Daily struggles

Lately I am feeling a strong desire to jettison the male half of myself completely.  As a husband and a Dad this is not something that is easily done.  Keeping things inside and suppressed for half your life does no one any favors.   Stresses build inside until something breaks.  I get really irritable and depressed.

Snapping out of my funk takes several things.  Lately I am dressing in mostly fem for work.  Most is only noticeable by someone who is paying very close attention.  Friday I was in all fem in a blue floral top, skinny jeans and leather boots.  Monday, a yellow tunic, skinny jeans and a new belt.  Tuesday, feeling risque in a corset… The only thing keeping me from presenting fully is the shirt on top. Yesterday I got caught changing in the parking lot by the daily mass exodus, my coat the only thing covering a big surprise for my coworkers.  Every day I remove the cover on the way home in view of everyone.  A guy driving around in girly clothes.  For me this is a lot, perhaps the more I do it the more comfortable I will be with myself.

I am also shopping a lot.  Online shopping is both a joy and a curse.  Easy to do but sizing is all over the place.  I am trying to buy things I can wear daily, in the open, anywhere without a cover.  I bought some nice Pikolinos boots that aren’t too obvious but if anyone glances for more than a moment I am out.  The oxford blouse won’t bee too obvious other than the way it buttons and the short cuff.  The sunglasses are starting me down the accessory path.  Also eyeing some jewelry, are piercings next?  To be honest, except for stuff that is always hidden, I haven’t dressed en femme much in the past several years.  This is something that is slowly building inside and I am enjoying it.

Back at home, I had a talk with my wife.  We are not connecting and I am sure that the girly me has something t do with it.  While the subject of intimacy, future, desire, and other related topics is not easy, it was good to talk and it is something we do little of.  My wife has known about my fem side for a long time and was generally okay with clothes, estrogen, and make-up but till now I always kept hold of my male half.  Last night I told her that I long to be a woman and needed her to speak honestly about the subject.  So far she is concerned but still here.  I am not sure that she can accept a full transition though, and we need to approach things slowly.

Between the changes in my body, clothes, risky behavior, and conversations I am edging closer to my true self.  I am scared by my actions but happier because of them.

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Time for me.

Sounds selfish, “time for me” but I have been neglecting myself for 6 months or more.  Today I am dressed for me.  Nothing outlandish, and only noticeable if my coworkers look close enough to notice the skinny jeans, baby blue accented sneakers, and stockings showing at the ankles.  My top is covered by an over-shirt but the point is this is the first time in a while that I am dressed for the day, top to bottom, and it is great.

Having multiple roles pulls me away from being myself.  I am a Dad and give my girls everything I have.  I am a husband who truly wants nothing but happiness and love for my wife.  I am a manager supervising many employees and projects.  I am a Son who loves his parents.  What I often leave out is that I am also transgender and my female side often is left on the curb waiting while I attend to everything else.

This blog is a way for me to connect to the realities of my trans-self.  I am not here to promote a trans agenda, I am here to get my thoughts and feelings out in the open.  Hopefully, someone out there finds it helpful, but the reality it is easier and cheaper than therapy.  Connecting here, is getting in touch with my true self, the self on the curb waiting for acknowledgement.

It would likely be easier if I just said “fuck it, I am coming out” but despite my ramblings here, I am a private person, introverted and don’t like to share.  I am “out” to a few, I am positive many others strongly suspect, and even my parents have noticed certain pieces of anatomy.  Coming out to all would release so much pressure but add others.

So what now?  Figuring it out.  Gonna start by finding some androgynous clothing.  Need to satisfy myself short of putting myself in the spotlight.  Eventually I may be ready but not yet.  Also want to style my hair differently, nothing overt but want something that is cute enough to put a smile on my face in the mirror.  HRT will be coming back  soon but I want to get into an exercise routine first.  Need to be in better health.

Finding Myself

I have been neglecting myself for too long.  also, my relationship with my wife is not ideal.  I am living the consequences of a desk job and my health is not ideal.  To top it all off I am off of HRT for around 6 months and struggling.

So why am I off HRT?  Most of it is my health.  I need to get healthier to live the life I want.  Otherwise, I am just a fat guy with boobs and an eccentric choice in clothing.  Seriously, I need to look out for diabetes, and other weight related factors.  HRT can have other side effects as well and I need to be healthy to take care of myself and my family.  Weather is getting better and I am making a change in eating habits and exercise.

What do I hate about not being on HRT?  After being on HRT for a couple of years I forget what it is doing despite just feeling normal.  As changes slow I have a tenancy to question the benefits.  Being off of hormones is no different for a month or so but eventually testosterone levels start going up and that spells trouble.  First thing I noticed was the oily skin.  I felt like I was literally dripping in oil. Eeeew!  Second thing I noticed was something coming to life downstairs.  Not only coming to life but I actually re-experienced puberty down there.  I forgot the actual pain erections can cause in puberty with it coming back to life.  Then there is the hair, no longer soft like it was but heavier and greasier.  I can also confirm that chest hair is not as course in low testosterone.  I am disgusted by the black hairs emerging from my breasts.  So while I am not on HRT I am taking some estrogen supplements (recommended dose) to take some of the edge off.  Nothing dramatic but at least my face is no longer swimming in oil.  I can’t keep this up for much longer and I guarantee the estradiol will be back soon.

So what have I gained form being off the good stuff?  I really can’t live without HRT anymore.  My desire to be a woman is stronger than ever and my place on the gender spectrum has moved toward the F.  It is ironic that testosterone made me value my femininity more.

Being off of HRT also highlights issues with my wife.  To start off she is supportive of my girly side and has not influenced me in any direction.  I know she would prefer if I was going down my assigned path.  I also know that she looks past the effects of the estrogen to what is on the inside.  I still feel a disconnect, a physical separation that I desperately want to bridge.  I also wish she would talk to me more, she never has.  I need a wife and a girlfriend.  I am finding our relationship is as a mother and father rather than true partners in life.  I need a connection with my wife, some type of connection there seems little time for us and a lot more fun.  I need to play.

Being a Trans Father

…don’t show up suddenly as Mrs. Doubtfire

It has been a while since my last post.  With school starting and work piling up there isn’t much time for writing.  Still I am sure many out there wonder how kids accept a dad in a dress.

Frankly my daughters just think I am silly.  Right or wrong they see the world as “binary” and dad is just funny.  I teach them that people are free to be themselves and they can do, wear, and be whatever they like as long as they aren’t hurting anyone or being mean.  Despite our talks they still put gender labels on things but they only really object when I want to be their Disney character for Halloween (Elsa is off the table).

The point is have fun with your kids and be yourself.  You are just mom or dad to them and really that has little to do with gender or what clothes you wear and more to do with actions and love.  Introduce your trans-self gradually and naturally, without a fuss, and it is no big deal.  What you do not want to do is shock them.  If your kids are used to seeing you as a guy, don’t show up suddenly as Mrs. Doubtfire and think everything will be okay.  Big changes are scary to kids and adding trauma is not in anyone’s best interest.

On the Fence?

Make a decision to do something!

Are you struggling with your gender identity?  If you are, and don’t know where to go from here I have a few things for you to think about.

Make a decision to do something.  Every day that passes without you committing to explore your feelings is a missed opportunity.  Let’s face it, you, I, that guy over there, we are older than we were yesterday, and in MTF transgender terms that is another day for testosterone to change your body.  Testosterone is the enemy for us:  It makes our male facial structures more pronounced; it enlarges our rib cage; it makes us grow hair in places we don’t want it; when we are older it makes hair fall out of places we want it; it makes our complexion oily; it makes our skin tougher;… I think you get the point, the sooner testosterone is counteracted, the better off we are if we choose to transition.

What if you decide to start HRT and later determine it is not your path?  The answer is to start a discussion with a doctor before you begin, they won’t tell anyone else and they will let you know the consequences of taking a testosterone inhibitor or estrogen.  Things to ask about:

Fertility:  You may not be thinking about it now but there may come a time where offspring may become important.  Sterility comes eventually to those taking MTF HRT but there are measures you can take to preserve your genetic lineage.  Ask a doctor.

Blood Clots: Blood clots kill many on HRT because they do it in secret on the black market or overload on supplements.  Don’t do it alone! HRT requires periodic blood monitoring to look at your INR and hormone levels.  Work with a doctor!

Side effects:  This is the reason we are on HRT.  Boobs, soft skin, a butt, reduced libido, emotional breakdowns, they all come with estrogen.  The good news is you can start with just a T blocker and if it helps add estrogen along the way.  If you decide to go all in with estrogen and don’t like the effects stop.  Generally, after 6 months the effects are mostly reversible.  There may be some nipple development but nothing huge (no pun intended).  Ask a doctor.

The point is, the sooner you take action, the sooner you can either accept it or move on.  A few years ago it was harder to take action.  Rules were accepted that you had to go to a therapist, live as your chosen gender… While I recommend seeing a therapist, the other stuff was the medical community keeping us from exploring our truth.  Today there is informed consent.  This means that the doctor can present the options to you and you can make an informed decision for yourself.  One caveat, you must be an adult over 18.  Otherwise, start talking with your parents and bring them in on the conversation with a doctor.  Even postponing the effects of puberty will provide opportunity to explore.

Why am I encouraging you to at least explore the possibilities and consequences?  Because If I would have had the opportunity that exists today, I might be presenting myself differently.  I could have had a skeletal frame that is closer to a girls, I could have had hips, I wouldn’t be shaving, and when dressed en femme, I would look closer to how I feel.

I am happy and grateful for what I have today and accept what I don’t.  Estrogen really is a wonderful thing, and even at 40+ I notice big changes as do others.  Embracing both the male and female aspects of my life are how I get through happy.  If I could relive my younger years with the opportunities available today would I take it?  I look at my life as a whole, I say no, but I have a wonderful family that I adore.  If I were charting a fresh path I would be all in.

Sorry Restroom Closed

We promise to leave the seat down.

You’re all a bunch of perverts!  That is what I would like to say to the ignorant who think transgender people want to go into the women’s bathroom just to prey on the unsuspecting.

The exact opposite is true, if we enter a men’s bathroom ‘en femme’ we are the targets.  Every year those who don’t fit the mold are subject to bullying and violence.  I don’t care if they call you a tranny, a geek, a squid, a queer, a bum, a … If you are different from the predominant culture/economic status/religion/etc. you are a target for potential harm.  What better way for you to get harassed than put on a dress and head to the men’s room.  But there are other reasons that the bathroom controversy is all wrong.

If you have decided to live full time as a woman, I guarantee that you are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  In this therapy male to female patients are given estrogen, a female hormone; an anti-androgen, a testosterone blocker; and possibly a dash of progesterone, also acts as a testosterone blocker.  Let’s break these down individually.

Estrogen promotes the growth of breasts, makes your derriere rounder, gets rid of the male oily complexion, makes the skin softer, and tells the pituitary gland that you have enough sex hormones and reduces testosterone levels.  A side effect is sex drive is reduced.

Anti-androgens (testosterone blockers) shut down the remaining testosterone to negligible levels.  Anti-androgens are also given to men to take away sexual function completely.

Progesterone acts as a mild anti-androgen and promotes nipple development.

To summarize, if you are on any of these, your testosterone levels are low, if you are on estrogen and an anti-androgen your testosterone is basically non-existent.  What happens when men get older and their testosterone levels fall?  They can’t get it up!  There is a huge medical and supplement industry making money off of replenishing testosterone in men and reversing impotency and making them feel like teenagers again.  The Trans crowd doesn’t want any part of the T-word (testosterone), they want to get rid of it.  If the people fighting to use the women’s restroom have very little testosterone, likely can’t get it up in the first place, and have a lowered sex drive, why are we so afraid of this?  Lack of knowledge and understanding is the only answer.

My final point to make is that in much of the world there is a just a restroom.  Males and females enter together to do the most non-sexual act of expelling waste.  Only in America could we sexualize even the most disgusting of activities just because it is expelled from the same vicinity.

Oh, and we promise to leave the seat down.

Categorization, Stop It!

We are all transgender in one way or another, even you!

What is transgender?  I think that this isn’t as obvious or clear as we think it might be.  To start off I think we need to talk biology.

In nature, the perception is that we are defined as either male or female through our chromosomes.  Females are born with XX chromosomes, and males are born with XY chromosomes.  Simple right?  Wrong!  There are many genetic conditions that take another path.  Men with Chappelle syndrome have XX chromosomes and male features. Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) can result in females with male chromosomes.  There are a variety of intersex conditions where attributes, hormones, and chromosomes can vary in a variety of ways.  People can have more or less than 2 chromosomes in numerous combinations.  Even in nature there are exceptions to the general rules, more than the binary male and female categories.

Even in the Trans world, most of us fit into the most common male and female categories biologically, why don’t we just stick with it?  Turning the question around, why would we subject ourselves to the insensitivity, the bias, the pain and expense of medical treatment if we didn’t have to?  Some of us are happy to express ourselves as the opposite gender once in a while.  Some of us hang out in the middle in an androgynous state.  Some of us must do everything we can to shed our assigned gender.  There are endless possibilities in the way we inherently are.  In reality, all of us lie somewhere between male and female in our personalities, preferences, and actions.  We are all transgender in one way or another, even you!

Shocked that I would make such a statement?  You shouldn’t be, what we typically categorize as transgender (even among ourselves) are the extremes.  Everyone has likes and preferences that make them who they are.  Some like classical music some like rock, and others like a variety of styles.  I hate liver, you might like it.  My closest friends are women and yours may be men.  I like pink, you may like red.  I like silk, you may like canvas.  I hate body hair, you may be a mammoth.  There are millions of attributes that make us who we are.  Are you the stereotypical male or female?  I guarantee that in some way you depart from what is expected.  I am not all stereotypical Trans either.  I like working in the garage, going to races, driving sports cars, riding motorcycles, and four wheeling, all stereotypical guy stuff.  I also like romance, lingerie, dresses, and make-up.  Three quarter of the clothes I am wearing right now, at work, are from the women’s section though it is not obvious.  I am on hormone therapy and have breasts, a nice round ass and soft skin and that is the way I need it.  The point is I don’t want to be defined as a man or a woman or transgender.  I am me, different from everyone and all I want is to be able to express myself freely as I am.

Freedom is what it comes down to.  If there is nothing wrong with being masculine or feminine why should anyone care if I wear dresses, grow boobs and shave my legs.  If the time came where I wanted to alter my body to match the way I am inside, I am still not hurting anyone assuming my other half was on-board.  I read that acceptance of transgender people is harder because we ask those around us to accept us as the gender we are presenting as.  I really don’t care what gender you think I am and I think we go overboard with our demands sometimes.  All I want is for society to accept me for who I am in total. Realize that we all have many attributes that when combined make us who we are.  You don’t have to agree, you don’t have to understand, but please be curious, ask a question, I am more than a different exterior.