Transition Experiences: There are the days where I feel ugly and think like I look like a man and I wonder why I bothered and I get deadnamed and people call me sir and on my walk to work I feel like I can’t, won’t ever, measure up to the other women I see around me and they’re stylishly dressed with makeup honed through years of trial and error and experience and even though I wore a dress to work I feel like a fraud because I feel uncomfortable in my skin but I’m not sure if that’s just because everyone used to know me as a guy because I don’t mind wearing a dress when I’m not at work.
There are the days like today where I had to buy a lawnmower and the lady clerk and I pull it off the rack together and she tells the other people in line that she’s helping, “This lady here first,” and she gives me a high-five for girl power getting it done, and the male clerk rolls it out to the car for me and mansplains to me how to install bolts in the handle that I most certainly can figure out myself and he proceeds to tell me to lift it up by the wheels and rolls his eyes when I ignore him and pick it up by the frame and then helpfully arranges it in the car for me and gives me a friendly wave as he walks away.
There are the days where I meet other women and I still don’t know all the signals and they come in for a hug and I’m awkwardly standing there with my hand outstretched for a shake instead and they’re trying to figure me out and I’m trying to figure me out too and I wonder if I’ll ever figure it out.
There are the days where men hold doors and older men stare at me lecherously when I’m wearing a dress and I know what they’re thinking because I heard it a million times from the men around me and it makes me feel gross and I play my part and ignore them when all I want to do is march up to them and drop my voice as far as I can and say, “Hi there, sexy,” just to watch their mental gears grind but I know that’d be the dumbest thing in the world to do.
There are the days I realize I have huge gaps in my wardrobe and add things to my shopping list and when I have time to shop it seems like a chore but then I find something else that I wasn’t looking for at all and it seems like a worthwhile trip when I’m walking out of the store except for when I realize I didn’t buy what I went in there for because they didn’t have my size because I’m huge and I despair that I’ll ever be able to find that cute pair of sandals I saw the other day on that woman whose toenails look perfect on her size 6 feet and I stare down at my own size 13s and wish again that I had smaller feet.
There are the days where it feels like everyone is just humoring me because I see the smirks and hear the sniggers and comments when I’m not quite out of earshot and I worry sometimes walking down the street where the drug dealers and their spaced-out customers are because I don’t want to get spotted as trans and turn into a target and I look out for the rougher women the most because I know they’re the most dangerous in public when in crowds if they out me loudly because men will often pounce on anyone attacking a woman seemingly in distress unless they’re getting raped.
There are the days where I feel like I have it together and everyone calls me ma’am and smiles at me and women chat with me and my life is as mundane and banal as it should be and my hair looks great and I don’t know what I did but my eye makeup is on point and even I can’t see the few dark hairs I know I have lurking on my lip and chin and I’m happy with my body because my boobs look great and my butt looks just right and this is exactly how I wanted my life to be.
There are the days where I want to immediately schedule time with a doctor to have them smash my face in with a hammer and rearrange it because I’m afraid to pull my hair back because my brow ridge is huge and so is my nose and my chin is all wrong and I rage at all the years I let go by and how I could have been past all of this so long ago if I hadn’t been afraid and I want to have a vagina because I’m sick of this fucking thing between my legs that’s an even bigger pain in the ass than it was before but I’m afraid to be knocked out and cut up and get an infection or a fistula or not feel a thing because the doctor coughed while cutting.
There are the days I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m afraid to go forward and I’m afraid to go back and I wonder why I bothered and wasn’t it easier before even if it was a living hell and is it just me or am I being held to a different standard now and why the fuck should that even matter when all I want to do is just be me but I’m not even sure who me is any more because this new person in the mirror seems to have come out of nowhere and even though she’s pretty some days I’m not sure if I’m happier or not and this new life is hard because now I have to deal with all the shit I’d crammed down underneath the gender stuff.
There are the days I feel lonely because there’s no one to come home to who’s looking forward to seeing me and I wonder if I’ll ever have that again and I also like being by myself and having all my things how I want them but the bed is cold at night and I want someone to hold me and be close to me and love me and tell me it’s all going to be all right because we have each other and sometimes I cry from it all but sometimes I go to sleep with a smile on my face.
There are the days my kids call me mum every time and hug me and kiss me and tell me they love me and then there are days they call me dad everywhere we go and people stare and my kids tell me how much they hate me because I changed my gender and they cry because they don’t have a dad any more and I don’t know what to say to them or how to comfort them and they drop off to sleep and tell me they love me again.
There are the days I realize I’m not as strong as I used to be and I wonder what it will be like to be an old lady and how I’ll be treated and if I’ll still be dealing with ignorant medical staff and get outed over and over and over again when all I need is my prescription instead of someone looking at me funny because the chart hasn’t been updated.
There are the days I know I did the right thing and that there was no other course and that I had no choice and that I never really did and I forgive myself over and over and over for fighting it and I forgive myself for the 20’s I didn’t have and I forgive myself for the 30’s I never had and I forgive myself for most of the 40’s that were absolutely miserable because otherwise I’d go mad with regret and I’m incredibly happy I get the time I have now to be me because it’s so much better than it was before and I obviously wasn’t ready before because it’s hard to imagine what I’d be like now if I transitioned in my 20’s because I’m not 100% sure I’d like that person because she was pretty damn clueless about so much.
There are the days coming that I know will be hard and they will be easy and they will be mediocre and there will be highs and there will be lows and there will be everything in between and every day I get to be me with all my faults and all my imperfections and all my strengths and all my best features and my happiness and my sadness and everything in between because I finally became myself and it was the best fucking thing I ever did for myself.
Emotional: Logy. Somewhere between sixty to seventy hours spent on work and commuting will do that to a person.
Physical: I gave up on my diet because I didn’t have the fortitude to stick with it through all the stress at work.
Dose: 8 mg/day estradiol via tablets, split into AM/PM doses of 4mg/4mg.
[Looking for detailed information about male to female hormone replacement therapy dosing and effects? Read my Brief Overview of Feminizing Hormones post. You might also be interested in The Trans Woman’s Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Tracking Chart I created.]