Milestones and Realizations


  • Did my 20th hour of electrolysis today. A few bare spots, the hair along the upper lips is definitely thinning and softening. But still a depressingly long way to go. Although hopefully I’m a fifth of the way through (at least until I’m generally clear and go more into maintenance mode).
  • Scheduled my first consult for potential facial feminization surgery. I’ll be down in LA in February for Mom’s birthday and one of the surgeon on my short-list is down there. Later next month I also want to schedule a second consult with a surgeon who’s local. In part because I want to get a read on whether I could start hair transplants now, or whether I should wait until after some facial work — and whether the facial work might need to wait until after being on hormones.


  • That I’ve been reluctant to go to sleep on Sunday nights, because I want to delay having to go back into male mode during the work week. Yeah, I supposed that does mean something…
  • It’s bit odd to be in a semi-public transitional state. If I do transition to full-time, it’ll be a presto-changeo as far as work and family. But with my friends (and Facebook friends), it’ll be more of a “what took you so long?” since I’ve been talking about what’s going on.I realized it’s a bit akin to the trans guys who try the butch thing until they realize that’s not enough. Admittedly, I’m not deeply plugged into the local lesbian community, but periodically I’ll see fundraisers to help someone with his top surgery, where obviously his transition is well-known and being celebrated. One of my poly partners offered to provide in live-in help if I need it after any surgeries (now that she’s self-employed), and knowing her, I’m sure she’d organize a crowd of caregivers if needed. I see it in the burly community where some well known performers who do male characters are acknowledged to be male-identified, even if female-bodied.In my case, community, even though people in the burly community obviously know I’m male-bodied — hard to disguise when I’m down to pasties and panties — there’s numerous people who’ve made it clear they’ve seen me as a woman, even from the times I ventured into the burly circles as a drag performer. ‘Course I’d been very careful to almost always appear a woman in those circles (except for when it’s been unavoidable with a few select friends) and these if I had to go to in event in male mode, I just wouldn’t go.
  • It’s been pointed out to me on several occasions that cats and dogs respond to me the way they do to women, not men.
  • After my initial ambivalences about whether to use Marlena as a “forever name” (part of me was feeling it might be something to move beyond should I transition), it’s now feeling like me again. Even tentatively have a middle name: Christina (as in Christina, Queen of Sweden). I’ve got new Gmail account under “Marlena [RealLastName + PlusRandomDigitsBecauseI’mNotTheFirst].” Maybe not an email address I’ll use forever, but now that I’m contacting surgeons and other health care practitioners, I felt like I needed email that matched.
  • As I mentioned, part of me has been doing a bit of second-guessing on my Teh Tranz shift, mainly there’s been no obvious cause for the shift: there hasn’t been a moment of accepting that I’m trans, of overcoming guilt and shame, etc.Then again, a decade ago my need to express this side of myself suddenly intensified, including the need to get out of the house. Literally and psychically. I’d cross-dressed off and on since I was 10 or 11, but this was different. There was a bit of obvious trigger — I was going through a tough time in my life and being someone else was part of the appeal — but that was far from a complete explanation. What was the complete explanation? I still really don’t know. Something shifted and that’s all I could say. Something’s shifted again this past year.Still not sure why.  A friend of mine did point out that we only have so many coping resources inside us, only so many things we can keep clamped down. So when we’re overwhelmed by other things, our real gender is able to escape, at least temporarily, and make itself apparent. Which makes sense to me. 2014 was an extremely stressful year for me. By the end of the year I’d hit the wall mentally and emotionally, and it took several months to decompress. ‘Course also hitting mid-life crisis was undoubtedly also a factor — I turned 51, and for whatever reason the “1” birthdays have been much harder than the “0” birthdays (likely because that’s when it’s really clear I’m in a new decade of life). Not in an “I don’t want to die as a man” kind of way, rather the sort of taking a look at your life stuff that goes on. But whatever the reason, just as before, it’s something authentic that I need to acknowledge and embrace. Will I be on the lookout for Pink Fog? Sure. Do I know what it’ll take to address that need? Not yet. But hopefully I won’t be second-guessing myself as much.

To make a long story, long…. The meandering path sure seems to be a lot less meandering these days.