hrt, mtf, transgender, Uncategorized

Amy does a Gender: 7 Months HRT

ladscapeamy

After a while it’s barely worth thinking about anymore.  However, the thoughts will still persist.  Once trans hits, that’s it – you can forget at times, but it’s still going to bite, even if you ‘pass 100%’ Better to seek peace.

I barely even know what to say at this point that could be helpful for someone beginning their own adventure.  I don’t think that’s particularly uncommon, after a while it’s just regular living again.  I made a video documenting as best I can of the effects that I’ve noticed:

I keep saying to myself ‘I haven’t changed,’ but then I look at a video of myself from a year ago and wonder who that person is.  More has changed about who I am in the past year than has ever changed in my life.  Part of it is HRT, part of it becoming more comfortable in transition, part of it is the massive acceleration of personal growth.  At this point, I feel ready to leave almost all of my past behind except the lessons I’ve learned and the people I love.

I turned 30 recently, and I can tell you for sure that HRT still does plenty, it’s not too late; it’s never too late.  With this I have discovered a wonderful benefit to being trans ‘later in life.’ I read these articles about how it’s harder to make friends after turning 30, but being a modern day transgender person you’re just a few clicks away from encountering another trans person.  That’s not to say friendship is guaranteed; I’ve been treated badly by plenty of transfolk at this point, but the opportunity is there.

Being trans is neither a good nor a bad thing; it’s just something that happens, leaving the individual with choices about how to deal with that information.  All one can do is try their best, and at one point be able to say, ‘This is good enough [for me].’

A question I’ve been asking of myself a lot recently is ‘What is my gender?’ I light-heartedly labelled myself as polygender months ago and it has stuck.  For what limited experiential knowledge anyone has of internal gender, I feel it swishing about like a spirit level in a washing machine, I can’t pin it down.  I suppose this makes me genderfluid, I suppose this makes me non-binary, and I’m more terrified of that than I ever was of coming out as transgender to begin with.  The more ‘feminine’ I come to look, the more ‘masculine’ I feel to act.

It’s so easy for me.  I feel as though I’m transitioning in a way that will hopefully be the norm in the future; that is, transition, move on, without all the real world damage so many trans people endure.  I have had the wonderful pleasure of making friends with the amazing Naomhan (tirnanogender.wordpress.com), who is non-binary (them/theirs) recently.  That future only comes when non-binary folk can do the same as I’m doing, no matter how difficult that seems.  If you are binary trans or cis, go meet an ‘enby,’ ask them about their lives and pronouns, and come to understand the unique difficulties they face in our binary world.  Then try to feel humble and gracious, expressing gratitude.

That all being said, I know I’m incredibly privileged.  I have a body, a face and a voice now that could carry me through as cis-normative if I were so inclined to put in that effort.  I still haven’t gotten any hassle on the streets, haven’t been held back medically overmuch, and haven’t been denied public services.  I still avoid a lot of places though – clothes shops, cosmetics stores, swimming pools, gyms, public toilets (whenever possible) – and these are issues that become less urgent as I compromise, and focus on more important life matters.

Passing?  Still I refuse to try to pass, although when it does happen I can’t deny I like it.  It happens in the strangest situations.  I can be all done up, looking great, get misgendered and have my day ruined, and then a few days later, still sad and wearing ‘male’ garb, no makeup and pass grandly.  It’s very strange, although as I was warned, as time goes by misgendering hurts more and more, because it can make me feel like I’ve achieved nothing, because I’ve still put in a lot of energy into this.

I understand the contradiction in this and the unrealistic expectations I set for society.  Gender is a scam once you figure it out, but the demands of dysphoria are very real.  It is a serious balancing act to find personal inner freedom whilst trying to stop society from bringing it down.

Images of water appear once more.  Rather than repress what simply is, one can follow a path of less resistance; water flows where it wills, and where it wills is where it wants to, unknowingly.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Bruce Lee

 

What is in a pretty face?  Where will it get you?  It will get you noticed, it will get you objectified.  It will get people telling you ‘oh, but you’re so pretty’, while you gasp in exasperation at the change in attitude, at the little bodily flaws…or the big flaws between the legs.  Thankfully with HRT these flaws are not only physically less, but they feel less.  Sure, dysphoria flares up from time to time, but after a while it becomes exhausting and all that matters is finding ways to get through the days, to make them valuable.

And aren’t I so pretty:

Remember, looking good is not the same as passing.  Just make sure to rock what you do!  And if you’re feeling insecure, I don’t actually look like that:

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Finally I feel like I did about five years ago, when I was single and filled with self-love; my best self living as a seemingly cisgender male.  Actually, I feel better than that….in fact, I feel better than I ever have in my life.  That doesn’t mean I’m happy, it means I can finally see forward.  I see the life I can have without constrictions, and what’s more, I want it.  Transition ends at some point, one dream fulfilled so what about those other dreams?  Don’t lose them.

I get so much inspiration from other transfolk who fulfil their ambitions.  I know scientists, teachers, activists, parents, engineers, videographers, musicians, games developers; people who remind me on a daily basis that being trans does not discount you from living a life of joy, perhaps even in excess of cisfolks.

At the moment, I have little in the way of practical success, but I am hopeful and ready to work.  At some point, this transition business will have to take a backseat, and it’s coming sooner than I imagined.  In the next few weeks I will have my second opinion to be referred for lower surgery.

My timeline has been working on the assumption that I would be waiting at least two years from referral, pending said second opinion, however the information I’ve been getting from Northern Ireland is that it’s closer to 7-8 months.  This depends on how much laser hair removal I might need downstairs but the possibility is that I could be looking at surgery in the first half of 2017.

Scary?  Not yet.  Until I get that confirmation date, until I’m on that table it’s not happening.  I’ve always been scared of any kind of surgery, yet with this I’m Zen.  Of course I’m scared of some things – of being put to sleep, of perhaps never waking up, of talking nonsense as I come round from anaesthetic, of the bleeding, of the back pain, of the defecating in a kidney dish, of getting dilated by a nurse, of dilating myself, of having to always dilate, of granulation, of loss of sensitivity, of lack of depth, of disgust of appearance, of long recovery, of complete failure, of urinary tract infections, and lots more.  However, as a decision?  I was told by myself I should have a vagina when I was 6 years old.  The moment I figured out I was trans I knew surgery would be what I needed.  When that date does come, things will change.

Through all of this, I don’t actually feel like I’ve even begun transitioning in earnest yet.  I’m accepting that I will still assume to feel the same way as I do now emotionally, but in terms of presentation I haven’t bought clothes in months, still with only enough to get by.  I haven’t learned any of the tricks about hair and make-up and whatever else, because to be honest I have other stuff going on.  One day I may get to all that stuff…but it won’t be me transitioning, it will just be me learning as a woman.

I’m still on the same dose I started at, so perhaps some of the issues may change or disappear as I work up to a functioning dosage.  So much as I feel more at peace, this is still a period of flux.  It has been over 8 months since my first and only endocrinologist appointment and it is immensely frustrating having to wait over 6 months to have a secondary blood test taken.  The monthly T-blocker injections I can feel running out over a week before I get topped up (also administration hurts more each time), and I just feel that I’ve gone as far as I can on 2mg, I’m ready for more.

I’m not trying to rush transition, but constant progress is important in getting this over and done with no later than it needs to.  But then, I am patient because I know people who are waiting over 2 years for an initial GIC appointment.  I know people who can’t even get an initial appointment.  I know people who can’t even come out because of the heartbreak it might cause.  So I try to practice being grateful for being able to even come out.

In my recent experience, it’s all a confidence game.  When you open the door to doubt it will quickly slither through.  In learning to be more confident in accepting my voice for example, I am more comfortable in public and I get a more positive response, even though my voice hasn’t actually changed (except maybe as a result of the confidence!).

I really don’t know what I’m going to discuss regarding the trans experience anymore.  It has been so totally normalized for me by sheer good fortune that I don’t feel I have anything to contribute, but I still want to try to help.  There’s still a long way to go though, with no doubt a few big setbacks and victories still to come.

So far, this is a story that has love, friendship, acceptance, inner understanding, revelation, growth, change.  It has also had depression, heartbreak, loss and anxiety I will remind you, but it is a beautiful thing to truly find yourself and show it to the world.

Namaste,

Amy Xx

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gender, transgender

Broken Walls, New paths.

Words are words.  Sometimes you have to stop talking, repetitively thinking and get down to work.

It has been one month of acceptance and twenty some years since I’ve been ‘female’.  I’ve studied, researched, meditated, denied, reached out, shut down and whittled away the possibilities.  Not a gay man, not a cross-dressing man.  Not a man.  Not insane. I am seemingly rational in each other part of my life, so if I am insane about being dysphoric, then I am insane about everything.

Instead, the walls break down and an overwhelming amount of humanity comes out.  Love abounds, for all the time it does, use it, don’t just merely anticipate the day sullen human nature comes back into the fold.

I was presented with a choice in my sub-conscious, right deep down in the place where lies cannot exist:  I am female.  I have a male body.  Either I spend all day every day now for the rest of my life going actually insane thinking about this, or I do something about it.  I have been accused on occasion of being very black and white, I am.

To me [now] it is simple and I’ll say it again:  Gender doesn’t matter, getting on with life matters.  Regardless of the many difficulties and impossibilities of transgender transition, all that matters is being in a position where you can get on with your life.  The goal is to not be screaming to yourself about your gender, that’s all.

I’m clear in my understanding, so now it is time to be quiet and make it happen.  Thinking only helps so much, it is the least evolved part of the human body (wherever it exists), every other part knows so much more, listen to it.  You consciously and intelligently cannot know which is why you’ll never be able to explain it, and you’ll never have it understood.  That’s fine, very few things are understood, and many more are harmful to the universe.

Be honest or die unfulfilled.  Be yourself or die unfulfilled.

As what is assumed to be a true personal self is allowed to express in total honesty, aside from being smug, it can only mean that it is time to bring the inside outside.  It will take a while, and it will definitely hurt in a lot of ways, and therein lies the initial choice.  You cannot choose to be transgender, but you must choose what you are going to do about it.  Whatever you decide is fine as long as you are fine with it, and anticipate you will remain so!

If you are truly the opposite gender (or whatever in-between or not at all), then insofar as I can see, the only changes that need to be made are aesthetic [and hormonal], because you are already you. Personally, I see my gender as less part of a spectrum, and more of a symmetrical reflection; of course, everyone is different, and these perceptions may shift with time.

Now, to try to help the world accept me as I am.  I may claim to be on an ok path with being transgender, but still I know nothing about the practical side.  Without at least attempting to ‘legitimately’ acquire the perception of ‘true’ gender from others, then it is just more repression. Dysphoria seems to now allow it.  If during my assessment, the psychologist can suggest a less invasive alternative for being, then I will celebrate their magical powers.

# ‘Dysphoria, f__ yeah!  Comin’ along to turn you into a girl yeah!’

Until I action a plan to combat these conundrums, then there is no point repeating endlessly what has become a paradox of being both obvious and obfuscated.  Repression is repetitive, expression is unique.

I will admit that I am terrified all over again.  Fear exists to be overcome. Time to make waves – rise, crash, and rise again higher!

I am Amy, and I will feed you commas until the end of time.

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coming out, gender, identity, transgender

There will not be blood.

Ok, I know I’m kind of hogging the internet, so a quick [written: long] post then I’m going to go to my handwritten journal for a few days, to attempt a private revelation.

I feel more comfortable and relaxed than I have in a long time.  I told two more male friends, it took a little more explaining, but again the openness and love that can be forgotten exists shows out in full bloom.

My explanation has also grown a little more steadfast.  Aside from carefully explaining that I am not a repressed homosexual, a cross-dresser or a transvestite, what I can get out now is that it is a difference in the relationship between my mind and my body.  Maybe they need to see it to believe it, but I still trust them, even if I do end up with a shrill, untuned, squeaky voice.

You hear the phrase ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’, but it is crude and incomplete.  To be transgender surely entails that even with the brain of a different gender, one is still subject to the hormones, social constraints, and the idea one must be wrong because how can you be in the wrong body?  What I know now from reading is that in spirit form, I would have a hard time convincing myself that I was male, but I’d give a damn good shot at being female.  Though, in spirit form, it’s all the same anyway, just different energies.

I admit that I have been rambling on in mad denial, it may be an open and expressive experience, but I am aware that it is profoundly unhealthy to not be dealing with things as they are.  Again I have to remind myself that my intelligent thought doesn’t matter, it is not something I can justify or prove, it is just something that is.

My friends tell me simply, they love me, but I have to come to terms with it.  If I am going to be anybody, I have to be myself.  We have had some great conversations, admitting to being transgender has allowed each of them to open up even more to me.  These are the bonds that grow stronger, an advantage I cannot ignore.  I am a very lucky person.  An old friend I love deeply held me in his arms for a long time and stroked my hair, I felt uncomfortable even though I enjoyed it, the act was made that I had to allow myself to be vulnerable, otherwise I would be stonewalling.

I am a girl :/  I can’t really deny that.  My name is Amy, and once I can reassure….(oh! revelation)…I don’t have to reassure the little boy crying at the window, I need to reassure the essence of who I am, the feminine self (or at least, the true self), that has had to spend so long suffering the ways of living as a male.  As much as male life has been fun, it has been marked permanently by having the brain of a female.  Obviously meaning no offence, whatever gender someone is, or not, it’s all good, embrace it!

The cold dread is warming into a creamy glow.  Seems like I’m getting somewhere.  Slight….elation.

See all you wonderful people soon.

Love and Peace signs,

Amy x

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gender, identity, transgender

My Prejudice

I’m only consciously realising that I’m writing this to the world.  I don’t like talking solely about myself, but at the minute I have to focus or I will lose myself.  I’m rolling the die, every side is painted one.  When a force arises, an opposition comes to meet it.  One day when the global corporate mega-tyranny strikes the Endgame, we can’t have neglected our preparation, or we will become slaves.  If we wait, it’s too late.  On my personal level, a rise is building to either a meltdown or a revelation.  I must win.

I’ve had two counselling sessions in as many days.  One pointed out feminine mannerisms at particular times, we discussed identity, and tried to look at my denial and my egregious need to eat and take stock.  The guy today I had been seeing for general maintenance, so I threw him the curveball.  Not a flinch.  The understanding of decent people has never been short of legendary to me.  What he got me with was that it seemed from all the people I have told so far, the only person not to accept it is myself.

I’ve been struggling to come up with a term to describe it.  I’ve said condition, but it is rejected because it’s wrong, so what is it?  It it just…a thing?  Is it neurological, biological?  I can read about it all day but I still have to draw my own conclusions, I feel like my philosophical conviction is leaving me.  There is a reason:

I am prejudiced.

I doubt I’m the first to do it, but in building a repressed personality within a male ego, I made myself dislike the idea of transgenderism.  Not because of intolerance, but because it contradicts the idea of having to change anything about yourself…but then I’ve changed myself for the benefit of ‘fitting in’ this whole time.  Layers dude!  Life peels away like giant onions.

At work, the amount of grief I get for having a bobble with a flower is unreal.  My mother at a restaurant this evening commented on how a man was carrying his bag. “Queer”, she tittered.  Even as an out and out guy, what is the problem?  It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s not BLAND.  I guess other people get caught up in the wave of saying intolerant things without actually meaning them.  I have been one of those people at times, loving of all, but happy to poke fun for the sake of irony.  Many of these horrible faults are graciously falling away in a wave of shame.

Thankfully the nasty people of the world are brutish regardless, so it makes no difference.  However, does this now mean that I can’t speak for being and ‘out and out guy’, because I have never been one, merely an emotional actor?

I told another friend, and I’ve decided on the small circle of trust I’m going to build to help each other through until I time where this is either resolved (repression!), or things start to change.  He had to be told, and to be honest the feeling of him not knowing was unbearable.  He didn’t freak out either, why am I the only one freaking out!  Well, not freaking out, my mindset has plenty of automatic defence systems, and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have such awesome friends.  A few other guys came over then and I couldn’t deal with it.  So I had to go.

I’m going to tell two more male friends and my mum.  Maybe.  It’s a closely regular social circle and I need to be sure because it could spill.  I’d probably admit it freely if challenged, but then, I haven’t changed enough about my presentation yet to have it matter, so it is dangerous.  A risk.

They hug me now.  They hug me because they can see that I want a hug, if they don’t, I ask for it. Hugging for all from me, ok?  Eugh.

It’s all leading up to a monumental cry.  This intolerance I have created, the last vestiges of maleness that wants to hang on is doing all it can so stop me from crying, because it knows it is the end.  It also protects me in a way, because I need to be ready first.  I’ve admitted it vocally to people at the speed of emotion, before thoughts can niggle their way in, that the ‘Clif’ part of me is pretty much gone already, and I didn’t get to say goodbye.  Same person, but that awesome male now is mostly…I can’t describe it without sounding like I’m disassociating.

I really have to thank everyone who has talked to me thus far, it is so very nice.  I’ve always thought it one of the greatest gifts, to be able to make someone feel good about themselves even just a little.  Being a rockstar is cool and brings wonderful art, but when someone just makes you feel good for being you?  There is little better.  And I share this unto the world.

Ah….a beaming smile.  When I beat depression this happened, get all the negative out, make room for that good stuff, make it automatic, know through all the horrible crap you may think about yourself that you are just as good and deserving of love as anyone else.  Love for yourself!  You are allowed to love yourself!!!  Even if there is all that stuff going on, it’s ok!  Just allow yourself to go “You know what?  I’m actually pretty damn cool in a way!”

Mwahahahaha, goodbye dysphoria, hello denial!  Ohhhhh, but I will get there.  It is supremely important to realise that with the whole transgender thing, is that no matter if you do change, all the other problems in life will still be there.  In fact, I imagine there is a whole lot more.  Maybe that’s where the gravity of the situation exists, for me right now, this is only one issue in life, but what I really have to realise and accept is the weight of this issue against being able to live the rest of my life trying to repress it.  The strength of my own mentality has become almost an enemy, when it could be converted to a great ally.

I’ll figure it out soon enough!  I hope!  Too busy with everyday life stuff to process it really.

Message to the future – Do you get it yet?  Do you know what you are?  Or have you stayed still?  Are you comfortable in your skin?

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gender, transgender

My First Video….going badly!


Like I said, I watch video’s of folks starting transition and I get a cold dread, cold sweats, knowing what I want, and seeing how much work goes in, and how many messed up aspects of it that go against all the testosterone stands for.  As such I has decided to document my own journey.

My accent is awful I know (it’s been inconsistent lately), and my video skills, well they are just sublime.  Not.  Last video I was in was a VHS recoding of a metal gig i did in 2004!

Apologies for all the posts today.  I’m starting a new notebook journal, so I won’t be flooding anymore, apparently that’s annoying, so, sorry!

Cliiiifffyyyyy.  Aaammmmmyyyyyy.  Jaaammmiiiieeee

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gender, identity, transgender

Be Honest, seek advice.

[EDIT – For obvious reasons, I’ve decided stop smoking cigarettes, so please excuse the irrational outbursts.  I’ll probably learn a lot about which is harder, changing gender, or quitting smoking, haha!]

You know what, if I’m going to be honest, I have to go the whole way.

I spoke with a private gender support counsellor last week, and the appointment is a painful 4 weeks away, for one appointment then she is on holiday for three weeks.  She said if I go to my GP and get referred to the gender identity clinic that I wouldn’t be able to work with her.  Like I said before, it’s the nuclear option….it’s the eventual option, my question is with timing.

But damn, I can’t handle it?  Surely I need to go to my doctor?  What in blue heck is Real Life Experience?!  I have to act in a gender specific way before I can be more gender specific?!  Do I have to be a crazy dude in stubble and a dress and a false squeaky voice before they’ll believe me?  If I decided I was the kind of girl who wore the exact same clothes…..and had a beard and a penis and a deep voice then who can tell me what I am?

I have to think about things like freezing my sperm.  I’m literally the last in my family line and I’m essentially consigning it to the dustbin, where the fudge do I get the money to pay an annual rate for a technology not guaranteed to work!  I guess it calls for a fertility test to begin with.

I really don’t know what is the best choice to make, I’ll have to wait either way, but I don’t want to have to wait six months to even get started on something I’m trying to do now.

Please advise lovely humans 😦

Where do you start with all this?!  What am I doing?!?!?! Why!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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gender, transgender

Screw it, this is me.

Fudge it, I get found out, I get found out.  This is me, the best I can do with no knowledge or experience.

Now billions can know the true me.  Please accept me!

Now billions can know the true me. Please accept me, or I will use my supposedly feminine mind-powers!

The glasses are cosmetic, I’m sure there are lots of other great tricks to one day turn that face into something I can like.

I feel like such a pervert, even though perversion and arousal have nothing to do with it.

It is taking no small amount of bravery to do this today.  So, what brave thing are you going to do in your life that you’ve been putting off? We all have something we need to confront sooner rather than later.

EDIT – I’ll go one step further.  Here’s me pretending to be a boy.

IMG_0646

Laaa la la, I have no idea what I’m doing 😀

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