Now this is one of those posts that I never thought I’d find myself writing. Partially because I was extremely skilled at hiding it, especially from myself. Mostly because it’s a bit off topic for the blog and tends to invite trouble. If I don’t write about it, though, I’ll always be wondering if I should. So I’ll just go ahead and rip the bandaid off, as it were. Seems appropriate to do it during the Blaugust introduction week.
I’m what the community would refer to as Assigned Male At Birth (AMAB). Since I now openly identify as a woman, I guess that technically makes me transgender. In reality, I’m just me and that’s just a partially descriptive label. No different than calling myself a gamer or a blogger. It did inform my color choice for the new logo, though.
The story of how I rediscovered this is relatively short and unamusing. I have a trans friend in London who was attempting to explain her hormone medication to me. To do so, she linked me to a two hour presentation by Dr. Powers. While it also did a good job at helping me understand what she was talking about, it also gave me the impression that transition was a real thing that real people could do. I wasn’t able to shake the idea after that.
One of the core problems now is the line between [him] and [her]. While I once regarded [her] as just a persona I created 20 years ago to express a transvestive and/or feminine identity that I could not at the time, over the last year that line has become much fuzzier.
It seems easy, to me, to take those parts of ourselves that we don’t easily accept and give them a name. It “solves” the identity issue in a roundabout way. “It’s not me that likes women’s clothing and makeup, it’s [her].”
It’s dissociative in nature.
This quote is actually from an unpublished draft I wrote when I was panicking and having an identity crisis following the presentation. That’s actually toward the latter end when I was approaching acceptance. The thing that really sealed the deal was an honest review of all related behaviors that I could recall over the course of my life. It seems excessive and unnecessary to repeat it here, but the evidence seemed pretty clear to me. I can see times when it was clearer to those around me than it was to myself.
Ironically, the amount of dysphoria I experienced up to that point was very subtle. It manifested in small gestures that I never really thought much about. In fact, I didn’t really think about myself much at all in the physical sense. I did the minimum required to be presentable in public and left most other choices at my wife’s discretion. Actually making those choices myself would have required me to confront opinions I’d rather not deal with, so I simply didn’t.
We’re getting a bit long winded, so let’s skip to the present. I did eventually begin Hormone Replacement Therapy, among many other more obvious things. It’s a very slow process, measured in quarters or years. It’s only been a few weeks and the effects in that range are practically non-existent. There is plenty of evidence that the testosterone blockers are working, though, and I can only assume the estrogen is picking up the slack since I don’t feel like absolute garbage. Quite the opposite, actually.
For the curious, I personally take 50mg of Bicalutamide 1/day and 2mg of Estradiol (Sublingual) 2/day. This dosing is a fairly standard starting dose, but most girls take Spironolactone instead of Bica. Spiro can have some rather unpleasant side effects and potential complications, though, so I opted to try something else instead.
I would also like to point out that this only represents my personal experiences and not anyone else’s. I’ll finish with a couple of common questions.
“How long have you been trans?”
As far as I can tell with hindsight, forever. I am exceptionally dense in this regard, however, and outside a small window 20 years ago it’s not something I ever really thought about or considered. Unfortunately the Benjamin Scale was in use in the early ’00s and the information available to my young self on the internet was sparse. I wouldn’t even hear the word transgender for years. This allowed me to convince myself that even though transition was something I wanted, it was something I couldn’t have. If you live that lie long enough you can almost convince yourself it’s true.
“Do you plan to get surgery?”
I swear everybody I know personally has asked me this question. I get it. For someone who isn’t trans the idea of Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) seems a bit ludicrous. It’s also worth pointing out that there are several different surgeries, not all trans people want all surgeries, and even if they do it’s just not available to many. Historically I’ve been very cagey about answering, but it’s a very tentative yes.
GRS, aka Bottom Surgery
Emotionally, yes, I absolutely want bottom surgery. The reality is that it’s both expensive and difficult to get access to. Right now it’s not enough of an issue for me to pursue it further. It just doesn’t seem like a practical use of resources. As a side note, I cannot legally change the gender on my license in my state without the surgery.
Top/Chest Surgery and Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS)
I’m actually indifferent here. I’m willing to wait and see how things go with hormone replacement therapy before I consider these. Even if I asked, that’s typically the medical recommendation as well, especially for FFS. If after a year or two I feel that my results aren’t what I want, I’ll consider these starting with FFS.
I think that’s enough of all that for one day. Hopefully I got it out of my system enough that I won’t constantly be wondering if I should write about it or not.
Y’all take care. Play nice.
Hey, it’s Blaugust time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.