It’s a foggy rainy winter day: the ocean waves are noisy and pounding, the sand is once again back covering the bedrock of the beach. Some flowers are just starting to bloom – amazing! Fireplace is on and Bella, my cat, is cuddled and cozy on my lap – putting up with my typing, but occasionally demanding attention.
It is Thanksgiving, in a bit I will be preparing a dish to bring with me to the community dinner and celebration. Tomorrow I’ll be joining my neighbors in another celebration next door. I still have to figure out what I’m going to cook for that.
I just got home from up in Portland where I was attending the TDOR events (Transgender Day Of Remembrance). We have come so far, but yet suffer so much – this is the highest number of murders yet in a single year. It’s so sad. One of the speakers, a very shy and private person, said she was out and active precisely because of the political climate now – that of all periods in history, this is so critically important – ‘now’. She is right, not just for transgender, but for so many others as well.
As usual, I went the opposite direction on my way home (intentionally, in order to explore this beautiful land). And as usual, I wound up high in the Cascade mountains, this time almost got stuck in the snow and had to backtrack almost 50 miles before I could cut back across. I love these adventures and the raw nature that I’m experiencing!
So, where am I in my transition? Am I still in transition? Wow, good question!
Some say we are always in transition. Hummm. I guess that depends on what you mean. I see myself growing, especially spiritually. The changes now are those paths that would be followed regardless of physically and psychologically transgender related issues. That would be a whole new post!
For the most part, I view myself as having transitioned to a woman or more precisely to a female (was born a woman). Even during my drive across the country and staying in out-of-the-way places, I was never miss-gendered. Which I consider somewhat remarkable given I traveled through some very conservative territories.
There are still some dysphoric moments: my hair will be wet or blown and my face will look to masculine, a combination of clothes might make me look not feminine enough and there are times in a public place that I just have this feeling, uncomfortable and want to leave. But a lot of my women friends feel this way at times as well.
There was a phase I went through where I felt I had to be overly feminine, perhaps out of a fear of not passing or perhaps that finally I’ve transitioned and had a lot to catch up on. Lisa would call that ‘fru fru’! I do miss being able to wear all the colorful flowery outfits in Hawaii. It’s quite drab here on the coast compared to there. Being here has certainly helped in grounding me fashion wise. However, I do love to find a ‘fancy’ event so that I can dress up a bit!
Three year update – post transition (this section meant for those in transition or about to start):
Everything has settled down. About a half year ago my Estrogen levels were way up, so my doctor cut me back by 25%. I’m on Estradiol patches which I think are great! I apply only twice a week, so very little maintenance compared to nightly rubbing gel on my thighs. I don’t like shots and oral pills are not good for your liver – so this is the best solution for me.
I found (as many other sisters have) that I only need to dilate about twice a month. Better still, I have regained the depth that the doctor measured right after the operation. And … now and then I measured a greater depth. I still use the ‘big’ dilator given me at the clinic. I have had no issues with the exception of experiencing ‘Merlin’s Sword’ syndrome twice (didn’t use enough lube and it gets stuck). If you’re dilating and this happens to you: take a deep breadth and ‘slowly’ twist and extract. Not a biggie.
Another huge change a half year ago – I had a follicle transplant. Today, those hairs are about 2 inches long! Very soon I’ll be able to have them incorporated into a style and colored as well. But already, it has made a huge difference in how my face looks. This was the cause of a lot of additional dysphoria. It’s so nice to get beyond that.
It took me awhile to determine if this was true: I do have a roughly monthly cycle of bloating for about a week then a day of using the restroom almost every half hour! This is also coupled with being more sensual and sensitive. At first I thought maybe I drank too much coffee or something! So I decided to keep track and yup, not quite monthly. I wonder if others that have transitioned MtF have noticed anything like this?
Life beyond transition – yes, this was a lifesaver and was the second most important thing in my life (first was Lisa and oh do I wish she was still alive).
With much aloha,
Thanks for sharing this stage of your journey Sifan. You’ve come a long way.