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Monthly Archives: June 2013

One Month HRT

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metamorphosis_II_by_julmendOne month already!  I knew it was here because my prescriptions were out!  So this is sort of a summary of what its like after 30 days on hormones.

Executive summary:  Estradiol is working great, good results.  But Spirol (he was worried about low blood pressure and only put me on 1/4 the dosage) seems to be having only a marginal effect.

Estradiol:  I have already noticed four effects – some just marginally, in fact so small that I’m not sure and others, although still small, are noticeable (well notable at least).

Before my breasts were chest muscles and probably fat.  They have actually ‘shrunk’ – ack!   However, the texture and resiliency are very different.  The areola and nipples are the same size but now have ‘sensitivity’.  At times there were small lumps in the areola and on and off they were more firm.  I have also noticed that my sports bras are a bit more snug feeling and that I’m feeling my shirt or blouse more when I walk.  More than a few times when taking a shower or drying off I noticed that when my arms were out in front of me, that they were bumping or rubbing against the sides of my breasts or the front and I felt that!  My side profile has changed too – whereas before that tissue more or less was flat, now my breasts have a small but definite profile.

My buttocks seem to have a defined shape as well.  Placing my hands on my hips, thumb forward and fingers wrapped around behind, I noticed that I’m a bit more curvy there than before.  I have some woman’s slacks that before was a little baggy in the back that now fit much better.

I have been shaving my legs, stomach and chest and have noticed that my skin seems a bit smoother as well.  Especially noticeable is my forehead (which is not shaved or anything so therefore serves as a good benchmark).

And the last thing I have noticed is my body.  Others have described in their transition as feeling more feminine.  That didn’t quite explain it for me.  Yes, it’s a more feminine feeling day-to-day but I think the really big internal change is that the body is catching up to the ‘me’ that is inside it (mind and spirit or what ever you want to call that).  The body and the internal gender are starting to match – congruence.  It’s a wonderful feeling of having everything together, of everything starting to be ….. ‘me’!

Spiro: well here is where I’m not as satisfied, granted this is only 1 month.  About the only thing I can use as a measure here would be penile functioning and attendant physiology.  An oft reported effect is the lack of both the responsiveness and frequency.  Before I thought I had a problem with ‘frequency’ only to find out I was quite normal for a male.  Non-the-less this was something I did not want and couldn’t wait for it to abate.  Well, it has abated but not as much as I would wish.  I am still quit able there, it takes a bit long and is getting hard to accomplish.  So there is progress on that front.

I do see changes related to this as well. For example, before a bikini clad well shaped and sexy woman on the beach would arouse me. Now, I’m noticing whether that style of bikini suits her figure, would I wear those colors or that style and how is she wearing her hair. I also find myself comparing her figure with what I think I’ll have and then try to imagine what I could wear.

My orientation is to women – that has not changed, only now I would be considered a lesbian. I find that instead of a masculine arousal, I have a different kind of internal arousal. It’s still too new to describe. I feel more attracted to my partner then ever before. I want to please her and make love to her – but not in a masculine way at all, but more of a sensual giving manner. I also enjoy when she comes up behind me and hugs/caresses me, especially my budding form!

And I do have to admit, for the first time I find some men – ummm – interesting. I do not think anything more of this other then I can understand what other woman ‘see’ and ‘want’ in men. I can feel this now from a feminine point of view. Like I said, my orientation is to women, I am a lesbian, but I can understand (feel) the ‘stirrings’ a hetro-woman has.

Appreciating One’s Self

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1017080_441532959286908_1263357140_nSomehow we hear advice or quotes on life and never really ‘hear’ them.  We can know their meaning but somehow that remains superficial:  it’s meaning not really soaking in.

The latest one for me is “appreciating who I am” and “living each day – being happy in one’s self”.

Feeling my feminine nature, being able to express that freely and then witnessing that – exemplifies this.  So often these are taken for granted and life just continues on.  So seldom do we actually stop and notice/witness who we are and just simply revel in this moment.

But, to then take this moment of witnessing and ‘allow’ it to progress to the next level – honoring the moment and one’s self – empowering us to suddenly create these break-through events where seemingly staid and oft repeated cliche reveal their deeper meanings – it then ‘soaks’ in …

It’s that moment when a smile comes up from somewhere very deep inside of oneself and explodes upon your face and the world brightens!

Smiling profusely,


“Why are ‘you’ a woman?”

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7586971_f520In coming out, especially to family, I inevitably get the question: “what makes you think you are a woman” and “give me examples through-out your life” followed by “well, men are like that/do that too”.

One can get caught in this game of proof by example …

I always try to start by telling them that since birth I knew myself as female, that this was something inside me and that through-out my life I have struggled either by denying or rationalizing.

Still, they want examples …

It seems like most people want concrete examples, more or less proving that I am a woman.  Situations or characteristics that to them prove who I say I am.  Even those that know me well, start to point out “well, you are a scientist” or “you fixed cars” in trying to dis-prove or perhaps substantiate their own notion of who they ‘knew’ as me.  Even after giving them examples of natal women who hold those roles in life (and who I work with), they still look for other proof, either for or against.

It probably did not help that for most of their lives, I filled the ‘male’ role quite well.  I had kept this under wraps very successfully (and to an extent, even to myself with multiple rationalizations such as “I’m just a guy with these other abilities/characteristics …”).

Most people required someone in an authoritative position to be able to proclaim that I was a woman.  For example, “after 4 years of therapy, Dr. so and so diagnosed me as a transsexual woman”.  I hate using the word ‘diagnosed’ and I usually explain that this is not a ‘condition’ or a mental anything – this is akin to having red hair or green eyes – it’s just another version of the human experience – albeit not as common.

Even then, they dismiss that as “who is Dr so and so, are they qualified, are you sure?” …

I have also started to see or recognize that people are going through phases in dealing with my news.  It usually starts with the type of questioning I mentioned above, almost always from a negative/denial perspective.  Then they start to accept or see or perhaps relate to events where they have personally witnessed me, that they can now, in light of this news, re-interpret as coming from a feminine being.

This is usually followed by another phase where they now start asking ‘genuine’ questions and I can start to see the ‘wheels turning’ as they start to put everything together.  Acceptance is still a ways off, but now they are also more receptive to further information as well.  A lot of times they ask questions that I had already addressed right in the beginning – almost as if they didn’t hear what I had said.  I think most of the time they were just not ready to hear it then and that this was so overwhelming that they could not take it all in.  That is one reason I wrote both the coming out letter and the slides on what transsexualism is (both I have included on this site).

On the one hand I feel sad that people can not accept my feelings about who I am, my internal process, without black and white logistical proof – something that just does not exist in this realm.  About all that can be ‘seen’ externally is this ‘preponderance of evidence’ of example situations from one’s life experiences – things that taken individually can be dismissed quite easily.

This happened to me as well as I came to terms with who I am.  One of the phases I went through (see the tab above titled ‘Beginnings’ – I called them ‘bathtub moments’), was a collection and analysis of all those events that I could remember.  Look around at most of the other transsexual stories you see – almost all of them have major sections devoted to events and incidents through-out their lives attempting to offer proof that they/we are who we say we are – played with the girls, dressed in women’s clothing, not competitive, was creative, etc.  All of these, on a one by one basis could be dismissed, but on a preponderance of evidence criteria, perhaps could offer circumstantial evidence that we are transsexual beings.

But – why does that matter?  We know who we are.  Yes, we want to be accepted by our loved ones, our families and our friends.  How much of their questioning and disbelief comes back inside ourselves and either upsets us or perhaps even forces us to re-examine ourselves – to ask “what am I doing? (not in the context of “am I right” but in the context of what is the extent of the damage I am doing to others).  It forces us to once again weight risks and benefits – as if this is a business decision that can be rationally analyzed ….

In the end, it is our personal fortitude and strength that is tested, over and over again.  Perhaps this is good – it re-affirms who we are.  But why do we allow external forces to effect us?  Don’t get me wrong here:  I know who I am – this is not raising doubts.  However, we are social beings.  As much as some might wish independence – we do need loved ones and friends/family to live happily – at least I do.

We can ignore the plights of others as they go through their stages of accepting us, we can help them understand, we can have patience and show love and/or we can silently suffer through their angst and bewilderment.

I think what is most important is that ‘we’ know our own ‘truth’, know it well and are stable/grounded in it.  We are all different, but I choose to help those that struggle through these phases – I choose to avail myself to them (if they wish) and offer what ever support and love that I can.  Most importantly, I see this as ‘their’ problem/issue.  I am who I am and as a transsexual author friend of mine said (and her book is titled) “It’s ok to be me” !

With much aloha,