1 one year 3 March since I became the real Alex…and what has changed?
The world is a very different place for me today than a year ago.
There is an initial euphoria of being released from the prison of being male. It hasn’t all been fun and it hasn’t all been easy either. One thing that is startling obvious…I need someone who I can trust and wants to support my transformation. Without that person my life would be a very lonely one.
Being honest, most of my supportive friends have fallen away, for whatever reason. Some because they wanted the person I was for them to stay unchanged. Like a pet or a conversation piece. Friends are going to leave and new ones are going to arrive.
Almost all my friends are ones I have met as Alex.
My suggestion, if you are about to embark on this journey…assume you are going to do it alone. If you have a family member, loved one…who wants to support you…be very grateful.
Sex? Thing of the past…that urge goes pretty early on; in the first couple months. If you are in a physically relationship bear that in mind. There is a warning in transition: ‘use it or lose it’ I won’t go into details here.
I no longer think of my sexuality as part of who I am, it no longer drives my desires or actions.
Has my sexual gender preferences been changed by the hormones? Yes, it has. It happens gradually I think. I’m not saying if you are heterosexual you will ‘change sides’ but if a part is drawn to other sexual partners already…in my case that was the case…I have shifted a long way from that mostly heterosexual position. Perhaps that was always the case…perhaps the testosterone blocked far more than I thought?
This moving along the scale is quite common in other transwoman I have spoken to. Could I turn completely the other way? Time will tell, though my suspicion is…quite likely.
A year doesn’t seem a very long time, unless you are still in school, but I find it difficult to act or react like I did a year ago. What has changed?
Emotions are far more my driving force and my controlling influence.
I was never very ‘male’, I’m not competitive, outspoken, feel the need to be right at any cost…or any macho characteristics really.
So being feminine has always been my way really. No big change there.
My 10 does and don’ts
- Only buy women’s clothes, they are cut differently to mens
- buy clothes that fit…if you are a size 24 buy a 24 not squeeze into a 20
- bra’s are made for female rib cages, sports bra’s work best XL-XXXL
- ask female friends what lipstick/eye shadow suits you
- Wear less and don’t try to impress, especially during the day
- be who you are today, go out as often as you can, dressed appropriately
- buy second hand where possible…you’ll waste less money
- Be kind to yourself, it takes a long time to change.
- Start voice feminisation as soon as possible, it takes months!
- join a trans gender support group, it really helps
- expect to lose some friends…it just happens
- Buy clothes inappropriate to your age
- walk with you hands in your pockets
- believe everything you read on the internet, only reliable sources.
- be tempted to exceed your meds. or supplements
- expect to only have good days
- underestimate the emotional changes you will experience
- alienate you family and friends…you need all the support you can get
- wear your men’s clothes or shoes
- keep the male privileges you once took for granted
- think you can still act like a man when it suits you.
This is an ongoing thing…watching and wanting to emulate little movements, moves, stances…learning all the time. And this is fun too.
Clothes and image:
Now we are getting into the real me. Buying women’s clothes is easy but buying and matching what suits me and presents the image I want to project of myself…that is a big challenge. I’ve bought so many clothes that look great…but not on me. I really have worn some bad looks. All part of the learning curve. The saying ‘less is more’ really is true. It is also fair to say wear what suits the stage of transformation you are at. High heels, red lipstick and floral dress on day one is a mistake.
The big question, was my transformation the right decision?
Whatever changes…and that is just about everything…it is worth it.
I still have a very long way to go, and I think I greatly overestimated how much change I could expect in a year. Even so, the person in that mirror is the real me…mostly, still a lot to get right yet…but I’m getting there.
The first year is hard and an enormous change to yourself and life…but I can’t wait to see what the second year brings.
Have I changed in the way I look? Well I see it less than others…that is common I think. I still see much of the original me but others say I have changed a lot. I have a bust and that I can’t argue with. Also I have lost 28lbs…which is diet not hormones. Muscles have shrunk back by about 60% at a guess. In the last few weeks my thighs have increased so my shape is moving toward female.
Body hair is thinner and reduced but still needs shaving every few days.
I have lost 1 1/2″ in height…some contention about what that is all about…but others have noticed some height loss to, so it’s not just me.
This peppers the year, times when being on the path to becoming a woman fills me with joy and happiness. It is a wonderful feeling when all is going well, someone has complimented on my nail varnish or treated me like a woman. It’s hard to explain, a real joy in yourself and life. It happens quite often for me and I am much happier in life…I smile far more than I ever have. Life is getting better and I am no longer having to hide who I am.
Passing is the general term used by transpeople to describe being seen as the gender you are becoming. i.e. being identified in public as a woman.
It is a big part of the first year and one that causes much anxiety and apprehension. Some don’t really care what people think while others find being miss gendered as a huge dent in their self esteem and self confidence.
It is certainly a personal choice, for me I have just gone about my day and not really let myself dwell on it. A glance or a double take can mean anything…so I choose not to second guess it’s meaning. My stumbling block is my voice. I think it is fair to say, voice is at least as big a gender identifier as looks. A booming deep voice kills any image…no matter how feminine I look. It is also my inner monologue. I have put it at the top of my list for feminisation.
My online community
Join a community, I don’t often give advice…but I’m giving this one. No transperson is an island, we are part of a community. I have real world friends (exclusively woman) but they don’t know much about gender transitioning or the difficulties and technical issues with transition. I’m going to recommend, Transgenderheaven.com.
I have many friends there, the advice is first hand and the camaraderie so helpful and comforting. The feeling you are not alone is worth it in itself.
I have two very special friends there, both much further into transition than myself. They have been there, done that and are happy to help and guide me. Also now they are good friends.
It is said 80% of the public don’t know any trans people. It is also true 80% of trans people don’t know any either.
I have joined local transgender groups and on Facebook. It is a personal choice of course but I believe it is a good thing to join at least one.
Being more trans aware
I’m adding this topic because it is something that happened as soon as I started my journey. Before my transition I hardly ever heard or read anything about LGBTQ or even what it meant (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) or the transgender community. If there were issues in society about it it didn’t really touch on my life.
Once involved, it seems to be everywhere. It is very easy to believe every news story has some negative or derogatory view of trans people.
This simply isn’t true. While it certainly is an issue, as it has always been, it is no more a headline issue than it was. As a transperson I am more aware of it, and it catches my attention more. I try not to take up the ‘fight’ at every newspaper or media story on the topic. It isn’t that I don’t care…it’s just an overreaction is as bad as none at all. Keep it in proportion is my view.