"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Saturday, 22 August 2015

What Does That MEAN?

Many are asking me how HRT is affecting me, and of course, the answer is, it is way too early for any effects worth mentioning. Am I at all concerned about the possible effects? Yes, absolutely!

In two years, I will officially be able to compete in sporting competitions as a woman. Clearly, some statistician has determined that this is long enough for my body to be officially in the normal range for female strength and speed and the like. Now, at 65 years of age, it seems unlikely I will running the 100m dash, or be hefting those 20kg bags of stuff around at that point. I never was a runner, and can barely manage that big bag of stuff now. We will simply have to buy smaller containers of stuff or find a sturdy (male?) friend to help. We will manage somehow.

No, that doesn't concern me at all, because the only sport I am fond of is golf, and if my average distance that I can send a ball becomes less than now, that will be just fine. Golf is a game (Mark Twain's good walk spoiled comment notwithstanding) and I shall have fun no matter.

There are other much more serious matters on my mind.

It seems from looking around at how women are treated here, and in other parts of the world that I need to be concerned that I will gradually become less technically adept (here ma'am, let me show you how to do that). In some places women are not allowed to drive a car.
It seems I will be less intelligent and emotionally unstable to the point where in some places I wouldn't be able to get an education or hold office, or even vote in some cases. Even getting a job will be harder, and if I do, it is likely my pay will be less than it would have as a man.

I will have the advantage of being quite senior, so shouldn't have to worry about being forced into sex with someone I don't care for or even know, and yet, in May of this year in the UK, and last month in Brooklyn senior women learned otherwise.

I am guessing that these are only a few of the things that living female will cause me to rethink. Lots of good things too... hopefully.

So you tell me. What does this all mean.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Reflection ~ Conversations and Self-Image

In 2010, three posts called conversations appeared here, in which the male and female sides of my person at that time were given a chance to have their say. 
Over five years worth of change have happened (I almost put the word growth there, but it seems unfair somehow to suggest loss of maleness is so positive), chronicled in these letters to a younger self. 
Looking back, it seems the personalities writing those conversations could not be mine, and yet, I do remember the feeling of having two people, quite separate vying for attention and a life.

One commentator suggested in the third instalment

"I think when these two parts become one you will be one happy bunny"

and she was so right, for to say I am a "happy bunny" is an understatement. Estrogen has not yet had a chance to have much effect, yet I just love knowing my body is finally getting a chance to catch up to my mind and heart. Waking in the morning feeling no inner conflict is an amazing feeling, one that most people take for granted. 

My friend Liz suggested it was probably time for this blog to become a venue for updating how changes are coming along, and I agree. You all know me well enough though to figure out the sort of thing I am not likely to do. So, for instance, no counter telling you how long since I started anti-androgens, and now HRT. I don't even remember when the doctor first prescribed spironolactone for instance. At this point, I can pinpoint the first time I smeared on the estrogen gel...and by the way, the smell (probably alcohol-based to promote evaporation) will very likely always have positive associations for me. 

The commitment to my sweetie to present as a male for her benefit might seem like a terrible setback to some, and yet once I got my head around it, this goes very nicely with my determination to never shout at the world "I AM A WOMAN!". I am not doing this for the sake of getting a label. Rather, labels will be the function of what people see and get from my presence in their life. I will try to keep clothing as neutral as possible, figuring that those who know me already will continue to believe I am presenting as male, and others will see whatever they want to see. I have quite a few woman's slacks and jeans and tops that nobody has seemed to notice so far. Otherwise, activities which have never been gender biased will continue. 

Like a person who has been in a hospital gown for a long time (you know the ones open at the back so the world can see your tush) and has got beyond caring, being self-conscious has become a thing of the past. I know that when people look at me, the first thing they are noticing and now and then commenting upon, is my lengthening and wavy hair. At about the same time, their eyes are wandering south a bit.. let us say the shirts are revealing some new features (you know the ones I mean). I haven't had any visible body hair now for many months, and when I am in shorts, eyes definitely head way south... and that puzzled look furrows a few brows. No comments on hairless chest and legs however. 

There is a very good possibility that at some future point, I will no longer be able to "pass" as male. Won't that be a terrible shame for some who care about the binary so very much. Only one person in my life matters in this regard, and yes it worries me that this slow-motion change will not bring her along fast enough, but she knows me and nothing that has actually happened has scared her. 

If you have the idea that passing as anyone other than myself is unimportant to me, you have read this perfectly. The adventure is now to find that authentic me. 

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. 

e.e. cummings

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Chosen Family

A woman with many companions 
             may come to ruin, 
but there is a friend         
who will stick closer than a sister
Adapted from Proverbs 18:24

The previous post left you thinking that my sweetie is amazing and she is. And yet, if it were up to her, I would never have made that trip that day. If it were up to her, I would never have realized I am trans, and all of this would go away. As patient and loving as she is, she wants desperately to live with a man.

There are women in my life who are like sisters to me. Steadfast and true. Bear with me as I tell you about two who have helped me change my life.

Coline and I have been corresponding for years now. She lives across the pond, but that hasn't stopped us from getting to know one another, and finding out how much like twins we are. Heavens, we finish each others sentences or type the very same thing back at one another simultaneously in most of our chats.

Alice and I only met this past February, and in that short time have come to be so close. She and I live in close enough proximity that we can visit regularly, just for lunch sometimes, which we do.

Last week, I probably wouldn't have made it to that appointment without the support of these two. As mentioned in the previous post, I was in a terrible turmoil about going. Neither of them talked me into doing anything, but they boosted my self-confidence and reminded me of things I have said and told them.
I know Coline would have come with me on that long drive if she could, but it was Alice who told me she would love to be part of this big day. She did the driving. When we stopped for the inevitable first trip to the ladies' room, she was by my side (in the next stall!) to make sure I didn't get into any trouble. Lunch together was so relaxed. Well, just like two girlfriends out together, because that is what we are!

As the day went by, it became so clear to me that I was in my element finally, but I cannot leave the topic of that day, without singing the praises of friends who stick closer than a sister, mine or anyone else's for that matter.

Love you both!!