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  • Topic: My HRT Regiment

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    • July 6, 2016 9:28 PM BST
    • I started this HRT some months ago , and if your on the fence like I was about the risk vs. positive results , for myself I thought it worth it . I am VERY HAPPY that I took the chance to see if I could even take them , let alone have them magically , biologically , and Spiritually have such a positive effect on my life :-)
      I balance my HRT with a multidude of good things , healthy diet , excersize , multi vitamins , complex vitamins , and literally GALLONS of water with Lemon Juice and Splenda a day . I drink no less than 8 , 16oz glasses of this concoction a day .
      Let me tell you , besides my back injury and pretty severe dysphoria at times , I FEEL GREAT !
      I can't wait to see and feel me in 2 years , ought to be amazing . I love this part of my TG MTF Journey , its the best thing that's happened to me since transitioning 7 years ago as OUT :-)
      From left to right on Picture ;
      Vitamin D/C Complex , B Complex , and Multi .
      One blood pressure med , and two Colchosine to keep my rare Heart condition at bay , Paracarditis/Reacuring Variety .
      Then my Magic Pills :-) 150 mg Spironolactone , and 4 mg Estradial :-) Love that pile there :-)
      By the way , I just did my Labs/Blood work , they are perfection :-)
      This post was edited by Former Member at July 6, 2016 9:45 PM BST
    • July 7, 2016 5:40 AM BST
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      Almost 7 years for me on HRT and while the physical changes have been wonderful (and quite prolific in all areas), it has been the mental "morphing" that has had the greatest impact on my transition.  I liken it say a commute to work on a train.  Virtually all of your life you have sat on the same side of the train looking out the same window getting the same view day after day.  This frames your perspective of the reality of the trip (your life).  When you introduce estrogen to your endocrine system and one day it overrides your testosterone, it is as if you move across the aisle to another seat on that train, but now your peering thru a different window getting a totally different view.  Pre-estrogen, I struggled with life long gender dysphoria always knowing I was different but not ever doing anything about it.  I was filled with anxiety, anger, aggression, and angst, all very male like traits.  Estrogen was good for me because it melted away the anger, the aggression, and anxiety to where everything became very clear for me as if time stood still.  My decision making and thought process were simplified and the world around me became something I embraced rather than fought with.  I became, according to others, a much more pleasant and happier person and I found I was capable of accomplishing pretty much anything I set my sight on.  In a nutshell, I believe it was just my hormones getting in proper balance with my brain.  Regardless, I truly look forward to each and every day and only wish the days were 28 hours long in order to do more!  (smile)

      Enjoy your journey!

      Traci xoxo

       

    • July 7, 2016 5:53 AM BST
    • Nice description Traci , just rode the Train with you as you spoke , nice :-)
      I'm just getting a small taste of what your journey has already been on HRT , but I grasp everything your saying and whole heartedly cuncur .
      Even the very moment I asked my Dr. for HRT , and her knowing me so well , she said exuberantly ,
      " Absolutely ! " ...My life and soul changed in that moment . It has been completely different ever since too :-)
      I fit my soul now , as you describe with yourself so very eloquently .
      I was on Dysphorias Deaths door of despair , try HRT or commit suicide .
      Goddess has other plans for me , as SHE does you too Traci , its called happiness :-)
      I feel so honored to be here on this Forum , sharing this Ride with others that feel exactly as I do .
      It brings me great comfort tonight .
      Cheers Luv , and thank you for your thoughts .
    • July 7, 2016 7:18 AM BST
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      Hi Kelly!  

      I took a stab at a simple description for a far more difficult scenario in hopes it would make it easy to "visualize" the manner in which the mental component of transitioning ultimately proves to be most significant.  I wished for breasts and soft skin all of my life just like other women and felt so alone and on the outside of things sensing it just wasn't meant to be.  But the funny thing today is I have breasts and all the rest and it truly is no big deal at all!  Go figure! (smile)  I mean they're just skin...I learned they do not define me in the least but rather compliment me.  They're just there!  The mental piece to transitioning is the most difficult part because in our minds we do not measure up nor have ever measured up, male or female.  But once you learn to love yourself for yourself, your very essence comes alive, and as you described, you find "happiness"!  I call it my "Happy place"...I have arrived at my happy place and just totally embrace life and treat each day as the gift it is!

      Hope that makes sense!

      Welcome to the site!

      Traci xoxo

    • July 7, 2016 7:43 AM BST
    • Hay Traci , good post reply there , and thanks I am enjoying the Forum , emmencely :-)
      Breasts , mmmmmmm , yes , growing , loving it :-)
      Wife loves them too , woooo hooo ;-)
      I've had Gynecomastia from 12 years old so I had a small headstart , but I fill out my B Cup nicely now .
      I'm new to the HRT compaired to you , so I am infatuated with my breasts at this point I think . I'll ride that Pony as long as possible because the look of them definitely makes my insides feel more Feminine . I don't care if its just psychosomatic , I'LL TAKE IT :-)
      I do have SRS/GRS in my plans , that ought to be another Train Ride , The Crazy Train , but I want and need that . That's just me though .
      I'm a pretty self reliant capable person , BUT , it is nice to walk this path together as a Crew :-)
      I'm finding this to be vital for my social well being also . I like the special connection here with the girls , we share something that ONLY a TG MTF knows the feeling of . PRICELESS :-)
      Cheers Luv
    • July 7, 2016 9:16 AM BST
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      Thanks Kelly and Traci, Great to share these thoughts and feelings.The thoughts and analogy of the Commute Train to Work  are very Apt as pre transition we find our direction and time being decided for us it seems.Really Glad I managed to discreetly get off the train at a convenient Station, cross the trail bridge have a nice coffee and Cake, look at the timetable , and get the next train which not surprisingly went in the opposite direction to what I was going ,but I know its right.Theres a part of the Journey that may initially seems like an undoing or backward journey,but very necessary.

      Its really not good to feel that your only option is to pull the red cord and stop the train as an emergency. 

      I have been HRT for 3 years and fully agree with Traci that the most significant thing is the mental morphing,especially the washing out of all that Angst ,etc.

      Donna

    • July 7, 2016 4:23 PM BST
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      To sum, when one learns to accept and love oneself for just who they are and not what others think they ought to be, things get a ton easier transitioning and moving forward.  Each of us has the same right of walking this planet as much as anyone else and then it just becomes a simple how much do you contribute to the earth and society as to how you're truly measured!  

      Best wishes always!

      Traci xoxo

    • July 7, 2016 4:44 PM BST
    • Traci Lee O'Gara said:

      To sum, when one learns to accept and love oneself for just who they are and not what others think they ought to be, things get a ton easier transitioning and moving forward.  Each of us has the same right of walking this planet as much as anyone else and then it just becomes a simple how much do you contribute to the earth and society as to how you're truly measured!  

      Best wishes always!

      Traci xoxo


      Well said Traci :-) I don't try to look and feel feminine to pass as CIS for convenience sake . I try to look and feel feminine to feel beautiful just to me , a woman :-) Good thing is is I don't try much anymore , it just is feminine and beautiful :-) A dam beautiful woman too I am becoming , inside and out . A state of mind , a state of soul , a state of Grace . I've learned much from both of your shares ! Thanks Cheers Luv :-)
    • July 7, 2016 4:56 PM BST
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      (smile)  Seems to me you got this Kelly!

      xoxo

    • July 9, 2016 1:07 AM BST
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      Hey everyone! Your posts here upon this subject are both imaginative and elegant Traci. I feel as you’ve put some of my compulsions and emotions into writing before I had a chance to even think about them since joining a few weeks ago. For the last few years, I’ve been struggling in solitude solemnly trying to cope with some things and justify them as I finish school. I didn’t realize that for an even longer time, I developed some rather unfortunate habits to conceal myself from the world for reasons that I couldn’t comprehend psychologically and emotionally. As a new member, I’d like to establish a dialogue with you and ask you to elaborate on some of the brilliant points you mentioned here and how your actions helped you to live a more peaceful and balanced life.

       

      So as the story goes, I’ve felt like I’ve been living within the confines of a body that is intersexed or gender neutered. My body and mind seemed to embody some masculine but even more feminine traits. I’ve wrestled with the concept that I was just “special” or unique in this queer way, but its become tiresome walking a tightrope between gender worlds. I came to the conclusion a few months back that I would see someone about the potential for getting permission to take hormones and have pondered the notion constantly although I’ve fantasized about living as a member of the opposite sex for years. The reason is probably the same for everyone here, but I wanted to learn from others who have chosen this path about what motivated them and to establish, for myself, whether I truly belong in this community. I’ve popped in from time to time reading various posts here and there, but your story and comments apply directly to some curiosities of mine that I’d like to explore with some help.

       

      Specifically you mentioned dysphoria, and that interests me greatly. I’ve only met two people who truly understood what the term meant, but when I did a little research, I learned that some psychologists have begun to associate it almost exclusively to transgendered individuals. I believed that I’ve battled dysphoria most of my entire life, but I never understood exactly why. I never seemed to physically ‘grow up’, and that had some serious mental and emotional consequences. My life has been fraught, specifically, with anxiety and a lonesome anger that I’ve shielded from my friends and family. I wanted to know if you could explain to me what you personally feel dysphoria is and how you knew that you were experiencing it. You also mentioned that although you knew that this was part of your life, you didn’t do anything about it for a time. I would love to hear more about what caused your hesitation in trying to cope with that as well. I had never imagined that hormones could have such an emotionally balancing effect on such turbulent emotions. As you so succinctly put it, I’ve also felt like I’ve been fighting the world, including my own conservative family, for a long time now considering what I’ve become as an adult by pushing the gender boundaries, keeping some things quietly in the dark, and defending my identity among other things.

       

      It is comforting to know that there are those out there who can understand these things. Thank you for sharing those thoughts with us. I personally have found them to be extremely insightful and hope you will share some more with me soon.

       

       

       

      Dana!!

       

      This post was edited by Dana L. at July 9, 2016 1:09 AM BST
    • July 10, 2016 11:42 AM BST
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      Hi Dana,

       Thanks for sharing this.It sounds like you really do understand Dysphoria.You chose to say that it feels as if you never seemed to physically "grow up' with mental and emotional consequences.I can fully relate to this ,as can many Transgendered people. A characteristic of a trangendered person is that we feel we cannot develop ourselves  and are presented socially with strong directives that we feel we cannot oppose .Many people ,not just Transgendered , get in lifes trap of acceptable and bearable compromise, one day to the next .

      To share my own personal insight as someone who started transitioning in their late 40s,-- You can live a life of sorts , but If it feeld like its a lot of cycles that you never get out of and can never communicate your needs -Then  the feelings you have about yourself ,where and who ,and the strength you have in getting through are surely better directed. You are the director,producer ,lead star in your movie, not the part time actor  .

      Donna

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    • July 10, 2016 4:35 PM BST
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      Your thoughts have been very helpful Donna, and it is good to know that this ‘experience’ isn’t imagined or self-imposed. When I said that I didn’t grow up, I can tell you that it was more of a painful experience than I’m willing to recall. By the time I was eighteen, I had grown my full height, but I was still laughably feminine physically although my external expression was not indicative or representative of this. In other words, I acted and sounded like a normal kid, not one of those suspiciously effeminate individuals who can be rather imposing and loud about their views. I was actually quite sensitive, quiet, and timid. Before high school, I had moved from out of state away from children that I had grown up with, but one of my best friends had kept in touch with me about how everyone was doing. She sent me pictures from time to time of all the friends I had missed so terribly, but I remember one in particular way before I ever started contemplating the futility of gender or what not. She attended a track meet once and shot some of the action. We were all in the same grade, same class, etc., when I was with them. I was probably sixteen when I got those pictures, and I’ll was so proud of my friends.

      They were quickly becoming these hunky men. My friend John, specifically, looked so much older, and his physique was incredible. He had broad shoulders, big arms, nice biceps, etc. None of us were particularly larger than each other when I left. We were just kids, but by this time, I realized that I was still ‘under-developed’ and hoped for a long time that I would someday grow into the body that I was meant to live within. I couldn’t wait I was so excited… but as time went by and when high school was over realizing that I was still stuck within this fragile, pathetic figure, my heart was just broken over and over again each time I would see a mirror. To this day, I’ve never understood if that was the reason, but I’ve never had the capacity to attract women into my life. I was a negative ten on the masculinity scale with girls who only wanted to be friends. At the time, I reacted to the heartbreak by hiding my physical body from the world which really made me something of a weirdo in bad taste. In the other hand, the changes that did manifest I could not stand, and for some reason, I felt a strong compulsion to shave all of my body hair, grow my hair long, cut my nose off, etc., all inclinations that I thought were feminine in nature. I didn’t understand what was happening for a long time and ignored them as flights of fancy or something. Somewhere along the line, I classified as it some sort of physical insecurity which seemed to describe something known as dysphoria, but I knew the extent of which I experienced it was pretty severe because it made me depressed\anxious when I was alone and nervous when I’d be in public.

      Thinking about that time allows me to recall the first time I felt dysphoric because it occurred shortly after I had moved. It was the first time I had been to public school, and I had to take gym. Growing up, I was extremely athletic and very talented with a lot of sports. I thought it would be an easy gateway with which to establish a solid foundation for making friends. They had given me a gym uniform that I had to change into, since I hadn’t been at the school, so I followed all the kids into the locker room and just sort of went along with them. I was a little slower at the time though because I had to find my locker and get my combination open and all that. The environment seemed to be relatively friendly busting on each other and just talking about all the current goings-ons. Everything was fine until I took my shirt off. The room got significantly quieter and I heard a few kids chuckling at me. I didn’t know what they were laughing at momentarily, but when I saw some others across the room looking as well, I then knew that it was me. At that time, I was still very short and very petite. I felt so embarrassed and didn’t really know how to feel about it. I was in a strange school with strange kids living amidst the most traumatic time in my life… and now, I have to deal with this too? As a result, I superceded the locker room nonsense by wearing my gym shirt underneath my regular shirt on the gym days. Problem solved, I suppose. When I was put into a gym class the next year for my first year of high school, I was immobilized with terror and changed it out for a Navy class which apparently counted for a physical activity class. I hated everything military, fighting, guns, war, ships… it was a rather awkward experience, but it seemed to grow on me over time, the idea of being part of a community, a unit, a family again. Some other freshmen had a terrible attitude about the class, but the juniors and seniors who had taken it for three years were a little more level-headed and were extremely encouraging about the potential of me being an ideal solider. That made me feel great and part of something. I was so close to taking the class the following year, but when spots for art and theater opened up, I just had to take them because I wasn’t able to get into them my first year. Both classes were a bust, and I gave theater a go for two years, but the program was seriously lacking. I really wanted to take dance, and one of my brother’s girlfriends actually called and talked with me once about how wonderful it is. I thought, again, that it would’ve been too feminine an act on my part, and ironically, all of the guys from theater took dance during our Senior year because they were actually able to be part of several shows whereas the theater class had serious production problems. So secure in their masculinity, taking dance wasn’t a problem for them.

      I came away from high school with a lot of regrets. I worked during three years of high school, so I wasn’t able to participate in nearly any extracurricular activity. My family thought that having money was more important. My college experience has been worse because I’ve worked full-time throughout my entire four years. I’m ready for a break from it all, and the fatigue of not being able to be who or what I truly am has become overwhelming. That is what led me to think that there was something wrong with how I’ve been living constantly opposing style trends, gender boundaries, keeping secrets from everyone, hiding the truth. I’m tired of friends and family always asking me if I have summer clothes to wear. Some time after high school, I thought that these dysphoric issues didn’t allow me to live a normal life since I was a young kid, and I watched as it continued to dominate the choices that I’ve made throughout my life and the person I’ve ultimately become. I thought that I had some sort of hormonal imbalance that has programmed me to have both male and female inclinations. If I could be a hunky man or a beautiful woman, I’d prefer the latter. At this point, I think both ways would be equally challenging for I’ve never fully identified with either, but emotionally and internally, I’ve almost always preferred the feminine over the masculine.

      Like I said though, I didn’t know if I was just imagining this or made something out of nothing, but I seemed to feel that the summation of my habits defined the transgender stereotype, someone who seemed to lean toward compulsions of the opposite gender and ultimately embodied those emotional and mental characteristics. Nevertheless, it is good to get feedback on these experiences and thoughts. Hopefully, the conversation will continue paving the way for further enlightenment and understanding…

       

      Dana!!

    • July 11, 2016 12:52 AM BST
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      Hi Dana!  I will attempt to respond to your questions the best I can.  Each of us is different regarding our gender issues, but there do remain many common threads shared by all.  That is, none of us are rooted in the traditional gender binary.  To what extent one lies is how we differ though...

      At age of 2 or 3, my mother would dress me in girl's clothing and let me go out and play.  It was my idea...strange to think someone so young would have a preference.  She'd paint my nials too...this came to an end after a year or two when my father came home early from work and saw me outside looking very much like a little girl.  I am almost 66 today and back then it was OK to beat the girl out of the boy!  It's more or less what he tried to do...so I tried to be the best "son" I could be on the outside but never, ever was able to shake how I felt on the inside which was I always thought I was a girl.  

      To me dysphoria is a mismatch of inner feelings to outer appearance. As stated, I knew it was futile to think I would grow up to be a girl, although I dreamed of waking up female every night.  I would actually appear as female in my dreams.  This has gone on all of my life.

      That said, I too was an exceptional athlete that competed at the highest levels and eventually ending up playing a contact sport for a living while in my 20s.  I thought that by applying myself at this that my gender confusion woud evaporate!  Nope...never...And I also had a closet full of women's clothing...(smile)  

      I had plenty of GFs and fell in love with an amazing woman.  I kept myself secret from her though.  We got married, raised a family, and I did all the father things to the best of my ability.  I also had a career that afforded my weekly travel every other week and I always packed two bags, one for me and one for my male role.  In the venings, I'd dress and go out in places like NYC, WashDC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and LA.  I was content with this figuring it was all I could possibly expect.  I also thought I was very much alone in this and until the internet came along, harbored this feeling.  Somewhere in the 90s I began to really "dig in" to what exactly was going on with myself.  I learned there were many others like myself and the next step was to determine who and what I really was.  Deep down I really knew but was afraid to discover myslef and especially to share it with a woman who I was deeply in love with.  I feared loss of everything and rightfully so.  I had opened up dialog with her about topics pertaining to transgendered and the likes and her feelings were not very supportive.  She also mentioned she never had any lesbian feelings and was turned off by such a thing!  Arrgghh....so this was primarily why I hesitated to reveal myself or go forward, for in my mind, by then, I knew I was a transexual, not a CD.

      One day, my wife discovered a piece of woman's clothing on the floor near our bed.  She feared I was having an affair.  I rocked her world and told her everything.  It was a vry difficult time....rather than get into depth of our conversations, we agreed over a period of time, to a series of compromises that basically gave me daily space.  In return, I assured her I would never dress in front of her in the house or around her friends and neighbors.  Huge win for me for by then I had begun HRT.  Estrogen, as I mentioned earlier, really did a number on my brain unlocking my essence while killing off all of the tension internally.  I take two steps forward while slipping one back, but the net is a forward progress toward a full transition.  Most importantly is the peace of mind I have gained...

      Let me end this here and allow some of it to sink in...we can discuss more if you wish next time...

      Hope this is helpful!

      Traci xoxo

       

       

       

    • July 11, 2016 5:04 AM BST
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      Hey Traci!! That is an extraordinary post and story. You managed to live a full life in the face of such perplexing adversity. I am glad you were willing to share that with me. I think one of your initial points is noteworthy: all of our issues are unique. For example, you were able to participate in contact sports while you were an adult and knew very early in life that your spirit was routed in the feminine. In my case, it seemed as though the more time passed, the further I kept falling into a role of the opposite gender. When I was younger, I participated in more sports. One of my favorite things to do, however, was to just explore forests in nothing other than my shorts. I was like a wild man who was invulnerable to bugs, spider, poison ivies, I didn’t care. It was fun, and I never seemed to come away with anything other than mosquito bites. Still, in my heart, compared to other boys, I knew that I was more ‘delicate’ not only emotionally, but physically too. I felt that, but I never had the words to describe the sensation then. Of course with peer pressure and everything else going on in a child’s life, we always pretend to be stronger than we are or try to fit in with the current friends we have or hide any vulnerabilities. Sadly, my friends were more understanding of these things than my brothers were, so I had two levels of peer pressure to contend with as the baby in the family.

       

      Still, that was the extent of my gender exploration at the time. I must confess that my childhood up until about my thirteenth year was something of a fairy tale, and I rarely thought about anything other than the seemingly endless amount of fun we all had. It was so pleasurable that I think it had some ill effects even in the short term. After every summer, I used to have intense anxiety about going back to school because I always felt that it represented the end of the ultimate fun period of the year: Summertime! Goodness, I used to go to the beach, the boardwalk, theme parks, swim in the pool, play games inside, have the best friends come over, and spent countless hours at a local establishment that my parents ran with more friends that I could count. All of that came to an end when I moved, and I never really recovered what I had lost. Actually, the kind of life that it was traded for was almost the complete opposite as the good times were replaced with endless family quarrels and squabbles. My brothers evolved by exploding into the drinking scene when they were old enough where sex and fun was in abundance. I, for whatever reason, never broke into that scene… I just couldn’t. I didn’t feel like I was mature or grown up enough “as a man” to even drink and only had a handful of unrelated friends by the time I finished high school. I don’t even remember if any of them drank, but I was such a strange entity that I was never invited to parties or bars in any case. I was too busy working in my jobs, however, until my last year of school. Also, when I graduated, my family fell colossally into debt and I was literally stuck at home alone while my brothers had already moved out to live their college lives full-time while my parents both worked two jobs struggling to stay afloat. I couldn’t even drive… and no one was around to teach me or take me to a job.

       

      Although it might seem kind of funny to a lot of people, it was kind of a fantasy of mine to be the life of the party again like I often was when I was growing up. I always had the energy and charisma, but I couldn’t ever really break into that scene. That’s why Saturday Night Fever is probably my favorite movie. Tony Manero’s (Travolta) life in Brooklyn and character encompassed everything that my life had represented before it went to hell: he was exuberant, the king of the dance floor, he had a crazy posse, and he cursed like a sailor, but he was the coolest guy in town. He had a local hangout like I used to have too which defined my life, but he eventually leaves it because he felt it was keeping him from progressing forward with his life and dreams. My father told me, without referencing the movie, that he was afraid that my brothers and I were headed down the same road with the family business, and he didn’t believe that that was going to be good for us in the long run being defined by some local hang-out. Considering how we all turned out, I can’t say that I fully supported his wisdom, but he had a way of understanding these things beyond simple reasoning.

       

      Anyway, I immediately withdrew into this seventies fantasy and was surprised because when I bought the movie, I thought it was just going to be this campy pseudo-disco-musical, but I was blown away by the story’s undertones and allusions to social trends of the time. The music and cinematography were compelling in showing the life of Tony through his eyes too. I was living alone for first time, and it was like the first movie I had bought. I used the seventies as a gateway into wear tighter fitting, vintage clothing (like bellbottoms, brightly-colored shirts, ankle boots, etc.) full-time which sort of began to satisfy a potion of the impulses I felt on a daily basis. I was also experimenting with shaving and my eyebrows at the time, which I thought were too thick. When anyone would ask what inspired me, I could just tell them that I loved the fashion from that era, but I was doing it more or less because I didn’t identify with clothing that was exclusively for men in our current culture. For someone as shy and timid like me, dressing in that way with the hair that I had grown was a very Loud fashion statement which drew a lot of attention my way, most of which was positive. It wasn’t too rough of a transition, but there are still some times even today where it makes me apprehensive about leaving my house. I found a rare pair of soft pink bell bottoms last fall, and I had to seriously consider the consequences of wearing them on campus. Somehow, I managed to wear them out a few times without incident. Strangers have regarded me as something of a trendsetter and my friends here at school often wish to explore my closet. At the time though, I didn’t really understand what I was experiencing in terms of those impulses and really convinced myself that I was just destined to be this super-unique individual. I was following my heart, and I loved music and dancing beyond anything else in my life. About two years ago, I started thinking that I started dressing that way because deep down, I wanted to live the rest of my life as a woman, not as the awesome Tony Manero who was way more masculine than I could ever be, and it was a controlled expression of femininity. My family has been extremely patient and understanding about my style, with the exception of my one anger-driven brother, but I honestly couldn’t predict their reaction if I were ever to get permission to take hormones.

       

      So moving along, contrary to my timid demeanor, I haven’t exactly been a stranger to women’s clothing myself, but I’ve intentionally restricted exploration of that until the timing is a little more conducive to my life. It was during a transitional period (no pun intended) during my life. In order to get the degree that I sought for in college, I needed to go to two different schools and eventually transfer and move to a new town about three hours from where I used to live which is where I am now. This was a little over two years ago. Throughout my life, I’ve had little luck with women as I’ve said, but there was one who identified with and loved me for everything that I was. She was dysphoric like I was, we shared a lot of hobbies, we went on out a lot, etc. She needed someone to fill in the gaps of femininity that she was lacking as well and used to call me “Woman” as a nick for a while. She said that when she met me, there was a gracefulness about my mannerisms that hinted toward a type of gender imbalance. She was very bright and perceptive. We moved out of town for a while, and we came back to live on her folks’ property in a loft apartment when things didn’t work out. I was still living there while attending my second year in school, but the tension between us grew as time went on. We used to be good at making everything work, but we really started to fall apart as a couple and it caused us both so much pain as we did truly and genuinely love each other. School wasn’t the biggest issue, but our inability to plan around it ultimately exacerbated our breakup, and we decided to split in the middle of my semester. Not too long after, she was already seeing a new love interest, and he was intent on moving in as soon as possible…

       

      The semester was brutal, but I managed to get through it. This winter was especially cold and would eventually bring three or four major snow storms before the season was over. By this time, I was living alone in the loft. She was often staying at her parent’s house because she didn’t want him to sleep over in the loft while I was still living up there. I didn’t particularly want to meet him either, but I wasn’t against her being single and alone. Her parents were uncomfortable with the awkward arrangement and by December wanted me to move out. I couldn’t leave the area and had AT LEAST another eight months before I had to move. The situation made my Christmas break a nightmare. How do you move when it’s freezing out and when people are trying to enjoy the holidays? About a month later, I found a house in the country that had a room on the first floor for rent that I couldn’t afford, but I didn’t have any options. It was like a haunted house in the middle of nowhere considering the dirt road that led to it, but it was more of boarding house with seven bedrooms for rent between the first and second floors. There was no internet and no cable. (which I didn’t use anyway) I didn’t have a private bathroom, but I did have a relatively large room with my own refrigerator. All in all, it was a beautiful, quaint, country setting that I would eventually become accustomed to in a detached sort of way.

       

      It had been a while since I had felt completely alone. I always had someone to watch my back whether it was family or friends. Our relationship was something I was not ready for. We were best friends for a long time, but she wanted to try being official or “dating” to see if it could work. We moved during this time though and never really made a determination about whether we should continue or not and just let it keep going. I was very unsure about myself, my compulsions that is, and my future. I couldn’t fathom being in a relationship when I didn’t really understand who I was or where I was going. She understood my concerns probably better than I did, but she thought that by being together, we could empower each other and solve all of our problems together. Sadly, the opposite took place, and I stopped hearing from her completely in no time. A childhood friend of mine spoke to me about the possibility of inviting me into her family the previous year. Sadly, she was a psychopath and I stopped speaking to her some months ago because her presence in my life complicated our relationship. As my last semester started and the work piled up, things became incredibly hectic and the stress was relentless. As a result, I turned to the devil in the red dress for comfort. I was truly desperate and had no means of reaching out to anyone else. When I thought I couldn’t feel worse, expecting a psychopath to express remorse or empathy was a precursor to an anxiety attack. She was a piece of work… illogical, irrational, inconsistent, belligerent, selfish. It was like I had lost the ability to connect with anyone.

       

      The blizzards were a blessing for they closed school twice as a result which gave me an incredible opportunity to catch up on this massive amount of homework. The executives at my company, however, were rather malevolent and made us all drive to work during conditions where the roads were frozen over with ice. I didn’t mind that, but the other stress that I was dealing with was intolerable. I had a lot of ways of dealing with stress: immersive games, movies, television shows on DVDs, exercise, etc., but I couldn’t handle this. I had most of my belongings in boxes in two large closets that were part of the room. One evening as the stress continued to dominate my daily existence, I was looking through my stuff for one reason or another and found an outfit that I bought for my ex and a pair of women’s shoes that, essentially, belonged to me. (long story on that one) These were no ordinary clothes though. It was a rather exotic, hyper-feminine outfit that I bought for her from Hot Topic a while back, a bodice and a skirt with a pair of tights. All red and black like a harlequin, even the shoes were nearly the same shade of red. I think I told her that I would sell them for her if we ever to split. I don’t really remember what I was thinking, but considering the nature and ultimate purpose of this entire website, I think it’s safe to say that what happened next is a foregone conclusion. I wanted to see how “it” looked on me, the feminine side of me in a truly fully-feminine outfit. I needed some relief from something I had been resisting for such a long time. As slinky and slim as I am, it fit without a hitch and expressed a wonderfully feminine figure and silhouette. When I turned my face away, almost I was entirely convinced that a woman was in the mirror. With slightly wider hips, a larger chest, and a softer visage, I could easily pass as a woman. I think it was then that I had a moment of perfect clarity under rather bizarre circumstances in that country house. This was in the midst of the winter, and it was still bitterly cold. I crawled into my bed, shoes and everything, and just sort of embraced myself… embraced “her”… and suddenly, for a short time, all of my anxiety started to subside slowly before I fell asleep.

       

      It became a habit, for the first time in my life. It was an incredible relief and a very unfamiliar feeling every time. I even walked around the house in and out of my room a handful of times without giving it much of a thought. In for a penny, in for a pound. How can I stop turn back now? Months later when I finally moved, I even found a new pair of Mary Jane black platform shoes and red/black opera length lace gloves that matched the outfit perfectly during the Halloween season, but I wasn’t dressing up nearly as often. My roommate was generally at home, but I still did here and there. I even expanded that wardrobe a little bit further, but I eventually stopped altogether. I wasn’t interested in cross dressing as a fetish. However, I eventually took the behavior to another level when I bought a new pair of women’s ankle boots and began to wearing them freely in public. I had an excuse for why I thought I did this, but I know that I was driven by an impulse that I chose not to ignore. I didn’t think anyone would really notice considering the rest of my wardrobe, and even if they did, I just didn’t care anymore. It’s more important for me to understand myself rather than living up to everyone else’s values or standards. I want to understand where these impulses come from and why perpetuating this behavior made me feel less stressful and whether I had problems with my hormones. I believed that if I was ultimately meant to be a woman, I could eventually pursue the clothes, look, makeup, etc., aspects later. Changing my face and body would cost money that I don’t even have yet too, so what’s going on in my heart and mind are important to me at this time. One step at a time. I always had an ongoing suspicion that my hormone levels were directly related to my tendency to be shy, insecure, anxious, depressed, angry, xenophobic some days, and generally abhorrent to masculine tendencies. I have a lot of books on various health subjects, and every once in a while, the subject of hormonal effects on the body are touched upon but not often expanded upon probably because none of the authors are endocrinologists.

       

      So far, it’s been a very unique experience. I often wonder now that if, by becoming a woman, I would alienate myself further from everyone or finally begin attracting people into my life again. I’m certain my family would have mixed reactions or the “I knew something was wrong for years” malarkey. Not once has anyone in my family ever suggested suspicions of having a transgender in the family, and feinting that certainty would be seriously disrespectful from my point of view. I’ve surreptitiously tested this from time to time, and it is almost always dismissed immediately. How could anyone ever suspect? We’re less than 0.1 percent of the entire populous. They’d have a higher likelihood of winning the lottery than meeting a fully transgendered person. If I got that far, I wouldn’t be ashamed. Quite the opposite in fact for I am coming to terms with it more and more each day and loving myself more as a result as well…

       

      Dana

    • July 11, 2016 9:14 PM BST
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      Hi Dana!

      You write amazingly well and I felt I was reading a novel or story that I wished had many more chapters!  (smile)  But your writings show a level of maturity beyond your typical college aged person. (smile)

      May I ask you how old you are?  And where did you grow up?  (you have a NE "flair" about yourself and you reference "boardwalk", etc. and things for the area I lived.  I grew up in metro NYC and lived there until 20 or so)  Your answers would help me learn more about you and what you went thru in your teens and stuff...

      Like yourself, I had a wonderful childhood and was very inquisitive, energetic, and friends to all.  I also harbored my little secret that I guarded at all costs, although one day during a family vacation along the shore (clue as to where I was...nobody uses "shore" except us natives LOL ), I took down my sister's two piece bathing suit around age of 14-15 and put it on and went down a few blocks from where my family hung out.  I spent the day there alone, sunning myself, going into the water to cool off, and even talking to plenty of flirty boy teenagers.  They never had a clue as I was physically immature at that age with a smooth, lean body, long thick hair, while standing only  about 5'6" or so.  I felt a rush of arousal from the attention I got from the boys, a couple of whom even asked me out that evening!  OMG!  But I was sooo relaxed and felt so normal and knew it was just "right".  I returned back to our cottage in the bathing suit where my family saw me.  We all made a big laugh out of this as novody suspected anything unusual about me.  They even took photos!!!  I looked terrific...really did pull it off!

      I only mention that because even though my life was filled normal happy things, I constantly carried my "secret" inside.  And I mentioned before, it never, ever went away...even being married, being a father, playing a popular sport, and living an outwardly normal male existence, my secret, my dreams, my desires were always constant.  But until the internet came along, I never thought for a moment that I would ever be able to live out being myself.  

      In my late teens and early twenties, I did discover a totally new world that included others like myself,  It was an eye opener for sure.  I used to dress and apply makeup in my car in a mall parking lot and drive 25 minutes into NYC's Greenwich Village.  The "Village" at that time was a total hodge podge of the planet's "fringe": the gays, the trans, the freaks, the hippies, the beatniks from the 50s and early 60s, and also a melting pot of every race and nationality on earth.  It was also a place a trans girl could walk about doing her thing which included shopping, hitting the clubs and bars (remember Cafe Wha or CBGBs???), partying with other "freaks", and whatever.  I even got into the "Warhol" scene which is where I met others like myself for the first time.  It was sex, drugs, and rock and roll at it's highest level.  This area set the trend and pace for the rest of the world and I was a part of it.  But it all felt so natural and normal!!!  I'm also lucky I'm alive!  LOL

      My sport ended that because I got traded to a different region, so my weekend jaunts into "wonderland" came to a halt.  But I also had a closet full of women's garments in my one bedroom apartment.  Being in a smaller city curtailed my public life though as I feared getting recognized and it would have destroyed my career and life as I knew it.  But the feeling never went away!  (see the constant theme here???)

      A few years later, the sport thing ended, I got a real job, and fell in love and eventually married her.  Fast forward to about 7 years ago...

      I began to take HRT self medicating daily without fail.  Within 3 months, the effects of estrogen had really hit my thoughts and emotions hard to where I knew I was never "going back" and that I was prepared to see this thru regardless of the outcome.  Sharing the news with my wife was extremely difficult and challenged what had been a rock solid relationship to it's core.  I rolled the dice fully expecting to lose it all and ended up with a different outcome.  Love won out in the end!  I am one of the lucky ones as most girls I know lost everything; jobs, spouses, family, and friends!!!  I have only lost a few family and friends, although my old circle rarely reaches out anymore.  But I am also a fairly good musician and developed a new circle or relationships so all is not lost.  Again, my feelings inside have never wavered and only gotten stronger because of my commitment to see this thru and willingness to take my lumps and grow as a person along this amazing journey.  What I have discovered about myself along this transition has been so uplifting and positive and although I regret not having done this years ago also know I might not be in such a "happy place" had I rushed into things and risked all.  Oh, did I mention that my internal feelings have never gone away????  (smile)

      Anyhow, to make a short story longer (LOL), when I learned that I was OK and began to love myself just the way I was, was when everything fell into place and that things just got easier...of course, reaching a point where I could physically "pass" and totally blend into society helps tons, but the biggest hurdle was self acceptance and allowing one's "essence" to emerge!  

      Nobody said this would be easy....and guess what???  Thry are right!  (smile)  

      So my take is just allow you to be you in whatever manner that is, from outward dress, mannerisms, and social interacting.  Learn that you belong on this planet as much as anyone else, and then love that person because people will notice the self confidence and "I'm OK" aura you'll project and get very comfy with you just the way you are!

      Best wishes always!

      Traci xoxo

    • July 12, 2016 3:58 AM BST
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      Hey again Traci, and thank you for the encouragement and support! *hugs* I reread your posts several times and find new truths in them each time. You are also very perceptive. I tried to keep my age and whereabouts vague especially at school considering that I’m a generation older than most of my fellow students. I pass fairly well for a young adult, but there have been three or four students who have been curious about my actual age. Even my brother once commented that I hardly seemed to age and asked me ‘how you did it’. After writing my last novel, I thought about calling him and explaining to him exactly why that probably is. “I’m transgender. Sue me.” Like I said, they were able to go to college when they were eighteen. I always resented them for that because I literally started four years ago after I turned thirty. I have to tell you though… the nature of maturity is an incredibly fascinating thing to me. After getting close to a lot of them and seeing how they interact, socialize, and date, I was amazed at how brazen and grown up a lot of them are especially compared to me. When I am standing there unable to even look into another woman’s eyes to introduce myself without being clumsy, they’ve charmed their way in their hearts, establish bonds, and are going out on dates. I couldn’t manage that even once over the last four years. Men have always had such a great advantage that I’ve always lacked: they can appeal to women as men whereas I seem a little more gender queer upon first impression.

       

      This reminds me of a few occasions when I almost broke down on campus. I was coming onto the campus from the east end one day by parking somewhat illegally in a local business’s parking lot without being suspicious. I was walking toward my building in the midst of spring or summer, and it was just one of those hopelessly and beautifully sunshine afternoons. I saw a young couple sitting together on a bench. They were laughing and having a good time with each other. Then, they just looked at each other and held each other with a sort of ethereal disregard for their surroundings. I saw another couple walking by, with the boy around the girl’s waist and her head on his shoulder. He could’ve hardly been eighteen, he looked like a child. These people… these students finding such love so early in their lives. I remembered when I was that young, how quickly I grew up and then was so forgotten and so confused, so sheltered from the world and ignorant of how to live a life. In my heart, I was probably less developed mentally than any of these kids, so misunderstanding of the world without anyone to relate to, so terribly confused about what the last sixteen years of adulthood was supposed to mean. I needed that then… how can I still be as far away from it even now after so much time? I had no chance in my high school as an outsider. I learned of a way to prevent myself from overanalyzing my feelings and situations that harm me, but a flood of emotion overcame me so fast and I almost cried. If I sat down to think about it, I probably would’ve had an anxiety attack. I just tried to maintain my composure and get to my class without incident. I would see couples together regularly on campus, but not often expressing such beautiful affection for each other, so pure and innocent. So many similar couples I’ve passed in my lifetime. I think it was incidents like this that made me truly question my purity, my innocence. Was I that obviously creepy to women? Who doesn’t find at least one person in school to develop feelings for? I thought that if it doesn’t happen in college, it might never happen, but at the same time, I always knew of the age difference and that it might be wrong, from some ethical standpoint, to even consider the potential. I kept my heart open regardless… but it was afforded only further isolation. I knew I was different at least in my outwardly expression, but by the end of my first year, I started understanding that there might’ve been some credibility in my deep suspicions about hormonal abnormalities and that there might’ve been a gender issue that was perceptible on some ineffable or subconscious level by everyone… although my joyous smile seems to be highly indicative of something unnatural.

       

      When I developed the habit to dress up as ‘Dana’ in the country house, I was playing a very interesting game at night which helped soothe my anxiety so that I could sleep. It was based upon a group of high schoolers in Japan investigating a strange series of murders, but they had an ability to travel into people’s minds to explore their deepest fantasies where strange, masked monsters began manifesting. Each character had a guardian based on their own personality, dreams, fears, etc. I believed that if I had such a guardian, it would be reminiscent of a performing eccentric jester because of that smile and my personality: laughing on the outside to the delight of everyone, crying on the inside in face of endless emotional torment. I have the face and the sort of wacky sense of humor that is inherent to the jester archetype. As long as I keep everything inside, no one is aware that the entertainer is slowly dying from the inside out. My outlet for expression, beyond my musical inclination, is in these explosions of literature and elegant out pouring of explicit feeling. Before I started on my four-year degree excursion, I did obtain a continuing education degree in freelance writing. Other circumstances made it necessary for me to get back into school though, and that would take another post to explain possibly not applicable to the theme of this website. Nevertheless, I wanted to write genre fiction, but I excelled highly in literary fiction which is kind of vague. I discovered that I was much more compelled to write stories that explored humanity and living over writing a Star Wars or Hercules-esqe fantasy.

       

      I developed some ideas for a few novels that I wanted to write, but after being in school experiencing the isolation brought upon by gender displacement, I developed two ideas that I plan to develop into scripts for television\a movie based on my experiences and research. I think the public’s perception of the transgendered community needs to be realigned with reality. All you hear about is us and bathrooms or the wisdom of allowing child to express cross-gender behavior. My take on the whole transgender community is that it needs a light-hearted window into the essence of our lives and souls. I look through all these profiles here, and just about everyone seems to have a well-developed sense of humor, but who is seeing this? Honestly, I was comforted by this because even I thought that transgendered folks were all just morbidly serious or fearful of their lives after reading about the spree in Baltimore and other related incidents in the past. We’re all beautiful, wonderful people with hopes and dreams and families. We have a right to live peacefully and pursue happiness too, but I think that right now, it has become a massively cultural stereotype and misunderstanding of epic proportions. People believe they can just read one source on an internet bereft of truth or logic and understand the whole universe in which we find ourselves. I feel that it is similar to those who watch one movie about black slavery and suddenly feel that there is nothing else to be learned about yet another historically relevant and nefarious American tragedy. Like the many comprised elements of history, we may represent the next subculture in history. Apparently, we’re relevant enough to be mentioned in the news quite frequently.

       

      I hope to someday produce a story that is entertaining and suspenseful enough to engage the audience while laying a foundation upon which to convey the most important elements of a transgender’s life without being too staunch or strict. I think even Jenner shocked the world with her revelation and television series which I was fortunate enough to view. My roommate’s take on it was interesting. A spectacularly masculine friend of mine in musculature and disposition, he thought the show lacked the drama that was needed to sustain a reality show. Reality shows hardly have a developed theme although they follow strict formulas, but I agreed with him to some extent. The premise for the show seemed somewhat ambiguous even to me. It was like a chronicle of Jenner’s life which, during the time of filming, consisted of conveniently seeking out other transgendered people who might share their stories with the world. It drew millions of viewers, and I really enjoyed the five or six episodes I was able to see. I didn’t really care about the overall premise or arc of the show. I just wanted to learn more about how transgendered people live, but their stories were rather severe and traumatic being picked on in schools, battling discrimination in the workplace, being fired or unable to get jobs, doing sex work, talking about surgery, enduring family exile, etc. They had some fun on the show too, but their testimonies on the reality of being transgendered outweighed their conveyance of joy in being who they are, loving themselves, etc. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it so I could be wrong, but that’s what I came away from after initially seeing some of the episodes. That didn’t really discourage me from moving forward with my exploration of myself because… I can’t just turn a switch and obliterate the compulsion. If I were more successful at living out my gender role, by now, I’d have a family and children… but instead… I am alone. And it hurts. If I don’t change the way I’m living, I’ll stay alone. If I explore some options, I might be able to change that and that is a risk worth taking in my lonesome experience.

       

      Boy, now I’m starting to sound like a total fuddy-duddy. I’ve started down this path because I want to be happier. I want that freedom of the pursuit of my personal happiness. I want to respond more to your posts soon, but when I write, everything kind of comes out like a stream of consciousness. I’ll post a picture of that outfit in my profile too. Hopefully, everyone will be able to see it and have a better understanding of my body type, which isn’t so bad, and maybe tell me how pretty I am too J *hugs*

       

      Dana

    • July 16, 2016 11:55 PM BST
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      Hey again Traci! I’m sorry for being so unavailable lately in terms of writing more about your excellently immersive posts directly to me. I was just out of town again for the first time in about two months for school and to see my parents which I will address later considering how recent realizations about myself have had an influence on my familial interaction. I was intrigued by your story about excursions into the Greenwich Village. It honestly sounds like a place that could’ve helped when I was just coming out of high school although there was nothing like that in the conservative state of SC. The way you described it though as being a place where a trans girl could walk about so freely sounds otherworldly especially considering the era. As far as I’ve learned through school and on my own, that kind of behavior was even less tolerated the further back you go into the past. I feel like you had such a strong will to ‘release’ the inner woman within you while I, for the longest time, didn’t want to acknowledge that I was a special kind of person in that way and , as a result, internalized and compartmentalized that behavior as random and aberrant it for as long as I could. I had variety of costumes (not of a feminine nature) related to the Halloween costume I posted, and I even had a hard time even wearing those out because I was often afraid of being judged for a variety of reasons: having a controversial role model, being mocked as a ‘wannabe’, lacking of an original style, etc. I used the costumes to choreograph endless performances and act them out in front of my mirror, (an imaginary stage) so I used them year-round for years. But… .going out dressed as a woman?! I might’ve had a heart attack! There were a lot of people around town who knew me, and that would’ve probably alienated me from the few friends that I still had at the time! So, as I said, I admire you for your courage and the unique circumstances you were fortunate enough to make yourself available to at the time. How would you say that those experiences influenced your life? Were you married yet or were you still an athlete? Do you think it affected either one of those aspects of your life? There is a club about an hour from here I heard about nearly two years ago that is synonymous with the LGBT community. It’s even mentioned on this website. I’ve been curious to see what its like, but am afraid that I might not appropriately identify with that particular crowd in the area…

       

      I did hang out with an interesting crew for a while. I moved out of state to get a job with my friend Chris, and he was apparently bisexual. He ended up moving out of his apartment when I moved out there with him, so I ended up living with him and this other gay man who had a terrible crush on him. Chris didn’t like him for his reasons, and he was dating this guy Scott at the time who also eventually moved into this old house with us. All of their friends were gay or bisexual. At the time, I thought that I was just a normal, straight guy. I was genuinely and exclusively attracted to women only which, I felt, kind of isolated me from the group. That didn’t stop me from being the life of the party from time to time, and they became great friends of mine. Sadly, the experience was short-lived, and I moved back home when a combination of job prospects and living accommodations felt apart. Nevertheless, it was a very positive experience and helped me understand that gays and bi’s were not necessarily abnormal people. I never had any gay friends up until that point and didn’t even know Chris was bi. There were rumors about it in town among my friends, but since he lived hundreds of miles away, they seemed rather unsubstantiated. When I got there, he told me directly and neither he or any of his friends out there consciously made me feel uncomfortable in any way.

       

      Unfortunately, none of them were trans or had any noticeable gender issues. As a matter of fact, they all seemed to be highly preoccupied with the uniqueness and complexity of the politics of their sexual lifestyles. At the most intricate level, they used to argue that being truly bisexual required a union of three people with at least one male or female. In America, there is no legal way to accomplish this through marriage, so it was debated whether or not a person was truly bisexual if they weren’t dating both one male and one female. It seemed to be a circular debate with no end and limitless points of view and facets. I felt that my desires and lifestyle habits were a million miles away and weren’t applicable to polygamistic dilemmas. Trans or not, I think they are very separate issues and lifestyle choices. These experiences alone make me contemplate the wisdom of grouping transgendered in with the acronym LGBT(QIA). I personally liked thinking for a long time that I felt into the I-category as an intersexed individual, but after years of soul-searching and contemplation, I felt that my particular case was more complex than I wanted to admit. Whereas the other three literally can be classified a person having a unique sexual lifestyle, the transgendered are defined by physical, psychological, and emotional tendencies contrary to their biological gender. The ongoing struggle for gay rights are likened to the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, and some trans rights weren’t even on the fringe of this. Some politicians even believed that since the two types of rights were so disparate that it might be in the best interest for trans to be treated separately because a step forward for one doesn’t necessarily represent a step forward for the other. It is a very interesting time for both. I was listening to an article on the radio about gay marriage rights again just the other day, and they ended it by mentioning that, meanwhile, the trans community was still contending with issues with public restrooms... like it is joke by comparison or something effectively trivializing the whole concept. Thankfully, the coverage seems to be dwindling a bit amidst other political and international incidents.

       

      Back to something a little less impersonal, I visited my parents this week as I mentioned earlier. I think this was the first time I saw them while of the unspoken mindset that I fully identify as a transgender individual. It was a strange experience because I felt like it was on the tip of my tongue not to mention the fact that I would check back into this site a few times throughout the day. J Sometimes, my mother and I have conversations about my love life, but she really started digging during this visit when some rather intrusive humor. As far as she knows, I haven’t had a girlfriend in many years… and I haven’t. My brothers have never had trouble in that department both being around their women probably on a daily basis truthfully, so there is no cause for concern in their cases. I used to feel that my life as a student and employee prevented me the time necessary to have a social life to meet someone, but I don’t have much of a social life. I don’t drink, I don’t party, I’m not associated with any organizations or clubs that has a member base or group. As I said though, I don’t think its that as much as it is subtle manifestations of a gender imbalance physically and interpersonally. I wanted to try to convey this to my mother, but she was more concentrated on the fact that I am finishing school and should now have the time to actually meet someone. I told her that it’s not exactly easy for someone who was born the way I was. I told her that I was very apart from societal norms and just too unusual for your average woman. I explained that women want certain things from a man and that I believed that I was incapable of providing the sort of comfort, security, and protection that a man often provides for a woman. Perhaps, on the other hand, it is I who needscomfort, security, and protection from someone who can provide these things, perhaps a woman with an enduring disposition. If such a woman existed, what could possibly draw them to such an effeminate man? Ironically, one of my best girlfriends on campus is something of a tomboy admittedly, and there’s absolutely no romance between us. Sadly, we were interrupted and I was unable move the conversation forward. I wanted to bring up the potential that I may have rather unconventional needs due to certain biological imperatives, but despite the lack of opportunity, I wasn’t sure if it was time to bring this subject to the attention of my family…

       

      As you mentioned in your very first communication to me, each transgendered individual has their own individual conflicts. Obviously, the effect of coming out to our families is probably one of the most impacting moments to endure. In my case, I am particularly fearful of how my mother might react. I believe that the others would merely maintain a confused, misguided sense of curiosity in regard to my transition that I would do not embellish or entertain. Considering how close we are, I think my mother would be devastated. In the most supportive way, she wants me to be happy and find that one person who would take care of me for the rest of my life just like how my parents have been taking care of each other. However, there is a small part of her that wants something for me that I may not necessarily want like children or a desk job or a life in proximity to where they live. She’s the only one in my family I keep in touch with regularly, who I update on how my life’s progressed ever since I started college, and who I often draw strength from. In essence, she knows a great deal about my external life, but not as much about my personal and inner lives. If I slowly begin introducing and exhibiting signs of an inevitable and radically different personality, I believe the suspicions would naturally lead to the realization that something is going on. I tried to think back to when my cousin came out as a homosexual some years ago. I remember her coming to me, neglectful of my experience with my bisexual compatriots out of state, as if it was a revelation that would alter my relationship with him which, at the time, was nearly non-existent. My reaction was probably something to the effect of, “Yeah, so?” Over the years, I’ve tried to get a feel for how she truly feels about his orientation, but I am seriously stumped. I am suspicious, however, because she seems to have developed a tendency to say just the right thing at the right time in regards to his sexuality… as if it’s a line rehearsed from a play, wooden and with abandon. Even though she is about as close to her sister as any two sisters can be, I still think she is rather judgmental of him and perhaps believes it is sinful. At this time, I don’t have enough insight into her perspective to surmise how she might take the news that one of her children is a transgendered.

       

      Not to be intrusive, but I am curious to know more about exactly how you started with hormones. You mentioned that you started self-medicating, but you hadn’t mentioned speaking with a doctor before taking hormones or how you had a prescription. I was under the impression that a doctor wouldn’t give a person permission to take hormones unless they determined that it would be safe and conducive to their lives. I had read a lot about the nature of hormones, their transformative effects on the human male and female bodies, a wealth of information about risks, and even a bit about the ineffectiveness of “herbal” hormone supplements. Anything you could tell me about how you started on hormones or whether you spoke with a doctor and what they wanted to talk about would be lovely to know. It sounds like it was also a tough experience in regard to your family. What would you say were the views of your transition from those in your family who you’ve lost touch with?

       

      There’s a great deal more I will talk about as time goes on, so I will always look forward to writing more as time and opportunity allow. Even since I posted some pictures, I’ve attracted a great deal of attention to my page. I just thought I’d post a few more pictures of how I generally dress because I believe my style was directly correlated with my desire to project a more feminine expression while distancing myself from the idea of actually wearing legitimate women’s clothing or cross-dressing I suppose. Nevertheless the sense of support here as been phenomenal and is attributable to you, GG Lisa, Briana Q, Amy N., and so many other members! *hugs*

       

      Dana!!

      This post was edited by Dana L. at July 16, 2016 11:59 PM BST
    • July 17, 2016 1:13 AM BST
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      Hi Dana!

      Lots to comprehend here...(smile)  I'll try to answer your questions and I'll probably get distracted while writing so that I omit some.  So be patient and if there are things you'd like to know that I did not answer, keep asking!  (smile)

      Yes, back then, it was really living against the grain and virtually nobody knew much of anything about trans folks other than what they read about Christine Jorgensen.  And the world was less than thrilled about her.  I do not know if you can call it courage to step out though because it was something inside I just had to do.  The Village in NYC afforded the perfect "playground" to walk about and express myself.  Of course the parties were always crazy fun too...LOL  I did not dress at home and risk getting caught or seen by the locals.  I tossed items into a bag and drove to a mall on a highway and changed and applied makeup there, often under the light of a street lamp. But ove transformed, the rest was easy.  I was young and beautiful and carefree and very happy like this.  I was single and it had no effect on my career other than I had to be careful where I went so as not to get outed by those that might know me.  But NYC is very large!  (grin)  And it really did cement what I felt since childhood that there was a woman inside.  I never lost that feeling.

      As for hormones, I went a herbal route and have battled the merits with other in here as to their value or effectiveness.  I can assure you the protocol I used was successful and am certain my physical changes will match up the same as anyone who went the prescribed route.  I did this because I did not want to out myself going thru the doctor route.  I was not prepared to come out yet and to me this seemed a reasonable alternative.  There are many companies touting herbals and most of it is worthless.  I did not stumble blindly into what I used and am very happy for things turned out.  Luck?  I don't know...just know it worked well for me.

      I lost some close family due to all of this...they are close minded bigots and to me, it is their loss.  I haven't changed from "me" since I began, I just look different.  I am still maarried and somehow we've managed to stay in love and together.  But it has taken a bunch of compromises to achieve this.  I am OK with all of that though because my spouse is truly awesome and anything she does to "put up with me" is very appreciated.  

      That's kinda my short response to your questions...that said, please think carefully about sharing your feeling just yet with your mother.  Once you let the cat out of the bag, you will never be able to put it back in!  To just announce you are a woman will rock her world and you might not be prepared to answer things she will toss at you at best.  At owrst, she will freak and tell you to leave!  So I realize you have wresteld with this for a long time, but do make sure all of your "ducks" are in a row...there is no rushing this...

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Traci xoxox

       

       

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