My thoughts on early transitioning.

Marissa’s guide to male to female gender transitioning.

So I’ve been thinking about coming up with this “list” with items I think are most important in gender transitioning.

Sure we might all do it differently and take different approaches to achieve same goal but ultimately, we all want to succeed at “passing” and blending into society.

Why is passing important? This is a question that repeatedly seems to come up and it’s somewhat complex. My SO used to get fairly upset with me while voicing my goal of passing and she would repeatedly ask why passing is so important, since there are CIS women in a variety of different formats and body shapes and society puts too much emphasis on our looks. This is very true, but we don’t necessarily want to look very pretty, we’re just trying to avoid unnecessary attention. Unnecessary attention to me in this case means people looking it at you on the street or poking fun at you, or misgendering you in public, which can be a very hurtful experience. I’m basing the following strictly on my experience and is not meant to be used as a guide, merely a list of suggestions.

Continue reading “My thoughts on early transitioning.”

I am full time and can never go back, thinking about…… yes the knife but its complicated. Oh yes paperwork and MONEY, swear (pronoun jar)

So I have been full time for 2 week now and I really feel amazing. 2 years ago I didn’t think that this was possible. I feel free. Can’t really find a better way to put it. I am very genuinely excited about every single day despite issues with my business, dealing with VERY high maintenance clients and a bunch of other stuff. I feel like nothing can drag me down. Instead of dreading the future, I can hardly wait for it. Bring it on. It’s hard to believe I’ve been on E for 9 months now, feels like it was all yesterday when I anxiously popped my first pill then spent the next 3 hours panicking about what a DVT will feel like.  Continue reading “I am full time and can never go back, thinking about…… yes the knife but its complicated. Oh yes paperwork and MONEY, swear (pronoun jar)”

8 months of HRT,I need to go full time, but…..Family frustrations, Hair and makeup, pronouns, why do you look like a woman now?????

The concept of going full time is becoming ever more pressing. Switching between my 2 personalities is just really hard and I’m not very keen on keeping my old self around for much longer. I find him boring, annoying, and somewhat depressing. I need to be me. My fears of not passing have been easing a lot lately because I’m fortunate enough that seem to pass when trying all the time which is really helpful. I admire people who don’t care about what others think, but passing for me is a big deal, even though it makes me feel like a coward sometimes. Continue reading “8 months of HRT,I need to go full time, but…..Family frustrations, Hair and makeup, pronouns, why do you look like a woman now?????”

Out to the world, you cannot hide who you are.

So I am now officially out to the world.

I came out on Facebook using he following letter;

Dear Friends,
For months, if not years, I’ve been contemplating how best to address a major change in my life.

Some of you know, most of you don’t and no doubt it will be a surprise or even a shock to a few. I am transgender and have been in the process of transitioning to female for almost a year now, which is the reason I haven’t exactly been posting pictures of myself here. Although I don’t want to impose the particulars on you, if you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them. I would however like to point out that I’m still the same person and nothing has changed since you first met me, except I got tired of fighting it. This has been with me all my life and finally after many years of struggle, I decided to embrace it and fix it. This change will not affect my ability to do my job or make me a different person really, other than on the outside. In fact, I may be less distracted when I no longer have two personas to juggle and I can be just myself without having to act or pretend to be something I’m not. Also, as I enjoy being myself more, you may find me more enjoyable to be around.Some of you may not understand the life changes I’m undertaking and some of you may not approve of what I’m doing and that’s fine. I did not come here to ask for permission, I’m only here sharing this because I think it’s only fair.

Continue reading “Out to the world, you cannot hide who you are.”

People can be pretty awesome, work breakthrough, family and some other thoughts…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a decent entry here, but only because of my work schedule and some other commitments in the past few weeks.

Last week was a very big deal. I’ve attended a tradeshow as an exhibitor at a show where I know people fairly well, but we only meet face to face once a year. I’ve been attending this show for 3 years now so naturally I was full of anxiety because I talk to the attendees regularly, but the last time we’ve met was exactly a year ago and I looked completely different back then. Without getting too deep into what I actually do, it’s suffice to say that my clientele is 99% male and mostly the macho type of built-up testosterone driven tough guys and technology geeks….

At last year’s show I happened to sport hi-lights and I took a lot a lot of fire for that, namely from a very important person I will just call J. He is a very intelligent person with side I didn’t meet until a few days before my show last week. When I ran into him last year, the first thing he said upon greeting me was “Nice hair. WTF? Next you gonna show up wearing capris??” It was meant in a friendly way but my initial thought of “you just wait….. You haven’t seen anything yet” was replaced with fear about actually meeting these guys face to face during transitioning. Naturally I was really terrified. I decided long before the show that I will attend in boy mode and live with the “shame” of male fail, rather than going in female mode and have my voice fail. My voice seems to work pretty well now after a months of training, but it’s very fragile and it goes away when I get scared or I sneeze or cough:)….. That was really the main reason. I’d rather be in boy mode and look weird then go in girl mode and talk to someone with my guy voice. That is a terrifying thought… Anyway I thought it was really best to come out to some close people I was going to meet to reduce the shock factor. I was really worried about J but was also aware of the fact that he is a very smart, reasonable and a down to earth person. We had a 20 minute chat the week before the show to talk about some product and software ideas, but before the call, I had sent him a text message asking him for a call and I mentioned to him that I wanted to talk about work stuff and discrimination in his field of work. Once we finished talking about the first part, the conversation shifted to discrimination and LGBT issues. He was very open and spoke really well about the issues, then proceeded to ask me “Why do you wanna know anyway”? I felt a bit scared but I knew this is it, so instead of the usual working around the subject and trying to lead him onto it, I told him straight as it is. I am trans and I’m transitioning.

His reposes was a casual “OK” followed by 5 seconds of uncomfortable silence then we had a very positive chat about my story and the issues surrounding it and how it relates to my work.

In the next few days, I came out to about 6 more people and some of them told about me to their associates and all I really got was positive feedback and nothing else. I did not feel threatened or that I would be treated differently at all. To my surprise, after exchanging a few texts with J, I was voicing my concern about making some people feel potentially uncomfortable, he sent me this response.

“I am sure no one will be sick, but I am sure there will be some  shock factor.  .it’s just one of those things that the majority of people have trouble understanding. I think  that gender is one of the basic things   things people learn from a very early age . We like to put things in boxes so that we know the next time we see something similar we can relate it to something we already learned.  When someone like yourself travels down a path like this, I think people are most resistant to editing something that has been a  fundamental mental box  since before they could speak in sentences.  Probably also as gender is a mental construct people might question the validity of their own.   (Ie how can he or she be so sure ) People don’t like to question what they think they know.”

To say that I was shocked, is a major an understatement. This is the guy that called me frosty over my hair and made some funny comments and asked if I was going to wear capris next year. It just goes to show you that people sport a sometimes deceptive facade and you shouldn’t always expect the worst.

On the day of setup once I check into my hotel, it was getting late after I had dropped my stuff off and of course needless to say, I had run into a group of people I know fairly well in the lobby. We made eye contact and nobody recognized me and I was really terrified so I didn’t say anything or tried to stop them for a quick chat. I knew that HRT has been pretty good to me but the fact that they didn’t recognize me was a god boost.

Next morning when the show actually started I was of course really nervous for a change but some people I came out to really went out of their way to come up to me and offer support and compliment on my looks, which was awkward because I was presenting in male mode which I am told is not at all convincing anymore 🙂

I also ran into a person I know fairly well and came out to him on the phone before hand which turned out to be a pretty good experience. I will call him B to protect the identity of the innocent 🙂

I was getting into the elevator coming back downstairs from the hotel with more of my gear and there he was. I said Hey B, he looked at me, said hi and that was it. So I turned up the volume a bit and repeated…. He looked at me causally again and said Hi. Then after 3 seconds of starring, the holly #$~@ Z OMG I did not recognize you. (My male name starts with a Z) He kept on venting for a few seconds before we had to split up but that again was a really nice experience.

This is my boy mode now days 🙂

34 MTF trans boy mode

My business partner and I also did some walking around and we encountered one of our other associates who knew nothing about me. I knew she would be cool because based on my time with her at 4 other shows, I learned that she is an awesome and very open person.

We went over to say hi and we had a very casual chat and she didn’t try to introduce herself to me like some others so I was pretty disappointed. I thought OMG, she didn’t notice anything. Then my business partner smiled and said, I bet she didn’t recognize you either. So she sent her a text to ask her what she thought of my hair. She just responded, Oh Z is here? She said yes you just talked to him. She was shocked as well because she completely failed to recognize me :). I was really happy to say the least.

The show went really well, over the two days the tension had really dissipated and people were very welcoming with some complementing on my looks and were surprised how girly my boy mode looked.

After the show I received a shower of text messages with people offering me support which really touched me. I exchanged a few messages with some people. I asked if anyone had any negative feedback and there was none luckily but to my surprise I also got this.

“Haha. There may have been someone who said something to the effect…:

If he was in a dress and in a bar I’d probably bang him. Lol.”

Most would find this offensive but I am flattered.

Another response I got from someone else was

“No issues my friend.  It was good to see you. Just to clarify, are you still going with Z*****?  Or do you prefer to be addressed in another manner?”

I told him I’m still going with my old name until I go full time which is probably another 6-8 months away and I’m really not one of those politically correct gender nazis 🙂

There were some awkward moments because some people will take time to get used to the idea of someone transitioning from male to female or vice versa. I had some people at my table talking to me about our stuff and I could tell they did their best not to refer to me as either male or female, then someone else I know really well shows up and goes “HEY MAN!” That was a bit awkward but I get it….

So the shows was an overwhelming success, both product wise and socially.

On other news, my close friend, mentor and business partner came out to our other business partners which I was worried about because they are 69 and 71 years old and VERY old fashioned and seemingly conservative with typical old eastern european mentality of everything is very binary, almost racist and naturally very homophobic and politically very incorrect.

He basically just dropped the T bomb on them. I was not there because I didn’t have the stomach to tell them myself but I hear they first just gasped for air then had some questions. E (The wife)  was very accepting right away and made some comments that really touched me but the old hubby on the other hand was shocked and bit and claimed that he had never hear of anything before. It’s hard to believe that someone in the 21st century with TV and internet access would have not heard of a transgender person before but they really seem to be living in their own little world so I suppose it’s possible…..

The tone with my older brother has also changed, he was the only source of negativity I have encountered so far but things are a little better. He is an interesting character because I consider him very smart, very open when it’s about other people but he’s got a hard time handling my coming out and transitioning. To him it’s a bit of a laughing matter because upon coming out to him, his response was “You gonna be really ugly”. He can only imagine a trans woman as man in a dress and nothing more. He seems to have changed his tone after having seen pictures of me and now knows that I can pull it off pretty well so he is coming around which I actually find very offensive because it implies that it’s only OK to be trans if you are pretty. If you aren’t, I guess you shouldn’t do it???? I’m not very mad at him though because based on our previous chats and I very firmly believe he is very strongly repressing something about himself. I really believe that most outspoken homophobic and transphobic people act the way they do to steer the attention away from them because thy have something to hide that they don’t want found out.

I also went shopping and some social events last weekend as my real self which is becoming really hard. Not being me, but going back to my old self. It really is excruciating and I can hardly wait to go full time and give all my dude clothes away.

I’m slowly realizing that I don’t think I want to be uberfem…. I think I feel pretty good in a casual outfit but we’ll see how things change in the next year or so.

Please excuse the weird pictures, I just wanted to crop my friend out because I didn’t have the chance to ask her whether it’s OK for me to publish them with her in it.

34 MTF 6 month HRT

FullSizeRender

 

6 month HRT 5 month Estrogen

Time is flying by…… I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since the correct hormones have been flowing thru my system and the changes are becoming ever so evident. I also continue to loose weight at a slow but steady rate.

I was at my endocrinologist today for a checkup and as it turns out, I’m 20lbs down since February 10th which was my previous appointment. Weirdly I thought I’d have so much to say about the changes that are occurring but I really don’t have that much to say and definitely nothing that would be so different from other trans women’s experiences.

I feel really good. I feel like I have more energy than ever before but that’s really due to running and I guess my good feelings are also supplemented by very visible breast development. Well at least on the left side of course…..The right side seems to be about 2-3 months behind at this point and really hope it catches up soon because it looks a little weird if not funny. At this point there is also definite slow down on body hair growth that feels very profound for the first time while I think my skin is definitely getting smoother and seems to glow more, at least that’s what others tell me.

My main focus at this point is replacing my wardrobe and spending more time as me. Now that I’m out more and more as me, getting back into the old mode is hard to say the least, or more like excruciating. Yes I still worry about being clocked when I’m out but the fear is really trumped by happiness and some calmness even tho my blood pressure was through the roof at the doctor’s yesterday because I still thought that sitting in a waiting area of a busy hospital waiting for my doctors, was somewhat nerve-wracking. I was surrounded by a huge variety of people and of course I felt like someone was going to say something but I wasn’t even acknowledged by anyone really. I really don’t think I got a single weird look from anyone.

The picture is from last night while I was playing with makeup in practice for my doctor’s appointment. No I was getting dolled up for my doctor by any means but I wanted to look and feel decent.

I replaced the pic with this. Found one with the same sweater one year apart.

34_6month_HRT_TRANS_MTF

Day 75 of HRT. PAIN IN THE CHEST, Who is Caitlyn Jenner and general ups and downs

I find it fascinating that it really doesn’t take long for your body to react to the shock of getting the correct hormones you should have been getting from nature a long time ago. I remember being so nervous about letting the first blue little pill (Not Viagra) dissolve under tongue, thinking I am sure to have a DVT because in minutes because I’m a hypochondriac and tend to fear even the smallest possibilities of side effects. Yet I survived and still here with the effects of estrogen slowly becoming obvious. Needless to say I’ve been staring in the mirror every morning and “touching” myself in certain areas, hoping an obvious change but that’s not how it works. In fact staring into the mirror only once very few weeks would work better but I still need to brush my hair and teeth and for both of those activities I need a mirror…..

 

At the 75 day mark I still don’t see anything visible but some people I only rarely meet have recently commented that my eyes and my face look different which could be caused my hormones but they are more than likely brought on by my regular exercising routine which is exclusively cardio. My sister and brother in law also pointed out that some of my features have changed but that might only be weight loss.

My hair is also growing slowly but surely and I’m really beginning to like it. I think weight loss, longer hair and hair free face from laser contribute more to my more “feminine” appearance than hormones but I tend to judge myself harshly.

 

Now onto the obvious changes first mental, than physical. Even though I am total hypochondriac and was fearing imminent death upon taking my first pill, I was overcome by a sort of zen moment shortly after. I had a sense of calm and confidence I never quite felt before. I am finally moving in the right direction. After nearly 2 years of therapy, roadblocks, doctors, phone calls, visits blah-blah-blah, the ship has finally set sail. The placebo effect is quite stunning actually…. For the first time in my dreams, blood and violence was replaced with laughter and “normal stuff”. I’ve had violent dreams almost very night for the majority of my life which always revolved around the same thing which is being found out and hurt. Those dreams were finally gone after about 25 years which is a big deal I thought.

 

I also jokingly remarked to my endocrinologist that I think they gave me the wrong pill. Instead of Estrogen I probably received and have been popping serotonin inhibitors. I now smile. … A lot. Instead of dreading the future, I am now quite excited about it.

 

As far as the physical effects are concerned, in about a week or so I noticed that something was different in the chest area, more specifically around my nipples. All of a sudden I realized they were kind of hard in a way as if I was cold. As it turnes out, within 2 weeks of estrogen I could feel them developing. The nipple “hardness” turned quite sensitive first,then painful and I slowly developed a lump under the left nipple first, then under the right. Despite my old age, I might be lucky in the genetics department as my left (:)) breast became so obvious in only a few weeks that going into the men’s change room feels very awkward now. The right side took a while to start catching up but it’s now definitely on its way. Speaking of breast development and pain, I kind of shrugged at others when they complained to breast pain, thinking to myself “how bad could it be??” REALLY BAD. Stuff touching it brings me to tears. I finally broke down a few days ago and bought a sports bra which really helps while running. Tenderness with wobbling makes for a really painful experience while running.

 

In a peculiar way I envy others who claim mood swings, tiredness and other physical symptoms, as I have been spared of those which is likely the case due to my work out regimen. I am now more active than I have ever been before because I am fighting my weight and I can tell you, estrogen definitely does not help with that.

 

There have been quite a few developments that aren’t specifically related to HRT which includes me being outed by a work associate to his co-workers without asking me first but I’m not at all upset by it as I knew that group would be OK. We’ve known each other for 6 years almost and developed a great relationship so I didn’t suspect I’d get any hostility and I turned out to be correct. They were surprised and then commented on how brave I am and how hard it must have been to hide myself all these years. I also had another incident at a client’s place. I have not met this person in the last 6 months or so once my visit over, he pulled me aside and apologize for being so direct and asked. “Are you doing a Caitlyn Jenner thing? Because if you are that’s fine, I’m just wondering”. I could see his expression change upon finishing his question. He immediately changed his mind and now regretted asking. I was in a hurry so I just smiled and says it’s a long story and don’t have time to get into it now and that’s where we left it.

 

I also made a great friend whom I’ve known for a while but me coming out to her made us much closer and now I can’t even imagine myself without her. I feel like I have someone I can share my deepest secrets with, she will never judge or drag me down. She is a great person who can listen and talk really well. She is a great ally and friend and I’m so grateful me met.

Also, I think I can finally stop looking at wigs because I’m making peace with my own hair.

75 day hrt trans mtf

Let me know what you think.