This was my most significant month so far as changes go. So much occurred this last month!
The largest change was starting my RLE (Real Life Experience) – living full time, everywhere as a woman. The event that triggered this was picking up my partner when she returned home (see my post “A daring surprise for my partner“). Having my eye brows shaped and my hair styled not only allowed me to more clearly see how I have evolved physically and could finally ‘see’ the woman in me starting to bloom on the outside, but it also gave me the confidence to go full time.
This coupled with the sensitivity training at work (see “The Girl Card” where I was asked to explain transgender terms to our entire staff) gave me the opportunity to fully come out to the rest of the people at work. This of course led to the “Use the woman’s restrooms” post. Another major ordeal was “getting legal“. I’ve been busy posting this month too!
I had planned to start my RLE in November as that would have been 6 months HRT and from the research I had done, that seemed like the proper time for a lot of the physical changes to have occurred and theory was I would be more passable.
However, I did not count on these changes happening sooner. So much so that I had somewhat the opposite problem: I could not hide the changes that were occurring! My hair is longer, my breasts are larger (they show even if I bind them) and my face and body shape are changing as well. When I had my brows shaped and my hair styled – poof – I was over the edge.
Granted – I do not consider myself ‘passing’: my hair has a long way to go, my face is better – very little black hair left because of laser (but now I can see the little white hairs) and I have a long way to go with voice training. I am getting a lot of hugs and well wishes, as I mentioned in the “getting legal” post.
So, I’m 100% living as myself – a woman. The change in my day to day feelings and my interactions with others, especially at work, are wonderful. I’m able to let go of the male facade and just be. It might seem silly, especially to someone that does not have gender issues and it’s hard to explain, but the type of freedom and exuberance I feel is so great. It has to do both with me internally, but also with society and how I’m seen and for the most part accepted. To authentically be one’s self and to be seen and treated as such (and in a number of my relations – to be admired for taking these step) is an awesome thing. I am very happy and content that I undertook this and have come this far with so many wonderful people around me.
Ok, now for the details on what has changed in this last month – I’ll break this down into external and internal this time:
Externally there have been a number of significant changes. Most obvious are my breasts. One of the signs they are growing is that the tube dress I like (has optional straps) I can wear without the straps now – it stays up just fine. But they are hurting as they grow (ummm more like soreness – not a really bad kind of hurting). I will get spots that become sore and a day later I’m larger there. I started on the outsides, then they grew above the nipples, then on the insides (I have cleavage now), and then on the bottoms. Then they were very sore directly under the nipples. Each starts with a hardness, almost a lump (got me worried – but my doctor said it was ok and expected) that was sore and that slowly softened over a few hours and by the next day I was larger in that area. Right now I have this hardness deep under each nipple and this is the sorest I’ve been so far.
Another big change regarding my breasts are their – ummm, how to say this politely …., they are ‘stimulatable’ … as my partner aptly proved one day – I darn near levitated …. I had no sensations there before, so this is a big and obvious change (obvious to me…).
I’ve been losing weight and that plus the effects of hormones are having an effect. My tummy is flatter and my bottom is ever so slightly filling out resulting in the appearance of some small but noticeable curves. My woman’s jeans and pants are fitting very nicely now and some tops are able to emphasize those curves!
My face is starting to change as well. I can just notice a difference from before. It is losing its hard masculine features and everything is getting much softer.
Shaving: legs and arms I shave about once a week, tummy and chest about every two day and I shave my face about every two days as well – more often depending on what I’m doing that day.
I’m not using cosmetics except for filling in my eye brows, coloring the slight grey/silver hair in two small spots by my ears and sometimes I’ll wear lipstick. Daily I will blow dry my hair in such a way to give it lift, style it a bit and set it with hair spray.
Internally this is the first month where I have noticed any changes and ummmm, others have too. I was always automatically accommodating – to a fault. Since my problems coming out to my oldest son, I have eased up on that quite a bit. I no longer accommodate but now will openly question situations. My partner used the word ‘bitchy’ at one point and ‘your hormones are acting up’, but then explaining that I’m being more sensitive and at some times ‘touchy’, reacting more strongly than the situation would seem to warrant – and then she added: “like a woman having her period”! Others at work have been more diplomatic but basically said that more often I’m discussing things, being more assertive, questioning more and not being overly accommodating as I used to be.
The other internal change is harder to quantify. Before I could sense when I felt ‘male’ or did a ‘male’ type of thing. That has completely gone away. I suppose it’s one of those things that are best seen – perhaps only seen – with hind sight. All I can say is that testosterone, like estrogen, is a very very powerful agent. I’m not sure which of these or all of these internal changes are due to what, but I can definitely say it is such a huge relief being done with testosterone (more accurately: being on a low to normal female level). I’m having a hard time trying to find the words to describe this. It’s like there is no longer this need or drive to be alpha, to know everything, to solve everything or to be the one everyone looks to. I now feel like I can rest in my true nature – a supporter, a friend, a confidant and a nurturer. I love being protected, being taken care of, having someone hold the door open for me and just the smiles and hugs of companionship with other women. In one way, it is so much a load off my shoulders and in another it is just so wonderful to be accepted for who I am – my real authentic self.
With much aloha,
Congratulations on the changes, Sifan, and on marching ever closer to your true self.
Things seem to be progressing normally, although I don’t remember Emery ever describing me as ‘bitchy’. His favorite has always been ‘my little redheaded PhD ditz’.
Keep on keeping on.