Year 1

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.

 

Testosterone (Part 1 of many)

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.

Some mornings are just rough

Some mornings are great, some mornings are rough. It is just the way it is.

First, let me say that I am quite aware I do not pass. I am absolutely clockable, especially depending on the clothes I wear. I am still way too masculine in the face, even with subtle makeup, but sometimes I can get close. I often times feel I look cute, or at least cute enough.

I had a good week so far at my new job. Monday and Tuesday were smooth. I wore clothing that I just got, and that have had for awhile, so I was mixing and matching. I got good responses (or no responses) all the way around. This morning I wanted to to try on some of the newer clothes as well, after all it worked great on Monday.

I came out dressed and while I am sure it was ok, and hubby said it was fine, I was definitely in an uncomfortable “clocky” way. I don’t mind being transgender, and I wholly support others dressing how they want and being comfortable. I don’t think I will ever fully be passable and I am ok with that, but for some reason this morning I came out, tried two outfits on and couldn’t do it. Self hate really does suck I guess.

So I am dressing in something that is still feminine, but toned down a lot. I don’t have to be at any external auditees places so I don’t have to have full business dress (which case I would go full feminine, I won’t ever put a male suite on again) so I took advantage of it.

Sometimes I don’t understand why I have rough mornings. I realize subtle anxiety from the constant wariness of others, the upcoming surgery, money concerns just add up. However there was no real reason this morning to be uncomfortable, especially with such a supportive spouse.

Good news, I am wearing new pants and they make my butt look good, so there is that 🙂

Some mornings are just rough.

First Day

I finished my first day of work as 100% out and to be honest things went far better than expected. Of course I am not holding my breath and expecting it all to be good, but it was a lot more pleasant experience then I had anticipated.

It started at orientation when I talked with two HR reps. They were incredibly supportive when I asked them details on how changing the name, getting a new badge photo, etc when I got back from FFS surgery. In fact they immediately had me change my birth name to the name I use on our little signs we each had at our desk so people knew our names.

Not all was perfect though. I sat at a table with two people and neither woman looked at me for the entire 4.5 hours of orientation. One was younger (on my left) one was older (on my right) and while the other tables were chatting away with each other, our table was silent. Now, it is true that could just be they aren’t talkative, but my mind always goes for the worst option.

Overall though, that part didn’t matter. These people I would probably never see before and so they had zero effect on my future life, just a small day annoyance.

I got to my action department, met with my boss and our department HR rep. Both went out of their way to be nice, asked how I was doing, what could they do for me. That was a bonus. It would be nice if both my HR rep and my boss could maintain this. I will watch out over it.

My office mate (two of us share an office instead of living in cube land) Tom was an incredibly nice guy when I worked with him before, and he was just as nice now. He didn’t even hesitate, give me weird looks now that I was dressing feminine, nothing. He did apologize once. In mid sentence he had once said “him” towards me, but immediately changed it. That never bothered me at all, obviously he didn’t mean anything, and the last time we worked together six months ago I was a him to him.

I should clarify for people, intent matters to me. If I get misgendered but it was obviously by accident, and not intentional, I am ok with that. The fact that people try is what is important. Don’t get me wrong, doing it steadily for a year I wouldn’t accept either, but in normal conversation it happens, especially if you are talking history (I still every once in awhile ever several months might say ‘her’ to my husband when referring to a story when he presented as female, it happens to all of us).

A few other coworkers came over and said hi. They seemed happy to see me, and these were the nice people from the first time. There were several people of course that were talkative to me when I worked here last that didn’t come near me. We will have to see how that pans out. Maybe they don’t know what to say, maybe they just had a busy day, or maybe they are transphobic, it’s like a mystery novel.

So overall my first day went fairly well. I am not going to hold my breath it will stay like this, but also I am going to work on not judging this a bad situation before I have reason to think that way.

Starting new job tomorrow, so much stress

I start my new old job tomorrow and I have been on high alert all weekend.

I have an advantage that I know what the job does (I even wrote the policies/procedures before I left last time), I know the goals and I know the people for both good and ill. So I am not expecting a surprise from my duties. I am worried about the surprise from my coworkers.

This time is different then when I worked here before. With a last minute decision by me, my supervisor is reintroducing me to everyone with my real pronouns (she/her) and so I am fully out. While that is first time at a job for me for 100% out, it isn’t the most stressful thing though, this is the first time I will be dressing 100% feminine at a job. That is stressing me out for an unknown reason.

I do dress in feminine clothings and I go out in public with the hubby and friends, I also went out partially dressed femininely at my old job but this is the first time 100% from my underclothes to my jacket that work will get to see me in my feminine form.

It is a little sooner than planned. I originally was going to wait until after my surgery in April, but I decided I didn’t want to start as male at this new job and then have to come out again and try and correct people after being there only two months, so I am pushing it early. So here I am, full time woman.

I don’t have any super super feminine clothes such as dresses that are ready to be worn, that will wait until after surgery, but the tops, pants and shoes (and two pretty cool blazers) will fit for now. Let’s not even count first time makeup at work (just foundation and mascara but still something).

So here I am nervous as hell, rambling as I go and wondering how my day will go tomorrow.

Didn’t expect this

Since I started my transition back last spring I have tried clothing for my chest wear such as a camisole, or other garments. My chest wasn’t very large so I didn’t have to pay much attention. After all I was still in “boy mode” and wasn’t concerned about passing.

Fast forward to end of the year and my boobs are becoming real. Not big, but early-mid teen level and becoming obvious when I wear shirts. This absolutely pleases me of course and I don’t mind them poking out. The problem is I am going back to work (I will post about that later) so I need to be conservative and keep them in check. Plus I am starting to work out now and they are starting to hurt when I bang against something.

I realize they are still not big, but the hubby got me some sports bras to wear. So now I am trying to wear them for support and in preparedness for my chest surgery this fall (and they will be fairly large) so I know I will be a bra person from this point forward.

During my wearing of a sports bra I can tell you what someone who was AMAB is surprised about. These are obvious things but when you live as a guy for four+ decades you never have to consider these two items.

1. Bras are tight across the chest. I realize this is a “duh” moment, but the privilege of not having to wear a bra means you might know logically, but you don’t realize until you do it how different it is.

I have found it comfortable sometimes, my breasts are fairly tender now and if I lean against something like a guy or don’t pay attention they smart from being tapped, tagged or smashed against something. The bra definitely helps that.

I also found I really understand now (and I bet even more so when I have the chest surgery and larger bras) why the women I was around were so happy when they could take their bra off. The sigh of relief I heard always seemed a bit odd to me. Men’s clothing doesn’t fit like this at all and I didn’t realize it was a relief to get the bra off. Now I get it.

2. The second, and even more unexpected aspect of the bra is the weird way it feels around my mid/stomach section. The bra doesn’t feel weird, but the feeling of something on my upper chest but then nothing on my abdomen is an absolutely bizarre situation for me.

I never wore half shirts/muscle tees that expose the midriff and I am sure this is a similar feeling, but it felt awkward to have only the top half of my chest covered on one layer, but not below. It was even weirder to feel the shirt I am wearing on my belly, but a different layer of fabric (the bra) on my chest.

I have gotten used to it, but it struck me how separated we keep the genders for clothing and what it means. Just a little insight to you on what a transitioning women is thinking about bras in her first weeks of experience.



Risk Tolerance and Aversion

 

One of the unexpected results of being on estrogen and testosterone blockers (spirolactone in my case) was the change in my risk tolerance lowering and my risk aversion increasing greatly.

For the first 46 years of my life I was a very high risk tolerant person. I wouldn’t stress quitting a job on the fly. When I was younger I would hang out of a truck at freeway speeds being held by only a belt that a friend was holding (or freeway surfing in the back of that truck on the freeway). I didn’t mind jumping apartments more than once a year, and I liked a lot of change in my life.

Yes that is me in the back of a pickup, but at least we weren’t doing freeway speeds.

My safety didn’t concern me one bit, not physically, financially, emotionally or domestically. It would drive my husband nuts and I can’t say that I don’t blame him for being upset, especially now.

For the last 10 months on hormones and blockers my risk tolerance and aversion has become inverted. I get anxious driving too fast (especially if I am not driving). The idea of looking for work freaks me out. The idea of having to move is pretty intensely bad for me and finally I have developed this weird fear of our financial situation deteriorating even further that I want to stock up.

So much so that I made the husband buy a freezer and now we keep it full…

Now, part of my risk tolerance and acceptance I had before my transition can be directly laid out at how I was raised. Being raised around bikers, police involved in our lives, violence and guns (oh and living homeless for more than a year in high school) contributed. This was along with poverty and a lot of hunger made me pretty bullet proof for risk.

This of course combined with my 30 year long fight with depression (transition related along with PTSD and childhood trauma) made me really risk tolerant. I honestly never thought I would live to be this old and I didn’t really care. Not that I thought of it that way, I just assumed I would be dead by something.

This changed massively when I came out as transgender and the depression retreated back. I am in counseling for my depression, PTSD and trauma. The biggest piece though seems to be the testosterone restriction. It is a huge difference now. Some might say it is only correlation but I watched the husband go the opposite direction from before his transition (he got very anxious about risk when he was still presenting as feminine) and now he is a lot more tolerant of it. Our roles have almost flipped not just gender wise but in the risk aversion.

I realize I bought into the whole toxic masculinity when I was younger. I totally admit it. I loved (and in some cases still do love) adrenaline rushes. I love the feeling of a plane taking off and landing (just as much now, one of the weird things that hasn’t changed), but the idea of our finances and my unemployment ending freak me out. Driving in rainy freeway weather freaks me out. The idea that we might have to move yearly again makes me uncomfortable when a year ago I always looked for new apartments and new adventures.

I do feel bad though. I used to always give a hard time to my female friends and especially my husband (at the time my wife) about being such a nervous Nelly. He would be anxious driving in the rain, or other bad weather conditions, nervous about moving again or quitting jobs, etc. I just assumed he needed to get over it. I didn’t understand at all what he or my other female friends felt.

I didn’t realize how much of it is hardcoded into the hormones/position in society. I feel like a total dick because of it. Not that I was mean, but I would roll my eyes and bitch to myself.

So there it is, I am now way more risk averse to physical things, financially a bit and definitely domestically. It is amazing how much of us is dictated by our chemistry.

My father in the mirror

I never really thought about what I looked like when I stared at myself in the mirror. I generally would just groom and move on. It is just a station to stop at and fix up as best I can what I see in the mirror.

It is strange now that I have lost more than 105lbs, I am under 200lbs for the first time since I was 18. That combined with the fact that I am growing my beard out for electrolysis and causing a huge influx of dysphoria (which I will talk about more later) and the final touch realizing that most of the brown in my beard is gone due to laser hair removal means it is mostly a glint of silvery white.

Combine that with my longer thinner face and my hair is still brown means I am looking at myself in the mirror and realize I once again look vaguely like my father around this age. Especially when I catch it in the corner of my eyes, it catches me off guard. Not in a bad way, he wasn’t an unattractive man. I don’t hate the sight of him.  I loved him dearly even with the alcoholism and other issues. It just wasn’t something I expected to see again.

Dad, 4 or 5 years older than I am now.

When I was 18-19 and I first started dating the hubby I looked similar to now (just 30 years younger of course). I had more than one occasion where I would walk the hubby down the street (he was a tiny, very very attractive punk rock girl at the time, since this was 24 years before his transition) and people would comment back to my mom that they saw “John” down on Railroad (the local bar road) with a younger girl.

Hubby and I a few years after the incident but before transition. As if you couldn’t tell looking back we were headed somewhere different.

It got my dad in trouble a couple of times for stuff he hadn’t done, and I never understood it. I never really thought we looked alike (although looking at a photo album I can see what people were saying). We even had one person step out of a bar and start calling my dad’s name when I had walked by with my hand around Wolsey’s waist. Of course when they got outside and got closer they realized I was his older kid and apologized, but it was funny now (and I was a bit horrified back then).

Me, about 2 years later, a little heavier

I grew older and within a couple of years I had put on a lot of weight. I still think I looked hot (well, I didn’t, but W always thought I did) and I looked a lot more like my mother’s side of the family, the viking norseman bloodline was a lot more evident and similarities to my father disappeared under my bulk.

A little younger 40ish, hated it but it was expected.

Now that thirty years have gone by and I have recently lost all that weight I look different and my body has morphed closer to my father (except far taller, my dad was always shorter than me) and my grandfather on my mom’s side similarity has receded.

So now sometimes, with the beard coming out and the silver white coloring glinting in the light of the bathroom mirror I see memories of my dad. Part of it makes me smile, I loved him dearly. Part of me misses him terribly. I haven’t yet really talked about the horror of him passing away and the total fucked up situation my siblings put the whole thing through.  Maybe I am at a point I can do that.

Then part of me panics for a moment. Shame that I might “destroy” what is left looking like him living here in the world. It is a stupid thought. A fear that I am going to fuck something up. I realize this is more about fear of the unknown when it comes to the FFS, but that is how it comes out. That I might destroy the last remnants of my father that still live and look like him.

The worst part is that is quickly overridden by the gut sick feeling I see of myself when I see that facial hair coming through. I never understood up until coming out and transitioning what it meant that I hated facial hair. I tried it a lot, I come from biker stock and it is part of the uniform, especially the mutton chops. I think a lot of the time it looked really good on me, better than without it. It didn’t matter though, I always hated it.

A little older 46ish, really hated how I looked

I hate it more now that I know FFS is coming up and there it is mocking me while I wait for the electrolysis to make it go away forever over a very long period of time. That however doesn’t stop the weird guilt and shame I feel over intentionally changing my bone structure and removing that beard forever. Don’t worry, that guilt and shame only last momentarily and then my desire for my true self to come out is stronger, but its there.

I know part of it is I just miss my dad a lot. He had a lot of problems, way more than most dads. In other ways he showed love a lot stronger than any dad I have met. It is complicated thing, but I think the transition is forcing me to deal with feelings. The fact that I see parts of him when I look in the mirror has made it harder. It doesn’t help we are coming up to the anniversary of his passing and I think with the anxiety of the surgery.

Sometimes I can’t even clearly define why I am upset about it, I am still working on it, trying to understand. I don’t know if all this will be is random emotions about my history, my life and experiences and complicated relationships, but that is why I write it down. Maybe in 20 years when I am closing in on 70 it will make more sense why I felt this way… or maybe I will still have no clue.

For now it brings out some sadness, a lot of dysphoria, but also a little smile when I catch my father in the mirror.

Dad and I

Unexpected Changes

Before I go any further I need to put a disclaimer. This post is about genital stuff, mostly about changes, some of which are unexpected. I feel the need to write about it because that is the purpose of me blogging about my transition, all the details of it. However, if you are squeamish or don’t want to know about medical aspects of my genital transition then don’t read any further, I will even put a cut here for you.

Continue reading “Unexpected Changes”

Dysphoria

Today I wanted to talk to you about dysphoria and myself. Growing up I have always hated the way I look. I mean absolutely, truly hated it. No physical reason for it, I know I was considered attractive enough that others showed interest in me, and personality can only make up for some of that.

I never associated it as dysphoria though. I always thought I was just too fat, my chin was too big, etc. I even felt differently about the typical male role I played intimately with others. Didn’t like it, but didn’t identify it as a gender related issue.

The hubby tried to get me to buy clothing, to care about myself, a variety of ways to show me that there was nothing wrong with me. I didn’t have the words for him at the time. All I could put out there was that I was fat, stupid, etc. I just marked it mentally as mental health issues because logically I knew I wasn’t that bad, but the emotion would never stop.

That is to say until I transitioned and as my features slowly change I found I really starting to like what I look like. The emotion has gone away mostly. That is until Saturday and it is getting harder. That is because I have to grow my beard out for electrolysis. It is the first time in a year I have had a beard, and while I have had my biker/office chops before, I never liked it.

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Me, Circa 2016/2017

I find now I hate it even more. I am fortunate, laser hair removal has gotten rid of almost all my dark hair, so all that is left is white hair with some dark hair above my lip. So I don’t look quite so viking like. I also don’t think logically that I look badge even with the beard coming out. I have more of a David Bowiesque guy look going and logically it is fine. Inside it is a thousand times worse.

I am so close to where I want to go body wise, and now the beard has to be done and the feel of stubble and beard on my neck and face just eats at me. Sadly this needs to be done, the electrolysis will get rid of this problem, it is just a small trial I have to go through before I get my facial surgery.

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Beard doesn’t look like much yesterday, today is way worse (no photo of that yet).

Of course I have had negative thoughts as well looking at myself in the mirror, worrying as I drift away from masculine that the husband will be left wanting something I wouldn’t have to give him. He has never said this, he has made clear he is attracted to me, but that is a huge difference already. I have lost weight, I look fairly good already (the best I have looked in our marriage) but I feel like now that he gets the best look for “his husband” it will be disappearing soon.

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That is its own post, but I wanted to get an intro on what I am feeling and dysphoria along with worry my husband will not be as attracted to me. I am sure those are all interrelated to my beard growing out. Let’s hope it only takes a few weeks to do this.

Don’t worry, I will be back with more stuff soon!