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About Emma

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    Senior Moderator
  • Birthday May 12

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    Bicycling, learning new things, reading, hiking, backpacking, camping, cooking, Petite Syrah, sharing experiences with friends.

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  1. Emma

    Moving forward,,,again

    Hey Tilly, Good for you! I started HRT just over a year and a half ago. I'd always read about how people loved it so much but I suspected that they were experiencing some sort of endorphin rush to be doing something and that the feelings would dissipate as time passed. I wasn't surprised then when I also felt so good. I was surprised at how the feelings were pretty constant. It was like my body was breathing a sigh of relief. I'd never seriously contemplated GCS since I was afraid that I'd never be certain that I wouldn't have regrets about losing my penis. A year ago I suddenly realized that GCS was the right thing for me: I was certain that I truly didn't care about those floppy bits that had been with me for so long. But there were two main issues: 1) getting insurance coverage, 2) choosing a surgeon and getting on their schedule so I wouldn't have to wait for years. Insurance coverage for trans healthcare vary quite a lot across the US which is a result of different state laws. California and Washington (state) are excellent, and there are several others too. I hope you live somewhere where you will have this coverage. The costs are otherwise prohibitive for most. So start your research and thinking. There's no rush and no cost to do this sort of thing. Knowledge is power and you'll feel stronger and more confident with more knowledge. Best wishes, Emma
  2. Dee, "Transitioning will be a permanent change - there is no going back to just being me." Indeed, telling others that you're trans — intentionally or otherwise — isn't something you can take back. But, there are things you can do to test the water before coming out. It might help you to give yourself some patience. Would you like some ideas/thoughts on that? " I spend most of my time in bed at the moment trying unsuccessfully to imagine what my life would be like if I chose to transition to female. Trying to work out a kind of pro/con scenario about my family & friends, my work and which colleagues would disown me and what direction my life would take in general." I know what you mean and I felt that way too. I suggest that the first step is to accept that we can't control other people. They may be supportive and loving, unsupportive, or somewhere in between. It's your life, and up to you to decide what you need to do/be to be authentic to yourself. "Am I fighting it just because I am transphobic on some level?" Answer: YES! Remember that "phobia" = "fear" and you'd be crazy not to be fearful. It's what our amygdala does for us. It tries to protect us from the scary monsters and things like that. It's perfectly normal to feel these fears, all of them. "I do not want to transition, but I Need to be authentic and honest with myself and the people around me.. If I understand the definitions correctly I have more social and emotional dysphoria than physical dysphoria - it is more like I experience euphoria when I physically look like how I mentally feel." I didn't want to transition either. And even as I proceeded I didn't expect/anticipate what aspects of transition applied to me. I think you have to determine that, slowly step-by-step, by yourself with a therapist (ideally). I also know what you mean about the euphoria. I certainly felt that way too. These days it's less and less. I just am another (somewhat older) woman in the world, living her life. I like getting dressed in something nice that feels good, and hanging out with friends. But I also like going hiking, cooking, and playing with my cat. I also do woodworking, gardening, watch movies. I can't tell you what you should/shouldn't do. I hope that through small steps before you come out publicly that you can experience those steps — scary as they may be — and discover that yes, it feels right. You have to allow a little time for the euphoria to dissipate to know your true feelings. And then, cross another bridge, and another...
  3. Emma

    The Keystone Adventure

    Attagirl Jess! I applaud your coming out authentically as yourself. I know what you mean about that word “transition”; for me, I think about it’s mean that I’m transitioning to my authentic self. But as we know that transgender is an umbrella that authenticity can be quite different from one to another. I wonder: where did you see yourself on that spectrum, say, a year ago versus now? The reason I ask is only because I was surprised to find myself continuing to inexorably move toward the right side of the Benjamin scale. I think these conferences are so wonderful. I attended my first in August of 2017 which seems like such a short time ago. Like you, I’d never gone out in public like that, presenting as authentically as I could. Those three days were scary and exhilarating. I agree that in “bubbles” like Boston and Seattle that we are accepted and somewhat applauded. I also agree how important it is for us to push ourselves to proudly just be ourselves in the communities, and demonstrate that we’re nothing to be concerned about in a negative way. We are as normal as anyone else. Through that I hope that more and more people will gain understanding and comfort.
  4. Wow, that's gotta be tough. I'm very sorry to read this. I also like crunchy stuff even though that usually means high carbs which I'm trying to stay away from. Won't you be getting dentures? Without bottom teeth it seems to me that crunchy food would be very irritating to your gums. Maybe you need to wait a bit for your gums to heal? In the meantime how about pasta? Not exactly crunchy but still substantial and good. I could send a white clam sauce and linguine recipe that I cooked this evening as a rehearsal before I have friends over next week. Easy and good!
  5. Emma

    Ambushed by Pastor

    It’s entirely up to you whether or not you meet the pastor with your folks. It’s your life, you’re an adult, so it’s your decision. Yes, you’re folks might be upset. That’s their problem and they can meet with her (without you) if they wish. With awareness of that you might meet privately with the pastor before to provide her with specific feedback about how she overstepped with you and your wife, and how unhelpful and disturbing her comments were. And, if she wishes you to attend a meeting including your parents she needs to be much more considerate and diplomatic. Otherwise you won’t attend. Obviously all this is up to you. I understand a reluctance to violating your parents wishes but if the meeting is simply a repeat of the last one if’s a waste of time and worse, your emotional health,
  6. Emma

    I Feel Weird

    I also have deep challenges to trusting people, especially people such as friends, lovers... even my own children. My feelings don't sound as deep as yours but we have parallels. Of course I don't know from where your feelings emerge. I believe mine come from a very awkward, uncomfortable, and untrusting childhood. Knowing that I can put my feelings in context but it feels impossible to dismiss them. I'm continually amazed that people seem to like and love me. When we are apart I gradually assume the worst. And then, suddenly. they reach out, we go have dinner or something, and wow - I was so wrong. Perhaps that's why you feel the way you do about people here on TG Guide. We keep returning to you nonjudgmentally with love and support. I hope that helps you, I really do.
  7. Emma

    Ambushed by Pastor

    Hi Tilly, I'm sorry for your experience and loss. Might I suggest that you reach out to your pastor for a quiet and private meeting? As you said, you're confident she came over out of love and, evidently, it backfired. Sounds to me like she'd appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experience and, who knows, maybe you'll patch things up.
  8. I have no idea what’s common with laser hair removal or how to best treat your condition. I suggest phoning the laser technician and/or go see a dermatologist. Maybe the dermatologist would advise that the laser evidently wasn’t set or operated correctly. In the meantime I do know how you feel. I have an electrolysis appointment for Friday morning and can’t shave around my mouth and chin until after because she needs to be able to see the hairs and have enough length to grab with her tweezers. I’m very self conscious about it, especially tomorrow afternoon when I’m going to a women’s fashion party! Oh well, someday all this hair will be gone. Very impatient for that...
  9. I'd like to add what my therapist advised when I was in your situation. You are not responsible for your wife's feelings and/or emotions. Hers are valid and so are yours but authenticity means that you can (and should) express yourself regardless of their reaction. Trying to save her from her pain or worrying about it doesn't do you or her any good. Now, I know that's easy to say. Perhaps good to keep in mind though.
  10. I have also experienced this - truly. I really didn't know when she asked me. I just told her that I'd keep exploring, contemplating, etc. It was highly emotional and we did decide to divorce. It's still emotional for both of us as we remain close, but as BFFs, not a marriage partners. I'm afraid that for you this is one of those rare times when you need to seriously consider how important it is for you to find your authenticity and live it... or not. Of course only you can answer that. It may well upend your wife's world and yours, that's a fact. It's almost two years since I drove north from the Bay Area away from my wife and our home. At the time I really didn't know where I'd end up. As it is now, I legally changed my name and gender (surprised but I was compelled due to Trump's threats), started HRT (as an experiment at first, but I liked it much more than I expected), discarded all of my male clothing, came out to everyone I know, had GCS and breast augmentation surgeries, and am scheduled for facial surgery in one month. Honestly, I had no idea I'd do all this, need to do any of it. I've reached a decision point, thought about it, weighed it, made the decision, and then encountered the next decision point and repeated my process. I'm happier but I miss my life partner, flaws and all. I'm lucky that we stay in touch but she's 1,000 miles away...
  11. Emma

    Moving forward

    Tilly, I certainly understand your feelings. I felt very much the same way with each step, each attempt. Taking my estradiol in a pill, sublingually, allowing it to dissolve, felt like great candy. It doesn’t taste bad at all, and it feels so good to be doing Something! I’m now on estradiol via a patch which has reduced risk of DVT and it’s fine. But I miss taking those pills!
  12. Emma

    Moving forward

    I agree with Christy: - You need to have your blood estrogen and testosterone levels assessed before taking anything. During treatment you also want the tests at regular intervals to assess the effects of your medications. There is no other way to do this. - Unfortunately it’s highly doubtful that an herb will do much for you. Sorry, that’s the truth. - Even with taking pharmaceutical estradiol and spironolactone a two cup size increase (essentially becoming a solid B ) isn’t likely. Yes, this depends on age and other factors. I guess my boobs were an A cup and I used foam inserts to fill in B cup bras. I’d also like to point out that in addition to the herbs you’ll also need an anti-androgen like spironolactone. I’m not sure if there is such an effect from herbs or foods. Bottom line: you will get better and safer results if you have your doctor prescribe HRT for you. P.S. I do understand the desire to tackle all this on one’s own. For breast growth I bought a Noogleberry pump system for something like $150 that was recommended by a friend. I pumped and pumped and, well, it accomplished nothing.
  13. Christy: What is the "academy", please? Dee and Christy: After writing my comment on Monday I came across the report that my coach provided when I went through a more extensive test (which is known as the Meyers-Briggs Step I and Step II Testing and Interpretive Report) about seven years ago. Indeed, it pegs me as INTJ, however: - Although I'm an "I" (Introversion) I'm one of those people who often strikes up a friendly conversation in places like grocery store check out lines. When it comes to more professional conversations I have to push myself. - It's a real toss-up for me between S vs. I (Sensing vs. Intuition) and T vs. F (Thinking vs. Feeling). It's fascinating for me to read and consider this now, and with the added details in the report — which is 18 pages long — it's interesting to consider how I (we) straddle the Meyers-Briggs type indicators. I engaged with this coach at a time when I also wanted to consider an alternative career that I hoped would be more aligned with my core personality, values, etc. This has been a common theme throughout my adult life... although successful I was never satisfied. Notably, at that time (2012) my gender dysphoria and all that was buried way back in the closet under layers of shame. I certainly didn't share any of this with my coach. And now that I'm no longer avoiding that aspect of myself I feel confident that had I acknowledged and supported living and being authentic earlier in my life, well, I might very well have been happier in my career and/or would have found one that truly was more satisfying for me.
  14. As I recall, most of the time I test as INTJ. But, I had a professional test conducted about ten years ago which was a lot longer and detailed than the typical. I was really on the borderline, I vs E, F vs T, etc. I believe Meyers Briggs is very valuable to help us identify and accept our true natures, which is especially important for people like us who’re often struggling to understand much about ourselves.
  15. Emma

    The ultimatum

    Very well said, Christy. We all send best wishes.
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