Month: October 2015

Walking Down A Ridge

So I started facial electrolysis a few days ago. The good news is that there was only minor redness afterwards, and taking pain killers ahead of time, made it not too much of an ordeal.

A post-transition friend commented that removing her facial hair ended clearly being a big factor in her deciding to transition. Not seeing her facial hair anymore crystalized an awareness for her. She realized that her path led not to a cliff, but a instead a narrow ridge with a spectacular view. So enjoyable a view that she failed to notice that the ridge was leading down to the bottom of the slope.

It’s a bit different for me because my beard is either blonde, gray or white, so it’s not really visible itself. Although even with close shaving it does cause “texture” on my upper lip and chin that I don’t like, even if it’s something other people probably don’t notice.

But yeah, it was a big step emotionally for me. Walking a ridge is a good way of putting it.

OTOH, life has already changed in ways I never expected — I’m definitely mostly femme-identified at this point, and I never thought I’d be living as a woman on the weekends. Bigendered describes how I live, but it’s not really how I feel anymore. As I’ve said before, I don’t hate being a man, there’s just not a lot anchoring me to that side of the middle path. (OTOH, I could also see how my life could’ve taken a different turn, where I was content to just cross-dress some of the time.)

It’s really the weekend living for the past few months that led me to decide to the do electrolysis. The ridge path may or may not be taking me down the slope, but I’m now spending enough time as a woman that it feels like it makes sense to do anyway.

Plus given the time involved, if I do end transitioning, it makes sense to get started now rather than waiting until I feel I need to urgently transition. At this point, I’d say any transition would be at least 2-3 years out. A year or two for electrolysis; I’d like to spend a year on my voice; and probably a year on hormones.

In my ideal transition path, I’d take time off from work for facial surgery/breast augmentation and then return after that. That way I’d return looking clearly different, and people could draw their own conclusions about what surgery I had done.

Not sure if that’s a practical scenario. I forget whether they recommend one year or two years on hormones before those surgeries, and in either case, I’d imagine hormones would make some visible changes that may be hard to conceal. (Someone I know locally, who’s about my age, has been on hormones about a year, so I’ve seen the changes in her.)

But at this point it’s academic. Although there’s a part of me that would really love to try hormones for a month, since a lot of people report that they finally feel “right” when they do so — and getting some clarity either way from the experience would be helpful. This feeling in-between and not-quite authentic enough is a pain in the ass.

It keeps coming back to the central question: would I be happier enough to justify the cost (financially, emotionally, etc.) and effort? Or am I OK with presenting as a man at work, and living as a woman everywhere else. At the moment, I generally don’t present as a woman on weekend nights, but part of that’s laziness — i.e. I usually get home on the late side (Silicon Valley hours) and don’t feel like doing make-up just to go to the grocery store, get something to eat, etc. OTOH, the fact that I don’t feel a compelling need to do so also tells me something.

Yeah, probably some counseling would probably help, but I’m so busy with other stuff I want to do (performing, etc.) that it’s not a priority. Which again probably says something.

But we’ll see where things go, especially as I start seeing more results from the electrolysis.

The Nice and The Not-So-Nice

The nice:
I tend to stop by the drug store late-ish in the evening, so I’ve gotten a chance to chat with some of the store clerks, since it’s slow.

Tonight the soft butch-ish clerk*said I always had the nicest dressed and a she looked forward to seeing what I was wearing and also said she really liked the necklaces I wear. It wasn’t a hitting-on kind comment, just a straight up compliment.

Later on, as I was checking out a young Filipina/o clerk — who definitely sets off my trans-dar — coo’d over my manicure.

Yes, Caitlyn Jenner isn’t the only little glamour-puss around.

Damn you Prime Directive!* I’d love to be able to ask them about their changing appearance.

* The Trans Prime Directive is “Thou shalt not out another trans person.” While well-meaning, it does mean trans people are isolated from each other in a way that gays and lesbians aren’t, because you can’t do the subtle body language/comments to acknowledge to each other that you’re “members of the club.”

The not-so-nice:
I’m supposed to be working on a reverse strip-tease number (start with panties and pasties and put on clothes) for an upcoming show that focuses on body politics. It’s my “gentle and light-hearted” act on gender dysphoria — i.e. in my case clothes do help make the woman.

Unfortunately, I’ve been procrastinating badly on it. Partly it’s part of larger problem of “perfectionism procrastination,” — but a big part is that it’s unexpectedly kicking up my dysphoria.

Partly triggered from a photo of a show I did Friday, where the cast is all on stage for the curtain call and I look like a fucking giantess compared to the rest of the cast. Yes I know there’s Amazonian-sized women out there — in fact there was one who’s six feet tall in the show, but she’s a lot more slender than I am.

Partly trigged by the weather getting colder and realize I’ll have to go back to wearing hip pads. (I’d lucked out this summer with a couple of sundresses that had enough structure that I could get away without wearing hip pads.)

Yeah, First World problems…. but all of those are just reminders of the body I have and the body I’d prefer but won’t ever have — at least until they invent height reduction and shoulder-width reduction surgery.