Oh my friends! I have so much to share. The past few months have taken my on such an exciting and transformative journey that I got so wrapped up the experience I almost to forgot to share with you here.
One thing you may not know about me is I’ve never been one to strive to meet deadlines I put on goals I set. Don’t get me wrong, I do the work of thinking about what I’d like to achieve and write those goals down then attach a timeframe to them. But there is something about the living of life, and the discovery of new ideas that often gets me sidetracked. Sometimes I joke about having ADOS. What is that you may ask? Well I once heard it described as Attention Deficit .. Oh! Shiny! As such, I’m easily distracted and often completely off track compared to where my carefully prepared plan would have me. Somehow, my transition has been different. I am finding that I’ve been laser focussed and meeting deadline after deadline on the transition plan I wrote.
This past month has seen me achieve some significant milestones. I’ve had the privilege of sharing my journey first with my brother and then with mum in what were two of the most difficult conversations of my life. Knowing that these important conversations needed to happen caused my mind to play all sorts of games. I needn’t have worried. Whilst my brother and sister-in-law and mum may have been surprised they have expressed their support and acceptance which I’m so thrilled about.
Recently I also messaged everyone in my broader friendship network (around 300 people) and received nothing but support and love.
So … I’m a wonderful mess of tears and positive emotions right now.
Maybe it’s the love and acceptance from friends and family, maybe it’s the hormones.
One thing I do know is it’s wonderful to feel something again 💕
I couldn’t have wished for a more favourable response from everyone.
The next step involves making a full disclosure to my public network via Facebook, and this will happen on January 1, 2018. Again, I’m a bundle of nervous energy but whatever is going to happen will happen and I’ll deal with the fallout (if any) as the months and year progresses.
### received I want to relay details of a conversation that happened with a long time friend I recently reconnected with. The sharing of my story and decision to transition went well and I updated her on some of my progress. Tracking the history of our conversations on messenger turned out to be a little amusing. We had gone from talking about Bitcoin in one message to my disclosure followed by her giving me makeup tips.
“I can’t believe we have gone from bitcoin to eyeliner”
“Bitcoin to eyeliner, That just about sums up my life at the moment”
As a woman I’ve I’ve found that the nature of my conversations has changed. As a clinical counsellor I used to pride myself on being able to dig deep and help people open up and share. Now I’m finding that there is a different level of depth of conversation, especially with my female friends. On more than one occasion we would find ourselves engaged in topics of a very (very) personal nature only to have the the person say to me “you know, I never thought I’d ever be talking about this with you.” My response? “Believe me, I never thought I’d be talking about your clitoral hood piercing either.”
One of the things that have been challenging over the past few weeks is a spike in my gender dysphoria. I’m finding the more my body changes the worse the dysphoria related to my male pattern baldness and boy bits becomes. The shape of my face and body is definitely becoming more feminine, but I look in the mirror and see bits that shouldn’t be there and a bald head that looks anything but beautiful. I know genital dysphoria can be alleviated with surgery, but the realisation that I may never have a full head of without surgical intervention ha hit me hard. When hearing my news for the first someone said (out of shock I’m sure) “how can you be a girl if you don’t have any hair?” Well, this is a though that has been haunting me ever since I started to go bald and was almost the reason I didn’t transition. Whilst wigs are good, having a full head of long hair has always been something I’ve wished for. At this stage the $10-$30k cost for surgical intervention is not included in my transition budget. Go Fund Me, anyone?
Things that have surprised and frustrated me:
lipstick that has sticky tape wrapped around it to stop people using stock as testers. Like WTF?
facial hair that hasn’t been blown away by the five sessions of (hurts-like-f#$k) laser treatment on my face
How do women ever manage to fill handbags to capacity when they have so many pocket and compartments. I unde4rstand the bag of holding analogy
Things that confuse me about being a woman:
- when you’r wearing a skirt and need to go, does the skirt go up and the undies go down? or do they both go down?
My progress to date
- I started on hormones in October and am approaching the three month mark
- I’ve taken steps to ensure the possibility of having biological children remains through an arrangement with a fertility clinic
- My skin has become much less oily, and I have cut back on alcohol and increased my water consumption in an attempt to stay more hydrated. I probably need to cut back on coffee too, but there are some sacrifices which come easier than others
- I’ve been using the Invisalign system now for 16 weeks to help straighten my teeth and correct my bite
- My wardrobe consists of mostly women’s clothes now, although to look at me you perhaps wouldn’t notice. Jeans and a t-shirt are fairly non-gender-specific but if you look closely you’ll notice they are women’s cuts and colours. IN addition to the casual wear I’ve started building my wardrobe and experimenting with my look. Keep an eye on my Facebook feed and you’ll see how that is going.
- My nails are now painted on an ongoing basis. I’m currently favouring a very subtle and almost transparent pink nail polish. My niece remarked recently how sparkly my nails were.
- My weight has dropped from 74 to 68kg, which has partly been loss of muscle tone. I was warned this would happen as estrogen will not maintain muscle as easily as testosterone. My body fat percentage has increased from 19% to 23%
- The ladies at Bonnie wigs in Adelaide Arcade fitted me for a wig which I love. This is the one which I’m wearing in my new Facebook profile picture. I recently returned to try on another wig of the same style but a different colour, I love me as a blonde too – something about having more fun? I’ve decided that when i can afford it I’d like to buy a second wig to give me another option.
- I’ve had many opportunities to get comfortable heading out presenting as a woman. I love getting dressed up and practicing my makeup skills however I need to be mindful of not being overdressed when something more casual will suffice.
- You may have noticed that I’ve had my ears pierced and I love how they look. What you would most likely not know is that I’ve also had my belly pierced. This belly piercing was my first ever, and it unlocked something in me that is difficult to explain. It was a surreal and profound experience to look at my beautiful pierced navel.
- As I’ve mentioned previously I’ve now been on HRT hormones for almost three months. Androcur is the anti-androgen which does the job of blocking the effects of testosterone. I am surprised at the almost magical effect of 1/4 of a tiny white pill and how it can complete obliterate the effects of testosterone on my body. These changes happen over time of course but I am already seeing significant reductions in body hair, muscle mass and [other personal things]. Climara is a patch I wear that gets changed weekly. It is this patch which delivers the oestrogen to my body that is responsible for breast growth, fat redistribution, and the smoothening of my skin,
- And I’m sure the more observant of you would have noticed I started using more feminine emojis on social media