"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Saturday 14 January 2017

And Now You Are a Woman

Sounds like some sort of benediction, doesn't it? Just exactly when does someone like me become a woman

Since mid February of last year I have lived as a woman in all aspects of my life. As soon as it was possible, my identification papers (every single one of them) were written in my proper female name and with the help of my doctors, the designation area of each one says "female" and has since June of last year. I have travelled extensively as a woman and have learned to accept that I no longer hold a door and allow anyone to walk through ahead of me unless they are my senior by a lot, or are infirm. I am a woman, and that means that often the door gets held for me. It is part of our culture to give some deference to women. I always say thank you. 

I have also learned that men's washrooms are clearly larger than the women's...  otherwise why would there be lines of us waiting to get into ours and men walking in and out of theirs at the same time?

What I haven't yet experienced is the dumbing down of any discussion because I am a woman. Granted, I never have been particularly handy with automotive repairs, but who is, in this age of cars you plug into a computer for a checkup? If there is still a carburetor under the hood there, it is definitely not located under the air filter anymore.. where the heck is the air filter?? 

There have been many times when I had to ask myself whether I should still do some of those things I was really good at before. Things like woodworking and snow removal and splitting of logs and hauling big bags of conditioning salt for the water softener are guy jobs, aren't they?

There are new things I'm learning that might seem womanly, but I have always loved to cook. With the help of a friend and the internet I'm learning to crochet. It is fun! 

I will admit that a year and a half of hormone replacement therapy has left some of my anatomy less well equipped to heft 20 kg bags about, but darn it, someone has to get those things from the store home and into the basement and there isn't a guy anywhere about. Someone has to clear the walks and driveway from the blanket of snow that can make walking or driving impossible otherwise. I live in Canada and that means you either operate a snow blower and heft a shovel or you hire someone to do it for you. I am not infirm, wealthy, lazy, incompetent, or weak, or deathly afraid of sharp blades, so I can and will do it myself. 

Will being able to crochet make me more womanly? If I continue to discuss the workings of my car, drive a golf ball 250 yards, heft heavy loads, remove the snow, or make up my own fire in the stove, does that make me less womanly?  I think not!

Oh, and by the way, I have an appointment scheduled for next month to arrange for my gender confirmation surgery and I am over the moon happy about it! 

Surgery won't make me a woman. I have been that for a long time; long before the documents or the hormones. It will give me something that was denied me for most of my life however. Sometimes you have to wait for the world to catch up with you. 

Yup, I am a woman and proud of it. 


  1. hi Halle! Nice to read this and hear what's been happening for you. Congrats!

    1. Dru, I was reading your latest post just before I wrote this one. So lovely to know you are enjoying nature around your mooring on the canal.
      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Great positive post! You indeed ARE a woman!

    1. Thanks Tess. I was just reading your January 3 post. You mention not really knowing who your friends are until you are 100% sure of who you are yourself. It is so true! As you can tell, my own voyage of personal discovery is ongoing. I have found that the people who I trusted with the truth about me very early on, have been the ones who are sticking with me. Folks who were told, or found out just when I was "going full time" have not been as likely to be real friends.

      All the best to you!

      Here is Tess's post: http://tess-is-a-mess.blogspot.ca/2017/01/real-friends.html

    2. Wow! Thank you so much for the mention and recognition. Being really "yourself" and being honest, open and transparent with anyone/everyone will certainly tell anyone who is their true friends and close family. I'm working on that (besides my wife) and look forward to really understanding who my true friend are, my loyal family and who is worthy of MY love and friendship.

      Thanks again Halle :-)

  3. I am truly impressed by your progress and resulting insight.
    Good on ya!

    An old friend

  4. Terrific post! I know how you feel about losing strength, even though I wasn't particularly strong pre-HRT. Before starting hormones I told my friend F that one of the effects is that I would lose some of my upper body mass. He looked at my pipe-cleaner arms and said, dubiously, "Is that even possible?" (Spoiler alert: it was.) :D

    Ciao for now, hon!

    Hugs & love,

    1. Hehheh, I have to admit that redistribution of body mass has done wonders for me!
      Hugs and love right back at you Hon!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I deleted my earlier comment because it was not clear (to me!) what I meant. Here is my revised comment:

      Whilst reading through the list of activities you now engage in, or not as the case may be, I realised that activity does not define one's gender. I think that what appear to be characteristics of gender are largely 'in the mind', with their manifestations in the physical body, but not defined by it. [I hope that is clearer.]

      I must say that for as long as I have been reading your blog posts, even if I have not always understood the fine detail so to speak, I have always been interested in what you have had to say. I have never had a great antipathy towards anyone who is transgender [or gay come to that] I have, nevertheless, found my attitude.......softening(?) somewhat as a result of what I have read here. Perhaps it all began when I started learning about the difficulties faced by alcoholics and other addicts - and the codependent part I played in that scene. Knowledge carries with it a sense of wonder. Thank you, Halle.

    2. You and I share much in our approach to life and learning it seems to me Tom. That sense of wonder seems to permeate each learning experience, no matter the source.

      Your comments are always very clear to me, by the way. Thank you as always.

  6. As a transman I do quite a lot of jobs that would be considered "female" but I also do a great deal of jobs that aren't, but I always did. These tasks do not have a gender. Men can knit, women can fix cars.

    1. Absolutely Joey, and yet that very fact begs the question, How do you know you are a man, if you are doing jobs that are women's work?
      For a long time it was suggested to me that all I had to do was wear some more colourful men's clothing and stop this being a woman nonsense.
      Sexuality is clearly not about clothing, or hobbies, or work we do, but who we are at the deepest level.

  7. Yup, you’re a woman and proud of it, so no excuses Halle for not being able to break 80 on the golf course since you can drive the ball (straight?) 250 yards.
    Quite a while back I played a game with a women partner in a special best ball foursome’s event, designating play from the women’s tees. We won the event and I must confess I loved playing forward from the front and would gladly have adopted that ongoing option, if it was allowed in competitions.
    Your driving distance is about average for women’s pro golf tour and veterans who were previously in the long camp. But can you putt and chip?
    Best wishes

    1. Lindsay, I didn't know you are another soul inflicted with the golf bug. We might risk putting some to sleep with my reply, but that is a warning; golf talk coming:

      While I can hit 250, usually I hold back a bit for control and get 210 to 220 but straighter.
      Depending on age and skill level, many here are playing what we call "the forward tee blocks". Truly it is not about sex. Calling them "Women's Tees" really bothers me. The tee box a player should use is determined by how far their shots go and what length of hole will allow them a good chance to succeed on that course.

      I find that using the forward tees gives me little advantage, because I can rarely take the risk of using my driver on the tee from there; no, they don't fly reliably straight enough for that. I like to have a full shot going into a hole, so I plan ahead to be no closer than 100 yards, or inside 40 yards for my approach shot (avoiding those control wedge shots between 40 and 100 yards). That gives me the best chance to score. From the forward tees that often means hitting a mid or short iron off the tee. For that reason, I like to play the a mid-length tee box. A 360 yd par four is quite ideal usually, for instance.
      Chipping and putting is mostly a function of how much play I've had, and I'm in a strange position these days. The men won't readily give me a game because getting bested by a woman isn't their favourite thing and the women won't because the thing I'm "too good".

      Oh, and it might be the hormones or simply a better and calmer attitude, but this past year the ball is going a lot straighter! And yes, I usually play in the low 80s and have broken into the 70s.

      As it is mid-summer there, I'll tell you to enjoy a game for me Lindsay.
      All the Best.

  8. Hi Halle,
    At the risk of also putting more people to sleep I have to tell you a nice golf story.
    It came to mind considering your idea the tee boxes in play should be determined by player’s abilities. You have good company on that one, from none other than Jack Nicklaus when he played an exhibition match with Ian Baker Finch on the local course where I was a member.
    At the time the match committee determined championships and major events were to be from the back tees, which caused Jack to comment that the course was never designed that way. Those back tees he declared to the large gallery around the 18th were only meant to be used very occasionally for top professionals playing a tournament. “Members enjoy yourself and sensibly play of the middle tees for your championship events, stop torturing yourselves”, he chided those in charge.
    As a keen golfer just imagine facing a monster par 4 measuring 480 yards (but downhill) with severe hazards both sides of the narrow fairway. Many over 440 yards. Some par 3’s about 200 yards and with long water carries and a narrow entrance, greens sloping into the water hazard.
    But the nice story convened a brief interaction I enjoyed with Nicklaus. On the day, I had invited a keen lady client golfer and she told me her mother had always wanted to get his autograph on a magazine article she had kept faithfully for years. So she had brought the magazine with her but was a little reluctant to walk up and ask him in the middle of his round. So coming down the 18th fairway I took the opportunity. Not only did he oblige, but fussed about what he needed to be written down, as if it somehow it was of some great importance. Afterwards he started talking about his home and family back in Florida. A few jokes thrown in and a bit of banter with Ian Baker Finch who Jack claimed, he had got to know very well since their respective children went to the same school, till he fessed up – well actually I meant to say my grandchildren. No pretense whatsoever.
    On and off the course – always straight down the middle. And from then on we more sensibly started playing more events off the middle tees.
    Best wishes

    1. What a lovely story, Lindsay. Thank you.

  9. I am super happy for you Halle. You struggled long enough and now reap the benefits of the life you were always meant to have!