Month: March 2016

A Gun in the First Act…

It’s feeling like possibilities are becoming probabilities are becoming inevitabilities….

My little two-week science experiment with estrogen — while not a smart idea, don’t try this at home kids… — does seem to provided a useful data point. On hormones I was a calmer, the gender static in my head got quieter. Off hormones it’s come back.

It wasn’t a dramatic difference, perhaps because as it turns out, I already had abnormally low testosterone levels, enough that my doctor wants to retest next week just to be sure, and I intentionally took the bare minimum dose of estrogen. But it was a significant difference. Was it truly hormonal-related? Was it placebo effect? Obviously I can’t be sure. When I start hormones under a doctor’s care in April, that’ll probably be truer test.

Meantime my self of being a man seems to be sublimating directly into the ether. I’ve never felt especially male per se, and masculinity was never the greatest fit. But now it feels like I’m drifting further and further from shore and it’s disappearing below the horizon. It’s a little hard to put words to it, moving through the world as a man isn’t a facade — it’s not fake, it’s still me, but it’s not me. It’s the trusty old work truck. It’s a persona I slip on, just as I slip on my work persona.

But… OTOH, I don’t quite feel like a woman either. Maybe it’s insecurity, maybe it’s not fully believing in myself yet. Maybe it’s just that I’ll always feel a bit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum — I can still see how I could be happy living a bigendered life if things had taken a different turn, and there were more things to anchor me to the male side of things.

But even if I don’t feel fully a woman, I do know that I seem to be more comfortable and happier living as woman.

I know that I do feel more at home in my body when it’s more female in appearance. For whatever reason that feeling’s gotten stronger during the past year. Some things I can’t, at least until someone invents shoulder narrowing and pelvic widening surgery. Some things I can — and probably will — change. As Kai Cheng Thom said: “I can relate to my body, transform my body, from a place of joy instead of anger and fear.”

Likewise, I don’t hate living as man, if I needed to, I could probably continue doing so for quite a while. It’s not transition or die for me. It’s more I’ve done five decades of the guy thing and I’m ready for something different. There wasn’t any crystallizing moment, I seemed to meandered to the point.

I may still get cold feet. It is a daunting prospect. But yeah, it does seems like I’m ready for a change.

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmmm….

Got the results of the testosterone level test my doctor ordered when I came out the him (I’d asked him to do it, since I’m going to need a baseline test anyway when I see the hormones doc in April.)

Turns out my overall testosterone level is a bit below the normal male range, and my free testosterone level is just barely above the minimum normal level. He wants me to do a re-test in a couple weeks, since apparently the test can be prone to variation.

But yeah, one of those things that make me go hmmmmmm….It’s not like I needed a justification for why I’m trans.

But it does provide a possible context for some things in my life. E.g. why my facial features are relatively unmasculine. Or I’ve never felt that sort of anger/aggressiveness that’s common in a lot of men. ‘Course there’s lot of other possible reasons for that, such as the fact I was aware of gender norms early on and aware that I chafed at them, and was OK with acknowledging I had a wider range of emotions, even if I knew to be careful expressing them publicly. Likewise, while I’ve had a healthy libido, it’s never been that sort of overpowering force that some folks describe (at least not since my teens).

Again, I’ll never know if I had life-long low testosterone, or to what extent it’s an age-related drop. I have noticed some of the latter in recent years.

Looking forward, it does make me hopeful that going on hormones would be less likely to kill my libido — something that’s been a big concern for me — since the drop to natal female levels of testosterone would be much less than for most folks.

Also, during the current science experiment (due to end Thursday), I haven’t noticed overwhelming changes. Admittedly in part the dosages have intentionally been minimal. My libido has been down a bit, but I had low-grade cold for two weeks, and today is Nikki’s memorial, so both probably were a factor as well. But even if I was less interested in getting things started, once I did, things were fine — and on the positive side… a full-body orgasm… wow….

I do feel calmer, with the gender dysphoria static getting quieter. Best analogy is to the changes I felt when I went on antidepressants, the dysphoria is still there, but it’s not as in my face.

OTOH, it is hard to gauge to what extent other factors are having a calming effect. I’ve been busy looking at surgeons for facial feminization surgery (and researching the hell out of FFS), and found someone I’m pretty sure I’ll go with. Likewise, I’m planning to do a hair transplant later this month. I’ll start hormones for real in April. I also started working with a speech therapist a couple weeks ago. So even though some things (like FFS) might not happen for a year, it helps to know that I’ve got a plan. (Plus just getting over the research and decision-making hump is reducing stress.)

Granted there will be new round of research/decision-making about whether to actually transition to full-time, and coming up with a transition plan, if I do. But I don’t need to deal with that just yet.