Long long day… but worth it

Here it is 00:30 and I am awake with anxiety, uncomfortable dreams and still amped from my day. I feel distracted and to be honest emotional (evidently distracted enough that it is now 02:00 because I just sat here zoning out for 90 minutes).

This isn’t uncommon for me when I have to deal with family. Ever since my parents passed I haven’t had many good experiences (barring with my younger niece and nephew). The difference is today it felt like we got past something, maybe things are changing. Even if they aren’t, I think I am gaining the ability to just let things go.

Yesterday started decently, if not a bit early. I was up by 4am (anxiety about going up to visit parents grave). Hung out with husband a bit until I left later then normal (after 8am) to drive up to Bellingham (about a 130 mile drive one way). It is the first time I have been out and about by myself dressed female without my husband (barring work).

It started with going to the gas station at Safeway. Two different guys are filling up cars and they notice me. One guy just smiled, the other guy chuckled to his friend inside their truck. Fuck them I don’t care (actually not too much at least). Went inside the little store area to look for a Coke Zero, none where there. The older guy behind the counter asked me what I am looking for, I told him and he said “Honey, they are outside” and went out and got me the last Coke Zero. It was nice that he didn’t even hesitate, I wasn’t sure with him being older how he would react, then he yelled at one of the guys at the gas pump so I knew he wasn’t super nice all the time.

I then drove up to Bellingham and on my way stopped by a grocery store for flowers for my parents grave and a Starbucks. Everyone was nice and the florist lady called me Honey. Is that normal to have so many people use that term?

For some reason (maybe its hrt, or maybe I am old) I had to stop again to pee. This time at a rest stop. This is where things got twitchy. I am parked and four asian ladies in a Canadian plated van step out and smoke three fee from my window. I then get up to go to the bathroom and I get stared at by a bunch of rednecks when I go into the bathroom, and when I get out of the rest area bathroom there are three different guys from different group standing there watching me.

I think the one advantage is none of them realized I was taller than them, and I have a lot of tattoos. They just stared at me, but didn’t say a word… so neither did I. I got out of the rest area as soon as possible though.

I got to Bellingham and picked up my brother. This was a funny part. I swing into his apartment complex and he almost walks past me. He is staring at me like he is trying to figure out who I am. This is the first time he has seen me dressed in makeup and a skirt.

He got in the car and laughed about it. He said that he saw me from outside his apartment, he thought he recognized the car but when he saw only one person and he thought it was a woman, he didn’t think it was me. I knew he was telling the truth because when he walked past me I saw the moment when he recognized me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I pass in general, but it was nice to see evidently I can feminize well enough.

We then met with my niece at Bob’s Burgers and had a great lunch. She also had a confused look when she saw me  and she congratulated me on how I looked. We then had lunch and she talked about her life, my brother’s life and mine. I feel like we got past some previous family stuff. Don’t get me wrong there is still stuff that hurts and I will eventually talk about here, but you try and get past it.

Neither my niece or brother wanted to go to the cemetery so I took my brother home. On the way home we stopped by his kid’s house and I got to say hi to my younger set of nephew/niece combination (they also didn’t recognize me at first, not saying I passed as a woman, but that I didn’t look like who I was). Once done there we had to stop at three places to pick him up a bus pass and we said farewell.

Finally I got to go to the cemetery. I was supposed to come up a couple of months ago, but with all the surgeries, medical visits, etc I never made it. I spent a good hour or so there, cleaning up the headstone of my parents, taking pictures and dropping my excess flowers on obviously unvisited graves. I think I want to go up there and do a full photo layout of the cemetery. It is still the single most beautiful graveyard/cemetery (I don’t know the difference) that I have seen in person in my life.

Finally I drove home (took 3 hours to get anywhere) and got to see the husband. It was a 12 hour day that felt like 16, but I felt better. I think I want to go up there a little more regularly.

What I did find was my family I met with seemed ok with me walking around with them with a skirt on. I didn’t realize how anxious I was about how they would react (and I still don’t know why I care). It was a good experience though and I am glad I did it.

Oh, and there will be photos later!

Bathroom Encounter

Gather around for a story of someone who is a royal fuck and why women talking in a bathroom still weirds me out. As a side note, this doesn’t happen in men’s bathrooms. There is an unspoken rule that you do not talk to each other, so it has been an experience learning that women do this differently.

It all started at work, for the most part I have good luck in the bathroom. Most women I see at work don’t hesitate with me being in the bathroom, but sometimes all the stalls can be empty, they walk in, see me and walk back out. It hurts but it is what it is.

Shitty things happen, and this time I am sitting in the stall at work, minding my own business. Someone else comes in and sits in the stall next to me. They just start chatting to me like they know me. We have two actual bathrooms side by side and both are women’s bathroom. I figure their friend probably was in the other one and she hadn’t realized it wasn’t her friend sitting in my stall.

I don’t know her voice but we have a lot of people in that department and I suspect she is across the hall. She then says “Don’t you hate they let guys in here”. Straight out says that to me.

It kind of shocked me for a moment since I know that I have to be that “guy”. Everything sort of froze for me and I went into automatic mode. A childhood full of stressful situations that have left me with PTSD, but also the ability to respond immediately to the situation.

My Bradley wit did overcome and I said “I know… guys shouldn’t be in here.” With my still masculine voice. I am fairly sure I had a bite to my word, one of those ‘wrong stall biatch’ and I could tell I had scored a pretty good hit.

I think she might have had a stroke at that moment as she went silent. You could hear a pin drop. It was that bizarre silence that is just momentary, but loud in its lack of sound. All of a sudden a scattered sound of cleaning up and then she whipped out of that bathroom like a roach scurrying away. I didn’t even catch a glimpse of her when I was finishing up, she was just gone.

At first I thought maybe it was a mean girl thing and she was saying it like that to fuck with me. Some people I grew up with would have approached it that way, a casual “oops I didn’t realize that was you”, but I think her bailing out so quick shows she did think I was someone else.There isn’t anyone else in my department that would have the nerve to do that kind of thing, so the more I think, I definitely believe she just made a mistake.

I was amused for a little while at work, then mad, then I just wanted to crawl home and hide.

I know I shouldn’t care, but it did bug me. I still think about it a few days later. I realize this is my future, and while it sucks, it is still much better than how I felt before I transitioned.

Phoenix Airport Encounter

I posted a bit earlier on an encounter at the Phoenix airport, but I thought I would go into a little more detail here.

The day before went really well. We ran around a bit and I went in and met some really great people at Senza Pelo Med Spa who would do my electrolysis. They were pretty damn spectacular and deserve a post later.  They did nine hours of electrolysis and while my face was puffy I was (and still am) happy with the result.

Me getting electrolysis

That night was fine, my face looked like a prize fighter had worked me over but my goatee area had never been that smooth ever and I was ecstatic. I woke up with the bruising on my lip and chin area and puffy. I was tired, hungry (as I haven’t been able to keep down food the whole time I was down there) and I just looking forward to getting out of the 110 degree Phoenix heat. The one good thing I had was my hubby who was doing what he could to take care of me.

We drove back to the airport and I couldn’t get out of Arizona fast enough. The last two days I have been getting a lot more rude side eye, or absolute straight on staring at me. I get that at home in Seattle area of course, but I get a hell of a lot more support. Also, I don’t have to panic every time I go into a bathroom, or get the annoyed looking women when I step out of a stall.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Arizona might have “come a long way” but it certainly isn’t close to the Pacific Northwest (where I still have to be careful). Not once did I feel safe, not even in boy mode when I had my beard grown out.

There were supporters of course, not nearly as many but I did get smiles, head nods and some people would come over and talk with me. Not everyone is bad, and I don’t think a majority is necessarily bad, but the majority is silent and that is almost as bad. Combine this to the stupidity of the Fox News channel that was on everywhere made me remember I am not safe and I am not home.

Fast forward to the airport. I had crossed security and that went incredibly well. They were respectful and there was a lot of levity when once again I got patted down. This time it was an elderly lady but she was pretty sweet. The only weird thing is when we arrived they seemed surprised that the hubby and I got in the first class line. They obviously assume all transgender people would only fly coach and were poor. I am struggling financially but only due to student loan and FFS payment, otherwise we do pretty good for a living.

We were in the main gate area and the hubby needed to use the restroom. So I did what I normally did and stood against the wall outside the bathroom. I watched the people go by and I felt super uncomfortable. I couldn’t put much makeup on due to the swelling, I was hot, uncomfortable and was getting a lot of stares (not even side-eye, but full on staring at me as they walked by).

That is when this one conservative looking douchebro steps up, not more than a few feet from me, pulls out his phone as he is making some snide comment I didn’t quite catch and took a photo of me standing there.

I am not sure at what point of what he did that I decided “fuck it” but that was it, that was the last thing I was putting up with and for a brief moment I stepped off the wall and up to his face. I honestly don’t know what he saw but he panicked and backed up. He obviously did not expect me to react aggressively, and for some reason even though I was standing straight I don’t think he realized I was as tall as I am.

I shouldn’t have reacted like that. It is dangerous there, I could have been broadsided by someone else. I am in a hostile state, with a hell of a lot of hostile people and the worst part if I get arrested (which undoubtably would be the case if it was his word against mine) I probably go to a male jail and if I am lucky it would just be solitary.

I stopped myself and he scattered on his way like a scaredy cat. I was really angry at that point, and disappointed in myself for doing it, and disappointed I had stopped myself. It was just a natural thing to step up and part of me thought I failed for not shoving him (growing up with bikers and a father who in my childhood definitely taught me what should be done when you are insulted… although I think by the time he got older and passed he would have been happy I didn’t do something to get hurt, weird how people change over their lives). I also felt like a disappointment that I might inconvenience the husband, or if I had caused a ruckus I don’t want to add any negative press to my other trans/non-binary people.

So I stepped back against the wall. I knew he had a picture, and I knew it was a useless idea to go chasing to get it back, so instead I took a picture of myself so I could post it. It gave me some sort of feeling of control (stupid I know). For some reason I felt I needed to get my picture out there before him. So here is my picture:

no glamour shot here – I was really upset

Pardon the grumpiness, the tiredness and the not even close too presentableness. Tired, sweaty and no makeup with bruising starting up on my face made this not my favorite picture. Oh and Fuck Him and the horse he rode in on.

Fortunately we flew out about an hour later, and four hours later I was in Seattle and immediately felt safer, and that I was home. So here I am now home, in my house and comfortable and still really upset by that guy.

 

A good TSA experience

Here I am this morning in Phoenix waiting for my all day electrolysis appointment (9 hours worth). I just wanted to report back my trip yesterday had good and bad when it came to being transgender, and especially with me having a beard. Let’s start off my series of posts with a good.

hubby and I, early morning 

I got to SEA-TAC airport early in the morning. They had a new setup for TSA security and unfortunately we don’t work for the DoD anymore so we don’t have Pre-check. We get into the line and as I am removing my stuff into the grey tubs, the TSA guy yells at my husband and is just a dick. We smooth that over quick and start to go through.

I step into the scanner and I know it is all going to hell. It does its little MRI/circling thing and I step out. This very nice lady asks me to wait and low and behold, the scanned image shows a huge yellow box around my groin.

I was totally expecting a shit show at this point, but I was incredibly, pleasantly surprised. She smiled at me and she explained that she had entered the setting “female” on the system, so when it found something unexpected in my groin it went off. To be honest I didn’t know it read things that closely, but I nodded. She then explained if it was ok with me, she would flip the settings to “male” and scan again.

I told her that was fine. The reality of my situation is I believe I am female, science bears it out along with my doctor, the government assigning me female, etc. The truth is though I still have a penis, no matter what others what to call it, it is still a penis. At least until I get a vaginoplasty. So I have no problem with this.

The scanner finds no problems with my penis at that point… but does find a problem with my boobs. The lady is still there, and by now two more guys have walked up (I think one was stationed there, and another, a supervisor I believe). This is where I was positive the shit was going down. I was wrong.

All three of them were incredibly compassionate. The lady apologized and said they would have to pat me down since the machine was going to find a problem no matter what. I understood and I told her “Don’t worry, it is ok. It doesn’t matter which of you do it, this is going to be uncomfortable for all of us”.

The lady stepped forward herself, and she kindly patted my boobs down. This was the least invasive way (I could have the boy do it, but he would have to pat down my groin). She was joking the whole time and honestly it was an overall positive experience. We said our goodbyes and I thanked them for being so cool about things.

When we walked away the hubby mentioned he thought they must have had transgender training since he came down with boobs three years before. They were not so kind, and they were honestly rude and freaked out when they had to pat down his boobs (before he had them removed).

Unfortunately I am a minority, that isn’t going to change and with the complete freaked out security mindset this will be my normal state of being. However, even with that, this experience was positive as I met three TSA workers who were kind, compassionate and respectful. This was probably the highest point of the day… especially after I arrived in Arizona.

Rough Day

I haven’t shaved since yesterday because I go to electrolysis on Saturday, most people at work have either not noticed or have been nice. However…

I was upstairs at work getting tea and I am standing there. This old guy (not a coworker) stands up next to me, not more than 6 feet from me (probably closer).

He is staring at me, as in glare/stare. He literally looked at my tits and the. Up to my cheeks and then back down. Getting more upset as he watched.

I turned and smiled at him, I was at work and all I could think of that wasn’t aggressive was ask “Do you want to touch the stubble?”. I was expecting a freak out, but I couldn’t stop the words.

He looked poleaxed, then walked off in a huff. The other person standing on the other side almost spit coffee out her nose.

Today is rough . I hate the stubble but I sure as hell cant let someone get in my space without responding. (Oh and the lady was super cool with me).

#trans #translife #confrontation #ihatethebeard

Upgrade of HRT regimen

Things are looking up. After a pretty horrible experience with my previous provider, who told me the hormones won’t do me much good anymore… I talked with my therapist and husband (two different people) and we went to a different doctor, a trans specialist.

He saw me, totally reassured me that I am far from done. He upped my dosage from 4mg to 6mg estradiol and added in progesterone to help breast development. He believes I can get them a pretty good size and asked me to wait on breast augmentation until next April and let my natural boobs grow first, then get the augmentation. So I agreed to it.

That means I am now on a new HRT regimen and pushed back a surgery I was going to have in two months, to April. It makes me a little anxious, but I feel good about what he wanted me to do. It means only surgery in next eight months is for my lips, and only if I can get the electrolysis done.

I think it is relieving to my husband that my surgery got pushed back, but it sounds good.

In other news, I am moving my primary care back to the doctor we had in Everett. It is a long drive to get there (over 60 miles) but he was super supportive of the hubby in his transition, and since I have a transgender specialist, I want my primary to just care about me as a person. So that is good too.

I will give updates on the HRT of course, last night was the first full dose of both (3mg estradiol x 2 a day, and progesterone at night). I am hoping to get back on the hormonal changes soon.

Mountain Man Encounter

Yesterday I had a really interesting encounter. I was in the stairwell at work walking up to get the coffee shop. A very large and burly man walked into the stairwell. He saw me dressed up in a skirt and a grey sweater. I was a bit worried with his appearance, he was large and very masculine. He seemed just as worried as he stopped and he hesitated when he saw me.

Pic of me later that day.

I watched visibly as he debated what to say and he start and stopped a couple of times. He then smiled and asked me how I was and treated me like I was a woman. I was so proud of this man I didn’t know. He obviously had never encountered a trans woman before and he saw me, stopped, and thought about it.

It was a good experience and by the time we both exited the coffee shop he was chatting at me and seemed so much more comfortable. I am glad that I made him more easy around obviously LBTQIA, and honestly I think he might have made it easier for me to be around large, brawny and bearded mountain men.

Frustrations at work

Yesterday was quite the frustrating thing. I was dressed up in my blue striped dress, my hair was made up and I had good makeup on.

I went out to a non-profit agency with a second monitor who looks at different things. I was there to audit them and I had steeled myself to get looks or actually verbally misgendered (it’s happened before).

We came in and they weren’t polite, but when they realized we were there to audit them they were perfectly nice. While I think I got some side-eyed looks from them, I didn’t get anything overt and that was all I can ask.

My coworker was the one who actually called me he four different times in about 15 seconds. It was so jarring that even the agency I was auditing looked surprised. They looked me up and down and then back to my coworker.

Finally I got her to stop talking and I corrected her using a masculine pronoun. She did look horrified when she realized she had called me he repeatedly. At least I do t believe it was intentional and we went on with what we were doing.

I thought it was done with it (she only used she after apologizing profusely). I am not mad at her, but I woke up mad in general early this morning.

I am now just angry in general and then even more angry with myself for not being able to put it away… circle of self-loathing is strong today.

Just had to put it out here and go back to work. Hopefully now I can let it go.

HRT Problems

I haven’t posted much about it because I thought it was a super temporary situation. When I first started on hormones back in April 2018 my numbers for estrogen started to rise, while my testosterone started to fall. This was great.

In August the test came back even better, wasn’t 100% but it was obviously climbing. My doctor said take a few months and then come back to get tested again. Well life got busy and a few months became 5 months, and by that time I knew my orchiectomy was coming in two months so I just put it off, since life was already so busy.

Fast forward to a week before my bilateral orchiectomy. I am in the pre-op appointment for it and no one asked for me to take a lab for my HRT numbers. I thought that was weird so I asked to get them done on my own, I wanted a baseline.

Turns out that at some point in time my estrogen had dropped below my starting point and my testosterone had shot up 30% higher then it was BEFORE I started transitioning, when I was presenting as full male. This would explain why my changes had seemed to plateau. I was a bit freaked to be honest, but I knew the next week I would have my orchiectomy and my testosterone would be gone, and my estrogen would go up.

That was four weeks ago, so yesterday I took my first HRT blood test since my orchie, with four weeks under the lack of testicles and I had some good news, and some bad news. My testosterone has dropped down to a blip where it should be. The bad news is my estrogen has dropped down even further, nowhere where it needs to be.

Fortunately my hubby has been here, putting up with my freaking out at finding this out. There has been some changes from my orchiectomy, but I am assuming that is probably from my testosterone dropping then from my estrogen helping as much as I would like.

This is evidently not a super rare problem though. I have still been pukey, even without being on spiro so that could be effecting it (although I go out of my way not to eat hours before or after the estrogen so I don’t puke during that time period. The other thing is I have always had a weird liver test and my family are super resistant to most drugs. Stupid genetics.

So I sent a message in to my doctor and asked about either sublingual tablets to avoid being processed in my gut, or injections. I am willing to do either and I have heard of good stories where this problem was easily fixed by that. Of course this all happens on a Friday night so I have to wait all weekend, but such is life.

Hopefully Monday I will get a call from my doc that she updated my prescription, until then I will just go over here and sit and cry in a corner…

Rest of the FFS Trip

To be honest a large portion of the trip after my surgery is a blur. I do remember the whole food debacle though with clarity.

Before we came down I got the surgery schedule and was told that I would be on clear liquids for three days Friday through Sunday), then another 2-3 days of soft food (Monday and Tuesday) and by Wednesday I would be fully capable of eating. So we went to Frye’s Grocery and bought food for the 9 days we would be in town. The first three or four days being clear liquids, the next two being soft, then normal.

The cart isn’t full yet.

When I came in for my pre-op appointment on Friday we were then told no, in fact I would be on clear liquid until Wednesday, and I might be off soft foods by the time I left (but probably not). So we went back to Frye’s for a second set of groceries based on this (another $70).

I was released on Sunday to go back to the hotel from the hospital and I was told right there by my surgeon that I could immediately start eating regular solid food. The nurse came in behind the surgeon and suggested that maybe I don’t, and to be honest we listened to her, but I was frustrated by the constant changes in what I was supposed to do post-surgically. Almost as if she didn’t remember.

The surgery itself went well though and I liked what I saw, so I went back to the hotel room and the next three or four days were a blur. We occasionally went out, but eating regular food was too difficult so I ate a lot of yogurt and dip while laying in bed. Also I hated growing stubble because I couldn’t shave.

Red Robin was really hard, I couldn’t open my mouth so I had to cut the burger into 20+ pieces and eat it with a fork.

It was partially a blur because there was pain meds, recovering from general anesthesia and finally I got sick and was puking my guts up. All I remember was watching Brooklyn 99 and marvel movies in a haze of sleep, sick and dreams.

We couldn’t tell if I was sick because I caught something, or because I had to go off all my hormonal treatment, either way having had facial surgery, my head was wrapped up and hurting from cutting off portions of my skull (forehead, cheeks and jaw) that it just sucked. Also, by this time my hair stank, it still had blood in it, even after days of showering, because I couldn’t scrub it.

I tried constantly to clean the blood out of my hair for the whole week.

By Thursday morning though I was recovering and we began going out to do small things, mostly so I could eat something that wasn’t yogurt. I still couldn’t open my mouth all the way, but it was definitely better. Below was my trip to see Avengers:Endgame.

I went to my post-op appointment on Friday and I knew this would happen. I was hurried through, the surgeon only spoke to me for about five minutes and bailed out of there quick. Her assistant removed stitches, or at least tried to (since then my hubby has removed more than a dozen stitches out of my scalp that should have been done).

I was (and am) really happy with the results, even with a swollen face.

Eventually Saturday morning we piled down to the car, took it back to the airport and I flew home. I haven’t ever been so happy to just be home. There I spent the next 2.5 weeks recovering. The husband was so much help I can’t even thank him enough for everything he did. I am a lucky girl.

Seriously, I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

Well that is it, my FFS trip (I still have a whole mouth/lip FFS thing going on, but that won’t be until end of 2019 and is its own story).