Endocrinologist

 I love my “Endo” Doc. She is so nice and because of her I have been able to experience all the feminine changes I have been able to go through over the years. 

Of course it didn’t hurt that before my visit (actually the night before) I washed my hair again and just let it go into it’s natural wonderful waviness. You can see a bit of it in one of my profile pictures.

This picture was taken at only one of three times my partner Liz and I have been out in the last year. As you can see in the picture, it was last summer. 

It doesn’t hurt either I give my Endo the credit for my transgender transformations such as even less body hair (excluding my face of course) and increasing distribution of body fat to my hip areas. 

Now I wish my upcoming dental appointment could be as painless. Ha!!!

Man in a Dress

Kid Cudi/SNL

 On Saturday Night Live last week, as I was nearly dozing off during the latter parts of the show, I was surprised to see a figure obviously in a full  dress on stage before the show cut away to a commercial break.

I was surprised to see the show’s musical guest “Kid Cudi” in the dress and ready to perform as the break was over.  Reaction was swift, This is from the “Guardian” :

“The dress marked the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, with Cudi saying that it was a tribute to the Nirvana frontman who had worn a similar dress on the cover of the Face magazine in 1993. While social media users praised the way Kid Cudi channeled Cobain’s gender non-conforming approach to fashion, they also pointed out a double standard.

On Instagram, model and activist Munroe Bergdorf wrote: “as fab as it is to see cis gender straight men embracing femininity through fashion … let’s remember that they also won’t face nearly as much hatred or the physical danger that visibly queer folk will when they do the exact same thing.”

In the comments, one user wrote “it feels insulting that cis hetro men get praised for what trans people get bullied and killed for. For them it’s a trend, a costume … for trans people it’s life and death.” Some 13 transgender people have been murdered in 2021 so far according to the Human Rights Campaign, which is a 333% increase from 2020 when three transgender people were killed.”

Indeed the double standard runs deep. 

Finally!

Old Picture…Fake curves and Hair.

As I rapidly approach my upcoming endocrinologist appointment early next week, I happened to  observe a real improvement in my bodies’ feminine development.  My hormone replacement therapy path has been slower than most I feel because of an abundance of caution due to my age.

After starting HRT New Years Eve 2013, I was taken off hormones for six months shortly after and was allowed to resume my minimum dosage. Through it all, I still felt the changes were occurring. It wasn’t until recently I began to feel somewhat impatient with my changes. My Doc responded with increasing my Estradiol patch dosage. All of a sudden, changes began again. 

Most noticeable to me was the pesky hair on my arms began to finally thin out. Before it did, routinely I had to shave my arms which I am aware can make the problem worse over time. 

Circling back to yesterday, the weather around here in Cincinnati turned warm again and I had a chance to dress appropriately. I found my patterned light weight leggings and paired them with a three quarter sleeve tunic top which falls softly over my hips. Yes, I said hips. Hiding from me the last several months was how developed my hips were becoming.

For once, my transgender gender dysphoria took a break as I checked out a glimpse of the femininized  person I was becoming. 

Even though I know my dysphoria is a powerful foe, I take any small victories I can get and cherish them.

At the least my relief will last a couple days, at least until my Doc visit and go from there.  As you Cyrsti’s Condo regulars know, I was considering requesting injections to hopefully kickstart more progress but now I think I am content to continue the path I am on.   

Growing Up Transgender

This post could easily stretch  out  into multi posts but I am going to try not to. For no specific reason. 

Similar to so many other transgender folk in my age bracket (70 ish), I grew up in a very isolated world where I felt my gender issues  were mine alone. In my patriarchal family it did not take me long to build a very dark closet. 

My closet had rooms though where I stashed my feminine articles which became so dear to me. I was able to purchase my own select feminization items through meager earnings from a paper route and allowance for completing household chores. Successfully,  I managed to summon my courage to find my way to a couple of the long gone “five and dime” stores. I bought my own makeup and even found a pair of shoes I found which fit. Plus I could buy my own hose and quit running my Mom’s.

Once I managed to buy my items, I had to find a place to put them which no one else in the family would find. One of my places was in an old box above the cars in the garage. To my knowledge, my Dad never found my “treasures”, or never mentioned it. 

My second space was way more inventive. We lived in a very rural area and the property next to our house was a fairly dense uninhabited woods which we explored all the time. One of my favorite things to do was to go down into the woods, uncover my stash hidden in protective plastic in an hollowed out tree, and get dressed up in a dress, hose and shoes I had purchased.  

Between the garage and the woods I was able to learn the basics of dressing like a girl and at least for a while, relieving my gender duress. It would take years for the term transgender to even be invented and for me to understand how well it fit me and my gender dysphoria. 

As I look back on my formative cross dressing days, I wonder how successful I was at hiding my behavior from my close knit family and friends. Outside of a couple times I tried to involve a neighbor guy friend in my cross dressing, my big experiments involved in taking the long walk to our mailbox while dressed in my not so fashionable mini skirt, hose, makeup and blouse. 

I suppose at the least, growing up transgender enabled me to become more creative and resilient.    

A Quiet Day

 Ironically, yesterday turned out to be a quiet day when it should not have been.
It all started out with my therapist’s appointment. Instead of  a video visit, the link wasn’t working so we just did it over the phone. So all my work with hair and makeup to get ready went nowhere. Fortunately, later on in the day I had another Zoom meeting to attend which I didn’t have to get ready for. 

Between the meetings at the least I could watch the Cincinnati Reds baseball team who were playing a day game. Which they won. 

You Cyrsti’s Condo regulars may know I am bi-polar and for some reason yesterday was one of those days I couldn’t summon much energy at all. By the time my Rainbow Alliance Board meeting came along at 6 PM, I felt as if I had no ambition for the meeting at all. Normally, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal but his time there were a couple of workshops coming up I wanted to volunteer to assist with.. One of which is in June and the other is in September, so I still have plenty of time to volunteer for one date or the other.

Pre Covid Summer Picture.

On the bright side, I received a very positive return comment from “Jenny” whose blog I just featured. Plus I am very fortunate to have a strong support system around me to help me when I am down. Including my meds from the VA. 

I am feeling better today.   

The Needle or the Patch

Coming up on the nineteenth, I have my appointment with my endocrinologist. As I have written before, I am considering asking her about the possibility of changing my Estradiol delivery method from patches to injections. As with any other change, injections bring with them a whole other possibility of side effects. As a matter of fact, Michelle sent in this comment on the subject:

” You may want to check out this article:https://transcare.ucsf.edu/article/information-estrogen-hormone-therapy
The highlight paragraph is one that you mentioned:

Many trans women are interested in estrogen through injection. Estrogen injections tend to cause very high and fluctuating estrogen levels which can cause mood swings, weight gain, hot flashes, anxiety or migraines. Additionally, little is known about the effects of these high levels over the long term. If injections are used, it should be at a low dose and with an understanding that there may be uncomfortable side effects, and that switching off of injections to other forms may cause mood swings or hot flashes. Some trans women have encountered difficulties obtaining a consistent supply of injected estrogen due to ongoing problems with the supplier. Realistically, there is no evidence that injections lead to more rapid or a greater degree of feminization. In my practice, I generally avoid prescribing injections unless under very specific circumstances.”   

Thanks for the insight. Plus, as a matter of fact I did check out the article. So far, I have been lucky in being able to have a stable supply of patches through the VA and I have never had the problem of the patches not sticking. 

After talking the whole process over with my therapist this morning, the only benefit would be the possibility of quicker feminine development. So as it stands, I will probably just stay with the program I am on.

As soon as my partner Liz and I become fully vaccinated, I will be able to benefit from public feedback again. Which means so much. 

A Dress for a Band Aid

 I follow a blog called “Jenny’s Journey” from down under in Australia. Her most recent post concerning her gender dysphoria brought back a distant unpleasant memory with me. 

In the post, Jenny (above) described how her gender dysphoria was bothering her and her wife noticed. From what I can figure out, the wife does not support Jenny’s gender issue totally but will let her pursue it behind closed doors.  To make a long story short, her wife told her to go into the bedroom and take care of the “problem”. 

My deceased wife was similar to Jenny’s in that she accepted me cross dressing but never the idea I was transgender. Over the years it was impossible for me to convince my spouse my gender dysphoria went deeper than just looking like a woman. Much of that was my fault because I was still learning what a transgender life would look like. In other words, so much more than just putting on a dress for an afternoon. I was trying to patch a huge problem with just a series of band aids.

Going back to Jenny’s post, she was able to overcome her dark moods due to gender dysphoria and assume her “duties” as the Easter patriarch in the family. For a while Jenny was able to restore the gender balance in her life.

Again, I went through many of the same feelings as I mentally purged my feminine thoughts.  But all too often the old feelings would sneak back in and I wondered again and again what my life would be like on the feminine side. 

I fought it to the point of suicide before I finally gave in to what my soul was trying to tell me all along and I started to live full time as a transgender woman. However, I still remember the heartache and duress which went into my transition. 

I wish Jenny and all  of you who might be involved in the same gender dysphoric bind, best wishes on your journey.  

Vanity?

 On occasion I am incredibly surprised about how much more vane I am as my transgender woman self than I ever was as a guy. Of course it is easy to point out all the gender differences there are in fashion possibilities, even though even that seems to be in flux these days. 

With me, from the earliest days of viewing my cross dressed self in the mirror, I dedicated myself to improving my “look” as much as possible. In fact, anytime I had the chance, I was practicing. It sure beat the time I had to spend in my boring boy clothes and crew cut haircuts. I couldn’t wait for the day I could purchase my own wig and better yet, grow my own hair out.

Of course, as the years advanced I grew “into” my feminine vanity and it became part of my existence. I guess more than a few feminists could say the whole process is part of societies’ method of subjugating women as a whole to unfair standards of beauty.

Since to a large part, I got such a late start to living a full time existence as a trans woman, I still feel the newness of the whole process.

In many ways, my bodily changes due to hormone replacement therapy have helped increase my vanity to new heights. For example, after I pulled my leggings on this morning, I noticed my thighs were increasing in size due to the redistribution of fat in my body. By now, I know you are thinking wow how mundane is that but it gets worse. With all the problems in the world, I notices one of my thighs seems to be bigger than the other. Of course I have heard of the relatively common occurrence of women’s breasts being different sizes, which is a problem I don’t have. 

I wonder now, as I approach another appointment with my endo doc in the middle of this month, I am going to discuss with her the possibility of me moving my Estradiol transmission method from patches to injections. The injections I have heard are the most effective way of achieving the best femininizing results. Realistically, I am not expecting much more in my breast development but would like to see more in my hips.

Even though I have not decided which direction I will take (depending on what she says) I am leaning towards the injections.  

I guess vanity will probably get the best of me again.   

Trans Charmed

 On the CW television network, the “Charmed” show has added another transgender character.

From the “Deadline” site:

“Actress Mareya Salazar (above) is about to bring some of her magic to Charmed. The trans actress is set to join The CW series in a recurring role for the reboot of the spellbinding series. The timing of the news couldn’t be any more perfect considering its Transgender Day of Visibility — and we love to see Salazar join the cast.

The casting marks the second transgender actor to join this season. In November, Deadline exclusively broke the news that JJ Hawkins joined the cast in the recurring role of Kevin, a transgender male college student who inspires one of the Charmed Ones to take on a very formidable opponent. With Salazar and Hawkins, Charmed continues to move the needle when it comes to bolstering authentic representation of the trans community.”

Perhaps the day is coming we won’t  have to mention an actress is transgender at all. They will  just become actors or actresses.

Did Gender Fluidity nearly Kill Me?

 It seems to me the term “gender fluid” has just become popularized by the younger generation of queer women and men everywhere.  My idea was reinforced recently when I attended  a transgender – crossdresser meeting. Several of the participants were 20 to early 30 somethings  Along  the way, they mentioned the idea of being gender fluid.  Or how they wished somedays they could work as a guy and the next as a girl. 

Oldest Known Picture

At the time, I wondered  if being gender would have worked for me, or was I at all? 

Then I realized I tried being gender fluid and it led me to a suicide attempt. I was trying to live part time in my old male life while at the same time attempting to learn to live as a transgender woman. 

Hormone replacement therapy came along and forced my hand. If I was going to choose a gender, it would have to be the higher maintenance feminine one. When I started HRT, it seemed all too quickly I was growing breasts, my skin was softening and my hair was becoming long enough to tie it back into a pony tail.

At the time, I wasn’t planning on the process happening so fast. So, very quickly any thoughts of being gender fluid left my mind. Even though the term itself was probably a decade away from being used at all.

As I proceeded on my journey, it was increasingly evident I was home. I had discovered what deep down I always knew…I was born to be a girl/woman. 

In conclusion,  I wish anyone trying to pursue a gender fluid life the best of luck. It nearly killed me.