Month: July 2016

Changing Your Body is Self-Love Too

Given that in all likelihood I’ll eventually end up getting breast implants (after waiting to see what grows naturally) — as well as other body mods — this resonates:

“All cosmetic surgery, whatever that surgery may be, is about embracing the identity you already know you have. It is a tool you can use to help achieve your true identity. End of story.

Of course no one should make you feel ashamed of the body you have, and if you have the body you want, no one should try and make you conform it to their rules. But on the same hand if your body does not reflect the You that you see, whatever You that is, and you have the capacity to safely change it, you should not be shamed for doing so, either.”

I Must, I Must, I Must Increase My Bust

Three months on estrogen, two months on the testosterone blocker and things are definitely starting to change.

My skin has already gotten softer, and body hair is growing a lot more slower. But this week one of my breast definitely started budding. The nipple’s gotten plumper and there’s lumps behind the nipple where the breast tissue is developing Thankfully things aren’t sore — yet.

Now the other boob just needs to get with the program.

Prophetic or Ironic?

I don’t know if I was prophetic or ironic, but the birthday card I just received from Mom read:

Dream big. Really big.
Do not settle for small wishes on your birthday.

If only she knew… Actually she will know all too soon, since I plan on having The Talk with her tomorrow. Working with my therapist last week, I finally admitted how much that scares me — Mom is really the only family member I care about (my brother let his wife push me and Mom out of their lives, and I don’t care for my other wingnut relatives). In some ways it’s less scary than coming out to HR, since while I can live without family origin, I couldn’t live without a job. But still….

Though for me the worse case scenario isn’t that she cuts me off, but rather there’s six months of trench warfare over my transition during the next six months. Neither of which is likely to happen, but you never know. She’s seemed supportive, but we’re a Scandinavian-German family where a lot goes unsaid. And obviously it affects how people see her in a way that my bigendered living hasn’t.

On some happier notes:

I got a facial this weekend and the salon owner, who I’ve known for years, exclaimed that my skin is now so soft that it feels like a woman’s skin. I’ve thought that my skin has felt considerably soften, but it was nice to get confirmation from a trained esthetician.

This week also marked 75 hours of electrolysis, my upper lip, chin and cheeks are all cleared, except for the inevitable regrowth, which fortunately is sparse, light, and fine, so you can’t see it, even if feeling it drives me crazy. So it’s really only the neck and under the jaw that have yet to have an initial clearing. For whatever reason, my electrologist was eager for me to due an extra session over the weekend before she takes off on vacation this week, saying she was really committed to the project. Not sure if that means she thinks we’re rapidly approaching the point where my entire face will have reach initial clearance. Maude I hope so, since I really, really hate having to let it grow during the week — the downside of my beard having gone white is that it’s hard for her to see it. I suspect no one actually notices, but I definitely notice how furry my neck looks by the end of the week.

Saw the hormone doctor Thursday and he doubled my estrogen dosage again, so hopefully I’ll start seeing some more significant effects.

While I was there, I also mentioned that eventually I’d need the physician’s letter for my legal name/gender change. I honestly was expecting to just have a quick discussion about when he would be willing to do so, but much to my surprise he wrote one of the spot. So theoretically — no, in actuality — I could go to the courthouse tomorrow and start the paperwork. I don’t know why but that actually messed with my head a bit. Guess it’s another one of those “shit’s getting real, real fast” moments.

Mostly I’m a bit exhausted at this point. June was really stressful for a variety of reasons, and in particular there were some significant fires at work last week, although the good side is that people are starting to realize just how overbooked I am. Something I need to talk to my manager tomorrow when he’s back from vacation, since I’m supposed to take on yet another project, and it looks like the fire drills are going to continue for the next couple weeks.

Unfortunately, the long weekend isn’t really recharging me. Partly, I ended up getting sick after pulling an all-nighter on Wednesday. Partly the stress about the upcoming discussion with Mom. Partly this weekend has been reminder that along with transition I need to make more life changes around building up a social life that’s not 30 miles away. Though it’s a bit of Catch-22, since part of me is reluctant to work hard on establishing new friendships while I’m still in transition, and partly I just don’t have a lot of energy to deal with non-transition stuff at the moment. Hopefully once I’ve talked with Mom about whether, or when, I need to make a trip down to OC to talk to her face-to-face, I can schedule a long weekend out of town to help me recharge.

Stuck Here in the Middle With You

Although I could, I don’t have any plans to rush out to the courthouse for a name change yet.

Emotionally, it would be nice to get it changed before I go to Buenos Aries in January for facial feminization surgery, but since I’d need to get my passport changed before I can buy the airline ticket, that does mean doing things in early fall, especially since I’m traveling to SoCal for Thanksgiving. I’d thought about changing my passport then waiting to change my driver’s license in February when I get back from BA — but I’m not sure what weirdness might result from having different photo IDs for a couple months. So rationally it probably makes more sense to do all the name change stuff next year after FFS.

If I changed my name earlier, I’d get a new passport with new name and old face to travel with.

Returning via LAX (which is the most likely from Buenos Aries) isn’t likely to be a problem, since they use a kiosk system anyway and you don’t deal with an actual passport agent. It may well do facial recognition but given my current passport photo is so terrible I can’t imagine it’s actually that useful. FWIW, the photo on my Global Entry card is even worse, because it was taken with one of those cam-on-a-stalk things you plug into your computer.

After I return, I’d request a replacement, which means sending in a new photo. (Yes, I’d have to pay for the second replacement passport.)

Driver’s license is more complicated because in California IIRC, they just reprint it with it the last photo on file. Which is a reason for not changing it until I get back — plus having photo ID with a male name on it, for the 2-3 months I’d still be presenting as male after changing the passport.

Just not sure if a passport/driver’s license name mismatch would cause any issues though.

Getting the physician’s letter to support getting the name change did mess with my head a little, it was more of those “OMG, I’m really doing” this kind of moments. Probably amplified by happening so closely with coming out at work, and coming out to Mom, which for me were to the two of the biggest milestones. Plus just not being entirely centered due to Orlando and being overloaded with work at the moment.

Obviously there’s still lots of smaller steps ahead, but in a lot of ways it feels like it’s going to be downhill from here. Now it’s less about the research, major decision making, and huge disclosures, and more about just the doing it.

Thankfully I do have a little bit of a breather, since my electrologist is on vacation this week and my speech therapist will be on vacation the next three weeks. So not having to run around feels luxurious. Please I can finally get a long weekend to get out of town and decompress.

Happy Cry, Oh So Happy Cry

Mom emailed me back, addressing me as Marlena:

Having you tell me in writing first probably is helpful. As you know, you caught me by surprise when you told me you were trans. However, in our family and in this world nothing is surprising anymore. I always wanted a daughter. However, having one now will take some getting used to.

She said she doesn’t particularly need to talk about it (in part because she’s really busy getting ready for trips in August and September), but will be glad to do so when I visit next. Which might be Thanksgiving, since she may need to focus on moving into the retirement community if there’s an opening when when she gets back from her trips. Although she’s open to a visit before then if our schedule cooperate.

Can’t stop crying…

A Sweet Birthday Gift

At one of my breakfast spots…

Months ago one of the women working the counter misgendered me when calling back the order (she’d been good about pronouns when we interacted in the past). I gently corrected her and she was mortified. To the point she came by my table later on, where she apologized again profusely and vowed she’d comp a meal for me. I told her that while appreciated the gesture, it really wasn’t necessary.

Today she was working the counter, and yes she told me breakfast on her. I again told she really didn’t need to do but, and she said “but I want to do it.”

She’s got no idea it’s my birthday, but it definitely was a really nice gift.