Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mini Update


Really?  Is it possible that I can match my already written title of a mini update?  I seriously don't know!  I'll try and keep it small, but lately it seems as though being brief is not my strong suit!  Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

#1 - well things here in my personal life keep chugging along.  I am occupying much of my time with trying to change over my name on every little thing!  It is kind of annoying.  Do you know what would be super helpful?  If you legally change your name, it then is magically changed across everything!  It kind of stinks having to get a different doctor letter for my court case, my driver's license, and my passport.  Aren't these all government agencies?  Does the court order mean nothing to these other groups?  Hmmmm........

#2 - like my timeline photo above?  I do!  It is weird in changing your hormones.  At first all I wanted was the mental benefits of changing them, now that I have those, I want the physical changes too!  Have you ever seen a female to male trans individual who goes on testosterone? T is a pretty strong drug.  So is E, however it's effects tend to be stronger on individuals who have not had any hormones in their body before.  T on the other hand has profound effects on pretty much all bodies.  No it cannot un-grow breasts or reduce hip size, but it can cause body and facial hair, as well as a deepening of the voice.  Those few things are huge gender markers!  Huge!  Anywho.... E's effects are not always as noticeable.  Thus I love comparing my old favorite photos to my new favorite photos.  That is where I see the most changes.  Most people keep saying - yeah you look happier.  Do you know what?  Something else must be happening.  I can't just be getting happier and happier.  Was I happy when I first got the hormones on 7/3/17?  Yes I was!  Am I happier now?  Well life sure is grand, but it can also be quite annoying.  I'm still happy, but happier?  Huh, that's hard to judge.  Just because everyone is saying it does not make it so.  Something else must be happening here people.  And with so many of you refuting that any actual physical change is happening, are you aware of how much that hurts?  Well you do now, so can you please stop?  I'd really appreciate not hearing anymore of how I look the same, just happier. 

#3 - while we are on the happy topic can we please stop telling trans people who chose to transition "well if that is what would make you happy?"  I'd really appreciate if we could stifle that narrative.  Seriously, transition is about far more than mere happiness.  More and more lately when I hear the above phrase all I translate it to is - 'I think you are completely loony and I have no educated idea of what being transgender is all about, but I believe in people having the freedom to do to their bodies what they want, so go ahead and do it to yourself."  Cookies make me happy, transition has finally begun to make me whole.  There is a difference.

#4 - my little honey's foot is healing but not quite healed.  That darn toe bone takes forever to grow!  Hurry up big toe she is getting tired of having to thump around in her boot!

#5 - work is going well.  Surprisingly I have only had to write up 1 student, out of 550, for sexually harassing me.  Little turd!  Oh well, 1 out of 550 is flippin great!

#6 - a super kind reader sent me a little note letting me know that my About page was woefully outdated.  When I read it over I was shocked! Shocked I tell you!  Seriously!  That has now been updated and is truly reflective on where I am at currently.  Though admittedly it is rather long!  I thought it would be a good idea to give some sort of explanation of how I went through a few phases before ending up here at transgender female.

#7 - Eeekkkkk - I'm at the beginning stage of attempting to modify my voice.  It is kind of tricky trying to picture yourself and be perceived as female when you clearly sound like a male.  I am fond of saying that I pass fairly well, until I open my mouth, then it is shot to shit!  So....I'll keep you updated on how that all rolls!

Hmmmm........ I think that is about it peeps!

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love love!

Friday, November 2, 2018

My Outfit - Bold Red Booties

Jacket - Guess - Similar @ Amazon
Top - WHBM - Similar @ Amazon
Skirt - WHBM - Similar @ Amazon
Booties - Xappeal, Alexa - @ Rack Room Shoes Similar @ Amazon
Tights - Target - Similar @ Amazon
Belt - Target - Similar @ Amazon

The last time I was outlet shopping I was in shoe heaven.  I was in a place called Rack Room Shoes, at the Tejon outlet mall in California, near the Grapevine, if you know the area.  Anywho, I had found about 3 pairs of lovely feeling boots when I spotted this bright red beauties.  I really didn't think they would be work appropriate, but I have not purchased much in the way of fashion shoes lately, so I went for it.

Generally where I live there is no nice place to shop.  Many of my friends get annoyed with me as my preferred activity when I visit them is to shop!  They often roll their eyes at me, and lament that I am too into shopping and I need to get out and do other things with my time, and especially our time together.  The harsh truth of where I live though is that there are no nice places to shop.  Even the places that often carry high end clothes, like Macy's, do not offer those nicer products in my area.  It is really sad actually.  I feel bad for people who do not have the means to travel far from where we live to find those nicer products.  It is really sad when you consider that this same policy holds true for food as well.


Well then..... I had these super cute booties waiting in my closet and yesterday was the day they made their first appearance to the world.  And I'm not 100% sold on how I wore them.  They certainly popped with this outfit, but the white tights may have made them pop a bit more than I was really wanting them to.  Without the jacket on they do look a bit out of place.  Hmmm..... sometimes to be fashionable one needs to take fashion risks.  I don't know how fashionable I am, but I do know I take risks with my clothes.


Another risk I often take that my wife just does not approve of?  The white tights.  They really rub her the wrong way.  However, I will say she is not a leggings, tights, jeggings, stretch pants, type of girl anywho.  I mean, she thinks they are fine on some others, but not for herself!  I have noted that she tends to be a bit more discriminating than I in these types of leg coverings.

Alrighty, that's it!  I'm outta here!

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love red booties!



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Gatekeeping, Ignorance, Transphobia


Do you know what gatekeeping is?  Here is an acceptable definition:

the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something.

How exactly does that apply to trans folk?  Normally it is interpreted as - you cannot do this thing, take hormones or have surgeries, until you have met the following predefined characteristics.  Those characteristics are outlined within WPATH's(World Professional Association for Transgender Health) SOC (standards of care.)  The SOC have never been an issue for me until recently.

About six months ago I had a pretty big panic attack when my pharmacy told me they would not be able to refill my spironolactone scrip due to being out of that medication, and further more they had no idea of when they were going to be getting anymore.  Admittedly I was going to a very poorly run CVS, but still!  They advised me to start calling around.  Which I immediately did.  My panic levels slowly rose with each phone call and denial I received.  If you don't know, it is the spironolactone which keeps me from absorbing that wonderful, naturally produced steroid called testosterone.

Pretty much no one, especially me, wants me operating on testosterone ever again.  It is not a pretty scene.  Anywho..... after a multitude of phone calls and a few in person visits, I finally found a pharmacy willing to work with me, who calmly explained that they would easily fill the script, just with a different manufacturer's version of the drug.  Whew!  Close one.

But it drove the point home, that it radically pisses me off that I am not in control over my own body.  I don't naturally produce the hormones that I should, and further more, my very own body is constantly in a battle to poison me with that nasty testosterone!  (I get that if you like it T can be just as awesome as E, as long as that is what you are wanting and expecting.  I also understand that T is not a poison, I'm just stating it for dramatic effect!)

Okay, so super long prelude to discuss something that many of you may not wish to read about - So this is your fair warning part - if you would rather not read about personal intimate surgeries, then go no further as this is exactly what will be discussed - and it will involve those private of privates, genitals!

Are you sure you want to proceed?

Really sure?

Okay, but don't tell me I didn't warn you!!

I want to have my testicles removed.  There, I said it.  Yeah, I know, thrilling.  Well actually for several people in my life, this decision kind of freaked them out.  Me?  Nope, I've been wanting it for awhile now.  My wife, nope, she totally gets where I am coming from and is in full support of me.  However, some others?  Not so much.

Whatever..... this procedure, if you don't know, is called an orchiectomy.  It is a fairly small procedure, which lasts about an hour and can be done either under a general or a local anesthesia.  However, in order to qualify for this surgery, certain hurdles need to be passed.  I have had no issue with passing all of these hurdles, except for one.  Most doctors willing to do this procedure need 3 letters, 1 from my hormone doctor, 1 from my therapist, and 1 from a mental health professional with a doctorate degree.  My doctor readily gave me hers, my therapist is working on hers, but I don't have the third.  My therapist recommended a psychologist who I had heard of.  What transpires is our interaction.

(I did try and remove any identifying information from this person, but if want to know who it is, email me and I'll share it with you personally.)

 Hi  -

I am a transgender middle school math teacher in California.  I have been working with my doctor, Julie Nicole for my hormones, and my therapist Carol Montgomery Brosnac, for about the past year and a half.  Carol is who recommended me to you.  I have been researching doctors to help me with an orchiectomy.  Several of the places I have spoken to are requesting a 2nd letter from a mental health expert and I was wondering if you can help me out with that.

I live in the Central Valley, near Bakersfield, so possibly doing an online appointment would be ideal.  However, I think you are closer to the Bay Area, and it is possible for me to drive on up that way if that is what would be best.  

Please let me know if you are able to assist me with this. 

Thank you!



Dear Kelly

I will be glad to help you with this matter. I am familiar with both
Carol and Julie and feel good about following up on their work with you.

I am open to working with you over Skype. Before we set a date please
read my new client information page
(on her website)  If you agree with the
conditions I have listed there, get back to me with your consent and I
will get back to you to set up an appointment via skype.

My fee is $150 per session. If all goes well, I should have enough
information in one session to feel competent in writing the letter.
There is an additional fee of $50 for my time writing the letter.

Thank you for your inquiry. I look forward to hearing from you.


Dear _______-

Thanks for the prompt reply.  I have read your client information and all seems good.  However, before we proceed to an actual appointment I do have a concern.  While Dr. Nicole and Carol are both in support of me in receiving an orchi, WPATH guidelines clearly state that I need to have been living in my preferred gender role for at least 1 year.  That is the area in which I am a bit fuzzy.  Talking to Carol she said it is a recommendation and in version 8 of the SOC, it may be removed in regarding just an orchi.  Just a brief bit about me - I was convinced that I was non-binary for the past 8-10 years or so.  During that time I went to work, and lived my life in a half and half appearance.  Meaning, everything I wore was feminine, clothes, jewelry, painted nails, using a purse, etc, however I did not have anyone address me as female.  I thought I was doing well until I had a bit of a break down and realized I was not addressing the real issue.  Which of course is that I am actually a woman.  That is when I began hormones.  Which was July 3rd, 2018.  I then let everyone at my job know that I am trans as I had to dispute my employers discriminatory health care policy,  I made an appeal, they denied, I took them to EEOC, we mediated, and as it turns out they are totally legally able to deny my health care benefits based on being a private pay insurance.  Sorry for the long story - it was at that point that I began to pursue my legal transition.  I got my legal stuff done on June 28.  Woo-Hoo!!  Thus I then began this school year with my new legal female name, and had students switch to Mrs. I have decided to make my appearance decidedly much more feminine to help others in my life with the changes.  Oh and yeah, my wife has always known, married for 22 years, together for 32, my sister, my only remaining family has known for at least 10 years or so.  And at this point I don't think there is anyone who doesn't know.

Okie dokie, so now here we are, and I am pursuing an orchi but many places wont even talk to me until I have 3 letters.  Being as you are a WPATH doctor, would you be willing to hear my story and at least consider writing me a letter recommending an orchi, even though technically I have not been "full time" for the 1 year period?  If it helps at all, most likely the orchi would not take place until next June.  

If this is acceptable to you then I would for sure be willing to meet with you.  If not, I'd rather not waste more of both of our time, so please let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Thank you!



Kelly
Thank you for the informative reply. My first take on what you have told me is why do you want an orchiectomy so early into your transition? Is there a medical need for one--i.e. you can't tolerate large doses of estrogen? If that is the case there would be no one year RLE requirement. Another question...if you are not planning on having the orchi until next June, why do you want the letter now? One of the reasons a letter is required is for the surgeon to know you have been examined by a mental health provider and can make an informed consent to the surgery. Having that examination 8 months in advance does not qualify as timely. He or she may want a more current letter later on. Another question...do you have a surgeon set up for this? Perhaps you have already discussed this issue with him or her and have some sort of agreement.
Having said that, I remain open to seeing you for the evaluation. Keep in mind that the letter would note your state of mind as of the date we see each other and that you will not have satisfied the SOC until June 2019. At that point it will be up to you and the surgeon to decide what  to do. 
Let me know how you want to proceed.




Hi -

1.  Why do I want an orchiectomy so early into my transiton?
I do not consider where I am at to be early into my transition.  Personally I see my transition as having been a long drawn out one.  True, there are those who would view my transition as having just started.  But that view point is highly limited in its definition of transition.  There are those out there that do indeed go from appearing as nothing but one gender and then abruptly change to appearing as the opposite one.  But that is not me.  And that is certainly not how those in my life have viewed me.  I would estimate that my social and professional transition began at least 10 years ago.  That is the point at which I decided to stop appearing as a typical male would.  I began dressing, full time, as a blend of genders.  Pretty much the only difference in my appearance between then and now is that now I wear a wig and makeup on most days as opposed to just some days.  There is the difference as well with having legally transitioned.  But assuming that I am early in my transition erases non-binary entities entirely.  I would more accurately describe this stage of my transition as far closer to the end of my transition than the beginning.

2.  Why do I want the letter now being as I am not planning on having the procedure until June?
Many surgeons will not even have a consultation with me until I have 3 letters.  In fact I am finding it extremely difficult to find surgeons who are willing to work with me as I am only interested in an orchi and that I do not have insurance coverage.  The other issue, I did mention I am a math teacher right?  As such I like to have my "ducks" in a line as much as possible.  Most of the places that have published information on surgeon's desires have stated that for most insurance companies the letters need to be dated within the last 12 months.  Placing my desire to obtain this gate-keeping letter at this point well within that time range.

3.  Do I have a surgeon setup for this?
As of now, no.  However the most promising of my inquiries has been with the TG surgery center in Philadelphia.  Which I finally heard back from late last week.  They actually do not require 3 letters, only 2 for an orchiectomy.  Which would make our conversation here moot.

4.  I will not have met the SOC until June 2019.
Again, I feel that is a very narrow and limited view of what a transition consists of.  Which makes me question why this is the ultimate date marker for me.  Would you consider that to be the official date of living as my preferred gender due to me having received my court ordered name and gender change in June?  As if that is the moment that I began presenting as my preferred gender full time?  So does it negate the one year full time requirement if I chose to not wear my wig and makeup on one or both weekend days?  Personally what this makes me ponder is, do the SOC apply to non-binary individuals?  Or if you are non-binary will you not ever qualify to have any genital surgeries?  One can have breasts installed or removed.  One can have FFS.  But one cannot have their testicles removed unless one is the stereotypical transexual woman and presents as a stereotypical cis-woman does?  So, what if I legally change everything, however I don't present as some think I should, would I not ever qualify then?  

Basically, what I am seeing is a deficit in the way the SOC are applied towards non-binary humans.  The SOC are fine, if you think that gender is a binary and humans are either one or the other.  And that even if I wear women's clothes full time, along with my nails painted, along with using a purse, along with wearing nothing but feminine jewelry, along with telling everyone in my life that I am transgender, that I am somehow less of a transgender human being because I am not conforming to someone else's idea of what gender is.  

As a non-binary human, I went to my job and fought for the rights of all transgender individuals.  I went before a public committee and argued that our company should cover all transgender healthcare procedures.  When that appeal was denied, I took my concern to the EEOC.  I participated in mediation, attempting to have my company's policies changed,  And what I am currently hearing is that even if my company changed their policies, I personally would not have benefited from that change until I presented full time?  

Much of this reeks of a trannier than though attitude.  Those who are deemed transgender enough, by those who are in positions of power, wield that over other individuals in an attempt to get them to conform to their view of the world.  This process does not seem any different than the transphobic attitudes expressed by our current POTUS.  You will express your gender the way I say you should express your gender, otherwise I will not give you the same basic civil rights because I deem you to be somehow lesser.  

I know that I am opinionated, and I hope that I have not personally offended you.  For while even expressing my opinion I am terrified that at some point I will need to return to our interaction and ask you yet again for a letter that I should not have to need in the first place.  Cis-gender humans can have procedures done to themselves without a single letter from either a doctor, or any mental health professionals, they simply need to find a doctor willing to perform the procedure and be able to pay for it.  Should not all transgender human beings be afforded the same basic decencies?  

I will trust that you will remain a professional and that if in the future I will indeed need your services for this letter that you will remain open to working with me.  Thank you very much for your time in this matter.

Sincerely,
Kelly 





Kelly
That is quite a discourse on how you have been discriminated against by the SOC 7 (of which I am a co-author). All I did was ask a few basic questions as to where you were in the course of living your life. What I got back went way beyond that to being insulting. Comparing me to "POTUS", especially after the last couple of days, was beyond my ability to continue to be professionally objective about working with you in the future.






_______ -

Can I remind you of these couple of sentences, "Keep in mind that the letter would note your state of mind as of the date we see each other and that you will not have satisfied the SOC until June 2019At that point it will be up to you and the surgeon to decide what  to do."

That was not a simple ask to a few basic questions.  That was directly informing me that regardless of what transpired during our potential meeting, that June 2019 was the date at which I would be able to receive the procedure I am interested in.  

That was plenty clear.  If that was not what you meant, maybe it should have been stated otherwise.  It is unfortunate that you are unable to remain professional about this matter.  I will allow my therapist to understand that for non-binary individuals that you may not be the best resource to refer people to in the future.



This is why WPATH has gotten a bad rap for being a group of gatekeepers.  However, my therapist is a WPATH therapist and her opinion on the matter is far different than the one expressed by this doctor.  The other thing, if you didn't catch it, is that I found a surgeon willing to do the procedure with only my doctor's letter, and my therapist's.  Thus I luckily do not have a need for this letter.

As well, while closely reading the SOC I discovered that this particular psychologist, who claims to be a co-author of the SOC, is unaware that in Version 7, there is no need for any RLE (real life experience.)  Shouldn't someone claiming to be not only an expert, but a co-author be aware of what the SOC actually says?  I think they should.  Especially when they then attempt to use that as a basis for denying care!  Unreal! 

But isn't the real issue here transphobia?  It is only through a transphobic society that prerequisites are established for how one treats their own body, when it does not conform to expected gender norms.  Now I am not a professional surgery expert, and I certainly do not know everything there is to know about every possible surgery out there.  But with that being said, I also have not heard of any other surgical procedure that requires what transgender genital surgery does.  There are a multitude of prerequisites to be met in order to even be considered for those procedures.

Some of you may think that it is a good thing.  But I will again question you and ask, what other procedures require the consent of 4 people - the doctor performing the procedure, the doctor who gives you hormones, a therapist, and a psychologist?  As well as other requirements.  Look them up if you'd like.  Think this is good?  Then I better start seeing you protest to have similar "protections" put in place for similar cis-gender surgeries as well.  It's not going happen.  Want a facial surgery, go for it, want bigger or smaller or no boobs?  Go for it.  Want your vagina redesigned?  Yup, go for it!  Not one of those things require anything other than your desire and a doctor willing to do it.  Transphobic much?

Okay, I gotta stop!

I love you!

I hope you love yourself!




Friday, October 19, 2018

So I did a Little Thing


One of the easiest things in this process of legally changing my name and my gender was getting this driver's license.  You may recall that I was quite nervous about the process.  In the end, it was super easy and I was in and out of the DMV in about 20 minutes.  Yes I did have an appointment, and I highly recommend making one if you are ever in a need to visit that lovely place.

The super surprising thing about the entire process was that exactly one week later, I received this lovely little piece of plastic in the mail!  Woo-Hoo!  I finally failed sex!  Get it?  I've got the F next to the word sex on there.  Yeah, I know, I'm fricken hilarious!  I did mention that I am a math teacher right?  Anywho..... the DMV worker said that I would receive my new license in about 3-4 weeks, and they killed that time expectation!  Lovely!  Simply lovely!  Thank you Cali DMV!

Oh, and I also think that my picture is pretty good as well.  I mean it does look as though my eyes are half closed, but heck I still look pretty darn cute, so I'll take it!  I also like that they were not so closely zoomed in on my face that you can actually see a bit of the dress I have on.  Woo-Hoo!  Now I'm just hoping that when I go in for the Real ID that they don't make me take another photo.  Crossing my fingers!


So now, onto the massive pain in the ass, my birth certificate.  Yup this little lovely came only one day after I received my driver's license.  When did I first send away for it?  July 11th.  Yeah, so that made it about 3 months to complete this mission.  It shouldn't have taken that long, but it did due to an error that I made.  Yup, I was kicking myself!

Initially I sent it off, like I said, on July 11th.  It was returned to me about 5 weeks later, and I was thrilled, until I opened the letter and discovered that I had made an error.  It said something along the lines of - mother's name at birth, and what they meant was mother's maiden name.  That would have made it clear.  Like a fool, I did what it said instead of what it meant.  They returned it, with my mother's name corrected and told me to resubmit it.

I mailed it back the very next day with the corrections having been made.  Five weeks later, I had nothing.  Sometime in the sixth or seventh week, I noticed that they cashed my check.  Woo Hoo I thought, they will be sending it to me any day now.  Alas, there was no such luck.  It took another two to three weeks for them to actually send it to me.

For me, the absolute weirdest part was that when I received both of these items, one day apart, I was not nearly as thrilled as I thought I would be.  I was happy, but not absolutely ecstatic, over the moon happy.  I actually had to tell myself to be happier.  What was the issue?  I was having my period.  Yeah, I know, not possible right?  Well, I did have a pretty major adjustment in my hormone levels at the start of last week.  My doc doubled my spiro dosage.  My T was still too high.  I think that hormone adjustment put me into a bit of a funk.

Whatevs, right?  Well for me it was as within a week I was absolutely thrilled to have gotten these two giant checkmarks off my list.  The driver's license was huge actually because that was what I was waiting for to begin pretty much all of the rest of the changes.  Now, I'm making a list and checking it twice for every last little instance of my previous name.  It will probably take quite some time for me to find every occurrence, but I will get there eventually.

In the end, if this is a course you are taking, make sure you do not make ANY errors on the birth certificate application.  That's my one piece of advice, oh and be prepared at the DMV and be willing to explain the process to whomever is attempting to help you as you may very well have to explain to them how to do it.  Yeah, that was funny for sure! 

Oh, and another super cool thing, I actually composed this blog yesterday and when I got home what was in the mail?  My new credit and bank cards!  Yay!!  Super YAY!!!  That means that pretty much everything in my wallet is now with my correct name!  That is super FUCKING AMAZE BALLS!!!  Oh, geez, oops, did I just let an F bomb fly?  YES! Yes I did!  I even yelled it right?  Yup, that happened! 

Okie dokie!  Love you!

Love yourselves!

Work hard to get yourself what you need! 

Care about the other's in your life.  But take care of yourself so that you are able to care for others. 

It's important.

Seriously. 

Love!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

My Outfit - Off to the DMV

Dress - White House Black Market - Similar @ WHBM, @ Amazon
Leggings - WHBM - @ WHBM, Similar @ Amazon
Booties - Unisa - Havana @ DSW, Similar @ Amazon
Scarf - WHBM - @ WHBM, Similar @ Amazon

I had waited far too long.  My court date to legally change my name and my gender was on June 28th.  My plan, which was wonderful, was to get my birth certificate and then get my new license.  Doing it in that order would allow for me to get one of those new fancy Real ID thingies.  You know, that ID that you will need if you want to board a plane, starting in October of 2020.  Yes that requirement is a ways off, but why go through the joys of visiting the DMV now, just to have to do it later??  Yeah, I'm no fool, so I sent off for my birth certificate.

Ah such well laid plans!  You know how this is going to turn out don't you?  Well you should!

Anywho..... I sent off for my new birth certificate on July 11th.  Yes I waited about a week or two between the court date and the mailing of my forms.  But remember, that was also the time at which my wife had her foot surgery.  So, I tried to cut myself some slack.  Five weeks later, I got back a letter from the CDPH (California department of public health.)  They were returning my application as it had been rejected due to an error on my part.  The place that says mother's name at birth, actually meant, mother's maiden name.  Silly me!  Why did I not understand what they meant instead of what they wrote.

Oh well!  I refilled out my application, and mailed it off again.  Within a day or two, or so, I got a letter from the DMV.  It turns out that my license will be expiring on my birthday, October 4th.  Which basically meant, I had about 8 weeks for the CDPH to receive my application, and then send me my new birth certificate before I would need them.  Plenty of time, right?  Yeah, no.

Lots of words to say, I visited the DMV yesterday to get my new license!  These photos show what I chose to wear for my day.  It actually started off with me going to my OB/GYN for my 6th month check up and blood work.  That was in the morning, so I made the DMV appointment for that afternoon.  When my doctor saw me, she mentioned that she thought my outfit was on point!  Which of course made me glow even more.  Love my doc!

I began this post with stating that I felt as though I had waited too long.  Yeah, unfortunately the birth certificate did not come, and I was not able to fulfill my original quest, that of the Real ID.  But in hindsight, I think that I was using that to avoid something I was super worried about.  It turns out that I have a little bit of an inner issue, I am terrified that someone along the way in this whole transition journey is going to tell me that I can't.  Can't what?  Can't be who I know that I am.

It is sort of like that shark in my swimming pool thing that I wrote about recently.  Logically I know that it is not going to happen, but I fear it so.  This was not something that I consciously realized prior to standing in the DMV and realizing that I was shaking.  I had shown up on time for my appointment, checked in, completed an online form, received my number, and was waiting for my number to be called.  Everything had gone smoothly, and I was pretty sure that I had all of the forms I would need to complete the job.  However, as I stood there, leaning against a counter, I realized just how terrified I was.

Realizing I was shaking with fear and doubt, I pulled out my handwriting practice paper and began to sign my name.  Have I ever mentioned that I am practicing my handwriting?  Well I am.  It has of course been one of those life long gender issues.  As a child I never practiced my writing, why should I when my teachers calmly explained to me that boys could not write as well girls due to a lack of fine motor control.  It never occurred to me to challenge their incorrect assumptions about gender and actually just practice my writing!  Well, phooey on them I say, and now 40 years later, I am actually taking the time to practice!

I stood and signed my name over and over, trying to control my breathing, and force my hand to slowly and calmly form the newly learned strokes.  I was having a tough time.  My signature was certainly shaky.  Far more shaky then it was when I wasn't terrified about some unforeseen impending doom.  Within minutes my number was called and off I went to find my window and enlighten the next individual who was going to be bound to helping me be me.

Not surprisingly the DMV worker had not performed a name and gender change before.  No worries, I talked him through it!  Yeah, seriously!  I informed him of the paper work that was needed as I handed it to him.  He tippity tapped on his keyboard, went and consulted with a more experienced worker a few times, made me some copies, had me verify everything, then gave me a temporary license to sign.  With that, he asked me to step over to the camera.  With a thumb print, a signature, and a flash, boom, I was done at the DMV!  And out I walked, no longer in possession of an incorrect male license, but with my brand new license with everything correct on it for the first time in my life.

Yeah life changing.  Seriously.  It is funny how when I finally accomplish something like this, I realize just how long I have been waiting for it.  Prior to doing things like this, I fairly confidently lie to myself that these things don't really matter.  But then I do it, and I can almost literally feel weights dropping off my shoulders.

Now, I have my court order, my SSN is updated, my driver's license is updated, and today I sent off my info to have all of my banking and insurance documents changed.  I am still waiting my for new birth certificate, but they have cashed my check so that is a good sign.  One day everything will be done, but for today I will be thrilled with what has been done.

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Have you tied looking for those things which have annoyed you for so long they have become normal?  It's worth the look.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

My Outfit - Be the Queen

Top - WHBM - Similar @ Amazon, @ WHBM
Leggings - WHBM - Similar @ Amazon, @ WHBM
Shoes - Unisa - Similar @ Amazon, @ DSW 
Belt - ?? - Similar @Amazon

Do you know that I adore this tunic?  Well I do!  And today I felt like a queen.  Does it show on my face?  It should!  Seriously, I really like this outfit.  I had to go visit CVS after work to determine when my next refill of anti-asshole meds were going to be refilled.  As well, I needed to make sure that both of my meds are now being handled by a much more efficient CVS.  Thrilling, right?  I know!  Anywho.... I caught my reflection in the glass doors of the CVS, and marveled at my style.  I know, I'm SO modest, right???  Ahahahahahahaha!!  That's a good one. 

It does bring up a good point though.  If you have been a reader of this blog for just about any length of time you may very well be aware of the almost crippling doubt that I have suffered with.  And if you are brand new here, well a quick primer for you - yeah, believe it or not, I've kind of doubted myself a bit of the years.  It's kind of a thing among the transgender community, and actually it's a thing among most of the population. 

Oh, right.... the point!  That would be I am making serious progress on improving my self image!  That whole, estrogen and anti-testosterone thing with the meds and all has helped.  But what has helped even more, is actually freeing myself from my own self imposed restrictions.  Like, it's only okay to be myself around these people or in these situations, and I really can't let those in these other places know the truth about me.  Being able to give myself the freedom to be myself, and to trust that other people are actually good decent humans that really only want to experience connections with others, has been absolutely life changing. 

Today, I did the usual, I went to work and taught my little heart out to my middle school lovelies.  It was a short day and we had a teacher work session for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  The work thing went great.  I went to CVS, that went great.  I went to Lowes, and that went great.  All it all, it was a super normal, and yet totally awesome day that left me smiling and savoring the beauty in the small simple things. 

Slowly, bit by bit, I notice that how I view myself is changing.  I've never thought that I was all that becoming of a human.  After years of my wife telling me that I was good looking, I finally began to acknowledge that I wasn't completely horrible as a dude.  However, when I started actually dressing as me, I knew for a fact that I was a super uggo of the 10th degree as a woman.  All I could ever see was what made me look like a man.  And that sucked.  It clouded my vision immensely.

It is not as though the estrogen has taken hold of me and warped my face magically into a super model.  Yeah, no.  No no.  Nope.  Can I say again, no?  However, there is something different about my appearance that is kind of hard to pinpoint.  Keeping my face shaved, wearing all of my lovely clothes, and makeup almost every day has seriously helped as well. 

So, um, yeah.  Today I saw my reflection and dare I say it?  I thought I actually looked cute.  Fine!  I said it!  There you go. 


Love you!

Love yourself!

Seriously, love yourself.  Find what you need to do to believe you are the queen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

1 Regret, Some Could Have Done Betters, And Lots of Glad I Dids

About 6 months ago.

I will be the first to admit that my transition has not gone the way that I expected it to.  My whole life has been spent picturing people chasing me down with torches and pitchforks.  I know that would never happen, but as well I am the type that is afraid of a shark biting me when I jump in my pool.  I know that it isn't real, and I know it is not ever going to happen.  But that doesn't make the fear go away.

What does?  Facing those fears.

This has been a long slow event for me.  I see that now.  Some part of me must have known what was coming because while some may say my easy transition is due to luck, I see now that much of it was due to hard work.  Much of that work was done by those who have come before me.  They are the ones who endured much of the vitriol that is born of ignorance.  They are the ones who helped to open the door.  Me?  I'm just taking advantage of that opening.

There are many things that I am glad I figured out, a few things that could have been better, and really only one thing that I have absolutely regretted.   

Glad I figured out:

Name - I have been through a few of them.  I couldn't imagine having the first female name I used on all of my legal records.  Nope.  SO glad I figured out the name thing.

Clothes - 28 days at work, how many outfits do you think I have repeated?  Zero.  Yup, zero.  Do you read this blog at all?  Have you seen my clothes?  It is as though I have been preparing to be out at work for the last 10 years.  I have been so thrilled to be out as me and not only not worry about my clothes, but to have my clothes bring me strength.  It is funny.  I have said before that my clothes are my friends, and I feel as though my friends have finally come out to play in the real world. Can you guess my favorite clothing store?  White House Black Market anyone!!!

Community connections - Yeah, this is another biggy.  A real biggy.  This has been central to the easy transition I have had.  If not for the support of the people in my life, I would not be able to do what I have done.  It is not merely that people are supportive, it is that I took the time to build community connections prior to coming out.
Eeeek!!!  So glad I learned!!

Hormones - This one was life changing for me.  It really opened my eyes to my reality.  I laugh at who I thought I was prior to last July and changing my hormones to the right ones.

Therapy - Have I mentioned before that I love my therapist?  Well I do!  Not merely because she is my therapist, but because she is a specialist with gender issues.  Her listening ear and gentle guidance has been so lovely!

Makeup - I started with getting foundation from Target or Walmart.  It functioned, but it didn't make me feel like a queen.  Now?  I love that I have had the last ten to fifteen years of my life to practice with this stuff.  Practice is necessary.  Who do I use today?  A combo of Clinique and Urban Decay, mostly just UD

Hair - my first wig cost probably about forty bucks.  My latest?  About four hundred and fifty bucks.  Why pay so much?  Because it rocks!  Currently I have three main hair pieces.  They are all by Jon Renau and in a large size cap for my large noggen.  Amber - long and curly.  Zara - long and straight. Cameron - short and straight, and the most expensive due to the hand tied lace top cap.

A sense of humor - This is important.  There is a certain reality to my situation.  I was born with a male body, bummer for me!  People like people who smile.  Smile more.

The world does not revolve around me being transgender - When I first started going out in public, I was sure that every little laugh, every mean look, every rude person, was doing that because I am transgender.  When in reality more than 99.9% of the time none of that had anything to do with me.  Some people laugh. Some people have weird looks on their faces.  Some people are rude.  And that is just how they are, and they would be that way regardless of how I chose to dress.  The worst that I have seen from humanity was while I was presenting as a male.  The best I have seen from humanity has been while I am me.
Ahhh..... that hair!!!

What could have been done better:

Shoes - I wish I had invested more time in finding cute, all day wearable, functional shoes!  This has been hard as it is a super weak link in my outfits.  Shoes I thought would be wearable really are not when you are talking about being on your feet for oh, 8 hours a day, walking circles around your classroom.

Bras - Good wearable bras, that are good for the entire day, day after day, yeah, I should have spent more time on this!

Legal name change - I got the court date and social security number done with prior to going back to work, but I wish I had gotten it all done.  I'm currently on Birth Certificate.  Then onto Driver's License.  And lastly will be Passport.  Well actually, after the DL, then I will start doing everything else - bank, bills, utilities, you know all that stuff?  Yeah, I wish it was done.

Some sort of functional scheduling system - Since I switched to estrogen my memory has gone to crap!  Seriously!  It used to be so easy to pretty much remember everything, always, for all time!  Now?  Yeah, not so much!

My one regret:

Electrolysis - Wow, I wish I had finished this up long before I decided to go full time.  It really would have been mentally much easier to have had that done by now.  Too bad for me that even though I read this advice, I thought it would never apply to me!  Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!  Ahh well!

Well then, there ya go!  That is my 1+ month reflection of being full time at my job.

Love you!

Love yourself!

Good luck!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Outfit - Quite Plain but a Beautiful Compliment


There is nothing special about this outfit.  In fact when I wore it I actually had some deodorant spots on it that I hadn't even noticed before leaving the house.  But I have been more than a bit busy lately, as you may have heard.  I didn't even really want to leave the house, but being as we were just about out of toilet paper, it was a necessity. 

I showered after my brief bit of yard work in the morning, tossed on my shorts, a comfy tank, and opted for my taller wedge sandals.  There were a few stops I needed to make, as I was making the half hour drive to town I may as well try and take care of several items at the same time.  Tequila at the liquor store, get gas, picking up stuff at the storage unit, drop off the recycling, and then to Target for the TP. 

It's funny nowadays as the weekends used to be my only time to be me, and now, they are the time I choose to relax, go without the hair, forego makeup, and dress purely for comfort.  Okay, maybe not the shoes, but still, I hadn't even shaved this morning.  Not that there is much growing, but still.  Can we all just agree, I was not at my usual fashionable state? 

As I am sure many of you know, I have struggled with a lifetime of insecurities with my choices in clothing and my general appearance, and today was no different.  I am getting better at telling the voices to calm the heck down and STFU, however, they are still there. 

I am becoming more comfortable with just doing me.  Just a few short years ago, I would have never dressed the way I was and go shopping in my actual town.  But, I am always a bit on edge, waiting to be attacked.  I never have been, but that is the fear.  That has always been the fear.  I kind of have to force myself to just do me.  I smile.  I look at people, and smile bigger.  I talk with just about everyone that I come into contact with.  General chit-chat, small talk, as do most small town country folk are apt to do.  The fear never seems to leave though. 

Thus when someone from behind me complimented my shoes, it took a few second for it to register that someone was talking to me, and they were being super complimentary.  I turned from tossing my purchases into the back of my car to see an adorable blonde woman with a baby strapped across her chest, smiling at my widely and looking at my shoes.  She continued, they are such cute shoes, where did you get them?

At times like this, it honestly still feels as though I totally dissociate.  I want to respond like a normal human having this totally normal conversation about shoes, but I so frequently feel as though I am frozen, or that I am going to barf, or at the very least I am going to make a tremendous fool out of myself. 

I told her that I must have bought them at Famous Footwear or some outlet mall somewhere.  She then complimented my calves and asked what I do to keep them looking so good, or if it was just the shoes.  I told her that it had to be just working around the house and walking my dog.  She said she was impressed because they looked really good.  Her friend walked up as I began pushing my empty cart off to a cart caddie and I heard her continue talking about how much she liked my shoes. 

And it was totally normal.  I was normal.  She was normal.  It was all just so darn normal.  Nothing to see hear folks, walk along now......   But isn't that the beauty of what happened?  That it was totally normal?  Yes.  That is the point.  Two totally normal people having a normal conversation about normal things.  Yup.  That is the point.  And it is fabulous.  Just amazingly, beautifully, fabulously, normal. 

Love you!

Love yourself. 

Love being normal. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mental Fortitude

Recently I was questioned by a dear friend as to why it appears as though I have discontinued my blogging.  My response - mental fortitude.  Shall we take a moment and look at the definition of that phrase?


mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously: Never once did her fortitude waver during that long illness.

So, um, yeah, that is what has been going on with me.  I like the part of that definition that adds the word courageously.  That is what I have been asking of myself as of late - to have courage.  It is through courage that one will eventually find confidence.  That is what I am truly seeking, confidence.  When faced with something brand new, typically most of us humans will not have confidence and we will need to rely upon courage.

What will it take to muster up that courage?  Mental and emotional strength.  While I truly do love blogging, and have every intention of continuing to do so, for now, I am using up just about all of the mental and emotional strength that I have.

Those who are not Facebook followers of mine, you may be a bit lost as to what is taking such strength and courage.  To fill you in on all of the juicy details - I have decided that this is the year that I am transitioning.  Such a surprise, mostly to myself, for I have been wavering on this decision for quite some time.  Last school year when others asked if I was transitioning, I scoffed, and laughed.  And my answer was a definitive NO.  Hahahahahahahahahaha!  Well, shocker, that apparently is exactly what I am doing!

I am thrilled that I am able to follow this path, but it is not necessarily out of design that I find myself where I am.  In many ways, it is due to outside circumstances.  Well, kinda, maybe, sort of, I guess!  Wow, how definitive!  Changing my hormones was possibly the best decision I have ever made, and I feel foolish for taking so long to take that leap.  But it is what it is and it happened when it was supposed to.  The thing about that choice though was that in order to have my insurance pay for it, I agreed to legally change my gender marker.  Inevitable is the word that I often think about with that agreement.  I was going to do it sooner or later, I suppose, but it was never what I had set out to do.  I have never been one who has known for their entire life that they are actually female.  Nope, that was not me.  I just thought I was a weirdo! 

However, that is still not where the strength and courage has been needed.  That has been with my littles.  You may recall that I am a middle school teacher.  Currently I teach 7th and 8th math, MESA, and a 3D math/art class. What that translates to is a total student load of about 150.  There are also about 350 other little lovelies that attend my school and I interact with many of them while on yard duty or just walking the campus. 

I have now completed seven days of working directly with the students and it has been going fabulously!  Amazing actually.  Quite shocking and lovingly surprising!   So.... then, what about this whole mental fortitude thing?  If everything has indeed been just as lovely as I have indicated, then why all of the mental strength and courage? 

Well..... how about this -- Since I understood that I am a bit different than your typical human, I have innately understood that it would be dangerous to ever let anybody in on my little secret.  Now what am I doing?  Openly, blatantly, and without a doubt, showing everyone just what exactly that terrifying secret has been.  Furthermore, while doing that very thing, I have large expectations for myself. 

What expectations you may ask?  Well for one, I expect myself to be thrilled at what I am choosing to do, because no one is forcing me to transition.  Second, I expect myself to be better at my job than before.  Third, I want to be able to handle any bumps or difficulties in the road with style and grace.  Lastly, I expect myself to have a smile on my face.  Too much?  Maybe.  Possibly.  How about if I frame them as goals instead of expectations?  Is that a bit more palatable?  Regardless, these are things I am wanting from myself.

If you have not personally transitioned, then maybe you are at a loss as to the immense mental strength and courage it takes to do such a thing.  Trust me, even though I am thrilled, it is still very hard; it's not a just a fabulous party where I am stylishly dressed!  Now on top of that, let's add a job that most humans or other teachers don't ever want to do - teaching middle school students.  Can you imagine just attempting to be in charge of thirty or so twelve to fourteen year olds?  Now add in teaching standards, state testing, district expectations, parent expectations, making sure they are fed, clothed, and properly supplied, etc!  There really is too much to list actually.  Wanna come help??   

So, uh, yeah, mental fortitude.  I think I covered that fairly well.  As a result of that effort, I am frequently super duper drained by the end of the day.  Oh, shall we also add in that yes I am still caring for my wife who had foot surgery about 6 weeks ago?  True, I don't need to do much for her personally, however, it does mean that I am now solely in charge of all of the duties of our household.  Vacuuming, laundry, dishes, shopping, recycling, cats, dogs, bathrooms, garbage, weeding, lawn care, picking up dog waste, yard upkeep, etc., etc.!  Normally I am in charge of the outside house duties and she is in charge of the inside house duties.  Well being as she can't put any weight at all on her foot, that means that all duties fall onto my shoulders.  Do you know what I am interested in getting?  A maid and a yard human!  Yup, that would sure come in handy. 

Personally I am amazed that I found the time to even write this little lovely post.  It has actually taken me about three or four days to do so though.  No matter how much I list here, inevitably there are dozens of little duties that I have that will have failed to make that list.  Can we just leave it at, I'm pretty darn overloaded?  I think that shall suffice, for me at least! 

This has translated to me cutting out things that are not essential.  In many ways I am retracting my sticky tentacles and focusing on me, my wife, our household, and my job.  In time things will loosen up and I will find the ability to resume a less stuffed to the gills existence.  For now, it is what it is. 

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love your life!  And if you don't, change something and work your ass off to earn it!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The True Pain of Electrolysis


Sitting in the front office getting my chin numbed.
It is with grave misfortune that I neglected to heed the advice of those who have come before me in regards to electrolysis.  That advice was to start now!  And I will repeat it, if you are contemplating the possibility of one day doing this to yourself, stop thinking about it, and just go do it!  Seriously!

My issue?  My issue is that I didn't ever really think that I would be doing this!  I mean, why start something if you never intend on doing it?  Simple right?  Right.  Dur-da-dur!  So what changed?  Some simple sorts of things.  You know that simple little thing that says, I have now legally changed my name.  And this coming school year I will be expecting my students and fellow staff to refer to me as Mrs.

I'm mostly doing alright with that thought at this point.  It is something that I am trying to own, because that is the only thing to do.  However, there are a couple of difficulties that I have been considering.  One - I don't like shaving every day because it hurts and causes me some serious irritation, especially on my neck.  Two - I don't like wearing a wig everyday as they can be painful and quite warm.

Made it back to the room.
An easy way to solve one of those issues is to finally pony up and do what it takes to be rid of my facial hair.  I did a bit of research, got references, made phone calls, and soon had an appointment.  I will eventually write about who I decided to go see, because I LOVE her!  She is the best.  However, I don't want to taint her services with the tone of this post, which I am about to actually get to.

The point, right?  The point is the true pain of electrolysis.  When I went in, I was totally inexperienced.  I have never had this done, ever, anywhere and now I was going to pay to have someone do it to my face?  Yikes!  Alright, so I had it done with a bit of numbing cream on my face.  She worked on my chin and cleared what she could in 2 hours.

During the session I asked her what her thought was for a treatment plan.  She recommends a complete clearing of the face once per month.  Which she could do in marathon 8 hour sessions with 2 electrologists working at the same time, while having lidocain injections.  This would need to be done for a total of 12 to 18 times.

I did mention that I am a math teacher right?  Alrighty, well shall I crunch some numbers then?

Warning - if calculating triggers you, skip ahead to the next bold line!

I survived!
Lets first take a look at the total hours needed.  An 8 hour session with 2 electrologists is 16 hours.  16 hours done 12 to 18 times is 192 - 288 hours.  Next, we need the costs, right?  Well that is $125 per hour per electrologist, which is about average for the area.  As well, have you had it done?  On your face?  The lidocain injections are pretty close to mandatory, well at least for me!  Those are an additional cost of $50 per hour.  Okay, two electrologists, and injections, per hour comes out to $300 per hour.

However, a math problem twist - I will most likely only need 2 electrologists for half of that time.  But you can't just can't halve the cost, because you'll still need the lidocain.  Which means your per hour cost drops by $125 for a per hour cost of $175.

Which means what?  $300 per hour, multiplied by the range of hours of 96 to 144, gives a range of total cost from $28,800 to $43,200.  And $175 per hour,  multiplied by the range of hours of 96 to 144, gives a range of total cost from $16,800 to $25,200.

Calculating over!

For a grand total of $45,600 to $68,400.  Alrighty, if you know me in real life, you know that I don't swear here like I often do in real life!  So, swear warning, avert your eyes little ones, what the fucking shit!!!  That is the cost of the new 4 wheel drive truck that I want!

A close-up of what was done.
Once I got those numbers in, I realized what the true pain of electrolysis is.  Now yes I do pay for an experienced technician.  She has also worked with hundreds of trans clients.  She has about 30 years of experience and she works at an express rate.  Which is a concern, not just the cost per hour, but how effective is each hour?  You may pay less, you probably will pay less, but be careful of what you are willing to pay for.  Remember, this is your face.  Your face people.  Your face!

So yeah, I pay quite a bit.  I have obviously not paid to have all of that done yet.  It is a cost that will be spread out over time.  So far I have had about 15 hours of work done, and I have not been fully cleared yet.  I think it will take about another 4 to 5 hours.

Shall we also add in that I need to drive to LA to get it done?  Yeah that takes me 3 to 4 hours, each way.  Yeah there is that as well!  But that is really minor compared to the other costs.

Alrighty.  I'm done here.  Thanks for visiting!

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love doing what is right for yourself!



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

1 Year Anniversary on Estrogen


I really had no idea.  If I would have known, I would have gone this route long ago.  How different life would be is unimaginable.  It's sad, actually.  I know, I shouldn't feel bad for things that have happened, for it was only those things that brought me to the path I'm on.  Who knows what would have been now, if that had not ever been then.  At least it happened eventually.

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm waxing on dramatically without cluing in the reader, right?  Estrogen people.  I'm talking about my life on Estrogen, for today is the day that one year ago I got my first script for Spironolactone (an anti-androgen, that I refer to as my anti-boy-otics) and Estradiol.  And, no I don't care if they are supposed to be capitalized or not, for to me, they are capitol deserving words.  They have changed my life.

There is no truly effective way to convey what venturing down this path has done for me.  It is too vast, too subtle, too complex.  I mean, I'll give it a shot, but be forewarned, I am anticipating that my words will fall flat.  I'm reminded of a ponderable I had as a teen, what writing would it take to get someone to picture the exact same coffee cup that was in my mind.  It is a surprisingly difficult thing to do.  Well, maybe just for me!

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Sometimes I think they can be worth much more.   On that note, you may have noticed the collection of photos I have provided for you.  In choosing these photos, I didn't filter them and try to pick out good and bad ones.  I simply chose ones that I like out of the ones I had taken on that date.  I have not been the fastidious sort to take the same photo, in the same location, with the same lighting as some people have.  That really shows the change.  With my photos, I have found that I struggle to see much of a change as there can be vast variation within photography itself.  Sure, the photos look different, but is it due to the lighting, or the camera settings, or whatever? 

That was what I had thought prior to putting these photos together.  I think taken as a whole, yup Estrogen (yes, again with the capital!) has indeed been changing my appearance.  I can't quite tell you exactly what it is.  What I can say is that there is a difference in my appearance in my photos from a year ago.  Huge differences?  Nope.  But a difference, yes, a difference for sure.  Yay!  I will, of course, allow you to make up your own mind about it, and thus these photos.

Well then, what else?  How about any other physical changes?  Okay, fine.  How about numbers?  I like numbers.  I have been tracking many different measurements over the past year.  Weight - up about 6-7 pounds. Neck - 1/2 inch smaller.  Arms - same.  Breasts - up 2 inches.  Waist - up about 2 inches.  Butt - 1.5 inches larger.  Legs - the same.  Some changes, but not huge changes.  The chest?  Yeah, loving those changes.  The waist?  Not so much!  The butt, yes!  The waist, not so much! 

So, yeah, there you go.  You know the numbers.  You can see the photos.  And that's about it, isn't it?  Well, no.  Not even close.  For those are the easy things to get across.  Here, check out this photo!  Here, my boobs are growing!  And then poof, you've got an idea of what this all has done for me right?  Ha, I wish it were so!  Alas, it may take a few more words. 

Ahhh..... here is something worth a mention.  Recently I went back and read my blog from start to finish.  Interesting event.  Over the last 8 years of writing this blog, I certainly noticed a vast improvement in my writing from year to year.  However, over the past year, it was a bit of a jump.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn too much.  You are free to look for yourself.  Like the pictures, for me, I noticed a difference. 

Another glorious difference is my relationship with my wife.  This to me is one of the utmost amazing things of this path.  Once upon a time, back when my wife and I were both super ignorant about transgender issues, she said to me that if I ever transitioned she would leave me.  It wasn't said meanly.  It wasn't out of anger or non acceptance.  It was because of what she and I thought that meant.  Low and behold, pursuing this path, that most would term transition, is actually what is saving our marriage. 

I have written here and there in this blog about our relationship and how it has changed since changing my hormones.  If you don't already know, the long and the short of it is, we have been together for almost 32 years and have fought pretty constantly about every 1 to 2 weeks over that entire time.  And generally the fights were not calm, well thought out, loving discourses between people who love each other.  They were also not about anything in particular.  No, it was not about my gender issues. 

Well, okay, the words were not ever about my gender issues.  And Jules never fought with me because of my gender issues.  However, in reality, my hand in all of that muck was certainly about my gender issues.  Neither of us knew that.  But we do now!  Now that I have been on the right hormones for a year, and I have not lost my shit with her during that entire time.  That is truly very shocking for both of us.  Yes she has on occasion lost her shit with me, but my responses have been actually pretty darn loving!  Holy crap, Batman!  Seriously, this alone is enough for me to know without a doubt that I will forevermore be on Estrogen! (Yes, still with the capital!)

Alright, so, the photos, the numbers, the relationship........ what else?  Work?  Yeah, it would appear as though I am going to go to work this next school year presenting as female.  I'm not super set on that yet.  I mean, I think I am, but then I think I'm not.  I'm much more on the, yes I am going to do it path than not!  A year ago though?  That was not even a thought.  not even a consideration.  I mean, I have always done me, an eclectic mix of gender, but I have never gone to work fully presenting as female.  Apparently, that is what is going to be happening now, though! 

How about personally?  Well personally, I feel like me.  And that is weird.  It is weird that I didn't realize that I stopped feeling like me.  When did that occur?  Was it all at once?  Did something swoop in, rob a piece of me, and sneak away with it?  I think really, it happened bit by bit.  The body hair, the facial hair, the lowering of the voice, balding, societal expectations, parental expectations, bit by bit, things coalesced in me and then one day I was no longer me.  I was a shell of myself, functioning, successful, yet floundering in so many ways.   I know a year ago, I didn't know this, but I do now.  And I am grateful. 

Awhile ago I came up with a new mantra.  How long ago?  Dunno, maybe about six months or so.  Here it is - I'm going to stop hiding who I am from anybody, and I'm going to give people the freedom to chose for themselves how to respond.  Sound simple?  Maybe to some.  But to many, it is not.  Sometimes it is easier to hide from people because sometimes people can be bad.  It is an irrefutable fact.  Nonetheless, in hiding, one hurts themselves, and others.  You hurt yourself because you are robbing yourself of any true connection.  You hurt others because you are judging them to be people who may behave poorly. 

On that note, I am out to pretty much everybody.  It has gotten to the point that I am stretching my memory of who does not know!  Funny!  It was only 1 year ago that I became Facebook friends with my wife.  That is crazy!  Now I am friends with many people in my day to day life, and I love it!  I absolutely adore that!  I really do.  I have received such a tremendous outpouring of support from my community, and I am so eternally grateful for that.  It has meant so much to me, that I could never possibly explain it.  That whole coffee cup thing... suffice to say, thank you!  I love you! 

Hmmmm...... negatives?  How about anything negative?  Well, yeah a couple.  Testosterone is a natural steroid.  I used those steroids to my advantage!  I realize that now.  What does that mean?  Well, I cannot perform at the physical muscular levels that I did before.  I cannot do as much, for as long, as often as I did.  If I work all day long like I used to, I am wiped for like a week!  It is crazy!  I don't really mind it; I just have to get used to it.  Many of the things I did before, I did because I could, and I felt like I had to.  Now?  Nope, I just don't really care about it!

Oh, that is another positive.  I am so much more able to focus on what things in life really matter to me.  And that is lovely!  So helpful to find some focus in life, right??! 

Right, negatives!  Um..... sorry can't think of any others.  Oh, how about the fact that facial electrolysis is a type of medieval torture!  Could that be a negative consequence??  Maybe!  How about that electrolysis is so incredibly expensive???  Could that be a negative?  Yes!  It is!

How about that issue that everybody married is concerned about?  You know that issue, right?  That issue that is so concerning to so many people.  Yeah, I get it, you feel better, yippee!  Now tell me about what is going on in your pants!  The clamoring crowd is chanting for blood!  Dramatic, maybe yes, just a bit overly so!  Anywho..... yeah, things in that arena are functioning as normal.  Yup, totally unaffected.  Well if anything, positively so.  Yeah, apparently that is unusual, but you know that is nothing new for me!  Ha!

Okay.  I've got to stop.  Seriously, this is going on for too long!  Ahhh...... too late! 

Yikes. 

Love you!

Love yourself!