Showing posts with label hormonal treatment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hormonal treatment. Show all posts

Monday, February 13, 2023

It's in the DNA

The last time I was asked when I knew I was transgender was by my daughter who correctly said "You always knew right?" She was asking primarily because of her own trans child and how to understand them. (They/them are their preferred pronouns.)  I told her I knew to an extent I have always known something was wrong with how I perceived gender. 

Photo from the Jessie Hart

In my own personal gender research, I have read of the hormonal effects of the "DES" medication which was given to pregnant women in the time of my birth. If you are not aware, the medication "flooded" the wombs of women known to have problem births. By definition, "DES" is a synthetic form of the female estrogen hormone. The end result was it enabled the women to go full term and deliver healthy babies. My parents were on the verge of giving up and adopting a baby after a series of three still births until "DES" and I came along. As I researched the medication, the more I felt it could have a connection to my gender dysphoria. It could be why, all along I felt so natural anytime I attempted to research my inner feminine side. Perhaps the feeling had been always with me, including the time before I could even express it. 

The entire hormonal aspect of my life came full circle when I started on my own version of "DES" when I started more synthetic estrogen to my system through hormone replacement therapy. It seemed my body took to the hormonal process similar to how a duck takes to water. Changes to my body came fast and furious. An example was when I needed quickly to find looser shirts to wear because my breasts began to grow faster than even I imagined. I can not stress enough how natural the new gender process felt. I feel most people want to zero in on all the physical changes of HRT when in reality, the internal changes were just as big. Just as quickly, my new hormones calmed me down and enabled me to see the world in a whole different light.  In a word, my existence was "softer." 

The more I held my new world in wonderment, the more I wondered why the process happened at all and why it took so long to happen.  The more I questioned the more I came to realize I didn't have a gender choice at all. I was never meant to try to live a male life. Cross dressing as a man, as well as the rest of the lifestyle, probably took years off my life. 

Finally, as I was able to trace my existence at birth (or before in the womb) was because of my exposure to a synthetic estrogen, it all started to make sense. I never had a chance. No matter how hard I tried to please my family and friends, I was always a girl. It was in my DNA.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It's All About the Hair

When I was very young the thought of ever being able to afford a nice, quality wig was the impossible dream. Since I was forced into the fashionable boy haircuts of the day ( a short burr or crew cut), I couldn't even begin to approximate having girls hair when I dressed up. I can't even remember wearing a towel around my head to look more feminine. Somehow, I made do until years later I was able to buy the first wig of my dreams, a sleek shoulder length blond hair piece I loved. In fact I think I bought it originally for my first fiancé and then managed to "inherent" it from her when we broke up. Something like you keep the ring and I will keep the wig. Definite priorities, right?

After I maintained ownership, that hairpiece managed to travel with me around the country when I was able to hide it in my baggage. I learned to be very skillful as I packed a small "collection" of women's clothes with my regular wardrobe. Now, as I fast forward several years to another time in my life, I found myself with enough freedom and financial resources to try and buy several ill advised wigs. I conservatively estimate I bought ten in a years time and of which, only two should have been worn in public. 

Finally, after I started hormone replacement therapy, my own hair quickly grew to a point where I could follow my daughter's lead and go to her salon and have it styled. At that point I felt I was truly making serious advances in my MtF gender transition. I loved fixing my own hair but it was an experience having to learn to take care of the back of my head also. No longer did I just have to rely on turning a wig head around and brushing it out. Paula, from the "Paula's Place" blog wrote in and commented on her similar experience:

Photo Courtesy 
Paula Godwin

"I note your comments about acting, there was a moment when I abandoned the use of a wig, for the first tie I felt as though I wasn't in costume and wasn't playing apart. I was dressing as a woman, I wasn't pretending to be woman, I simply was a woman, I was me. Additionally that was when I first started to understand that in all those (oh so many) preceding years I had been playing a part ~ I had been pretending to be a man. Now I could start being me instead of playing the part society expected of me."

Thank you Paula. I agree with your comment on so many levels. The blessings bestowed on me from being able to undergo HRT therapy among other things accelerated my hair growth and I was fortunate not to have any vestiges of male pattern baldness. 

The "costume" comment resonated with me also. Very quickly, being able to do away with wigs and wear my own hair helped me with my gender dysphoria. In other words, I was able to settle in physically to being my authentic self. 

I too was able to convince myself that all those years of being a cross dresser, I had it all wrong. I wasn't cross dressing as a woman. I was fooling myself and was cross dressing like a man. 


Thursday, December 3, 2020

A "Passing" Game

 If you follow American professional football at all, you probably have heard of the frustrations over the years from the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. This year, once we drafted Joe Burrow our passing game dramatically improved until he suffered a major injury and is out for the remainder of the year. In other words, their "passing game" went away.

The same can happen to transgender women as they work their way through life. Early in my life, as a prolific cross dresser, I had various levels of success and failure when it came to my appearance. When I came out as a transgender woman in my sixties, I relied on any natural success I acquired cross dressing along with the changes brought along by hormone replacement therapy to mostly succeed at presenting as a transgender woman.  

Along the way, I received several comments on the passing post. Ironically, the last thing I wanted to do was try to fish for compliments on whether I passed or not. At this point in my life I am way past all of that. If I can't get by in the world the way I am now, I never will.

As a change of pace in this post, I have decided to pass (no pun intended) along a couple comments.

The first is from Connie:

 Gee, the way you started this post, I thought you were referring to a Hail Mary Pass. ;-) Self-deprecation does not become you, sweety.

If one looks at passing as a last-ditch effort or a win/lose proposition, it rarely works out favorably. Desperation is more telling than one's actual physical presentation. In continuing the football metaphor, I am a Seahawk fan who has learned that attempting to force a pass (as in a certain now-infamous Superbowl play) can lead to disaster. :-)"

If you don't know, the Seahawks were basically on the goal line attempting to score the winning touchdown with time running out. They pulled a Bengals and tried a pass which was intercepted in the end zone as time ran out. No "passing privilege" for them!

And now, here is another comment from Emma Gray:

"I love your self-description of yourself: "a woman of transgender experience." I use that a lot for myself too.

As for "passing": I know it's the common lingo and although I've tried I haven't come up with an alternative. The thing is, I don't care for that word because it implies that I'm like a secret agent, passing within society for something I am not. I thus worry that it could reinforce unsupportive cis people's ignorance. Anyway...

I also like Rachell Brindell's quote. I've wondered that myself, for me, but especially for trans children who are increasingly being raised with pubertal hormone treatment that supports their authentic gender. So, they won't be identified as trans until and unless they disclose. I suppose there will always be post-pubertal transitioners so we won't disappear per se.

Then again, it seems to me that gay people are not nearly as identifiable as they were in the 70s and 80s when they needed to establish pride, self-esteem, and community identification.

The worst situation IMHO is for non-binary (NB) people. My therapist is AFAB NB. Visibly feminine, they are consistently triggered by well-meaning people using the wrong pronouns and gender for them. And there's nothing they can do. Should they wear a sign? I certainly don't think so as it brings the Nazi treatment of Jews to mind.

Anyway, being identified as a woman without qualifying adjectives is delightful isn't it!"

It is indeed! I look at it as a payback for the years of harassment I went through! Thank you all.

Workplace Issues

Image from Gabrielle Henderson  on UnSplash. Sadly, many transgender women and trans men still get discriminated against when they seek out ...