My Transition Diary


January 4
I have a facial hair.

Yes, a facial hair. A single hair of reasonable length, bristly, along my jawline on the left, that I swear wasn't there an hour ago when I washed my face, but was definitely attached. I shaved it off. I'm not ready.

January 9
I wrote this around noon but RCN completely freaked out and kicked me and a bunch of other people off for several hours. Fuckers.

Making my eye appointment was interesting. Apparently they still had me under my old name and as female, so I had to go through a whole song and dance to get the woman to change it. She was NOT getting it and I really didn't feel like doing Trans 101 when I just needed to make a doctor's appointment ... so I told her my old name, and that it had been changed. She asked if that was male or female ... I said male. She asked, "Then why was it [girl name]?" I told her it's a male name (well it is, just spelled differently). She said, "Then why was it female?" I just said, "Long story." She let it go. She was nice enough, anyway ... I was just like, "How is this your business?" But anyway, now they've got me under my new name and as male, and with my new insurance info since apparently that never got updated a year and a half ago when we switched plans. But all should be well now.

January 22
Well, I cried. For a minute. But then the tears stopped and as soon as I wiped my eyes and blew my nose, it looked like I hadn't cried at all. Now I feel kind of nauseous and I'm worried I'll get sick if I try to force more tears, so here I sit once again. If someone looked at me right now and didn't know me well, they'd probably say I look angry. There are times when T can blow me.
February 3
8:19 am - I'm still all over this idea, by the way. It has yet to materialize.

03 February, 2001:

I think we need to make bumper stickers that say "Too good to be bio" or something so FTMs can identify each other on the road.

Or maybe something like those B&W oval ones, that say things like ACK (acknowledge, I guess) and IRL (Ireland) ... they make ones that say JP, which has got to be Jamaica Plain. Why not make some that say FTM?

I've got rainbows plastered all over my car, but that's still just a generic queer car ... queer is good, but I'm FTM, dammit. I want FTM bumper stickers so we can go "FTM car! FTM car!" on the highway, and not just "queer car! Queer car!"

8:03 pm - I shaved my upper arms tonight before I showered (I know, you're supposed to do it afterwards), but I was a lazy bastard and didn't use shaving gel or anything. I put aftershave on them after I shaved to disinfect them, and it burned like hell ... then I went and took my shower. Now they STILL burn like hell. Razor burn, I'm assuming, although they haven't turned pretty colors. But it stings and I don't like it. *puppy face*

10:29 pm - I put aloe on my arms. It made them hurt ten thousand times worse. But now it's about back to where it was before I put the aloe on.


February 7
Look! I'm famous! (Apparently I'm MTF, too.) And yes, I'm probably going to write a response.

Note: Obviously this guy has a right to say and feel what he likes. But he's notorious around here as a raving fanatic, and it's not so much that people don't take him seriously as that they've given up on taking him seriously. He writes leaflets which "mysteriously" find their way onto the lawns of everyone in town, saying things like "Math and English classes canceled for bizarre sex seminars," and then says, "I didn't distribute the leaflet, I just wrote it. I don't know how they got there." And yes, he has kids in the school system. One is a sophomore, I believe, at North. But he started this WAY before she got to high school.

Setting record straight about meeting comments
I'm writing about statements attributed to me in a recent [local paper] news article. The article ... says I was upset with a "left-leaning speakers program" at the high school. I didn't say that. I addressed the School Committee regarding a school assembly during "Transgender, Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Awareness Day."

At the assembly, a boy who graduated last year [I graduated two years ago] described to the kids that he now considers himself to be "transgendered." [Right, put it in quotes, take away its validity.] He is taking hormones to become a female. [HA!] He told the students that he hasn't had his penis removed yet [HAHAHA!], but he has been on the hormones for over a year. "Right now I am a 14-year-old boy going through puberty and a 55-year-old woman going through menopause. I am probably the moodiest person in the world," he told the audience, according to the school newspaper. [This is accurate.] "I was a female attracted to other females. I always felt very masculine in a female body." [I never said this, nor did the kid from the school paper read those words to me when he read me the article over the phone to check his facts.]

Before this event, I asked the Superintendent whether [he?] intended to notify parents about it, as required by the state law. He responded that although the law requires notification regarding sexual development or human sexuality issues, this does not fall under that category. Instead, it is "about human rights," he told me.

I expressed my extreme disappointment to the School Committee. I also observed that those who support this in our city - mostly gay activists and their political allies - do not at all consider how this affects the 14-, 15-, and 16-year-old kids who are at these assemblies.

I don't think anyone there even knows (or cares) what this does to a kid's psychology. Or whether parents have the right to decide. Or whether it actually accomplishes any good at all. It's all about politics.

I was further disappointed that the School Committee regused to address my concerns, or even acknowledge that I had brought them up. They ignored me completely. Something very bad is going on here.

Name and address removed

February 9
I have facial hair.

A little on the front of my chin (as in not at the very bottom, but not right under my lower lip), a little along my jawline on the right, and a little on my left sideburn. The right sideburn is much less, but there's a very thin line going down by my ear. I can't quite tell about my left jawline. I'm going to not shave for a while and see how it looks. Right now I can only see it if I look at the right angle in the right light ... but it's definitely there. It's not prickly at all.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. As long as it takes a LONG time to grow in full - like multiple years - I should be fine. If by some bizarre act of the fates I wake up in a few months with a significant goatee or something, I worry about getting depressed. But it should take a good while, given that it's taken 18 months for anything to show up at all even with 5 months on 5mg per day. I love being on this dose with patches. Nice and slow, just the way I like it.

March 27
There are two short bristly hairs just above my voice box. Thoroughly weird.
April 22
Gather 'round on the Magic Carpet, children, it's story time.

Tonight, with maybe an hour left of a thoroughly mind-numbing 8-and-a-half-hour shift at good old B&C, a coworker whose name I don't know (from the meat department, I believe, which is not my department so I don't really know him at all) decided to engage me in conversation for a few minutes in the back room. Neither of us actually got angry, for which I am grateful.

Him: Hey ... you know Oscar? [Oscar works in the grocery department, same as me. He's pretty nondescript but seems okay.]
Me: Yeah ...
Him: He's a faggot.
Me: [thinking: Well isn't this just great. I wonder if my rainbow necklace went under my shirt or if he just didn't notice, or doesn't care. Mental note: he's twice my size. Careful.] *shrugs* That's cool ... [that's me trying to be nonchalant. So he's a faggot, so what?]
Him: I'm joking. He's not, really. I just play with him like that.
Me: Well why pick on him like that? [i.e., why not find a way to tease him that isn't utterly offensive, you asshole?]
Him: I just play with him. You know. He looks like one.
Me: Oh yeah?
Him: Yeah. You know Luis? [another guy in my department. Nice guy.]
Me: Yeah ...
Him: He is too. They all are. Everyone who works here.
Me: [thinking: This is supposed to be funny?]
Him: Oh, wait, you work here. I shouldn't say that.
Me: Well, you never know ... you never know who is, who you're talking to.
Him: No ... do you understand? It's-
Me: No, I understand what you're saying.
Him: He looks like one, you know.
Me: Oscar? Looks like he's gay? [thinking: well, who knows really, but I think he doesn't look it at all]
Him: Yeah.
Me: What does a gay person look like?

He laughed a little and went out. I think he thought I was kind of slow and not getting his joke. After he left, I checked my necklace - it was in plain view over my navy blue T-shirt, 6 little beads making what is very obviously a rainbow. Houston, we have a fucking MORON. (Nobody there has any clue that I'm Trans ... as to what they think of my sexual orientation, I assume they all think I'm gay because that's what everyone seems to think, but honestly I have no idea.)

Nichole, who works there also, says she knows of this guy (she doesn't know his name either) and he's an asshole. I wanted to report him to my supervisor and ask who I would go to about stuff like that, but since I don't know his name I figured there wasn't much I could do. I don't go back until Friday but I may see if I can find out his name then and say something. I'm leaving (and all the more glad of it now), but that doesn't change the issue at hand.

But yeah. This is one thoroughly queer person who is entirely unimpressed.

April 23
I wore a flannel shirt today. Most of my flannels are kids' size L, which fit me fine when I got them in like 8th grade ... but I have two that are kids' size XL. They were always my big cozy flannels, and the sleeves covered a good portion of my hands. (Yeah, I'm little. Shut up about it.) The one I was wearing today was an XL. I just took my fleece off and noticed that the flannel didn't look so baggy on me ... and I looked at the sleeves, and they don't cover my hands anymore. It fits me perfectly. I don't think my arms got longer, although it would be interesting if they did - I think it's just from my shoulders broadening. But ... wow. It made me take a step back and really look at myself in the mirror, the way I do from time to time, just taking in how much better I look now (big ears notwithstanding). Sometimes I just stop everything and do that because something strikes me, and it makes me SO happy to see myself like this. I love how sturdy I look (that was ALWAYS a word I wanted to describe me), how much better my shirts seem to fit, being able to buzz my hair and not worry about looking "too dyke" or "not boy enough" the way people said I did senior year ... all of it. Wait till I have top surgery, I'm gonna be unstoppable. ;-)

There are times I wish I could go back, for the sake of my tenor voice and my not feeling ready for facial hair and especially the fact that I can't seem to cry at all anymore (when life slows down for me I need to put some emotional investment into working on that), but there's always going to be times like that. I still remain firm: no regrets. If I could cry, looking at myself in the mirror, I would. I never wanted to be an Adonis, I never wanted to be Brad Pitt or Arnold Swartzenegger or whatever other "male standard" is out there; I just wanted to be me, to look into the mirror and truly see myself. And now I do that, and it thoroughly amazes me, and makes me wish I could cry a river of feelings to express everything it makes me feel. Instead I write, and tell myself that soon I'm going to learn how to cry again, and let everything out the way I used to be able to, and feel so much better for it. And I whisper to myself, the way I've done from time to time since maybe middle school: "It's a boy ... it's a healthy, normal, beautiful baby boy." (The jury's finally in on "normal," and the verdict is "not so much," but that's okay. hehe.)

I like myself. I even love myself. I was abused for 15 years, suicidal at and around 11 years of age, believed for over a decade that I was entirely worthless and didn't deserve to be loved ... and I LIKE MYSELF. Abuse and all the shit in my past will always be a weight slowing me down, but it is NOT going to stop me. Fuck you, Ron, I'm going to have the last laugh.

I read something the partner of a genderqueer person said once, quoted in Gender Outlaw ... about fire not being a gas, liquid, or solid, but rather a force of nature - something that happens. The person said that applied nicely to her partner - "For sure she's something that happened to me." I like that a lot. I like thinking of myself as being something outside the categories set forth, and being a force of nature. Don't hate me because I'm powerful, baby. I'm a fighter, and if I lose, I'm going down swinging.

And all this from noticing that my sleeves don't cover my hands anymore.

May 2
Facial hair itches like a motherfucker, even when you can count the individual dark hairs and it's barely more than peach fuzz. I don't like it one bit. I wish I could be on T without getting facial hair. Maybe if I feel the same way 5 or 10 years from now, and I win the lottery, I'll have electrolysis or something. But for now, I itch!!! Grrrrrr.
May 27
Something interesting struck me last week. My mother said something about how when I was little (I think she said I was like four) and her cousin Alan came to visit, I was flirting with him like crazy. God knows I don't remember this, but apparently he said something to her about it while he was there, and she had noticed it too. She said something about how apparently I knew how to flirt like a girl. But here's the interesting thing:

Cousin Alan is a gay man.

So ... WAS I flirting like a girl, or was I flirting like the big flaming queer that I am, at four years old? You decide.

May 30
Okay, so the phone just rang, and I answered it, and it was some woman for my mother. I gave my stock answer - "She's not in right now, she's at work, but you can try back later this evening if you like." (I don't play secretary to her if I can help it.) The rest of the conversation went as follows:

Woman: Okay ... may I ask whom I'm speaking to?
Me: This is her son.
Woman: ... her son?
Me: Yes ...
Woman: [pause] ... her SON?
Me [becoming quite amused]: ... yes ...
Woman: This is the [my mother's last name] residence, isn't it?
Me: Yes it is ...
Woman: Oh. [pause] ......... her SON?
Me [QUITE amused by now]: ... yes ...
Woman: She doesn't have a son, that I know of anyway.
Me [laughing a little]: Uh, yes, I'm afraid she does ...
Woman [sounding as though she doesn't believe me at all]: ...... okay ... I'll try her again later, I guess.
Me: All righty. Bye.

That's going to make for an interesting conversation this evening. I should've asked who it was - it was probably some old high school friend or something that she E-mails with. (She continues to call me her daughter, use my old name, feminine pronouns, etc. with a LOT of people. The only ones she's made the switch for are other parents of Trans folks that she talks to and people who know me or might stop by the house and see me.)

Addendum: Turns out it was my mother's old friend Pat, whom I called "Auntie Pat" growing up even though I almost never saw her. She has two kids who were like 4 and 6 when I was born. An obscene amount of my clothes growing up were hand-me-downs from her daughter; I don't remember ever getting anything from her son. My mother just told me that she was ready to call the police because she thought "someone" was in the house. I laugh.

June 27
I'm so fucking sick of being moody. I don't think it's the hormones or the weather. I think it's just me. But it's pissing me off. I was fine when I was watching a movie and I was distracted. Now everything is fucking pissing me off, right down to the fact that I'm so verbose in my goddamn journal posts. I want to smash something.

July 9
I have four whiskers on my chin, slightly to the right of center. Fuck.
July 18
Compass tonight was Art Night. I made art. It wasn't bad art, not really ... "real" artists might disagree, but it was all good art just because of the nature of it. Art Night at Compass always feels really safe to me, and I said so when we were sharing. I did this complicated drawing collage since I can never find good pictures in the magazines to cut out - if people are interested I'll scan it and post a little explanation.

Walking back to my car in the dark made me think a lot about safety, and how I can't unlearn the fear of being raped or attacked on the street. It was just a ten-minute walk but I was aware of everything, even though I wasn't really feeling paranoid or scared. Then a few minutes before I reached my car, I saw a woman walking towards me with two puppies. I judged her as safe (famous last words, I know) and let my face show that I thought the puppies were cute, and smiled at her; she gave me this wary sort of look and kept walking. And it struck me that I was the potential predator. I spend a lot of time thinking about being a potential victim, and I tend to forget that people (specifically women) see me as dangerous even given my size. The whole thing just makes me sad, but it also really fucks with my head. One way or another, I don't like it.

Halfway home I had an urge to write poetry. Alas, I could not write poetry on a dark street in JP, because 1) that would be stupid, and 2) I did not have my notebook. And now I must sleep so I can get up tomorrow at 7 and do it all over again.

I want to go see my friend Mea, because I really need someone to be a little boy with and he's good at that. We shall see.

July 20
There is a single, dark hair - identical to my arm hairs, not shorter - not bristly - growing out of the center of the back of my left hand. I am WAY too young for this - a couple of times in the past few months, I've gone to brush a hair off my shoulder in the shower and discovered it was attached. Ew.

I tried to pull the hand hair out - hurt like a motherfucker so I left it. On looking at a different angle, though, I discovered that the hair has three smaller companions. Great. There are three very small, thin, not-dark hairs on my right hand too. I think everyone gets those - it's only the one dark hair on my left hand that bothers me. At this rate, I'm going to look like Tevye's Mini-Me by the time I'm 25. *sigh*

July 29
7:57 am - So probably I started bleeding yesterday morning, and probably my boxers have spent last night soaking in the sink, and probably I'm wearing briefs now for the first time in a long time. (TMI?) It's heavier than it's been the other times it's happened, so I just E-mailed the good doctor for permission to go up to 3.75mg per day - one patch for 12 hours, two patches for the other 12. I figure I'll put two on at night instead of one, and just take one off when I get up in the morning. 5mg per day freaked me out last time and I want to avoid it as much as possible.

This was the reason I started T in the first place. I'm not going back there.

And I'm crampy. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

4:24 pm - That's fine. The problem with patches is that the testosterone level drops when skin contact is diminished, which may be happening in the heat/sweat.


Michael Alexander wrote:

I'm having some breakthrough bleeding. It's happened a few times before in the past year, but is a bit heavier this time. Can I have your permission to go from 2.5mg per day to 3.75mg per day (i.e., two AndroDerm patches for 12 hours and one patch for the other 12)?

I wrote him back asking if it's even worth changing my dosage, or if I should just ride it out.

9:28 pm - The good doctor writes, "Change the dose."

October 3
My left cheek (on my FACE, thank you) is rougher than my right. wtf. I shaved two days ago and there's almost nothing on the right, and my left cheek is going "SHAVE ME!" (Not that you can see anything on either side, fortunately.)


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