Month: April 2016

Seeing How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes

So it’s a patch instead of a red pill, but I’m seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes.

The meeting with the hormone doctor was both pretty uneventful and eventful. The vast majority of it was standard new patient intake stuff. He then moved on to taking a brief trans-related history, and asking what my expectations were for what hormones would do. And that was kind of that. Patches first at a very conservative level, and then I’ll start spirolactone later on, so that if there’s any unexpected effects he knows which one is responsible.

I was a bit surprised that he didn’t ask me to sign an informed consent form — I’d seen ones online that were pretty detailed in lisitng the expected effects, what they wouldn’t do, and the possible risks. Admittedly during our conversation it was clear I was already well-informed.

Unfortunately, I can’t actually start them until tomorrow, since while my primary doctor ordered a testosterone levels test, he forgot to ask them to check my estrogen levels as well (so that there’s a baseline) and that test is best done before 10 a.m.

The other nice thing is that he gave me referrals for a couple of gender therapists near me — he was also puzzled by the dearth of them on the Peninsula. (There’s lots in SF and Berkeley/Oakland, but they’d be a real pain to get to on a weekly basis.) All the referrals are people he knows, which was especially useful because apparently a number of therapists in the area put gender issues down as a specialty because they find it interesting, but they don’t necessarily have actual expertise in it.

Afterwards, I a bit of celebratory dinner with a co-worker, Y., who I came out to a few weeks ago. She asked if she could bring another co-worker, S. who’s she’s friends with. S. works on my team and I suspected already kind of knew I was trans (turns out she didn’t, she just thought the nail polish, etc. was my personal style). It’s funny, both Y. and S. are far more excited than I am, probably because they don’t have the accompanying twinge of fear about the future.

There was an interesting generational difference (Y. is probably early 30s and S. is probably under 30): I was talking about how I need to talk with HR next month about putting together a transition plan, and they wondered why it such a big deal that HR even needed to be involved, and were sure no one would have a problem with it. When I mentioned the bathroom issue, among other things, S. vowed to throat-punch anyone who hassled me about it.

Posted about my co-workers comments on Facebook (without naming names), and yet another co-worker offered to clothesline anyone if needed. It’s like I’ve got my own personal squadron of protective superheroines (everyone I’ve come out to at work so far has been a woman). I’m really fortunate to them as colleagues.

It’s nice to have allies. Oh and they want to throw a coming out party at the appropriate time. (I did tell them that if there’s any “It’s a girl!” balloons I’d have to slap someone.)

Feeling Like I’m Coming Home

Just go back from the International Ms. Leather Weekend, basically a conference for kinky women,* with a decided — but not exclusive — lesbian vibe. (A handful of men attend, but like BurlyCon the attendees are overwhelmingly women.)

It was surprisingly trans-friendly. One of the titleholders who was stepping down was a trans woman, and Tristian Taormina, who was MCing one of the nights, began the evening with an impassioned call for the attendees to support their trans sisters in light of North Carolina, etc.

On a personal level, I was treated as just another woman — and in retrospect, had several woman come on to me. Still figuring out the whole lesbian flirting thing….

At lunch Saturday, I broke down crying, in a good way.

With everything I’ve been going through, with everything I will be going through in the coming months, being able to spend a weekend as a woman in the company of women, being treated like just another woman, being desired as a woman…. Well now I understand the “I’m crying because I’m happy” thing.

In many ways I still feel like an immigrant trying to figure out her way in a brave new world — and I’m sure I’ll feel that way for some time to come. But moments like these make me feel like I’m coming home.

Scales Falling From My Eyes

Sometimes it’s the little things…

My new scale asks you to choose male/female when you set it up, in order to correctly* calculate the body fat percentage. So I chose male.**

But seeing that little male icon appear on the scale every morning, just felt wrong and bothered me much more than I thought it would. Changed it to female today.

* Yes, I know home scales are pretty erratic as far calculating percentage body fat.

** Though I had planned to change it after hormones kicked in, and my body is more hormonally female.

More Than Just a Meat Sack

I’ve never particularly hated my male body, at least until recently when the body dysphoria kicked up. But I wasn’t particularly at home in it either. Mostly I just thought of it as a meat sack to haul my brain around. Is that one reason I let it get out of shape? Probably.

But something shifted a week ago.

Part of it may be the surgical consult I’d done a few days earlier. While the surgeon wasn’t too sales-y about procedures, he did try to talk me into signing up for a medically-developed skin care program as a medically-supervised weight program. The thing was, I didn’t disagree on his critique — I don’t like the huge pores I have on my nose, and losing weight would help reduce my jowls.

Part of it may be that, while I’m not entirely at home in my body, and in fact looking to actively do some renovations, I now seem to actually care about my body, and I want to get it into better shape.

In the past, whenever I got the urge to exercise, I lay down quietly until it pasted. But for the last week I’ve gone out and walked 45 minutes a day. More importantly, it’s not something I feel I need to do, it’s something I want to do. Likewise with changing my eating habits. Would I like to lose 20 pounds? Definitely. But I’m looking at it more as focusing on doing the things that may make it possible to lose 20 pounds — eat better, eat a little less, exercise more — and that’s the important thing. Any actual weight loss will be bonus.

The detente I’ve had with my body may be thawing.