Saturday, May 28, 2016

Six Months HRT Update


May 28th, 2016 is my official six months on hormones. It's quite a milestone I think. The first time I took HRT, back in 2010, I took it for exactly one week before giving up on the idea of transition. This time, I've gotten through six months and I must say that I'm super happy with the results. Well, almost. The one thing I am unhappy about is that I'm not getting results fast enough! I want more and I want it now!

Ah well. Patience. They say be patient. I'm trying to be patient. But, you know, on a day like today when it's absolutely beautiful in NYC for like the first time in ages, I start to lose my patience. Every girl is out there in her lovely dress enjoying the weather. Every girl but me! Erg. Patience. Patience they tell me. 


Despite how much I just want to be full time already, there's still a ways to go. But, it's not all bad. There have been so many great changes that I'm absolutely loving. For one thing, I can now go at least three weeks without shaving my body hair. Seriously. It used to be like two days and I'd have to shave my legs again. Now I can easily go about a month before it becomes too hideous and has to go. And when my hair does grow in, it's golden blonde and no where near as visible as the Chewbacca-esque mess I used to have. It's perfect. I love it. Also, my skin is definitely softer. My partner noticed it more than I did but I definitely starting to notice it too. It has a much more "female" feel to it. Hard to explain but it's definitely softer. My body fat has also begun to redistribute and I've started to notice a little more around my hips and butt and little less on my stomach. I'm also trying to lose the weight too (biked to work and ate an apple for breakfast - go me!). 


Now, let's talk what I think is the biggest change. My face. Seriously, I've started to notice that I look like a girl in my guy photos. My partner noticed it too. Thus far I haven't had any guy fails yet, but it's something that may be looming on the horizon. Once I get some more laser I think it'll help my face look all the more female. Luckily, I found a much cheaper laser place that has great Yelp reviews. I'm going to try them after Memorial Day and see.

One other thing I'm just not too sure about is the mood changes that many people report. When transgender women start HRT they often speak lyrically of the mood changes they experience; an all encompassing warm calmness that fills them up with sugar plums and makes the world right. No, I've not experienced that. If I have noticed a mood change it's that maybe I'm less aggressive and more empathetic. Recently, I've noticed that little things that might have endlessly annoyed me or sent me into a rage just don't seem to bother me. Like the other day when there were two old people taking up an entire hallway and walking super slowly. Instead of getting pissed I just thought "Well, it must be difficult to have limited mobility. I'm thankful I don't have that. I should be patient." Just yesterday at the grocery store there was a woman with two screaming toddlers and instead of seething in a rage I just thought "Those must be a handful. I'm glad I don't have to have that in my life. Maybe I'll let her go ahead of me since she has it so rough." I know- who am I?! This must be the estridiol.

And lastly, let's not forget everyone's favorite estrogen effect! I won't say too much because pictures really do speak a thousand words. 

And two of those words are "Hello, nurse!" 
Also here's one more that's NSFW but not that unsafe for work. Just slightly unsafe. Really it depends on where you work. I'm a classy girl, okay.

See, I'm like this century's Audrey Hepburn. 
These photos here were just taken kind of randomly. It was a nice day and because I'd been travelling first for work and then for pleasure, I hadn't really had a chance to get out girled up or really take a look at all the changes I've been noticing recently. So I did a tiny bit of face shaving, slapped together some seriously quick and dirty makeup and headed out for some photos. They actually turned out way better than I ever thought they would. 


For me, when I look at these photos I think I finally see a girl. Not a crossdresser, not a guy who's faking it, but an actual woman. Maybe it's that I'm not wearing the usual long wig. Maybe it's because I just did a quickie five minute makeup job with no foundation. Maybe it's because I didn't bother with my usual shapewear. Maybe it's because I haven't shaved my body hair in a month and it looks fine. Maybe the short hair makes me look like the cool lesbian I'll invariably become. I'm not sure. But there's something about them that catches my eye. Maybe it's just me. 


Well, spring is finally here. I'm not quite ready to come out full time but I'm getting there. Memorial Day weekend I can be a girl and I've got a stay-cation coming up so I can spend 11 straight days as me. I'm seriously looking forward to it like you can't even believe. Aching might even be the word. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Prom Night Part 2 & Thoughts on Coming Out


Prom was so much fun! Not my actual high school prom, I mean my recent grown up prom night. So, I have lots of other photos to share, but since this is my web-log (or "eblo" as the kids call them), I thought I might write a little instead of just sharing photos. FYI, if you'd like to just see some photos, be sure to check out my Instagram. I just posted some rather beautiful, artistic looking photos of my recent trips to upstate NY and the Great Lakes. But, today I wanted to share something beyond just simple photos. I want to talk about coming out. 

Nice though my photos may be. 

In these photos below you'll notice that I'm with friends. First off that's great because it means I actually have friends. But what I really love about these photos is the fact that these friends of mine have only ever known me as a girl. My friend asked me if I were interested in a prom night, then we texted back and forth about different dresses and shared eBay links and photos, then we met up, hung out and had a great time. And at no point did I ever have to come out to them! It was great. 


Now, on the other hand, I just spent a week with my in-laws and that brings up an unfun idea. I have to come out to them at some point. This makes me insanely nervous. Not only have they never seen me as a girl, they think I'm a 100% normal, hetero, cis guy worthy of being with their daughter. My partner is amazingly supportive (far more so than an amoral rapscallion like me probably deserves) and we spent a lot of time this week talking about how and when I might come out to them.

It's difficult and scary and puts butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. In fact, my partner and I were walking holding hands and talking about and she noticed that my hands got sweaty as soon as she brought it up. Stupid amygdala. While I do have a gay brother in law that they love dearly, I still worry that maybe transgender is step beyond that into weird territory. They're accepting, loving and as progressive as people of their generation can probably be expected to be, considering that they were in the military culture and are devout Catholics. But, there were some good signs. For instance, at a big family dinner this trip, the subject of North Carolina's bathroom laws came up and my brother and sister in law were absolutely supportive of transgender rights and spoke up for them in front of their kids. That's great. So, I know I'll have some love from the family.

Ultimately, we figured the best way to come out would be a letter. Well, maybe six letters, each with similar themes but custom crafted for each recipient. That way I could come out to my in-laws, my partner's siblings, my parents and my sister (though I'm fairly sure my sister already knows since we're Facebook friends).

My sister is probably just happy that I'm not borrowing her clothes any more.

Thus far, all I've come up with is an outline for the letters. Like this: 

Dear Person,
  1. You are important to me. I don’t want to lose our relationship.
  2. I’m transgender.
  3. This is something I’ve been dealing with for my whole life and I need to have the courage to come out and be myself. I’m still me. (though people tell me I seem much happier as a girl)
  4. Your support for me is invaluable.
  5. Please call me by my female from now on, female pronouns, etc.
  6. I’m still me.
  7. You’re super important to me.
Best,

Faith

We decided letters are best because they'll give people time to digest the new information and then I don't have to sit there and have awkward question and answer periods with anyone, 'cause you just know people are going to ask questions about genitals. And I really don't want to have that particular conversation with them.



This is scary to me. It really is. While honestly, I'm not that concerned about my own blood family. I'm just not that close to them. I like them and all, but I'm happy living a good number of states away from them. It's better that way. If they, in their Republican or Evangelical way, want to disown me I can take it. I'll be upset, but I'll live. As far as I'm concerned this is who I've always been and they can take it or leave it. The relationship will be on my terms now.

But my in-laws are something different. They're the family I see twice a year or more. I like them. They're Catholic but they were the first Christians I ever met who weren't completely insane. They're cool people. We visit them often and that relationship is super important to me. Especially since I'm not that close to my own family. I'd hate to screw up that relationship. My partner is also really close to her family and I'd really hate to screw up her relationship with her family. But she's with me on this. It's so amazing. She's so amazing. And she assures me that it'll go fine.

Phew. Well. Let's see then. Letters. Letters. Letters. Time to draft some letters I guess. 


So now the question is when. A friend of mine is having a wedding in late June and it's going to be outdoors and in my neighborhood. I was so looking forward to wearing a beautiful dress and being out and social with all my friends. Then it hit a snag. My friend invited my in-laws so there went that plan. Unless I manage to come out to them by June. I really, really, really want to go to this wedding (and the pre and after parties and all that crap) as the real me. But that means coming out now!

A deadline! Oh my gosh. Can I do it? Can I summon up the courage to come out to my in-laws before the wedding? 


Stay tuned.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Major Victories in Transgender Rights


You know, I have opinions. I do. A lot of them. I read news every day, I try to seek out opposing viewpoints to strengthen my intellectual chops, I read big thick science and history books from the library. I have opinions. I even consider my opinions to be well-informed, well-thought-out and generally correct. But I'm not gonna share them. At least not here.

But, this spring has been a tremendous time for transgender rights in America and I wanted to speak about it quickly. For those who don't keep up with the news as well as I do (look at me brag!):

North Carolina passed a terrible, idiotic law restricting the rights of transgender people and worse, banning individual municipalities within the state from ever protecting those rights. They ended up losing a bunch of business and the Feds got involved and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch stood up for transgender right in a huge way, stating that:

"Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself.  Some of you have lived freely for decades.  Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead.  But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that  we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.  Please know that history is on your side.  This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time.  It may not be easy – but we’ll get there together." 

 Wow.

Then, President Obama announced that public schools that discriminate against transgender people would lose their federal funding and may even end up getting sued by the Justice Department.

Wow!

Eight years ago, gay marriage will illegal. And now the Right Wing in this country has lost that battle entirely. Now they're going after transgender rights and ironically, that attack is already turning into a great thing. Why is the Right Wing attack a great thing? Because their desperate, hateful attempt to start a new fight has made millions of people stand up against them. People who didn't even have trans rights on their radar a year ago are now speaking out for transgender people. The President is now speaking out for trans rights! Isn't that amazing!

Like all struggles, this one will be uphill. But it looks as though we're already winning. There's much more work to be done, but the all those right wing, hateful bigots who dress up their intolerance in religious clothing, are going to lose. They will be in the dustbin of history.

Go us!
Okay. So, yeah. I'm left wing. I support Hillary in 2016 and voted for her in the NY primary. I do think she should make Sanders her VP to help unite the party.  I think Trump is a scumbag who must be stopped. I think Obama has been an amazing president. I think trans rights are important because an attack on the rights of one group is an attack on us all. I hate the term TERF and think people who use it are drawing a line in the sand when what we need is a dialogue (because cis and trans women have much in common and our struggles are so similar). I also hate the term "deadname." I also have opinions on gun rights, abortion, voter ID laws, the criminal justice system, foreign policy and....you don't care.

There are a million political blogs, trans rights blogs, and a billion people sharing their opinions on everything and nothing all over the internet. I don't want this page to be for that kind of info, but this has been such a huge milestone moment for transgender rights that I wanted to share! Don't worry. Next week will be all pictures, stories about shopping and fun. Promise.

I just bought two new LBDs, cute new sandals, two new pairs sunglasses and haven't even had a chance to wear them out! Pictures soon!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Live Show


Yes, I did live show. Once. It did not go well. Actually, since I didn't get tomatoes thrown at me, I guess it went well enough. And before anyone asks, no, I did not do a drag show. Actually I'm not a fan of drag at all. Mostly it's because drag is so goofy and over the top. It's performers hamming it up and at this point they aren't presenting as women they are presenting as clowns. Big hammy clowns. Not a fan. So, this wasn't drag. I've never done drag. I'm not even a fan of the right type of music and I actually hate Cher too. Okay. Now that I've gotten that out of my system...

What I actually did was perform comedy at an open mic night. Back when I lived in Queens, someone opened up a gay bar around the corner from my house. Why, I'm not sure. At the time there were already two gay bars within ten blocks and it didn't quite seem like a neighborhood that could support that many. Ah well, the drag brunch that this place offered was always packed. People would eat waffles and drink mimosas while drag queens performed. The place was always packed for that.

As brunch and drag aren't my things, I came by the place a few times in the evenings. Gay clubs had always felt like a safe place to hang out. My first times going out as a girl were when I went to gay bars in high school. While I go to plenty of straight bars as well, I do like accepting atmosphere of a good gay bar any day. Most of the Queens gay bars I'd been to hadn't been that good really. Generally their clientele was much older, though one called Albion had a fun drag night from time to time and their happy hours involved $4 pints of gin and tonic. When I first started going out as a girl in Queens, I'd stop in there sometimes.

This new gay bar though, was right on my street, so I walked by it every day on my commute. As with most bars, I'd glance at the posters in the window to see if anything cool was coming up; a trivia night or something. Well, it turns out they did an open mic night night on Wednesday. I'd done comedy at open mic nights in Queens before and had gotten fairly decent reactions, so I thought it would be a great place to debut to a stage version of my old YouTube series "Thoughts from My Head" in front of a live audience and do comedy as Faith.


It went okay. Just okay. Well, maybe a little worse than okay. When my turn came up, I got up and did some jokes, mostly some one liners and some Emo Phillips-esque bits where the meaning of the jokes change halfway through, usually to something dark. I got a couple chuckles from the small group who had come in. My best joke of the night was "Brain surgery is hard. You make one little mistake and suddenly everyone's all like 'You're not a doctor! Who let you in here?!'" Yeah, a couple of chuckles.


Unfortunately, I wrote all new material and hadn't really rehearsed it or even properly memorized it. So the lack of real audience laughs is totally my fault. I mean, one liners aren't even really my type of comedy. Usually I'm more story based. Ah well. I think the reason that I never had a real career in stand up (even though it's something I wanted for a long time) is because I would get discouraged by bombing or even neutral reactions from the crowd. Real comedians just power through that, accept it as part of the job and keep going up night after night, working the room until the material and their delivery get better. Actually, it's never too late to get back into it. I kinda do want to try again some time. If I do, I'll try and get better video and photos and will definitely post something.



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Prom Night


Remember that scene in Carrie where she goes to prom, has an amazing time dancing with friends, stays out late and then heads home exhausted from having so much fun? That is how Carrie went right? I stopped watching half way through. Well, that's basically how my grown up prom in Brooklyn went!

I was so excited about the idea of grown up prom, even though I didn't find a real prom dress and didn't have time to order one. Luckily I had a cute Betsey Johnson dress at the ready. For a while, I debated wearing my red heels, but ultimately decided on flats since I'd be on my feet and dancing for much of the night. We also thought it prudent to take a disco nap in the afternoon, since the doors didn't open till 10pm. Usually at 10pm I'm about ready to go to bed. But not this night!

Pictured; People awake past 11pm on a Saturday night. Craziness!
Prom wasn't too far away, The venue was a nice performance venue called Littlefield, which I've been to before for Nerd Nights. It's in Gowanus, Brooklyn, an up and coming neighborhood that's still mostly industrial (zoned yellow for you SimCity 3000 fans). 

Gowanus, Brooklyn as seen on Google Earth
We got to prom around 10:30pm and at first felt a little over-dressed. There were a couple people in prom get-ups, but mostly people were in jeans. Then again, it was still early! The theme of prom was Eighties and Nineties and soon after we walked in they played "Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage, so I immediately felt at home. We got our drinks, started a tab, and hit the dance floor. 


Now, I'll be honest, I've never really been much of a dancer. But it was fun to get out and there my friends were dancing too. So why not? We were all super cute and dressed up for prom, so yeah...we got hit on a more than a few times. Plus we took the time to snap a ton of selfies, as you can see below. 


While I didn't get elected prom queen, we did get up on stage. Imagine if I could tell my 17 year old self that! One day, you'll be a girl, in a dress and pretty makeup, up on stage at prom!



Eating the streamers. Yep, 'cause that's what you do at prom, okay!




All in all, it was super fun. There's really nothing I love more than just being out and being one of the girls. It makes me so happy and I feel like that's my natural role and it just feels right. Plus, I got to go out to a prom that was way more fun than my actual high school prom. And I finally got to go to prom in a beautiful dress! Seriously, they do these parties all the time, so I definitely want to go back. Though next time, I definitely need a full-length gown. Still, I think I managed to be pretty cute in my short dress. What do ya'll think? 



Now I need to do some more shopping. And post more pictures too!