center in Albany. Everyone was incredibly friendly, helpful and supportive, and the results seem really good! (they are still wrapped, and swollen, so I can't say for sure yet).

My friend Bryana went with me - we only met in January but she's quickly become such a good friend, and so graciously and enthusiastically took the trip with me (about 2.5 hours drive each way, and about a 2 hour wait while I had surgery). She did so much to relieve the anxiety I was feeling!

There isn't really any pain, just discomfort (I'm on percocet, but after my shoulder surgery last year there was still massive pain even with that).

Overall I feel even happier about this than I had expected, I feel like I took a huge step towards truly being who I want and need to be 😀

I'll follow-up again as the swelling subsides!

Xoxo

Chrissy

 

Message_1471649809847.jpg

Hi everyone,

I haven't been able to write for awhile - I started school again in September and that's kept me pretty busy.  I'm in the MSW (Masters in Social Work) program at NYU (New York University), which is a full-time program and includes a 21-hour/week internship on top of classes (mine is with a drop-in center for people who are homeless).

Anyway, I didn't come on to write about that, but since the semester is over, and internship is over until late January, I have a little time.

The big update is that my GRS is happening this coming Tuesday!  I leave for Philadelphia on Monday morning, then the surgery is at Hahneman University Hospital with Dr. Kathy Rumer.  I'll be staying in Philly for a week and coming back home after my one-week follow-up with her.

I've already started pre-surgery prep - including stopping hormones a few weeks ago (that one hurt), and today starting an Arnica protocol (it's to reduce or eliminate bruising from the surgery).  Then on Monday I'll be on a clear-liquid diet and have to do some bowel prep (the glamorous side of surgery!).  I have to be at the hospital at 10:30 a.m. And luckily this time my insurance company didn't give me a hard time, they approved the procedure (they also eventually agreed to cover top surgery, which they had rejected initially - it's really good that I work/worked in New York where the state requires these things to be covered.

Since July I've been seeing my therapist twice a week - she provided one of the letters that I needed, and requested the additional sessions - which I think is great (I'm actually going to miss going twice a week, but I can't afford to keep doing that).  So we've talked A LOT about the process - transitioning generally, the surgery specifically, and now the post-transition period.  I used to say that I'd probably be transitioning until I die, but lately I've decided (for myself, others may feel otherwise) that GRS essentially marks the end of my transition - at that point I'll have done as much physically as I'm going to.  Now I'm in a period of "evolution" - discovering who I am - both as a woman and just generally.  It's already begun, and it's been a great process.  I find myself moving away from LGBTQ-specific things - not as a rejection of the community, but as an acknowledgement that I'm straight (as a man I was gay, but not now), so I needed to know that I can function in "straight environments."

So now that I'm more comfortable with school (I was worried a lot about whether I could really do it - now I feel much more confident), I'm going to try to write more.  I bought myself a separate journal to keep notes about GRS - I plan to write that first entry on the train to Philly, and then keep track of what happens, how I feel physically, and how I feel emotionally - I'll try to share some of that here as I go along, in case it's helpful to anyone (recognizing that the experience is going to be different for everyone - but there are still going to be similarities).

I also want to write more about my "evolution" - that was something that I (understandably) didn't focus on until more recently.  The physical transition is one thing, but as I felt myself living a more authentic existence it also became important to know how I wanted to live my life.  The benefits are already huge - I find that the friendships that I had are stronger than ever, and the new people I'm meeting are really good people (mostly social work students) - and none of this would have happened without that recognition a few years ago that I am a woman, and I am transgender.

I'll wrap this up for now - I know my attention flags sometimes on longer entries, so I'll stop taxing people's attention span :-)

xoxo

Chrissy

Ok people, sorry for the bummer of a subject line, but a week of insomnia isn't conducive to optimism :)

It could be from my shoulder surgery, but as each day passes that seems unlikely - it's not hard getting comfortable anymore, I just stay wide awake.

I think it is, indirectly transition-related.  It's not because of transitioning, but because the transition had been so all-consuming for awhile that I had put aside other concerns.  Now that i'm acclimating more to transitioning (though not completely yet), i'm faced with the feeling again that so much of my life feels like a vast, empty wasteland, no matter what way I go, or if I don't go anywhere, it's all the same nothing.

Transitioning in this context takes on a new feeling - if i'm going down I might as well go down as me and not a fake :)

sorry for the downer entry - needed to get it out

Christie

3 Weeks on HRT

By Chrissy,

Hi everyone,

I've now been on HRT for 3 weeks - I know the dosage started low, so my expectations of seeing "drastic" changes was set accordingly.  Having said that, these are the things I've observed (or think I've observed) so far:

(1) Sex drive - this has definitely flat-lined at this point, and it's been the case for over a week now.  Attractions are still there, but desire to act on them is non-existent.  Masturbation has also gone away entirely (which frees up a good amount of time on the weekends!)  I'm sure this is just an adjustment and will come back, but it's the one impact I can say has definitely happened.

(2) Skin - I'm less positive about this, but I think my skin may be smoothing out.  I first noticed this last weekend, I was sitting watching TV and randomly put my hand on my leg and it felt different, softer and smoother.  Now I also think it's happening on my arms

(3) Voice - this one i'm almost positive isn't real, but I want to track everything - one of my supervisors said that she thinks my voice is sounding more feminine.  I did explain that as far as I know HRT shouldn't have any impact on my voice, but who knows.

(4) Appetite - hard to be specific about this one, but I've noticed subtle changes in my appetite, both in terms of how much I eat (less) and what I eat (better)

(5) Emotional state - this is subtle, but I think present.  I feel like I have now left behind the nagging (and depression inducing) question of "who am I?" or "who am I supposed to be?", and now my focus is on "what do I want to do?" and "how do I want to spend my time?" - questions that have always been present, but harder to address back when I was spending so much time and effort faking who I was.  It almost seems silly now to think that I could have known what I wanted from my life when I was trying to convince everyone (including me) that I was a gay man.

xoxo

Christie

So, I asked a friend (cis-woman) if we could do lunch on Saturday - just said for now there was something I wanted to talk about. I plan to "come out" to her as transgender.

It feels a little anti-climactic, after all she already knows I cross-dress and not for fetish reasons. But, outside of my therapist she will be the first person to whom (yes, i'm trying to keep "whom" alive!) I will have self-identified as trans.

To me I think the big thing, besides actually saying it out loud, is thinking about how to explain what it means in my life. She won't be judgmental at all, she's awesome and totally supportive of pretty much everything, but it is a conversation and I'm sure she'll ask follow-up questions.

Luckily i'm off work tomorrow, so I have time to think :)

On another front, I fully merged my wardrobe tonight - I no longer own "mens" clothes and "womens" clothes, I just own "my" clothes.

Hope all of the Christians out there have a lovely Good Friday, and happy Passover to all Jewish members! And a belated Blessed Ostara to any other Wiccans in the room!

Good morning everyone!

We're having a nice breezy, rainy day in NYC today (which is fine for Monday).

I've been thinking about my gender and sexual orientation a lot recently, specifically as they relate to each other, and wanted to put my thoughts out here to see if anyone has some ideas on the topic :rolleyes:

First, I do realize that gender and sexual orientation are different things, and they we do all have both of them. What I've been thinking about lately though is that for quite awhile I've identified and "lived" as a gay man. Given my recent acknowledgment that I am transgender, it's made me wonder if i am a gay man or a straight woman, and what that means in day-to-day terms.

But even before that, I wonder now if the reason I was "came out" as a gay man was because I was misreading the reality that I am transgender. When I was growing up, in particular around the age of puberty, I didn't really have any idea of the existence of transgender people. At best there were stories about people who had sex change operations, but those stories were usually portrayed as freakish, and they certainly didn't explain why the person had done it (at least not anywhere that I saw). Mind you this was the early to mid 70s.

So my theory/hypothesis is that I interpreted my feelings as being gay because I knew what that was, and it seemed like the best fit for them. Even that I covered up for a long time, it wasn't like being gay was accepted at that time either, but at least I knew what it was.

It would also fit with my dating history, which is very, very limited. It makes me wonder if one of the reasons I don't date much is that I don't want to date gay men, I want to date straight men (I hesitated saying that - seems like it could come across as homophobia?). There have also been several straight men who work at the gay bar that I go to and I find myself especially drawn to them - there is the cliche about gay men who want to turn straight guys, but I don't want that, I want them to stay as they are and love me!

I'm going to leave this here for now, in part because I should start working, and in part because I just put something out there that I haven't even mentioned in therapy yet - need to hit "Publish" before this feeling of vulnerability stops me :wub:

xoxo

Christie

New Name...

By Chrissy,

Good afternoon everyone!

I mentioned in a post last week that I had started using Christie at work, in addition to everywhere else in my life.  This week, with the approval of the Dean and Associate Dean, I asked our IT Dept. to change my email address, which they did without question and quite quickly (within an hour of my request - and they NEVER do anything that fast).

An email is being put together to send to the students I work directly with, and then another for the full school which won't mention me directly.  But all of them are becoming rapidly moot as people see my name on the email address - a number of students have already started calling me Christie in email to me.  I was getting a little anxious and hoping that they would finalize the emails quickly, but now I'm just accepting that word is spreading anyway, so the email can go when it goes.

More important though is an email I rec'd from an outsider who was directed to me by one of our faculty members - I could see in the earlier emails between them that our faculty member referred to me as "she," and so when that person wrote to me I realized she is the first person to communicate with me who never knew me other than as Christie :rolleyes:

xoxo


Christie

One purpose of this entry is to "back myself into a corner" - by publicly stating a goal i'll hopefully feel more pressure to do it :)

Next week at work I plan to (1) start wearing my wig, and (2) wear a skirt at least a couple of days.  Below are a couple of pics from today - i didn't do makeup today, i'll do that tomorrow and post another :)

 

20150808_195150.jpg

20150808_195455.jpg

I could almost think it's something about me, but it's not.

In my previous position with the school I provided administrative support to the Law Review (a student publication).  Under the original faculty publisher I had a lot of responsibility, and it grew over time.  Then a new faculty publisher came in and suddenly I found my position gradually (though not slowly) being diminished.  She never bothered to even learn what I did and started giving the students more and more responsibility which had formerly been mine (and responsibility that they really couldn't handle given their schedules).  So I felt like I was effectively demoted without changing positions.

In September I moved to the Marketing Department and immediately loved my new job, my new responsibilities, and my new boss.  At the time I reported directly to the Vice President of Marketing, and she gave me quite a bit of autonomy in my position (maybe too much, who knows).

In December the VP left.  In the interim her management responsibilities were split between another VP and a manager in our department (I took on some of her non-management responsibilities).  So for the transition period I knew that I was working under that manager.  I wasn't thrilled by that - I like her, but she's not a very good supervisor (her communication skills are seriously lacking).  But I figured I could survive, and they were pretty quick in finding a new VP, so all seemed good.

Then in early January the Dean sent an email to the entire school announcing the new VP.  At the bottom of that email he also mentioned that the manager I had been temporarily working under had been promoted to Assistant VP, and among her responsibilities was supervising some of the Marketing Dept., INCLUDING ME!!!  So, I had been once again effectively demoted (adding a new person/position directly above you in the chain of command is a demotion), and only found out about it through an email that went to the entire school.

I decided over the weekend that there really isn't much I can do about the situation except start to develop an exit strategy.  I've only been in this position for about 5 months, and it's a new role, so I definitely need to hold out longer and learn more.  I'd also like to get through my surgeries while I'm still here rather than having to deal with that with a new employer (especially GRS since it will involve a longer recovery time).

While it's nice to have an exit strategy in mind, it doesn't help much in terms of getting through day-to-day.

So anyway, I just needed to get that out somewhere :-)

xoxo

Chrissy

Last night the feminist group I belong to had a discussion about trans issues in the feminist movement - I was the organizer/moderator of the event.  The event was titled "Are Trans Women Real Women?" (the title was intentionally provocative with an obvious "YES" answer).

I was pretty nervous going in - public speaking isn't really my thing, or at least hadn't been - the group organizer asked me, before anyone else was there, if I was nervous - I said "Yes." But I also said that it would pass as soon as I started talking. I realized later what a change that was - in the past I would have been nervous until it was over, not just until I started talking. But that is what happened, my anxiety peaked right as she introduced me, and then passed immediately. The rest of the way was pretty easy going. We played 4 short videos, the first was from a TERF (just so that they're perspective was shown) and then 3 trans people (the video links are below - the 2nd one is so incredibly moving, I still can't watch it without crying). They we had people pair off to discuss the question "What is a woman?"  Then we came back together as a group and talked for about an hour.

So that put me in an interesting place - I was the only trans person present, and I was the moderator. So early on in particular I tried to hang back and let other people talk, even when I had a clear answer to a question or point. That worked nicely, there was a lot of value in letting the group work through issues that they hadn't before. The question proved particularly good as it was one that most people hadn't thought about before ("What is a woman?"). One person acknowledged that she probably had always gone through life without a definition but with a "I know it when I see it" belief.

It's a really good group, we always have good discussions, and I think some good came of this, particularly in terms of people having a better understanding of trans issues and cisgender privilege. They even came to recognize that by even having to have this discussion suggests that the feminist movement is largely a cisgender movement (in addition to being a white movement).

On a personal note, I'm thrilled at having done this. It's one more thing that I would never have thought about doing pre-transition, and now not only did I do it, but I want to do more of it.

xoxo

Chrissy

https://youtu.be/E0v_idyvjco (girl with cards)

"True Selves"

By Chrissy,

Hi all,

I heard about this book in several blogs and/or forums last week as I was catching up, and I immediately purchased it. I've gotten about a quarter of the way through it (I picked up the pace considerably when I decided to read it during my commute, which is when I do most of my reading).

I just finished the section on childhood years and it's already had a substantial impact on my thinking. In terms of being transsexual I would probably say that I'm not, but as I read more I become less and less convinced of that. I'd still say probably not, but the book is definitely making me think more. There were just so many examples they discuss of how children respond to being transgender that resonated with me (if it had just been a couple it might have been coincidence, but it was more).

So to anyone and everyone who mentioned the book - thank you!

xoxo

Christie

I had a brief email exchange with one of my bosses yesterday, it started off with me distinguishing between "shopping" and "buying" (I won't go into the boring details of how that came up), and I said -

"If only the people in the mailroom knew what was in the many packages I get delivered here…"

Her response (she knows about my cross-dressing, but not that I'm TG) -

"Ha ha. They'd think you were surprising your girlfriend I bet. You really don't tip off the layperson."

I honestly found that her comment bothered me - I wasn't upset at her at all, it just made me wish that I "really DID" tip off the layperson more. This isn't a big deal at all, she only sees me at work and I know I'll have to further along in my journey before I push the envelope too much at work.

The point of this is that it did give me the little extra motivation I needed this morning to go to the gym in the new cute pair of shorts that I got recently. Those, along with the t-shirt and running shoes I wore, created a pretty decidedly female look :)

Good morning everyone,

I've many times heard the suggestion about doing a random act of kindness for a stranger and this morning I learned from the recipient end what a wonderful suggestion it really is!

I was on the PATH train coming in to work (I had amazingly gotten a seat!) and I was reading "True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism." A few minutes in, the woman sitting next to me handed me a note, it read:

"I saw title of your book. I think your courage to be who you want to be is amazing!!"

I don't think I need to add anything to the story, needless to say my mood just soared. I thanked her (right then and then again as we were getting off the train), but it felt in sufficient.

XOXO

Christie

(as a side note - I haven't experienced this particular opinion on this website at all, but this seems like an appropriate moment to again challenge the notion of New Yorkers being nasty - we're not, and we are even capable of incredible sweetness, even to strangers!)