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Monthly Archives: January 2014

8 Month Summary

Sifan 20131213cLots happening – I’ve been very busy the last month.

My partner’s brother died a week or so after we got back home.  He had a rough night and then a peaceful 40 hours or so before he died.  He was asleep for most of those 40 hours.  My partner is the estate executor so she became very busy.  He had a business and it was a bit messy taking care of  that.  One of the employees quit, necessitating that we sell off the business right away.  Turns out the other employee (and the one my partner’s brother wanted to give the business to) wanted it (with the help of his relative).  We then found out that the employee that quit  was trying to steal the customers!  What a mess.  All that is settled now.  We will be going back to California next week to continue her executor duties.

Most of this month I have been working very hard at that secure Air Force computing facility.  We are now moving a 15 rack cluster to another building a couple of blocks up the street.  There’s one guy and three of us women lifting 100 pound systems out of the rack, into boxes, onto a truck then out of the truck, out of the boxes and back into the rack in the new location.  With anywhere from 8 to 20 in a rack – do the math – this is a lot of work.  They had estimated two days per rack.  We are doing 2 racks a day – 4 times faster then the estimate.  Of course I kid them that this is doing the opposite of what I wanted to do at this point in my transition – building arm muscles!!  At one point we were transporting a computer rack in a pickup truck.  We had it laying down (barely enough room) and three of us were sitting in the truck bed holding onto it.  I was in the back corner with one leg along the bottom and the other along the side of the rack (my legs were 90 deg apart) when suddenly the rack moved directly at me.  We all laughed and joked that this could save me the cost of my ‘operation’ ….. (these are close friends and we can have fun this way).  I am looking forward to our trip to California for a number of reasons – one of which is to have a breather from this heavy work.

I had my third hair styling with Karen.  She is great.  This time she also waxed my eye brows, plucked them and colored them.  She says I’m over the hump as far as the hair growing in and it will be easier now to keep a style as my hair fills out.  I am happy with my hair at last, but still can’t wait until it’s long enough to put in a pony tail or have other options.  I love my bangs.

I belong to a netgroup of older transgenders – mostly woman.  One of them started a thread discussing effects of being on HRT.  One of those effects was  that they no longer had this huge urgency to convert to a woman.  And it suddenly dawned on me – they are right – I don’t have the urgency and the angst that was there before.  Now, how much of this is due to being on HRT or to the fact that I’m living as a woman and being accepted as one.  After all, that was one of the most important aspects of this – to be able to be myself and have other accept me as myself.  Imagine that you have to put on an act – that people will not give you notice unless you do – you have to act and behave a certain way just to be able to live and get along.  But this is not who you are – you just want to be your self and have people accept you for that.  You want your natural tendencies of expression, emotion, body language, etc. to just come out, not to have to suppress them.  That’s what it was like.  And now, it’s beautiful – I am free to express, emote and be who I naturally am!

The pressure is not off completely …  For example, this does not mean I do not need bottom surgery (GRS).  One might ask “well, now that you are passing, you are a woman for all purposes, why do you need surgery – no one will know if you do or don’t”?  That is true, however it misses a very important point.  While being accepted by others as who I am is important, it is only 1/2 of the situation of being a transsexual.  I have written a lot on this blog about the external/sociological aspects of transsexualism and hardly anything at all about the internal/physiological aspects. I suppose partly because in my experience dealing with others, it is the sociological aspects that are always questioned or that are easier for others to understand and perhaps accept.

Me – I am a  woman – I was born with something that does not belong there.  My body was flooded by hormones that distorted me both physically, mentally and emotionally.  What is between my legs does not belong there, I never liked it:  I did not like what it did to me.  From my earliest memories as a child it did not ‘look’ right.  It was when my sister was born that I had my first real inkling of what I should have been.  This is the other 1/2 of being transsexual – me – my body – it is not what it is supposed to be.

Now please understand – I do not hate men – I do not hate ‘down there’ on men or myself.  That has nothing to do with this.  In fact, as a man I think I looked pretty darn good!  It’s just – that is ‘not’ who I am – that is not me.  Men are awesome (so are women), I’m just not a male.

So, the planning for gender affirmation surgery is in full swing.  Both my partner and myself are excited and are looking forward to … after I recover ….  I have narrowed it down to three surgeons: Montreal, San Francisco, and Bankok.  Lots of pro’s for each and very little cons for any.  Everyone I talk to that has had GRS with any of these three, all have glowing recommendations.  That makes this choice even more difficult!  I talked with GP doctor and she is willing to review them for me and give me her opinion – I’m grateful for that.  So I will be seeing her again next month to discuss this and  the pre-surgery requirements and tests.

I met with my endocrinologist this month too.  All my hormone levels are where they belong – mid-range typical woman.  I thought my testosterone levels were a bit high and wanted to increase my spiro dosage – but he pointed out that my levels are well within the norm for a woman and also, with surgery coming up – I won’t be taking spiro anymore!

Physically, I’ve added an inch to my bust line, my waist has reduced a bit and my bottom padded out a bit, giving me a bit more curves.  I still have soreness in my breasts, but perhaps not like before.  I started taking progesterone but stopped.  I’m not sure of it’s effect but I suppose I have not really tried it long enough.  I may start taking it again and see if it helps with breast soreness.  My endocrinologist was 50/50 as far as benefits of using it and totally left it up to me.  I bought something called “Happy PMS” that has the correct dosage of progesterone.

So here it is, end of January 2014.  It’s a year ago that transition suddenly became a critical life goal – the hair cut incident in my post about my history.  It is 6 months until my GRS and 3 months until our marriage.  Oh, I have to lose so much weight !!

With much Aloha,

Sifan

Month 7 Summary

Sifan 20131213bI’m a bit late posting this, so Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

There are a number of miscellaneous things that happened this month:

I had to work at a secure military site – we had to pack up and move about 6 tons of computer gear (our equipment).  This was the first time I had been there as a woman, so passing the security check with my new name was ‘daunting’ to say the least – especially because I had to show the before and after paperwork plus the supporting documents.  This resulted in the guards calling me ‘sir’ – but the next time I was in they got it right.  Because this was a secure site, we were under constant guard  We had an escort and we all had to stay together – even when we went to the restrooms!   It was hard work and hot (even though it was in an air conditioned computer room).  I had to take off my shirt (wore a tank top under it) and I caught the guards checking me out!  Our ‘team’ included two other women and one guy.  This was the first time I was in the woman’s restroom with others from my work.   When my partner and I use the public restroom we talk etc. but this was the first time with others where we carried on conversations and stood around fixing our hair, etc. – it was quite refreshing actually!

Just before Christmas my partner and I went out dress shopping.  I mostly wear jeans and tank tops (sometimes with shirts) both to work and around town, so I didn’t have very many dresses and I guess I wasn’t in any hurry to buy any.  Well, given this sale and the resulting prices and the wonderful selection …. ya, bought seven dresses including one long red dress and also a red top and red skirt, both for dressing up for Christmas.  A number of the other dresses are boho – and I’m starting to really love that style.  While we were in southern California, I wore a number of these dresses.  That seems to be a change for me:  before I would only wear a dress if it was a special occasion.  Now I’m starting to ‘want’ to wear a dress when going out, more often.

My partners’ brother is in the final phases of cancer.  He came down with a bad infection so we flew over to southern California to be with him over Christmas.  It was a time for me to be caring and nurturing both to her brother but especially to my partner.  We celebrated Christmas in his bed room.  He has recovered from the infection, so we are now back home.  (Update: he died today Jan 12 – we will be going back soon – my partner is the estate executor).

It’s a little colder in southern California than it is in Maui (ya, we are spoiled). All I brought with were flippa’s – my feet were freezing! So I went out and bought my first pair of stylish above ankle boots. Nice and comfy and ‘warm’ (good thing my jeans are boot cut).  But, as long as I was there … (giggles, you know where this is going):  well, they had this awesome pair of 3″ heels (my size) on sale – yup, my first pair of 3″ heels!  I needed something to go with my red Christmas dress.   Before buying them, I walked all over the store, back and forth in front of mirrors – making sure I could do handle these.  So far I’m doing ok – haven’t killed myself – not even a bruise yet. Only problem is I’m getting nose bleeds from this high altitude!   Lisa wanted to take a walk – so I did – went about a block – up/down stairs, over curbs, uneven pavements, dashed out of the way of a truck ….. feet are a just a little sore but the heels (and me) are working out great !  After we got back home to Maui we went out to a fancy restaurant and I had another change to wear my heels.

Opening the ton of mail after we got back home I found a Christmas card from my ex.  In it she wrote “how does it feel, your first Christmas as a woman?”  Wow, that was very nice of her.

I’ve been noticing an interesting occurrence:  a sweet type of smile from other women – store clerks, waitresses, in the mall or on the street or beach.  I’ve first noticed this when I started coming out as a woman in public.  But it happens a lot more now.  This ‘never’ happened when I was a male.  At first I thought nothing of it, they were just being friendly – and I’m always friendly.  But the more it happens the more I realize it’s something else.  Then I read this book where the transgender author also noticed this and called it “the secret smile”.  So I had a discussion with my partner about it and yes – there is such a thing as a secret smile a woman gives to another women – a sort of acknowledgement of being in this together.  I watch for it all the time now and make sure I return it.  As I progress in my transition I am noticing the secret smile more and more.

Friendships are another area where woman are very different from men.  There is an extra ‘level’ – what could be called the ‘3am friend’.  This is a friend that you can call or they can call you at 3am and talk – just because.  You can’t have very many of these – I count three in my life now and feel very grateful for them.

There was a huge surprise in the stack of mail when we returned home.  A package!  I couldn’t wait to open it and try it on – it was my special order wedding dress!!  And – it fit perfectly!  I’m so happy – now on to shoes, leis/haku/kupe’e, jewelry ……  Less than four months away – wheeeee!!

External changes:

I have noticed in comparing my face from before to now that it has changed to oval.  This one ‘snuck’ up on me!  My hair is growing out a lot more – I’ll be getting my third styling soon.  I’m wearing earrings everyday now, but I still put my studs back in at night for sleeping.  I have curves: 46-40-44 which also says I need to lose some serious weight.  My breasts are still growing (still having pains).  My partner told me she saw them ‘bouncing’ …

Internal changes:

I am starting to have the feeling of being over the hump – the secret smiles, the 3am girlfriends, more comfortable in public, so much more at ease and feeling of not being afraid of letting the real me out.  There was even a time when a waiter called me sir and I didn’t even care or get upset.  I am me and I know who I am and it just does not matter if they see me differently.  It’s not going to change how I feel.  I’m more confident of myself and of being a woman.  I’m getting so much affirmation – not just here in Hawaii (which is more open and accepting) but also on the mainland.  There is still a long way to go, but I have a feeling of having accomplished so much and am therefore much more at ease.

Ke mana’olana nei au e hau’oli wale no ‘oe (wishing everyone happiness),

Sifan