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Catching up

By Chrissy,

Hi everyone,

I just noticed it's been about 3 weeks since I've written anything!  It's been a bit of a whirlwind lately, but mostly in a good or great way.

The biggest update is that as of October 19 my name will officially, legally become Christie Ann  :-)    Then begins the long process of changing my name everywhere (I have a lengthy list going - I just spent some time prioritizing - driver's license, credit cards, HR at work, etc.).  Using that as a basis I sent a group-wide email to family members - cousins and extended family - telling them about my transition and my name change.  I've heard back - positively - from several of them already.

This coming Thursday is my next endocrinologist appointment, so hopefully my HRT prescription will be increased.

In general, presenting as a woman has become far more second-nature.  I was thrown a little today when I went shopping, the person at Loft started using male pronouns, but I realized it was just because when I went to open an account I had to give her my driver's license, so it was understandable (though still, I was standing right there, openly shopping at store that only sells women's clothing...)  Anyway...  I do need to resume working on my voice.

Work-wise, I got a promotion recently.  Although I'm still doing the functions I was doing, they added some marketing responsibilities (website and social media specifically), and increased my pay grade, with a pretty nice salary increase.  It makes the prospect of some surgery next summer much more feasible (I'm thinking about top surgery next summer).

There are still some things that don't feel quite right - but in general things are moving in a better direction (including my shoulder, which is starting to get back some mobility).  One thing I observed about myself last night is that I tend to wait for things to happen rather than doing things.  It shows itself the most with my excessive checking of email and twitter.  I need to work on that.

Anyway, that's my update for now :-)

xoxo

Christie

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

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 :)

Happy Monday everyone!

I'm continuing to watch and enjoy "I am Cait," both for watching her personal journey but also because it has managed to be a pretty informative show.  Yesterday featured a particularly strange mix - Kate Bornstein and Kim Kardashian appearing in the same TV show (not at the same time, not sure how that would have worked out).  Kate's appearance, to me, built on the good feeling I get about the show from the fact that Jenny Boylan has appeared on it (and I think will again?)

One of the more poignant moments was Kate B. asking Cait J. how she was handling the "freak factor."  The fact that so many people in the world see us as freaks.  Caitlyn seemed a bit at a loss, responding that what she hoped they were doing there was trying to make it more normal - to which Kate replied that that was because she didn't like the idea of being a freak.  This was juxtaposed with a later scene in which parents of trans kids compared it to living with a unicorn (I can't give more detail, but it was a very positive statement).  In my own experience both positions exist in the world, over time the "unicorn" view should win out!

I did wonder later if Caitlyn actually understands the "freak factor" at all.  After all she is in her bubble - she doesn't really have to be exposed to anyone she doesn't want to be (vs. others who have to live lives out in the world).  That's not a criticism, but I hope she takes what Kate B. said and works with it over the course of the show.

I was a little distressed by people on twitter bemoaning the fact that there are occasionally Kardashians on the show - it would be pretty sad if Caitlyn excluded them, seeing as they are her family!  And I think Kim and Chloe both played good roles last night in terms of bringing some valid issues to Caitlyn's attention (we're not the only ones who have to deal with our transition - even if it is our journey).  The only thing I'd like to say to Caitlyn with respect to her family communication is to stop telling them "not to go there"!  Communication has to be open (in my limited conversations with my sister, I may have thought those kinds of things, but I keep them to myself for now, giving her some time).

***

It's shoulder surgery for me tomorrow morning :-(  Hopefully that will get me back to the tennis courts soon! (won't be too soon, at least a couple of months of rehab most likely).  I'm also going to a friend's birthday gathering this Thursday night (depending on how I'm doing after surgery).  If so, this will be the first time going to a "straight" bar in full woman presentation!

On the work front, this is "First Week" at school, so incoming students start classes today, which means the school will be much busier than it has been.  The students I work directly with are 2nd and 3rd year, so they won't be around until next week.  So now I get to see how it feels to be at a busy school :-)    (they did create a gender neutral restroom last week - though I'm now comfortable enough using the women's room - the idea behind the gender neutral restroom is more about a place for anyone who might be uncomfortable sharing a restroom with a trans person).

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

I got through day 1 of presenting fully as a woman at work yesterday, and carried it into today (in addition to the wig I'm also wearing a skirt today).  Now that I've crossed that threshold I don't intend to go back, so I now see yesterday as the official beginning of my "real life" experience (my "tranniversary" if you will).

Today added a delightful complication, it was pouring rain and windy out.  My route to work includes walking to Journal Square (in Jersey City) and taking the PATH to World Trade Center, and then walking to work.  Journal Square was the real challenge, it's like a bunch of wind tunnels all coming together in one place, so the wind (and rain) comes from all directions at the sam time.  Happy to report that my wig stayed perfectly in place :-)   I can still work on securing it better, but I seem to have it down sufficiently now.  Also happy that I decided to commute in tennis shoes (I brought heels with me).  Walking in that weather in heels would have been quite the challenge (and I don't think most women do that, I think wearing other shoes for commuting is pretty common).

The surprise yesterday was that at around lunchtime there were a large number of students in the cafeteria (my office is beyond the cafeteria, so I have to go through it to get anywhere).  School doesn't start until next week (for 1st year students, the following week for the rest), but apparently there was some pre-first week intensive program going on.  So I had an immersion experience.  I just kept reminding myself to "do what I need to do" - to not alter what I'm doing to avoid being seen, just go about my regular work day.

The unpleasant surprise was the ongoing attention that a person who works at a parking garage along my commute is paying me.  As I become more female he seems more interested - I've been clear enough in my lack of interest, but he keeps approaching (mind you I don't walk right by the garage anymore, he's going out of his way).  If it happens again I might need to contact his bosses and let them know what's going on (if he's doing it to me he might be doing it to others).  Coincidentally a co-worker asked me yesterday if I might be interested in a self-defense course - she's involved with an anti-violence group that organizes classes).  I'll probably take her up on that (not that the parking garage guy seems very threatening, but he's seeming increasingly off-balance, which can be dangerous).

xoxo

Christie

I didn't think this would become a weekly thing, going in I assumed I would get tired of the show pretty quickly (being on E and all), but no, I'm not.  The show really is getting better and better each week, and my respect for Caitlyn grows with it (she is exec producer, so nothing happening on the show is happening without her).

This week they spent more time with the less fortunate trans people in San Francisco, and Caitlyn seemed sincerely moved and in fact did a couple of really great things for one of them!  This episode was shot about 5 weeks before her ESPY presentation, so I could see where her sentiments in that came from.

On the personal side - first the less important part - I was tweeting during the show and watching what others were tweeting - I did 3 original tweets myself, and got re-tweeted on all of them my Jenny Boylan, so I was pretty happy about that :-)   I also got 2 of them favorited by Michelle Visage (RuPaul's co-host on Drag Race), also pretty exciting.

On the more substantial side - I had already decided that this was the week that I was going to wear my wig to work, and then skirts (tomorrow for the skirt).  The show was so inspiring that it really put me over the top in terms of doing it.  I came to see what I was doing as more than just a part of my personal journey (though obviously that's important too!) but also as a measure of activism.  There are still so many trans people who simply can't live out their lives the way they want, so I think it's important for anyone who can to do so (to the extent they're comfortable with it of course), so that we can gradually change the overall society and give others more room to live their lives.  That's what Caitlyn is doing in a very public way, and it's something I can do in a less public way, but it's still a contribution.  Visibility = Power (as the Lesbian/Gay movement has shown).

They also had an interesting conversation about voices.  Candice Cayne apparently just has a fairly natural feminine voice, and Chandi Moore just talks the way she talks and won't change that.  Jenny Boylan made the comment "This is as far as we'll go, everyone else just has to meet us there."  I really liked that comment.  And Caitlyn, who had been worried about her voice, eventually said that it's not so important how she sounds but what she says.

Anyway - time to work now  :-)

xoxo

Christie

 

Here's a picture from work today...

Christie.aug1015.jpg

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

Quick update - I did get my prescription yesterday, and was able to pick it up and start taking it yesterday :rolleyes:

I almost flipped out at my doctor - when I went in to meet with him he pulled up my therapist's letter - FOR THE FIRST TIME!  I had sent it over a month earlier, and it was just one short paragraph.  The problem was that he started saying that he would like something more detailed, and I was afraid that would hold up the prescription.  It didn't, he gave that to me anyway.  So delay averted.

He said that he's starting me slowly, so that I might not even notice the emotional changes as they happen.  But he's a man, so what does he know.

I'm hoping that sleep will return tonight.  That last 2 nights I haven't been able to because of the excitement.

I go back in about 8 weeks after getting blood work done again to see how it's going.

HRT - tomorrow!

By Chrissy,

I'm sitting here at work trying to focus on work, but far too distracted by the thought that tomorrow at 2:30 I have my next endocrinologist appointment!  This is the one where I will (hopefully) get my HRT prescription(s).

In the back of my mind is the fear that I'll get there and they'll say something is wrong and I can't do it.  My therapist has done an admirable job trying to make me not worry about that.  She pointed out that they hopefully would have contacted me already if there was a problem.  That sounds right, but i doesn't completely extinguish the fear.  She also earlier mentioned that the blood work was more for determining appropriate levels, not as much (or at all?) as a screening mechanism.  So again, hopefully that's true :-)

As for the "big" question, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the right thing.  Anything that I had earlier that may have been doubt (but was more likely fear disguising itself as doubt - fear is a tricky little bastard) is gone, gone far away.

One recent thing that confirms it is something I observed in the rest room the other day.  As I was washing my hands I looked in the mirror and realized that I'm actually happy about how I look.  This isn't narcissism, far from it, I don't think I'm "hot," I'm just happy about how I look.  Go back a couple of years and that was absolutely never the case.  A friend of mine once observed that I had no mirrors in my apartment, aside from the bathroom mirror.  It was never a conscious thing, but it was true that I just wouldn't buy them, I didn't want to see myself!

22 1/2 hours to go :-)

xoxo

Christie

Hello all,

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.

xoxo

Christie

Episode 2 was on last night, and since I wrote last week after watching the first episode (which I was generally happy with) I thought I'd continue.

This week was quite interesting because she got together with a number of transwoman (sad that there were no transmen), all of whom had far more obstacles in the way of their transition than Caitlyn did.  While I liked that fact, I was still disappointed in the overall lack of diversity in the group.  In addition to the fact that there were no transmen, all of these women, while they had difficulties (to say the least) in transitioning, all have now successfully transitioned, and all of them appear very female ("passing" if you will).  I don't think there was one of them who, if I saw them on the street, I would think was a transwoman.

I thought about that compared to the group I went to at the Lesbian/Gay Center here in the New York, which had far greater diversity (disclaimer - that group is also all transwomen, but only because transmen and transwomen have their own separate meetings).  The main diversity in this group is the extent to which people have transitioned.  In some cases (like me), it's a matter of time, in other cases people have gone as far as they want, or as far as they can, and in most cases would be "read" fairly easily on the street.  I don't say that in any way critically of anyone!  But obviously the experiences of the people in this group are far more diverse, particulary in the present context.

It does look hopeful for next week though, when I think she is meeting with a transgender group in San Francisco who are less fortunate (and I think includes at least one transman).

More troubling were her comments about social welfare.  It can be easy to forget that she is Republican, and obviously holds some of the pro-wealthy positions of the Republican Party.  Talking about not wanting people to start becoming dependent on the government!  That's on the oldest and most sickening lies of the Republican Party (think about Ronald Reagan's "welfar queen" crap).

I am Cait...

By Chrissy,

Hi everyone,

So, I watched "I am Cait" last night, I think I honestly went in fairly objectively.  I was concerned about another Kardashian-like reality show, but encouraged by Caitlyn's comments at the Espy Awards.  Overall I was happy with the show.  It's only the first episode of course, but I very much appreciated her comments in support of those trans* people who are less fortunate than her, and in her reaching out to the family who lost their son to suicide.  Highlighting these issues, while telling her own transition story, could/should be very helpful to the trans* community in general - I hope (the only time I got nervous was when Kanye showed up - be he didn't do anything stupid fortunately).

She had me tearing up early on with some of her opening comments, and then full-on crying at the end talking about the suicide problem (I feel it coming on again thinking about it).

One thing I thought during the show was that I hope some of my family members watch this.

xoxo 

Christie

(P.S., on the personal front - 10 days until my endocrinologist appointment and hopefully HRT prescription!  I got excited yesterday when I realized the appointment is next Thursday rather than next Friday as I had been thinking - 1 less day to wait than I thought!!!)

Mon anniversaire

By Chrissy,

Bonjour toute le monde!

As it's passed midnight it's now officially my birthday - 49 years old today (really at 12:39 pm).

In prior years i've swung between not wanting to think about it being my birthday, to putting too much emphasis and really wanting to celebrate (which never worked our as planned).  This year I feel content with doing whatever comes up and otherwise doing some introspection and planning.  I might go down to the shore (the "beach" for those of you not from New Jersey).

I went out on Tuesday night in my new wig, a "test run" if you will.  I was really happy with how it looked, I just need to learn how to secure it better.  I probably won't start wearing it full time until i'm further along with electrolysis.

this next thing is pretty intangible, and u think much of my introspection/planning today will be on this point - this is partly about presentation, but I also know that I need to stop thinking about "becoming" a woman and instead recognize that I am a woman and living as such.  I noticed on tuesday and on the train tonight that I no longer feel connected to gay men.  Not that i'm ditching all of my relationships, but I don't feel connected to the "community" anymore, which makes me want to feel more connected to the straight (or bi) woman "community."  Whatever all that means :)

Here's a picture from tuesday, i'm on the left ;)

20150721_203655.thumb.jpg.a5012a2061fb9e

Hi everyone,

Happy Thursday!  Happy for me because starting tomorrow I'm on vacation for a week.  I'm sure I'll be checking in here during that time, but probably not doing any blogging.

In an earlier post I mentioned how I was aiming for July 27 as the day that I would officially start presenting as a woman.  My last post altered that course a bit, so I'm going to see now what exactly I'm doing.  I'm certainly going to keep playing with make-up and other things, but the difference between today and July 27 might not physically be all that great, mentally on the other hand, I think it will be huge.

My birthday is coming up next Thursday - my first birthday living authentically as me!

xoxo

Christie

I just read this article in the Advocate, it was brought to my attention by several people I follow on Twitter.  The first person indicated that she didn't agree with all of it, but that it raised some good points.  Another person, who tends to be a little more "aggressive" in her opinions, opened fire on it repeatedly and, I think, unfairly.  I think it's a good piece discussing the divisions within the trans* community and the difficulty that causes in forming an effective movement.

http://goo.gl/yhCB5G

I've been looking to get involved somehow myself. I went to the Trans Day of Action a couple of weeks ago.  I felt a bit out of place, just because I didn't know anyone.  But at the same time it started to make me want to get involved again.  In the past I've been politically active, but I had become pretty apathetic over the past few years.  This seems like something that can get my activist spirit going again  :rolleyes:

But the article, and the Trans Day of Action, really got me thinking more about my identity as a transwoman.  As anyone who's read any of my blog entries probably knows, I've been quite focuses on "passing" (whether I called it that or not in any particular entry).  But there is really nothing to "pass" as - I am a transwoman.  I plan to start HRT, which will have some physical and emotional impact, but already I am dressing the way I want, I am doing make-up the way I want, overall I am presenting the way I want.  I have a few more steps to take in terms of what I wear - I have been exclusively in pants so far and I know that I really, really want to wear skirts and dresses (I've done it cross-dressing, but now I want to do it for real).

I'll continue doing electrolysis - but otherwise I need to stop obsessing over "what else I need to do" and just start living it.  As far as the wig, I may or may not choose to wear it - I did wear it for the entire evening on Saturday to try to get the feel of it, and it wasn't bad, but I don't know if I want that full time rather than just working with my natural hair.

I think the take-away from this for me is that while I am still transitioning, I am now transitioning within the realm of being a transwoman - I moving towards my identity as such, I'm not longer transitioning from male to female, that's done, the male is behind me (feel free to add your own innuendo to that thought - I just did).

The biggest hurdle I have right now - that I have to overcome very, very soon - is the rest room.  I've still been using the mens' room, even though I feel more and more uncomfortable every time I go in there.  Today I honestly felt like I had no business being in there (most times it hasn't been too much of an issue because I've been alone, but today someone else is in there).

Since I'm on the subject of "identity" I also wanted to add a thought I've been having on the topic of dressing "appropriately."  Some may disagree with me, but while I agree that it's the right thing to do to consider what you're doing or where you're going in terms of how you dress (going to work, going to a wedding, going to a funeral, etc.), I don't agree that age should really be a consideration.  When I'm at work, I dress appropriately for work.  When it's the weekend, honestly I probably dress "younger" than my age, and I'm happy with that.  I do think that if you're dressing younger because you're actually trying to be "younger" that's something that you might want to discuss in therapy, but if you're dressing "younger" because you like the fashion, then go for it.  People dress all sorts of ways, some that appeal to us individually, some that don't, and that's great.  If everyone (even everyone at work) was dressed exactly like me right now that would be really boring.

I'll leave it at that - especially since it's Bastille Day and I have some partying to do :-)

xoxo

Christie

 

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 wonderful people of TGGuide!

Today I have an appointment with my endocrinologist to get blood work, etc. done in preparation for HRT.  I haven't gotten the letter from my therapist yet, but it is being prepared, and she had me complete a consent form so that she can send it to the endocrinologist as soon as it's ready.  I also have an August 6 appointment with the endocrinologist, which may be (hopefully!) the day I get the prescription.

All that is just to lead in to some thoughts about depression and my overall emotional state.  I was looking back over last weekend at some older journals that I had - they go back a couple of years.  I was struck by how consistently I wrote about "feeling nothing" and how my life "felt meaningless," and on occasion how close I seemed to be to just giving it up.

I no longer have any of those feelings - but what really struck me was the fact that objectively my life hasn't changed, except for this (and I realize that's a big "except," but bear with me).  The point is that in terms of my job, my social life, my home life, etc., everything is largely exactly the same as it was (at work it may be a little worse).  But I no longer have the feeling that my life is meaningless.  I can really only attribute it to the fact that I'm now living authentically.  I noticed very early on (as soon as I openly acknowledged being trans) that my mood lifted, but it's now been months since then and nothing has changed.  Of course there's fear and anxiety about what this means for my future, but frankly that's much better than feeling nothing!

In moments when the fear and anxiety gets especially strong (which is less frequent than it was even a few weeks ago), and I wonder if I can really do it, the immediate counterthought is that I can't not do it, I know with absolute certainty that I CANNOT go back to where I was.

In the next few weeks I'm planning to put the "finishing touches" on presenting as a woman.  I feel ready for it, and the timing is particularly good in terms of work.  I work at a school and when I get back from vacation on July 27 (which is when I plan to "unveil" this at work) we start a period of a few weeks before the semester starts (and the summer session will be over), so I'll have a few weeks with things being pretty quiet here to get myself used to it before the throngs return (and believe me, based on where my office is located, I'm right in the midst of the throng, I'm not hidden off to a side).

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,

Well, i'm now "out" to everyone.  An email went out to the entire faculty and staff at the school where I work about my transition.  Enough people already knew, so I was getting used to being called Christie, in emails and face to face (though introducing myself as such still feels a little weird).

My recent outward transitioning was driven by internal feelings, but now I think it's time to look inward again.  The outward things were necessary, but it drew me away from looking inside.  Fortunately I have the next week off from work, so I have some time to absorb and process things.

that includes HRT.  I'm now in a position that if I decide it's time, I can do it.  I'm not saying there's a rush to decide, but now I have new "information" to process.  I'be spoken with an endocrinologist about it, which made the idea more concrete (and made me happy), and I think my therapist is prepared to write a letter for me if I say i'm ready (I think she has a preference to talk a little more about a couple of things, and I agree, but I think she would write it if I asked).

Well, time to get to it! Right after a nap (I was up too early today)

Xoxo

Christie

HRT - follow-up

By Chrissy,

I went to see an endocrinologist on Friday after work.  A somewhat long journey out to Queens, but worth the trip.

After seeing 2 different assistants (one who was getting some additional background information, the other did some basic checking - blood pressure, heart rate, etc.), I finally saw the doctor.

I hadn't fully decided on whether or not I was going to pursue HRT when I went to see him, I wanted to see how I reacted to having an actual doctor give me information, as opposed to just doing my own research, I thought that would make it more concrete, more real.  Well, it did.  And I have to say that my mood kept getting better and better as he went on, and by the time I left his office I was feeling quite happy (when I tried to identify how I felt it took a few adjectives before I finally hit on "happy," it's not a feeling that I've experienced that much in my life, not at this level anyway).

At one point he explained that once I'm on hormones long enough I would start to be treated by doctors more as a woman - mammograms, etc.  At that point I asked if it was normal that even that made me feel happy?

Anyway, the decision still isn't made, but it feels much closer.  I have to work through the remaining fears a bit more, to make sure they're not significant enough to stand in the way.

xoxo

Christie

HRT

By Chrissy,

Happy Friday everyone!

Later this afternoon I have my appointment with an endocrinologist to discuss HRT.  It's very much a preliminary discussion, I just want to hear from a doctor what's involved (hopefully it won't be much different than what I've discovered through my own research and reading people's entries here, but hearing it from a doctor makes it more "real").  I was originally scheduled for tomorrow morning but they called yesterday to see if I could come in today instead, which is great since they're in Queens (trekking from Jersey City to Queens on Saturday morning would have been quite a drag).

I assume the doctor will cover what needs to be covered, but my therapist did suggest thinking about what questions I have for them, rather than trying to think about that during the appointment.  So I've done that, but if anyone has suggestions about questions, suggest away :rolleyes:.  The endocrinologist was a reference from my regular doctor, and I saw his name on a TG website, so I know he's familiar with MtF HRT.

That should be a good lead-in to my "contemplation" (ongoing) this weekend.  What also helps is that I'm getting used to actually being called Christie  :-)    I underestimated how weird that would be, but it makes sense that after 48 years of being called one thing to suddenly be called something else would take some adjustment.  But it is getting more comfortable.  The last step in terms of the name transition at work will be early next week when an email goes to the entire faculty and staff letting them know - we're discussing today how that will happen.

xoxo

Christie

Good morning everyone,

On Friday I mentioned that I had a goal over the weekend to go out "presenting as a woman" (as opposed to just appearing far more feminine than I used to).  I wasn't 100% certain what that meant when I said it, but on Sunday I did follow through.  I was fortunate that the drag queen who I always go see on Tuesday was doing a special Sunday Brunch show at noon, so I used that as my location.  

Much of what I did was pretty typical for what I do already.  I wore my gray "Blossom Where You're Planted" top, khaki shorts, and multi-color shoes (too many colors to list).  Did my usual make-up routing - eye brows, eye liner, mascara, blush and lipstick.  What I did in addition to that was to wear my fake breasts and butt pads.

I don't know how well it really worked, but I don't know how I would have known that anyway unless someone actually said something to me about it - the fact that nobody did suggests that I didn't do that well.  But that's not the big "take-away" for me.

The big thing for me was how much it felt like a costume.  Not all of it, really just the fake breasts (the butt pads probably could have too, but I tend to forget I have them on).  It made me realize even more how much I want this to be real, and not a costume.  I could see the breasts (at least the shape of them), but they weren't real, I didn't feel them.  Interestingly, I liked the feel of the bra strap on my back, that felt like it belongs there.

I think that's also why I'm hoping that the finasteride prescription will fill in my hair more so that I don't have to wear a wig.  But perhaps once I'm further along (HRT kicking in), I won't mind the one "costume" item.

Today is probably the day that an email goes out to the 2 student groups I work with - so "Christie" will be a full reality at work (though most of the students already know due to some leakage of information).  And Saturday I have my endocrinologist appointment - so this should be a big week :rolleyes:

xoxo

Christie

Weekend goals...

By Chrissy,

Happy Friday ladies and gentlemen and all points between and around!

Well this was quite the week.  I knew that changing to my female name at work would be "big," but I didn't fully anticipate the anxiety, exhilaration, excitement, fear (and several other emotional states that I may never have experienced before) that would come with it.  It really was a very unusual week as people started referring to me as Christie, and using female pronouns.  The word spread faster than was planned (thanks to my 2 supervisors accidentally using Christie in emails that went to students), but that's ok, it just caused a few moments of confusion for me when I tried to figure out if I should just start using it with them too, or just not "sign" my emails (I went for that - the email that's going to be sent is from the Dean, I don't want to look like I was getting out in front of him, even though this is obviously about me).

My goals this weekend (I like putting these in writing to someone, helps keep me from just not doing it):

(1) Another period of "quiet contemplation" - my stepping-off point for this is going to be to list and then explore what I'm afraid of (certainly I've done that before, but it's a good question to go back to).  before and after that I'll also ask myself the question that Karen suggested - "Do I have any hesitation?"

(2) On Sunday my favorite drag queen (who does the Tuesday night show that I go to, and have occasionally performed at) is doing a brunch show.  I'm using that as my opportunity to try going out presenting fully as a woman.  I want to see how close I can get to that from where I am now.  It's really I think just a more serious version of what I used to do when I was "cross-dressing."  I'll try to get some pics!  (desperately, I want to see myself in pics)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

xoxo


Christie