We decided to go out and have a good time the day before my surgery. We wanted to spend a little time having fun before I was knocked out of action for some time. The morning of our date we had some La Quinta breakfast, including the waffles we like so much (yes I am white trash).
We had noticed last time we were in Scottsdale that they were advertising a large aquarium. Being from Seattle and the Ocean we were a little skeptical, but also interested. We decided to go whole hog, treat it like a tourist destination and do everything.
We got there pretty early in the morning and found the aquarium was indeed open. We bought our tickets and on a whim bought other tickets for Pangaea for when we were done. Going into the aquarium I found it was really nice. Things were organized fairly well, and they had a lot of hands on exhibits. There were two specifically that I liked a lot.
The first thing we came across was the Sturgeon Cove where we got to pet the sturgeon as they swum by. It was interesting, and they tolerated it, but they didn’t seem to seek it out too much
This was just a lead up to my absolute favorite part of the day. The stingray tank. There is a large tank/pool that you can walk up to. Many stingrays are swimming in it, and when they see you they come rushing to you. You can pet them and give them attention and they will get pushy with each other to get our attention. It was pretty fantastic feeling the smoothness of them.
They hubby and I wandered around the rest of the aquarium, it was interesting, they had some nice displays. Unfortunately a lot of the tanks of fish I had already seen here in the PNW, but it really isn’t a bad aquarium, especially if you are living down there.
We then moved on to Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, and found that was an incredibly large disappointment. I have been to other dinosaur exhibits and I was prepared that it would be lackluster, but this was just sad sad sad. It was more of a childcare exhibit, which is totally fine. However, they don’t make it clear what it is and that is on me for going to it anyways.
We lasted about 7 minutes in the exhibits, decided to bail and ended up getting bad photobooth photos before having lunch at the Pangaea Dinosaur Grill. I have to say the Gyro and Greek Fries was an awesome meal and it mollified me for the Pangaea Exhibit.
We wrapped up our visit with a trip to the Arizona Trading Company and picked up expensive tourist knicknacks for our friends, but while it was expensive it is still cheaper than the airport. Our final visit was the Four Peaks Mining Co, where I picked up cheesy bracelet and hubby picked up a fossil. Overpriced, but was still a lot of fun.
Overall, this day went really well, it ended with my pre-op surgery, which I will cover in my surgical post. The only sad part of the day is most of my photos did not work out, the iPhone couldn’t handle the speed of the fish or the dark, but I will get a better camera at some point.
Today will be the first of probably several posts about my trip for FFS down to Scottsdale. This post will be a general wrap up of flight down. Other posts will be about specific events, dates or things but will not include the surgery related aspects. The surgery will be handled separately so people can avoid the details if they want.
The morning of 4/24 started out pretty good. We were both wide awake and head out of the apartment, driven by our good friend Torie (thank you!). The trip to the airport was pretty quiet, I was nervous (and I assume the hubby was as well), and Torie was exhausted from coming to get us.
Once at the airport though I got the have my first experience of the week that would turn out to be frustrating, and honestly not that surprising. We were waiting at the gate for Delta when I had to run to the restroom. I am dressing femininely now but I still didn’t feel without the surgery that I wanted to cross the bathroom border yet.
I got into the bathroom and did my business. As I am trying to clean up, make sure my mascara is on right (eyeliner issues) and I saw in the mirror a shorter guy, muscled and glaring at me. He stepped right up behind me, maybe three feet between us and watched. I finished looking at myself, turned to him at my entire 6’2″ and asked, “Do we have a problem?”.
First, I know I don’t pass, so at no point did he think I was a girl. However, he did seem to assume I am fairly meek, and to be honest I am a lot more meek now and risk averse then ever. The hormone issues later this trip kind of show why.
He stepped back from for a second and took me in. My only advantage is height, but also probably the lack of caffeine… I hadn’t had any at that point and some of my friends can vouch that it doesn’t go well without it. I can be aggressive and they tell me a little crazy looking. He raised his hands, “no man, no problem” and continued back into the toilet area.
Unfortunately that put me in a more self-conscious mood and less angry mood. I spent the time in the airport feeling uncomfortable with myself, looking in my phone constantly at my image (using the camera). The hubby was great though, he made sure to double check how I looked for the twenty thousand times I asked, he reassured me, told me he loved me, and was pissed at the guy in the bathroom for me (by this time I was more embarrassed and less pissed).
We got on our plane and was met by the best possible incident I would have this trip and a nice thing in general.
The hubby insisted we fly first class for the surgery. He would rather pay the money for me not to be squished in coach on my return trip with head surgery. It would turn out to be an excellent choice and worth the little extra debt it cost.
We got on the flight and things were smooth, the stewardess was fantastic and during the coarse of the flight. She brought us some sort of biscuit sandwich breakfast with yogurt and fruit. I found I liked the fruit a lot better than everything else (my cravings and tastes have changed so much in the last year).
Somehow during the flight the stewardess and I talked and she asked about our trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale and we told her about my surgery. She was incredibly sweet before, but she was even more kind. Right before we landed she had put together a little care package out of first class foodstuffs for my recovery. While I couldn’t eat it, it was something the hubby could and her concern was outstanding. It totally made up for any issues that day.
Once we got to the Alamo Car Rental agency and picked up our car we were trying to decide what to do. Originally we were going to go to the Odysea Aquarium then check in, but we were already tired from the flight and had to go shopping for food for the week so instead we opted out.
We went to the hotel room and checked in, we then went to the Frye’s Signature grocery store and picked up the food we would eat for a week (we don’t like to eat out multiple times a day, and I wouldn’t be able to with the diet I had to go on with clear liquids and soft foods).
We got back to the hotel and pulled out our Apple TV. I had decided I was tired of being stuck on whatever crappy channels the hotel had and we brought it down thinking to just login to the network and plug it in. It turns out it is a little harder to do that, we had to deal with an idiot as we called the hotel’s internet people and asked them to add our Apple TV’s mac address to their network, which they did and it was 9 days of watching our own shows, only a super tiny tv screen sadly.
We then decided to eat some Mexican food from an area that should know how to make it and we were not disappointed. I knew that I only had 24 hours of eating normal before restrictions so I enjoyed some nice enchiladas and a quiet moment with my hubby. We ended up going to Habanero’s Mexican Grill and it was fantastic!
We then went back to the hotel and decided to call it a day and start watching Marvel movies. The hope was to finish them all and go see Endgame before we left.
That was it, our first day of travel down for the trip, not even any surgical info in there. Below is a general set of pictures
Last week I had an awesome thing happen. I was sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru (don’t judge me, I was hungry haha) and was talking to a young dark haired lady. Probably in her late twenties she was very chatty and I was dressed fairly femininely. As I pulled away she just smiled at me and without hesitation, without asking me to clarify my pronouns, she called me missus. The happiest feeling I have had about this transition after my husband confirming he wasn’t leaving me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am quite aware I am not passing or stealth at this time. Sometimes in a dark room, with very dim lighting maybe… but it is obvious how I am dressing and what I am putting out there. This was the first time someone didn’t ask me to clarify my pronoun, and who didn’t roll their eyes before using it.
My coworkers overall respect me and use it, there have been a couple of failures but I can’t hold that against them. I am 6’2″, they originally met me the first time I worked at my job as a male and it very rarely slips out. I get it, I don’t get mad at them, but I find it hurts now.
Fast forward to yesterday, I wasn’t dressed up too much at all and by the time I got home from work I had minimal stuff on my face. My hair wasn’t done and while I was wearing a girl shirt and uggs it still wasn’t really clear. It was more of a “fabulous” gay man then a girl look.
We went out to the local pot shop (thank god for a legal state) and while there we were chatting with the employee he referred to me as a he… not surprising and not offended. I was surprised though when my husband called me a he twice to the guy (we were joking around about something).
First and foremost, everyone slips up and I am not at all upset. I still do it very very rarely with him when we are talking about a time before his transition. I also wasn’t sure if it was to just smooth things over with the employee (sometimes its just easier to go with whatever the person I don’t know says instead of correcting him). Whether it was either one I am not at all upset at him or offended.
What I did learn from that and has been on my mind until this morning is that the pronoun thing does bother me. Not at my hubby. He did nothing wrong and I don’t blame it, but every time in the day someone says he (and it happens almost all the time unless I am talking to them directly, which case most of the time they just use my name) it feels like a small punch in the gut.
I can’t tell if this is a new thing, or if this is one of the many things that beat down on me for decades, but I was too numb and depressed to even know what it was.
It also could be a rough moment for me. I have surgery coming up in a week, lots of debt I put on our family for it, I am not nearly as far into the feminization of my body by hormones due to my testes fighting me at every step, the fact my hormone levels are all over because of my testes fighting my spiro dose, and after a year I am tired and the initial elation of coming out is gone.
It doesn’t change that I am happier, but it means it has been a rough month. It doesn’t mean I don’t have times where I wonder what the fuck I am doing and why am I bothering. They pass quickly, but I wanted to be forthright about how I felt in my writings. I think I am just in a down spot at the moment, hopefully to be buoyed by regaining my wind, getting some awesome surgery and being able to do something with my hair and eyes when I get back from Scottsdale.
*CW, there are references to unaccepting/narcissistic family
I went up Saturday to visit with my little brother and my parent’s grave. The drive is about 250 miles round trip and the husband and I just made a day for it.
I wanted to see my brother one last time before my FFS. I just wanted to check in on him and see how he was doing and to maybe talk a bit about my anxiety. He is the last blood member of my family that knew me as a child (my sister has been written off for some time now).
He was excited to meet up too, or so I thought. We arrived there after three hours of horrible traffic and found at the last minute he couldn’t go out to eat. So we sat with him, talked and he only wanted to talk about how his life was fucked up, he had a warrant and he wasn’t going to do anything about it because he was tired of jumping through hoops.
All valid enough I guess until my surgery came up. He didn’t do anything supportive. He didn’t ask how I was feeling, if I was nervous, or what my plans were. He didn’t even ask anything more than “which surgery” and I told him it was FFS.
We talked a little more about his warrants and about his on-off relationship until it got mentioned by the hubby I was puking all the time from the meds. He asked about that a little curious and I explained it was a side effect of Spiro, but that it would go away when I got an orchiectomy since I wouldn’t need to take Spiro anymore.
All he asked was why I had lied to him about getting GRS.
I tried to explain first that GRS and Orchiectomy aren’t the same thing. You get an orchie as the first step for GRS (and if I continue to have other side effects from the spiro it may happen, but that is a different post) but it isn’t GRS.
He was worried I was cutting off my dick. I told him at this moment that wasn’t the plan, for the moment I was going to try and keep the dick, but get rid of the testes so I can feminize easier. His exact words after that was “Why bother keeping the dick if you don’t have balls”.
I let the conversation drop off from there until we eventually went to his ex’s house to visit my niece and nephew. They were nice to see and the ex asked me about my surgery. I told her in about two sentences before somehow it switched to stuff about her boyfriend…
I am grateful for my spouse and for my chosen family, because there is no support from my blood family now that my parents are dead. I am truly glad I don’t have just my blood family to try and fall back on.
I came home with my feelings a little hurt, tired from trying to be supportive for them emotionally and no support in return. I don’t know if I will visit them much anymore.
I have been preparing last couple weeks for my upcoming FFS operation on 4/26 so while I have a ton of posts I want to talk about, things have been quiet. That is until today.
Today I was walking through Safeway when I saw an old coworker from the ESD. She worked in a different position in the department, but we both saw each other a lot and she was pretty fantastic. She had evidently left the ESD last month.
I hadn’t seen her since I had been fired, and we chatted for awhile. I asked about how things were after I left and if anything had been said. She just shook her head, not wanting to talk about it, but did say I should probably sue them.
It is nothing I didn’t expect. I knew they were two-faced to me after I was let go, and I knew they probably said things. However, she was able to give me enough extraneous details to know I was absolutely right and I found it really hurt my feelings again.
The hard part is logically I know it doesn’t matter what they say, they will never appear on a job application I put out, they are nothing. I have a hard time emotionally separating though. I believe when I work for someone they deserve 100% from me, and I know they have my back. Of course this isn’t true in white collar world (well in most of the world in general) but my youth around people who did believe in each other 100% sort of ill-prepared me.
So here I am frustrated, angry and saddened all by a job that I have let go, that had a much larger commute and paid me close to $30k less a year. I don’t want the job, it just hurts that they said vile things about me and my transition behind my back.
It is one thing to think they said it, another to have confirmation… today sucks. I will be back later today or tomorrow with a slew of posts to maybe cleanse the negative feeling I have right now.
It happened finally, when I was in the drive through of a local McDonald’s. I was dressed femininely, was in a good mood and just chatted with her in the window for a few moments. As I pulled away she didn’t blink or hesitate, just just smiled at me and said “Have a good day Mrs.”
I don’t pass fully yet and I know it. I don’t particularly expect a lot of recognition. I am at the stage now when I don’t pass as straight, and not even gay anymore. I am fairly firmly at the mid-point of being obviously trans. I have accepted it and move don.
I find it only bothers me when I get a negative reaction, just like it would anyone else. However I do like the way I look far better now then at any point in time.
I just wanted to share my first public, stranger involved encounter that I was gendered correctly without someone doing an exaggerated looking me over, or asking me if they should refer to me as a she. It made my day.
I know it has been a month since we talked or so. It is because a lot of things have been going on. I am preparing for surgery in less than three weeks, new job, and dealing with therapy and hormonal swings.
Work itself is going really well, more so then I would have anticipated. Most people are either outwardly supportive, or fade away. I realize some people are upset when people fade, but I would rather they self-selected out of my life then to have to deal with them.
The people around me, even when they try to fade away have all been working hard on the pronouns. I think it is a little bit harder because I worked there for a few months last summer while using masculine pronouns. However, they are really trying.
The only issue that has occurred was one morning being approached by a social worker from across the hall (I often work with them on my audits). He walks into my office and noticed I had a beard. He looked at me and asked “You use feminine pronouns right?”
I turned and said “Yes, I do. However I have an electrolysis appointment in two days and I have to grow my beard out for it.”
At that point he turned around and walked out.
He didn’t say goodbye, he didn’t smile he just walked out. My assumption is that even though he is a social worker, he doesn’t have good social skills. I am not sure if I passed whatever test he had, or if he is freaking out, but honestly it doesn’t matter.
There have been a couple of other specific things, but I think I will cover them in their own posts. The overall important thing to know is that I have been accepted in general so far, and to be honest that is far better than I had anticipated. We will see how they feel after the FFS surgery.
Well it happened a little earlier than expected, but I got asked by my job to do something I felt was wrong. To change my opinion (or at the very least minimize) as an auditor/financial person on some risk assessments.
I can understand why they asked, they want to do things with money that might seem to them the right thing, regardless of the financial risk and that is fine with me. They want to help the community, although my input would be maybe the money should go to someone who isn’t so risky. My job is purely the review of it financially, and I knew they probably would ignore what I said and that was ok. It is sort of how the governmental system works sadly.
What I didn’t like was them coming back to me and asking me to change it, or at least take away my “judgment”. Even though the last set of answers I was supposed to give was my professional judgment.
The worst part is I can’t really say no in the end. I just went in debt almost $40,000 for my face the same day they asked this. Don’t get me wrong, the surgery is paid for and they can’t put you in jail for owing money, but I know the hubby will feel pressured if my job fails and that means I will just shove my anxiety and anger at this down into a hole.
This is just my way of venting. I don’t have a lot of places to do it, so you are all stuck with it.
Today (March 13th) marks the year anniversary date that I came out to my husband as trans. While all the signs told me that it shouldn’t be hard, it was one of the hardest things in my life and one of the things that improved my life the most.
In the last year I have lost 110lbs (and slowly losing more), I have quit two jobs, been fired from a job and started three new jobs (well actually 1 new job and then two older jobs I had before) in an attempt to find some place accepting.
I have come out to my family, my husband was incredibly supportive, after all he called me “his little egg” for years before I knew what that meant. My blood family’s response has ranged from tepid to no response or acknowledgement of me living at all.
My friends have almost all universally been supportive or disappeared (and the number that disappeared were very small and mostly just ‘online’ people that I didn’t know that well). The vast majority overall have proved to be loving, accepting and caring of me.
I started hormones 11 months ago, but in this last time my transition has been slowed by my testosterone production. “My little buddies” haven’t been removed yet and they are fighting like hell to stay and to mess up my hormone levels. That is ok though, they are off the island within 2-3 months and life will be better.
I like the way I look way better than I ever have. It isn’t just the weight loss, it is feeling more comfortable about who I am. This is the first time this year in my entire life since I was a little kid that I enjoyed shopping. The husband is still in awe sometimes when I pick something out on my own.
Of course there have been no surgeries or heavy medical inducements other than hormones yet. That all happens this year (well next 6-9 months at the longest), so my second and third year will be harder then the first. Although I suspect my appearance will change even more drastically then it did this year, so my pictures up to now aren’t even half the story yet of my journey coming up.
There are still a ton of details and chapters I haven’t talked about yet, those will happen. I just wanted to wish myself a happy birthday/anniversary of coming out to my husband… who already knew and was waiting.
I love you my little rat.
Disclaimer: One important note, I am talking here about my experience, everyone experiences sex and hormones differently and this post is by no means exhaustive – I am sure I will have a lot more to post but even then my view isn’t the only one.
When I was younger, long before I considered transitioning I held the standard AMAB viewpoint of sex. I was always interested in it, I liked looking at pretty people in skimpy outfits. I couldn’t keep my hands out of my pants, or if I was in a relationship someone else’s pants.
So when I got married to my spouse, long before he transitioned and he was still my wife, I was the typical guy in some ways. I am told I wasn’t too pushy, but I do know I wanted sex all the time. My sex drive was high enough that it caused some friction between me and the spouse. They had a more AFAB type of sex drive, which isn’t just hormonal of course, it also involves social acceptability and how AFAB people are raised.
We would fight when I was younger because of our differing sex drives. I didn’t understand why someone wasn’t in the mood for periods of time. I can completely admit I never really considered outside my point of view. I didn’t understand truly that others didn’t experience sex drives the same as I, and to be honest that is a pretty typical male outlook from my understanding.
If we didn’t have sex more often then every couple of weeks (or even weekly) I would feel that they were withholding or being arbitrary. I didn’t understand that testosterone is such a big influence on your sex drive, and they didn’t have the same feelings. I was ready anytime, anywhere, I could have sustained a big injury and still want to try. I am ashamed to learn how privileged I was being about it.
Now that I have been on testosterone blockers for about 11 months (with wildly shifting numbers, so we still don’t have it under control) and estrogen for the same amount of time I think I have a lot more understanding of what someone AFAB generally feels, and to be honest I am frankly ashamed of some of my outlook and attitudes before my transition. Not that I was a bad person, but that I just didn’t understand.
Let me crush the whole idea that you don’t like sex if your testosterone is stopped. That is not the case at all. In fact sex now has been more incredible overall (due to a whole range of effects of the estrogen and testosterone blocking that I will go over in detail later). I love being with my husband and I do have an active sexual imagination.
However, I am not continuously bombarded with the urges for sex during the day nonstop. Before I would think about it multiple times a day. Now when it is quiet, I have some time and I feel relaxed it comes up in my thoughts, sometimes. Without the testosterone it isn’t that drive, that overwhelming need that it was. It gives me time to think about other things and just relax.
I don’t think this is a bad thing, it means I can work on things without being distracted too much. I can focus on my creative works and instead of satisfying a lot of objectification in those works I feel I get more in touch with the work itself.
Another side effect is that I now scroll past a lot of ads and distractions I used to look at and find them frankly ridiculous. They used to capture my attention for periods of time, distracting me from things I wanted to do otherwise.
I didn’t realize how much advertising is placed that way, and how much culture adopts it without thinking. I know I had fully accepted it without a second thought. The good part is that now I have a lot better understanding of how it effects people with and without testosterone.
I am not saying my experiences or views now perfectly match up with people born AFAB. I didn’t have the stigma of sex laid on me (quite the opposite actually) and society didn’t treat me different. What I am saying is I believe I understand those experiences better.
I now understand why women get frustrated with the pushiness of men better. I understand why I heard the words “Not tonight, I am not in the mood” and their frustration when I would ask in a different way. When you don’t have the intense push of testosterone there are a lot of other things going on, stressors, needs, and desires.
I find now that I look at a lot of the way women are portrayed (the super sexy style) and it is not as attractive to me anymore. I can appreciate it, but its different and not really something I find interesting or even healthy necessarily. I will probably need like five posts to explain that.
If you had asked me before my transition, I would have said testosterone had a fraction of the influence that it evidently had. It is eye opening and I wish I could explain it to other AMAB born people. Get them to look outside those feelings. The problem is those feelings are there your whole life, you don’t have a reference otherwise.
I also want to make it clear that having testosterone is not bad at all. It is perfectly healthy, with needed function. I am not one of the ladies that believes it is poison. What I am trying to say is I didn’t realize as a privileged white male before transition I didn’t have to look beyond my urges because society is built around them. Now that the curtain has been pulled back with the urges and I have been shown what others see and feel I have had some realizations.
I am still working on those realizations in my head (and on here), but for now I basically just wanted to say I was amazed at the difference.
TL;DR With my testosterone blocked I found my outlook on sex and the sex drive completely different and I now understand why a lot of women talk about sex the way they do.