Transition

Sugar And Spice

Once I decided to transition, I was a little disappointed that you aren’t handed a manual. Becoming A Woman For Dummies would be particularly useful.  But in the real world, it’s observation and application that’s required to make any headway. I’ve a long way to go but anything I have learned has been from watching female friends, or even strangers, and then appropriating the things that I like about them. That has helped me get comfortable with the outside part that the world sees first. The harder part is what does being a woman even mean anyway? I can work on clothes, hair, makeup and voice. I can modify mannerisms and try to change behaviours but that’s still not it. Mostly it’s a steep learning curve and all you can do is keep trying your best. Now, does anyone have a copy of that bloody book lying around?

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Transition

Through The Looking Glass

Under normal circumstances I leave a little time between posts but today I’m in a nostalgic mood. Thinking about the past, all good times, and where I am now. Still equally good. But sometimes I still miss someone.

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Not sure of an exact date but me two years ago. As happy as Larry with food, sitting across from one of my oldest friends.

Fast forward a year and things had moved on somewhat. Substantially so.

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I am more than happy with my decision and living the life I wanted. But I think it’s OK to occasionally miss Chris. Things were less complicated than they are now. Although I was maybe less happy. Best I can hope is that I am still the same person and that that’s close enough for most folk. Anyway, he’s alive and well and ticking along nicely somewhere inside. He sends his regards.

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Transition

Mama, Just Killed A Man

Telling my Mother of my transition was one of the hardest things I have ever done. In the same way that I made a hash of telling friends and my brothers, I left it unforgivably late. It almost broke her. It wasn’t deliberate but my procrastination/reticence meant I dropped the news the same week she was due to move home. Stressful much? In one fell swoop I torpedoed her world as she knew it. She was leaving a home she loved, had just lost a son and life as a family was never going to be the same again. Put away the violins. This is not a sad post. My Mum is the most fantastic woman I have ever known. She’s still human and went through all the stages of grief you can imagine. I have to say, that’s completely to be expected. Anything less is naive. Even if she wanted a daughter, she didn’t want it to be me. Her Firstborn son. But as Mums do, she somehow got over it pretty quickly and her anger and confusion dissipated. She has been amazingly supportive and a constant source of strength. She is also the link to my estranged brothers and likely the one thing that will bring us back together eventually. As I am welling up I am going to finish this post. But Yay! for Mums in general. We’d be nowhere without them.

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Transition

Expect The Unexpected

I had no intention of blogging today. My hormones appear to be all over the place and my head is frankly mush. But then I got a lovely email from an entirely random stranger. He had read (elsewhere) about unsolicited online grief I had received from a particularly unpleasant “Real Man”. Just a short message to tell me not everyone thinks like that and that I should ignore and rise above it. I am most impressed that this came from an 18 year old, straight male. For every crappy experience I’ve had during this, there are far more which are positive. Totally justifies my basic faith in people. Whatever you are doing today, have a good one!

NB: I may die from laughing at that video

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Transition

Softly, Softly, Catchee Monkey

Hormones are a painfully slow business. I’ve been on them all day, every day for 8 months and nothing seems to have happened. Impatience is a terrible bedfellow and it’s quite easy to find yourself allowing that frustration, that’s been lapping away at your ankles, to start to build up. And then, suddenly, one morning you notice that the boob fairy has dropped off a small cleavage. Although it’s nothing to write home about, it means hormones and I are absolutely friends again. Now that I can see movement I’ll need to keep reminding myself…Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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Transition

Straight, No Chaser

I’ve been single a long time. To be honest, I probably prefer it. But as I’ve grown in confidence, I do occasionally consider having a partner in crime. Mainly just to do daft stuff with. With this in mind I have, from time to time, ventured into online dating. Usually on the quiet, which is not the safest way to be doing so. I should probably trust people more. It’s not often successful but equally not entirely awful for confidence either. I also do alright for offers which came as something of a surprise to me. Some want to meet. Some need me to be discreet (read that as cheat!). Some, simply to secrete. No thanks! The biggest problem I have is trusting their motivation because of one thing:-

Tranny Chaser
A straight male who is turned on by male to female transsexuals. Tranny Chasers do not like men and are only attracted to transsexuals because they look like women.

If I was to date anyone, I’d need to know it wasn’t just a case of curiosity piqued. This is harder to establish online than I like. It’s also strange looking in on the gender I was raised in from the other side. Still, it’s not essential. Life is pretty rosy, I control the tv remote and if I was to meet someone? They’d probably talk through House Of Cards. Dealbreaker!

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Transition

Socially Awkward

One of the most awkward things about being trans is probably pronouns. Moving my life from He to She was really pretty easy. Persuading the world to come with you is a different matter. From the offset I decided I wasn’t going to be too dogmatic about it and it’s served me well so far. People WILL call you He and Him, even your closest friends. This is usually because they are only human and has nothing to do with you at all. It’s a huge adjustment you have asked them to make. Give them a break. The wider world takes time too. For several months I got Sir in shops and frequently Mate, especially in taxis. You could let this annoy you. If you are trans and happen upon this page, my suggestion is don’t. Firstly, in small daily interactions, it may be a headfuck for a shopworker to see you presenting as female but hear a male voice. They are busy and likely trying their best. You’ll live and it’s unlikely they really meant to upset you, most of the time. In the case of Mate, it’s much the same thing. They may just not know how to address you. That’s ok. It’s better to focus on the fact that they are trying to be friendly, rather than presume you are being disrespected. It gets better. Slowly. After more than a year it rarely happens now. And it’s still ok when it does. What’s changed? Either people are massively more accepting than you might think or I stopped worrying. Either works for me.

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Transition

Thank God I Had Sharpened My Horns

In keeping with today’s music choice….

The Good
An amazing weekend with a variety of good people.

The Bad
Not having the presence of mind to take today off.

The Ugly
As accustomed as I am to public rudeness, there are still occasions I think about resorting to violence. Especially when feeling fragile enough in the first place. So it took quite a lot not to react to today’s extraordinary rudeness. Having an illiterate skip capped yokel point you out to his entire family feels a little off. I honestly don’t think a man in a dress is that shocking in a city. In his slack jawed defence, it’s a lovely dress and worthy of pointing out. Of course I waved.

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Transition

Early One Morning

Had a brilliant night in the company of strangers last night. Or at least people who were unknown to me at the start of the evening. Found a new friend in a deliciously decadent raconteur who happened to be visiting a good friend of mine. I believe we managed to cover every subject under the sun between the three of us. And then we found two more when a Father and Daughter joined our table. Random connections, common ground and just plain good old conversation. Probably my favourite thing about Glasgow is that we interact. Strangers can quickly become companions for an evening. I love that. And since this is supposed to be a transition blog, I love that “that’ wasn’t an issue. We were just people. Talking. Which in itself may not seem like much. It’s huge to me. It speaks volumes that 5 people who barely knew each other can just connect in minutes. All in all, a lovely Saturday evening and enough cocktails to sink a battleship of sailors. Which might explain my blogging at almost 5am and the ten minute funk out of a 3 chord classic attached to this. Off to bed, please don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day. Give her a hug from me too.

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Transition

Unexpected Angst

A small communication lapse between my pharmacy and GP has meant a 3 day break in my hormone patches. This would bother me less if hadn’t just doubled my hormone dosage prior to going without since weekend. Now a pleasant mixture of slightly tearful/somewhat nippy and feeling like I’ve forgotten something that I can’t put my finger on. I also have a creeping anxiety, although that’s manageable as I know what that is. Another lesson though. Restock before you have to. Best laid plans can still go off the rails. Even accidentally. For today though, I shall mostly be Travis Bickle-ing my way towards the finishing line. Seriously, you talkin’ to me?

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Transition

Speech Impediment

Learning how to do a passable lady voice is both time consuming and terribly frustrating. If truth be told, I’ve not applied myself half as much as I should have and may actually be sabotaging my own transition. I want my voice to match the way I look but it’s still part of my identity. I’ve been resistant to giving that up. And then my speech therapist showed me Eva Pitch, an app for transsexual women to practice with. Essentially it just gives a tone you can use as a starting point for where you want to pitch your own voice. It works though and I feel much less stupid than trying to do traditional voice exercises. Who knows, I may eventually even manage a realistic lady voice. Until then, I’m not going to worry. Voice I have has served me pretty well and it’s not like I’m shy about speaking. To my poor friends utter delight I’m sure.

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Transition

One Lump Or Two?

After resisting for 14 months, I finally went to my first transgender support group yesterday, T Time in Glasgow. I avoided it all this time on the basis that if I was diabetic I wouldn’t choose just to socialise with diabetics. I was so wrong. I had a great afternoon which both validated my own experience and taught me new things. I’m going back next month. I learned that other transsexuals come in all shapes and sizes. Like women in general. And I learned that there is comfort in shared experience. More than I expected. Happy to be proved wrong for once.

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Abreasted Development

Decided to finish the week on a more positive note. Despite transition being a painfully slow process, there are times when things are clearly coming together nicely. This week started off with electrolysis on Monday. No pain, no gain more than covers that. Wednesday brought a return to speech therapy. Learning how to emulate a female voice is frustrating. Even on my ownsome I feel particularly daft doing voice exercises. So I am ridiculously pleased to know there is in fact an app for that, EVA Pitch. Who knew? More on that another time. Tuesday was by far the biggest movement forward though. Popped into gender clinic and chanced my arm on question of hormones. Five minutes later my oestrogen is doubled and an anti androgen is an option I can still consider in a couple of months. I’ve learned patience is a good thing with hormones. Let’s just see where they go first. So, hitting Friday, feeling pretty good and all is well with the world. Can’t say fairer than that.

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Transition

Gathers No Moss

This is not a sad post. Although the need for it saddens me. Coming out to my family did not all go well. I’ll take the blame for that. Consequently, I haven’t spoken with my either of my brothers since November 17th 2013. I had a brief period of feeling very melodramatic, which seemed fair enough as I was alone in the world, newly orphaned as I was. And then I realised that I wasn’t at all alone and life was still trundling on regardless. As much as I hope my brothers’ lives are good, we’ve all moved on, I hope successfully and without too much pain. But the door is staying open at my end and I have to hope we get back together at some point. What makes life easier is having support. Good friends, colleagues, the absolutely random kindness of strangers. None of these are substitutes for brothers but if you let them, they make it more than bearable to get by. Despite any difficulties, you can take little Annie at her word. The sun will come out tomorrow.

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Electrical Burns

Just had my first proper session of electrolysis. Sitting in the waiting room I kind of wished I’d brought someone with me. Or at least a magazine. Was pleased to just get through it as was reasonably painful. And then she gleefully announced that next session we’d be moving up a setting. So it turns out that Father Brady wasn’t lying about there being several circles of hell after all.

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Transition

Still Wood

Vaguely unsettling night. Grief from a gaggle of 12 year old Asian kids. Right on my doorstep. Well, a street away. Didn’t catch all of it but mostly unrepeatable. Thanks to hormones I swithered between laughing because they were so young and kicking the nearest one’s c*** in. Instead I’ll focus on a positive interaction. Walking through Battlefield, which is just up the road, I overheard a similar but more positive exchange.

Man 1: Check her
Man 2 on closer inspection: That’s a guy
Man 1: Still would

I started laughing and then they started laughing because they didn’t expect me to hear them. Today’s lesson? You can’t please everyone.

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