Hormones

Just a quickie . . .  OMG, I’m so emotional. There have been times in my life where I was so overwhelmed I felt like just crying, but this is constant. The littlest things set me off.

And it is SOOOO much better than being angry all the time. It feels so much better.

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It’s Been Awhile

Well, at least I know my tendency to start and semi-abandon blogs isn’t gender related . . .

A lot has happened since my last post a year ago. I came out to, like, 10 people, including my Mom. Everyone was super supportive and excited for me (even my Mom). I’ve managed to acquire more clothes and shoes (Yay for online shopping!) and unless my son is spending the night, I spend a few hours each night “dressed”.

It was a few months ago that something clicked over in my head. A few things occurred to me all within a couple days of each other. First, I realized I wasn’t seeing myself in the mirror as male trying to look female anymore- I started seeing myself as female. So many of my body image issues melted away when I realized that. All my life, it’s not that I was upset at the “out of shape” part of “out of shape guy”, it was the “guy” part. I’m never gonna be in shape. But now I see the curves and lines that are my figure, even if they aren’t readily apparent.

The second thing was about clothes. I would get dressed and it would feel WONDERFUL- so affirming, so right. I finally understood “gender euphoria” that the girls on the message boards talked about. But I wasn’t dressing consistently, even though I felt so right doing so. A few instances stood out- getting my breastforms, a certain tight (TIGHT) dress that made me see that I really do have a butt, and successful hair positioning with a headband to mask my masculine hairline. I was *seeing* the real me, and that’s when I realized I was waiting too long to dress. I would wait until it was almost a craving. I’m not sure why. I’d like to think it just seemed like a lot of effort for a couple hours. But what I was doing was keeping myself bottled up. Even though I had essentially started to think about myself as female, I wasn’t expressing it. So, I kicked that right into gear and now I do so whenever I can. The euphoria has backed down some (unless I get new clothes 🙂 ), and that’s how I’m sure it’s legit- it just feels *right* all the time, rather than allowing myself some sort of “treat”.

And finally I’ve made a decision about taking control of some sort of transition. Obviously with health like mine, medical HRT isn’t an option- no Dr is going to take the risk. But I want to. I have no interest in genital reassignment surgery, but I want that shape, those lines, because that’s me. I’m a curvy gal, for sure, but I want those curves. So, I’ve managed to cajole my cardiologist into putting me on a med that is both a typical dieuretic for heart failure patients like me AND the top go-to androgen blocker for transitioning gals. For the estrogen compounds, I’m going with an herbal regimen. It won’t be as extreme in the same amount of time (typical medical HRT shows results that are hard to hide in about 18 to 24 months, anecdotally it seems herbals are more like 3-4 years). There’s plenty of evidence out there on individual compounds, so I’m going to end up with a total of 6, adding a new one in each 3 to 4 weeks to isolate any issues and if need be I can get independent blood work done for $50. This approach moves me towards something I want but at a pace that I can disguise until I’m ready to make a decision about transitioning fully. There are so many issues involved with that, but that’s for another (gut wrenching) post.

Oddly, when all these things came together (before I started the herbals), my partner and I both noticed a change. My emotional baseline was different, my demeanor was different, there was even some change in body shape (without gaining weight, my breasts started to ever-so-slightly swell), my erogenous zones changed, etc. Neither of us mentioned it at first because a) it was subtle and b) it seemed kind of far fetched. Once we *did* talk about it and verify what we’d each noticed, I’ve decided that if my body really is female and by system wants to be producing estrogen, it makes some amount of sense that once I accepted it on a truly internalized level, it threw a sort of switch. “OK, gals, time to redecorate” said the endocrine system.

Maybe. It makes me smile to think so.

Can Someone Explain Why We’re Supposed To Be Democrats?

I will not talk about politics.

I will not talk about politics.

I will not talk about politics.

Screw it.

Why in hell does nearly the entire LGBT community think that the Democratic party in the US is the party of LGBT rights? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama BOTH spoke out AGAINST marriage equality as recently as 4 years ago. Obama went ON RECORD during his first term as saying that such issues were a “state matter” and “not for the federal government to decide” yet seems more than happy to take credit for the recent Supreme Court decision. And are we so short on memory that we forget that Bill Clinton signed that atrocious Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as “one man and one woman” (and was later thankfully struck down as unconstitutional) ? Or all the time the Democrat party had control of the White House AND Congress and chose to do NOTHING to help LGBT rights?

At least we know the modern Republican Party leadership doesn’t support us.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party has had LGBT rights/equality as an official part of the platform since the 1970s. I recently brought this up in a Reddit thread talking about Sanders (don’t get me started on the cesspool that is Reddit and my love/hate relationship with the trans subs there; that’s another post in itself) and was “refuted” with more untruths than a Rush Limbaugh vs Rachel Maddow debate (despise them both, btw). My favorite was the one where I was “provided” with an article about Rand and Ron Paul. Pretty sure the R after the name doesn’t mean Libertarian, little campers.

It’s time the LGBT community in the US stopped falling for this pandering bullshit every election and throw our support behind a party that actually supports us, and doesn’t just lie to us every November and dump us by Christmas like a cheap lover avoiding having to buy a gift. Libertarian, Green, I don’t care…..just stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Red and Blue are the same damn flavor.

Genitals vs Gender

There were so many times I questioned my sexuality. Gay? Straight? Bi? I knew I liked the female form….a lot, and in all shapes and sizes. It never took much introspection to keep that thought clear in my head. But I wasn’t just attracted to cis women. Trans women fascinated me. At first, it was probably the thrill of taboo that I rationalized as the reason (much like my early minor forays into crossdressing). I’m not sure when I started to think about BEING that. I think people who are just starting to realize that they are trans struggle with this a lot. Of course, the trans community doesn’t help (I have a lot of feelings about the clique-y nature of the trans community, and the willingness to label someone “a chaser” or “just a crossdresser” instead of trying to understand where someone is in their journey of realization, but that deserves at least an entire post on its own and more likely a full category). But I digress. Here are my thoughts; I hope they resonate with someone who can find comfort in seeing something of themselves in my reflection.

I don’t have any genital dysphoria. My penis doesn’t make me hate myself. Looking like a man is what brings on my dysphoria, my depression, my anxiety. Wondering how that thing in the mirror is ever going to look like what I feel inside is my trigger. But not my penis. I understand that genitals are a powerful dysphoric trigger for many of my brothers and sisters. For me, realizing that I didn’t have an objection to penises made me continually question my sexuality, and while I was questioning my sexuality, I was too consumed with that confusion to bother considering my gender identity. Once I realized that I saw trans and cis women both as women, I quickly also realized that I don’t define gender by genital type. This is a whole aspect of my sexual preference that is distinct from my identity, but resolving this conflict was a necessary part of me coming to realize what my gender identity is. I had to let go of my cisheteronormative [there’s a $20 college word for you. I hate labels, but this word is a doozy] ideas of gender to move on internally.

This is not to say that everyone has to do this. Like everything else in this blog, this is *my* story about *my* discoveries. Some folks have different views on how genital type contributes to their view of themselves and others. While I think it’s healthy to see gender as *more than* just genital type, I am not going so far as to say this is something someone must come to terms with on their journey. I had to come to terms with my view on genitals before continuing my journey; your mileage may vary.

I briefly revisited my sexuality questioning when I first realized I was trans, but it was truly brief. Sorry, boys…..you’re not for me. Now, it could very well be the case that my lack of attraction to the male form is tied into my own body dysphoria. I’ll keep this in the back of my head to consider as I continue to grow.

Some History

I don’t want to say it started as a fetish, because I’ve come to believe that I’ve always been a woman on some level. It never really “started”, it just always “was”. But for a long time I saw it as fetish, and a neglected, barely – explored one at that.  I had tried on pantyhose and it felt so good, and my hormonal teenage self interpreted that as sexual arousal. For decades it was a mostly secret taboo in which I could never fully indulge.  There were dalliances- the time I was skinny enough to fit into a partner’s dress when she was at work, or trying on a different partner’s garter belt and stockings. It was erotic, it turned me on, it got me off, and it left me with shame and confusion and a mess to clean up. But I never thought of it as more than a fetish, a deviance.  It was something I longed to explore but was ashamed to even admit to myself in the absence of raging desire for sexual release. The climax always ended the boldness and brought the shame.

Looking back now over the wreckage of 3 failed marriages I see it for what it was. I was always longing to express my femininity. I’m not sure yet if the sexualization was a way to indulge without admitting the truth (which I doubt, because I didn’t know there was such a thing as trans back then) or what.  Maybe I’ll explore that in a separate post. But I see how having a huge part of myself locked away from even my own recognition meant I wasn’t really fully vested in those marriages. There were other issues, for sure, but I cannot escape my own culpability. How could I feel the love and support and acceptance one needs to feel to get through something as challenging as marriage if it wasn’t really “me” they knew? How could they, when I didn’t even know me?

Being loved for who I really, fully truly am and being encouraged to keep exploring and discovering has made my recognition of my trans-ness possible. So who am I? I’m a girl. I’m a girl with a penis. I am attracted to other girls, whether they have a penis or a vagina. I love a girl. She doesn’t care what’s between my legs. She loves me, for me. Just as I am.