In response to my "Transgender for Dummies" post yesterday, Connie had this comment:
"Well, it's for sure that Clare Flourish is not "Transgender for Dummies." I read her blog regularly, and I don't think I've gotten through a single post without having to visit Dictionary.com to find the meaning of a word she has used. She certainly offers something for which I can contemplate in most every post.
Speaking as one who must endure a transition without the "assistance" of HRT, I have only been an interested observer of my trans sisters who have been able to experience the effects of female hormones on their bodies and minds. Having fathered two daughters, and having more than just a passing interest as they have grown through puberty, pregnancies and motherhood, has taught me how I might fit into the world of the feminine mystique as a trans woman, as well. There is much to which I can't directly relate, but I, at least, have been able to create a personal mindfulness.
If I were able to go on HRT, I wonder if my mindfulness would be overcome by emotional mood swings. I have observed trans women who had little mindfulness before HRT, and most of them have shown themselves to be emotional messes at times. Cis girls certainly have little mindfulness as they go through puberty, but they do have their peers (and, if fortunate enough, a caring and wise mother) to help them through the trials and tribulations. Trans women don't usually have that luxury, and learning to deal with the changes brought about by powerful hormones must be daunting. I would like to think that I would be better prepared, myself, but I think that there would be only one way to find out. Still, I have been around trans women who began HRT with the thought that it would be the be-all-end-all of their transitions without much support or education. This is why I've often said that HRT can either fuel you or fool you. That's only from my position as an observer, of course.
For whatever reason, I've always been a pretty sensitive person. Being raised as a male, with the assistance of testosterone, had been enough to keep most public demonstration of my sensitivity to a minimum. When I finally declared that I was going to live the rest of my life as the woman I know I was born to be, I found much relief in being allowed to express my emotions more freely. I tend to shed tears at the, seemingly, most silly little things. The only reason I might try to gain control over them, these days, is to keep from messing up my makeup! :-) "
I would agree Clare Flourish is no dummy! Didn't mean to imply she was. More precisely, I was trying to say I was the dummy.
My view on HRT is it is a stepping stone. In many instances such as I, it has provided me a much needed edge in be able to to present more favorably as a trans woman. I was far from a "natural." So, as far as I am concerned, HRT fueled me to where I wanted to go. On the other hand, HRT is far from the miracle worker many perceive it to be. As with any other medical procedure, it all needs to be kept in perspective.
I know a couple novice transgender women who are so convinced HRT is the magic stepping stone to bottom surgery, they have it all laid out in their minds how quick it all can happen. Both have barely taken the time to live a feminized existence.
Needless to say, it is a radically different deal when you start to live full time.