At this point I was four months into HRT. I had stopped getting sirred by anyone but there were still a few people giving me hard stares. Usually not while I was looking, my wife would tell me about my getting a double take.
Me in December 2013:
In January we finished a couple of month process of telling our entire temple community on a personal basis. Everyone knew something was going on but not what, so I suspect it was at some level a relief to know. Still, some found it difficult to accept – it took a couple of years and was really hard on some to reconcile how they knew they should feel from how they did feel.
At the start of January from some combination of Xmas and Winter blues:
I feel like I’m posting for the first time again. Something is going on with hormones/body/mind. I think part is some touch of depression but the rest is probably hormonal. I’m literally feeling like I’m in the middle (gender wise) at this moment, or maybe even ungendered as I posted originally. I feel little or no pull to move forward, and I have no idea what I’d go back to. I also know that this bizarre state probably won’t be lasting, but it provides a unique opportunity for me to think.
It was scary, here I was, solidly on the road to going full time and I’m questioning now? However, it was important to work it through. It was possible to delay as long as I needed to. I asked and received feedback from the other members of the forum and I posted this:
Thank you all for the posts; it helps. I like the “fallow period” description that L used. It’s apt I think for me. I clearly have a bunch of things on my plate, plus the ongoing guilt and pressure. Now that I decided to not transition at work on such a precipitous schedule I’m feeling somewhat better overall. It’s really helps to hear that it might just be the time right now at three months that many folks take stock. I agree that the early bloom and excitement isn’t so much there. The changes are small and incremental, not dramatic.
Even looking back this seems to have been the crux. It was all just too much. I needed space to breathe.
At the end of January I visited the RMV and got a new driver’s license in my new name, new gender marker and new picture. Really a major step.
I visited Social Security and did the same, and it turns out that put a bit of a limit on how late I could go full time to the end of the quarter (March 31st). At work we started planning and settled on the 10th.
As time continued to wear on the process of changing my name on other accounts continued. Credit cards, bank accounts and on and on. This went on for awhile. At a year almost all of it was done, but the level of proof differed substantially. Probably the most stringent, because it is a primary id, was my US Passport. They wanted an original certified court document.
The last before going full time was taking stock. It had become painful and tedious to go to work as D, my male persona. He felt less and less real, but necessary.
I’m a little scared and very excited. I have either one or two days in the office left in male mode. All the plans seem to be together and I’m even in touch with two of the three trans women who blazed the modern trail. Apparently before the first of these the next one was back in the 80s and didn’t go so well. I’ve talked to my office mate and a fellow I eat lunch with regularly and nobody turned into a turnip. That shouldn’t surprise me at this point but somehow it still does to some extent. I keep expecting someone (other than my SO) to turn to me and call me crazy, but I guess this just doesn’t count anymore.
I’m also a little sad. I removed all but a couple of button down shirts from the closet. They’re vastly outnumbered by woman’s wear now and look so lost and forlorn among the cardigans, blazers and blouses. Poor little things! It’s really a long era for me and now I have this big heavy roller rack full of men’s clothes. I’m figuring I’ll hold if for a while longer. I might need to dress in male mode for our daughter or a funeral like my mother in law passing. The suit might even fit
I’m also a few days from five months (although this was a pretty short month). Here are a few stats:
Waist: 35″ Oct, 36″ now
Hips: 40″ Oct, 43″ now
Upper thigh: 22″ Oct, 25″ now
Weight: 193 Oct, 208 now
A fifteen pound gain, which seems to be fairly typical for hormones. I’m seeing if I can curb that a little The waist to hip ratio went from .87 to .83. In fact if I look at charts for men and women I went from a moderate risk for a guy to a moderate risk for a woman. There must be some law of conservation there.
Breast growth continues. My bust or equivalent was 40″ in October and 42″ now, but the composition is rather substantially different. I *had* chest muscles left in October.
Actually, looking at 4 weeks ago it’s up about 1.5″, although part of that might be because the cami I’m wearing does provide a little support.
That’s it. Therapy tomorrow, we’ll go over last minute details. Next week on Tuesday I’ll probably get to talk to the tech director and the person above him. Wednesday I’m getting all the work stuff changed over and we’ll send out the invite. Then I get to stay home while people wonder. Ain’t life grand?
Here we are just before I’m coming out, another picture:
This is three months later and the contours have become a bit softer. This made a large difference in interactions.
March 10th arrived:
We had the meeting in a small auditorium that holds about fifty people. We rearranged the chairs a bit to make it more interactive with everyone facing inward (think a half circle arrangement in a few rows). When people filed in I greeted everyone with a handshake or in some cases a hug. I was amazed that there was only a couple of people I didn’t know the names of.
My part was really short. Allison introduced me, I said hi, thanked everyone who put the meeting together, thanked the attendees for finding time, said I’d be available if anyone wanted to start by and left. I’ve heard that Allison had a little trouble getting through the message I had written; she got a bit choked up. The presentation and questions by all accounts went very nicely, and while they intentionally raised and addressed the bathroom issues it just wasn’t a problem. (good thing, I needed it several times just like everyone)
I had people wandering by during the day or sending emails. They said some touching things about it all being handled with grace, dignity and humor. One of the department managers went on about how I could really hold my head up going home because it had been such a good job.
So why tell everyone? I figure that just like there were people who gave me encouragement and support, I should do the same for others. This isn’t an easy road we take, and my getting to this day was the result of many people offering that assistance. I had a bunch of people who helped review what I sent out, and I owe them too.
If anyone is wondering if they can do this, you can. You may not be as blessed as I feel, but you can’t assume anything in this life. You have a right to be happy.
I got home emotionally drained and exhausted. I had trouble telling a lot of this to my wife because I kept crying over the great people who are in my life. When I told one fellow I work with that I feel lucky to have lost only one friend, he says “That’s because you have good taste in friends”. May we all have good taste!
As a footnote, I got a letter from the endo today oking my going to 4mg estradiol (2morning, 2evening). I was at 90pg/ml and the target is between 100 and 200. BTW, why is estradiol measured in pg/ml and testosterone in ng/L? It’s exactly the same measurement in the sense that something measured at M ng/L is going to be M pg/ml. Seems weird to me.
I won’t say the rest of my story is ideal, but that day felt awfully good.
An interesting aspect was the bathroom and my mistaken impressions:
The bathroom isn’t an issue. In four days I’ve only been in their with someone else twice. Not exactly a busy place. I didn’t know either woman and they certainly didn’t know me or think I shouldn’t be there. One nice thing is a full length mirror, like eight feet high and maybe five wide on the way out of the bathroom. You can adjust your hair/sweater/scarf or whatever before stepping back out.
What I realized as time went on was that the bathroom was being avoided. It took around four months to be normal. I say this because I think there’s a natural human tendency to view things in a light favorable to ourselves and not to dig hard for things that might be hurtful. Second guessing is useful at times.
I had no makeup on for most of today and apparently I don’t need it to pass anymore. I suppose I should have realized from the gym where I don’t wear makeup either, but I still found it startling
This is a great example, I wasn’t quite passing all the time, but I wanted to believe I was. I wasn’t that skilled at dressing like a woman my age, skillful at putting together an outfit and accessories, doing my makeup. My speech needed work, and while much better now is still not where I’d like it to be. I never get sirred, even on the phone, but part of that is because I do things on the phone to prevent it like stating my name.
At the end of the quarter was a public event at our temple. I got to be one of the MC’s:
Two things, yesterday’s cabaret and tonight’s chores.
Last night our Temple had it’s Cabaret (formerly open mic) night. The problem with the open mic was that kids would want to perform at the last minute and be every bit as ready as that sounds
I was one of the mc’s, dressed as Marie Antoinette. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture, but some were taken and I’ll post if I get a good one. My partner in crime was dressed as a 1920’s flapper. We did some shtick between acts, auctioned off a couple of items and ended up worn out. We had three “pro” acts, people who perform all the time and some who even get paid for it, and two amateurs. I was one of those and performed Joni Mitchel’s Both sides now on piano and voice. I flubbed a couple of notes on the piano but nobody ever notices People told me it was good, I thought my voice was in decent shape last night.
Afterward I removed the dress and the greasepaint and went back to comfy jeans. The only real issue with the dress is this little matter of my thighs chaffing one another. Since I plan on being able to wear skirts and sundresses without hosiery as the weather gets warmer I’ve ordered a few pair of “slip shorts”, which ought to sequester my thighs
We also had a silent auction where I managed to snag two pairs of earrings and one pendant, all from a local glass artisan, for about $35. I have no idea why more people didn’t bid on them.
Speaking of faff, I did new gel nails in front of the boob tube. All set now, but I ended up fussing filing some of the top coat off of a couple nails so I could get a level finish. Note, that stuff flows, so your hand wants to be really flat. Despite all precautions managed to fill the cuticle on part of one of my pinkies with top coat. Sigh. Looks good now, ruby red with some sparkles.
Spent another 45 minutes washing, blow drying and styling the wig. I figure once a week is good.
Feeling good and it’s lovely being able to walk around with no makeup and pass. I just wish all the electrolysis were done. What a pain.