[Looking for information about male to female hormone replacement therapy dosing and effects? Read my Brief Overview of Feminizing Hormones post.]
Dose: 3 mg/day estradiol
Weight: 180 lbs.
Physical: The most notable thing here is how my nipples hurt if bumped or, er, handled. I’ve definitely been feeling more achy in the chest area as well, but I have been doing more upper-body lifting in the past few weeks on a home project involving lumber, so it’s kinda hard to separate out the aches from using muscles I haven’t used much from estrogenic effects on breast tissue.
I’ve also been struggling with an arthritis flare up in my right big toe, which has put a dent in my activity and forcing me to limp around. I’m not used to this type of injury, so it’s a major inconvenience as well as painful.
As I close in on half a year of uninterrupted low-dose hormones, I’m starting to notice very subtle changes in facial fat deposits. It’s one of those things that if I’m looking for them I can’t see, but when I catch a glance of myself in a mirror, I look kinda different. My hair is also starting to get longer again, and the two things coupled together provide some rather pleasing glimpses to me.
Emotional: It hit me today that I’ve been struggling with dysphoria in some way, shape, or form for a little over 30 years. I’ve been all over the map emotionally over that span, and what I also realized today is that I’ve been afraid of being wrong about my own trans-ness.
These fears and doubts have come from many angles:
- From the broader world that tells us we’re “crazy” to feel the way we do and generally wants us to go away
- From family that’s been unsupportive and unwilling to learn about transgender
- From the community that plants seeds that make me wonder if I’m “trans enough”
- From an early counselor that dismissively labeled me as “just a crossdresser”
- From the fears of losing my family, friends, and my livelihood
- From the fear that I’m not really a woman but somewhere in-between
- From the fear of trading one gender box for another
- From feelings of hopelessness around my male physical stature and never being free of it
- From a very good friend that once told me I’d make an ugly woman
But here I am now in my mid-40’s and the touchstone that I keep coming back to is that I think I’d be happier as a woman. And then I look at that list above and I can knock each fear and doubt down one by one:
- Gender dysphoria is real just like depression is real and there are always haters in the world
- My family’s been unsupportive about many other things as well so expecting them to step up here is unrealistic
- Our community, like every other one, is susceptible to group think and exclusionary behavior and I define who I am, not anybody else
- Fuck that bitch and her “true transsexual” treatment framework
- I could lose those things in an earthquake and no risk, no reward
- So what?
- Only if I let it
- Many women have body self-image issues – what else is new? Plus, I have some great attributes
- Fuck him and his judgement of my worth as a woman as measured only by physical beauty
Based on all this and more cognizant that my time is counting down, I’ve decided to nudge the accelerator a bit and upped my dose to 4mg estradiol/day. I may amp that up even higher, but I’m waiting for blood work results to come back because more might not really be necessary and I want more hair removal complete before I blossom in a major way.
I’ve wanted a body to match my brain for a long, long time now, and I think it’s finally time to really try that, as everything else I’ve tried to do other than transition hasn’t worked.