Feb 29, 2008

Friday Snow and Tyra TV

It’s happy Friday today!! I say happy Friday because that means the weekend is here and I don’t have to work until Monday, so I’m happy!! Not really, I’m always happy .. I just don’t let everyone know that all the time ..LOL

The air is crisp this morning, a cool 5 degrees with a major snowfall due this evening. This seems to have become the norm this season. Up here in New England there is a saying about March. In like a lion out like a lamb. It refers to the storminess at the beginning of the month and the onset of springs warmer temperatures towards the end of the month. While I love the changes of seasons in New England, I’ve had enough snow for this season already!

A few days ago the Tyra Banks show did an hour segment on some Transgender people, specifically male to females. The first girl that was interviewed was on the day before her surgery and then the show was set to come back 3 weeks after her surgery. She was a very pretty blonde haired girl that oozed feminine charm. As she was being interviewed she mentioned that she had already been through several surgeries (Facial surgery, Breast augmentation) but not the big one. At the end of the show she was being questioned about what advice she could give people just starting, her answer rung a bell close to home. It’s an answer that I would resonate to anyone just starting and was actually part of my early counseling sessions. Start with small changes first. Start with the most temporary moving towards the most permanent.

For me that was something as simple as emotionally working on self-acceptance, something I’d always had a hard time with. I couldn’t accept my inner feelings because I knew it could present a life of financial hardship. The next was self-empowerment. The idea that no matter what I had the power to make decisions that were right for me regardless of what other people around me might think. Then came the start of changing clothing. My counselor told me I needed to give myself that time to get used to wearing things and making them part of my normal day. For me as stupid as that may sound was to start wearing some jewelry. On my right hand since the first counseling sessions I have worn a thumb ring, pinky ring, and one the ring finger. Seems kind of dumb doesn’t it? No big deal? Being wrapped up in my own guilt I could never give myself permission to do anything that might reveal my secret. It took many months for me to overcome that feeling and I would often hide my hand early on as to not being attention to the fact that I was wearing some girls rings.

On my pinky is a tiny gold heart ring (I have a thing for hearts)given to me by my wife. My ring finger is again another heart ring but the hearts are cutout and the wrap all the way around the band. My thumb ring now is a sterling silver ring of the musical staff with notes wrapped all the way around the band. These things a very dear to who I am and it helped set the first baby steps to who I am becoming. It all starts with giving yourself permission to embrace your inner feelings. All of these small changes could be construed as either permanent or temporary I suppose, but they are the founding steps.

The next was HRT (Hormone replacement therapy). This was a decision that was not to be taken lightly. This was something that would only be made available after meeting certain criteria in counseling as well. Initially the changes are subtle and can be thought of as temporary. Slowly they become more and more permanent. The first thing you will start to notice is the emotional changes. Chances are if you are transgender that you will start to feel a more even tone to your emotional base. I know this sounds crazy as emotional as women can be but in my case I now understand that testosterone kept me on the edge of an out of control state. While I can cry more easily now or make decisions base more in an emotional state I am certainly much more even toned with my temperament, something the people around me love to point out when I’m having a tough time with things. LOL

Slowly buds in your breasts will start to develop and they will get tender. While the changes can possibly be reversed at this point the more permanent changes are taking effect. By this point you should be aware whether or not this whole process is right for you. Anything further and you are permanently altering your body. As the effects of hrt are setting in you become sterile so if you were hoping for children at some point you need to make sure you worry about that before you make the jump. Your skin will start to soften and redistribute the fat underneath, allowing the layer of skin to thin with more fat bed underneath. Erections will subside and the amount of blood that circulates to that region tends to slow and you have a feeling of less mass.

The testicles will start to shrink as well. The normal thing to expect is that you will probably no long have the ability to have erections as things progress. If this is an issue then hrt is certainly not for you and you probably aren’t a target of full transition. For me I started hrt on the 3rd week of Jan 2006 and while I was scared to death at the changes that were ahead of me I will admit there isn’t one that I would want to give back. For me I know the changes to my body are more permanent and I welcome even more of them. While I am still able to function down below I am not unhappy with the changes I’ve been through and I know after all this time that it is right for me, it simply works.

Obviously other things will become more apparent and just as important as your outer appearance starts to change. Again from a psychological point of view this is a major change to go through, especially if you a lived in a certain roll for a long time. While I wanted to be perceived as female, addressed as a female when it started to happen there was still a period of adjustment for me. It amazing how much the soul needs to follow the exterior at times.

Obviously the final steps are name changes, full time test and ultimately the big surgery, none of this should be your immediate goal in my opinion. By taking your time, working on thinks as you can absorb them naturally you are ensuring every step is the right step for you. Please remember it isn’t a race, this is your whole state of being you are playing with.

Today, I am who I am. I have some better days that are better than others and I’m moving forward. Even in my worst of moods now I’m still happy to be alive to enjoy the people that I love. By taking those measure steps I’ve never once taken on more than I can handle even if at times it can feel overwhelming. I’m happy that the inner girl is finally over riding the outer boy that I have seen in the mirror for so long. I know this is what I needed to do to be right.

One of the last things that I would give as my advice would be to embrace more positive energy. Understand that we cannot always be positive as life throws us curves, but we can achieve to make everything the best it can be. When we project ourselves in a positive light then other people absorb that and become drawn to it. In doing so we show the people around us that this isn’t something to fear but something we empower within ourselves. I’m a firm believer now that the more positive energy we emit from ourselves, the more positive energy that will return to us from others. It is the best way to take hold of who we are. I’m not perfect, I still have negative time but now that negative time isn’t every moment of every day. Life is good ..

Hope your weekend kicks ass ..

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