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An Update For April 2016

I’ve not had a lot to write about here on my blog this year. Life as me is settling down quite nicely. There’s no change on the family front. My eldest son remains estranged, by his own choice. My youngest son remains distant. My daughter and I grow closer, or at least it feels that way to me. She’s also undergoing some trying times in her life, as her husband has finally received the heart transplant he’s needed for so long. They’re on a long road back to a reasonably normal life but that process has begun, with all its fits, stops, starts along the way trying her patience and strength. Yet she perseveres as the amazing and strong young woman that she is. I am proud of her.

My siblings continue to not speak to me or respond to attempts to communicate. Their failure to respond tells me all  I need to know about how they feel about me. That’s their choice, not mine.

I continue to watch with anger and sadness as the Republican party actively scapegoats transgender women, trying to paint a series of lies as the basis for denying out civil rights. What boggles my mind even further is that there are trans women, almost all older, who still cling to their conservative Republican politics despite their own party trying to disenfranchise, dehumanize, and scapegoat them personally. It must take a really special form of lying to yourself to make yourself believe that being a Republican makes any sense whatsoever as a trans women in 2016. It’s delusional. And it appears, to me, to be symptomatic of our pre-transition lives and our desire to lie to ourselves. This will likely piss off some right wing trans women. Don’t like it? Stop reading or pull your head out of your ass. The GOP is the party of hate, bigotry, lies, and scapegoating others. There’s no way around that fact. A trans woman supporting the GOP in 2016 is like a Jew supporting the Nazis in 1936. It’s stupid and it goes against your own self-interest in the extreme.

The last “medical” thing on my transition list was also my first – facial hair removal. That process continues and we continue to make progress but it’s also not done yet. I’m at 81 hours in the chair at E3000 up in Lewisville, Texas, and I expect several more sessions yet though they continue to get shorter and shorter, and cost less and less each time.

I bought a bathing suit and I think it looks great. Yes, it’s a one piece. No, I don’t know if I’ll have the nerve to try a bikini. It’s OK! Laugh at me. I’m laughing too at this topic!

And finally, my tax liability for the crazy 2015, in which I pulled money from a retirement account to complete my surgeries, appears to have been less than I expected. I thank the experts at H&R Block for that assistance. Next year I can return to doing my taxes myself as they’ll be much simpler again.

There are still things on my plate for this year. Julie and I are talking about a road trip, maybe, to see some friends this summer. Ren Fest will be next fall again and I hope to see people there too.

Life goes on, and for me, finally, it’s a life that doesn’t have thoughts of suicide and worthlessness every few days the way I did for decades before facing my own truths. Here’s to hoping that each of you can find that level of peace too.

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Looking Forward To July

FFS is now behind me. I’ve left the tape behind, a few days early, but my nose feels great and reading other rhinoplasty recovery guidelines, a full month of taping was a bit on the overly cautious side anyway.

So now it’s preparing for July, for GCS and BA, and to try to enjoy Thailand a bit before and after the surgery, as conditions allow. I’m planning to buy 3-4 Kaftans, I think. Loose, flowing, easy to don and remove, these should make most days after surgery much more bearable. Bangkok’s weather sounds a lot like Houston’s – hot and humid. I’m hoping there’s plenty of shade outside because I’d like to sit outside the cottages and enjoy the fresh air.

I have another facial hair removal session for early July,  Thursday, July  2nd, since businesses are closed July 3rd to celebrate July 4th, which falls on Saturday this year. That’s a couple weeks before I fly so by the time I leave for Thailand, I’ll have some idea of how much facial hair is still left. I plan to make the next appointment for early to mid September, then another possibly for early November but we’ll see what the schedule allows.

I’m considering going home to visit my siblings this Christmas. I’ve not been there since we buried Mom, in 2012. A lot has changed since then, obviously, and I’ll have to ask if I’m wanted back there or not. I don’t expect any negativity, but we’ll see. I’ve been sadly surprised before. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, they say.

Trans people are becoming more and more visible each day in the US. And we’re winning more and more legislative battles, even while Republicans try to throw more and more legislative obstacles in our way. Yet now we have high tech companies backing us too, threatening and actually following through on those threats to take business elsewhere if Republican states openly enact bigoted laws. Indiana got a rude shock and is now spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars trying to repair their idiocy. Personally, I hope they continue to fail and people remember what Mike Pence and the Indiana GOP actually did until they are driven from office, and state wide LGBT protections are implemented there.

I know that Texas is sweating bullets too.  Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and several Texas businesses, Apple Computer in Austin, Dell Computer in Austin, and others are threatening to cancel Texas business expansions and even consider relocating should the Texas legislature enact anti-LGBT laws. Suddenly many anti-LGBT legislative proposals are getting tied up in committee. The GOP won’t openly oppose them, just quietly kill them, which will have to be enough for now. But make no mistake, Republicans will try this again and again and again unless we remove them from public office.

So the “transgender tipping point” from last year into this year seems real, and it’s a good thing too. More and more children are being diagnosed and helped at young ages. My therapist and I mused together that within a century there may not be any adult transitioners left. That getting the “wrong” socialization may stop happening, as children are diagnosed early, allowed to socially transition young, placed on hormone blockers, then allowed to complete transition medically at the age of 18. Those children will never suffer biological development that fails to match their inner selves. They’ll never have to unlearn one gender role and relearn a new one. In fact, they will nearly be as “stealth” as might be possible in a high tech society, with only trace information about their earliest years hinting they were ever anything other than the man or woman they show to the world. It gives me hope for trans kids tomorrow. Assuming the religious Christian Taliban doesn’t take over first, of course.

And finally, I need to find a real tablet, netbook, or notebook computer to take to Thailand. My phone was sort of trying to use for 10 days in Guadalajara. I’ll want a bit more convenience than that for a month in Thailand.

In a sense, I am now approaching the medical end of my transition. The facial hair may be done by year’s end or early next year. The other medical procedures will all be complete. The legal steps have been taken. I live and work day to day as myself finally, and I am happy doing it. I still think about losses I’ve experienced but those people made their own choices. All that I can do is go on living my life, and I plan to do just that – living finally, instead of merely existing.

It’s March and Everything is Coming Together

My FFS is now set for April 22nd, in Guadalajara, Mexico, with Dr. Lazaro Cardenas at TransOp. The bill is paid in full and includes ten days at the recovery residences with all meals included. I’ve gotten some helpful tips from other women who’ve gone to TransOp as well. I’m excited.

The last facial hair clearing session took me over a threshold. There’s clearly a lot less facial hair now and it’s a lot patchier than before. The right side of the face is far more clear than the left side. The left side under the lip, the bottom of the chin, and the left jawline are still exhibiting noticeable hair growth. In comparison the right side is far far spottier at this point.

I’m guessing that I’ve got 3-5 more sessions to go now, but that’s just a guess. I also can’t do another session til early July because I have to allow the face to begin healing from FFS before resuming facial hair removal, so that process may extend beyond the end of this year. We’ll see but clearing my complexion coupled with FFS is going to give me a whole new appreciation of myself each morning in the mirror.

And my GCS date is set for July 22nd at the Chettawut Plastic Surgery Center in Bangkok, Thailand. I’ve made that payment (in full) and airline reservations for both surgeries are complete. My passport is in hand. A dear friend and I will be traveling to Bangkok together on July 17th, arriving later in the evening on July 18th, total flight time about 22 hours with a 2 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. We return on Sunday, August 16th, leaving just after midnight (really late Saturday evening) and arriving in Houston at 8:50am (the joys of the international date line) after a flight of about 24 hours with another 2 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea.

I’m excited. My closest friends are excited and we’ve discussed this. There’s a little trepidation too, about both surgeries. Can anything go wrong? Will it turn out the way I hope? But there’s a lot of excitement and I know I’ve chosen two of the best surgeons in the world for their respective specialties.

And as for appreciations in the mirror, after July, getting out of the shower in the morning, I expect to feel a lot more at peace with what I see than I do currently.

There’s also the matter of some hair restoration work to schedule in there at some point after FFS. Once that is done, I can look into these bonded, integrated hair systems that I can wear for weeks at a time. I’m looking forward to that too.

By the time my close friends see me at the next Ren Fest, I think they’re going to be surprised.

And to Elizabeth, remember what you said you’d do if I did for Ren Fest? It may be time to start planning your “princess warrior” costume!!

Odds and Ends in February, 2015

A recent study was published showing that long term HRT is safe for transgender persons when properly medically supervised. I highlighted that last phrase for a reason. Please do not self medicate! It’s potentially dangerous and could kill you if you don’t understand what you are doing.

People get upset claiming I pick on Republicans. No, I don’t. I pick on batshit crazy barbarians who want to take us back to the 13th century and inquisitions. More Republicans today reject evolution than accept it. And a clear majority of Republicans today, when asked, would overthrow the US constitution and make the US a right wing fundamentalist evangelical theocracy. You won’t find Democrats saying that sort of crazy. Not 57% of them.

And the reason I pick on Republicans is they are, across the country, now trying to turn my mere existence into a crime. Sound familiar? It should! That is exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews and LGBT people. And now here we are with Republicans playing the same exact theme, wanting to criminalize our mere existence, for simply going to the bathroom or something like that. Worse, these ignorant Republicans are going to criminalize XY females (yes they exist), XX males (yes, they exist), and Klinefelter’s females and males both. The ignorance and scapegoating is breathtaking in its scope and the danger it represents to human beings that the GOP clearly hates.

In personal news I am now arranging for FFS to be done in Guadalajara, Mexico with Dr. Lazaro Cardenas in late April. Once those details are finalized, I can begin arranging the scheduling for GCS with Dr. Chettawutt in late July to early August.

And my facial hair removal continues apace. It’s getting less and less. I do believe I will finish this process this year also.

This is going to be a huge year for me. There are a lot of challenges ahead but I am looking forward to them. The final medical steps should all be done, except for considering voice surgery, which I may yet do in 2016 at some point.

Sixth E3000 Session

I underwent my sixth session at E3000 on September 12th. The before photo is a bit blurry but does show continued decreases in overall facial hair with remaining high density areas continuing to be the lower chin and neck.

I will note that the results seem different this time. In the past there tended to be more hairs broken off that had to push their way out afterwards and I would often pluck those. They never hurt because they were already dead. But now, three days after, there are still zero hairs to pluck, I suspect that HRT is continuing to change facial structure including thinning the skin in a more feminine manner, perhaps making yanking the hairs after being zapped easier. I will also note that the cheeks are almost completely cleared now and the upper lip gets completely cleared in less than 30 minutes.

My electrologist seems to be confident that we’re headed the right direction.

session-6-before

In other news, I have my appointment with my lawyer tomorrow (9/16) to begin the formal legal name and gender change process. If I can obtain all the relevant letters from doctors and such in time, she can include me in the September 29th session she is going to do. I’m looking forward to getting this step done. 🙂