Monday, October 12, 2009

More Awkwardness!

Back on Sunday, during my weekend visiting friends in Lexington, I stopped by Chipotle for dinner. At the time, I was en femme.

Last Saturday, only six days later, I returned to Lexington with my parents, and everyone settled on Chipotle for a late lunch. This time I was in boy mode. At this point I wear my hair the same in girl or guy mode, sound pretty much the same, and the only real difference is the clothes, and that without makeup there is still a bit of beard left. The line between the guy look and the girl look have blurred enough that someone who meets me in one mode of dress can generally identify me in the other. I was a little worried about being recognized.

Well, as I stepped inside the chances of being remembered went up dramatically. I recognized both girls at the counter from the previous visit. I managed to maintain my calm. My parents had already went to the table so even if I was recognized, they would never find out.

As I stepped to the counter, the girl looked up, and as soon as we made eye contact I saw a spark of recognition. The order went off without a hitch, and she was unusually sweet for someone in a customer service position. Still, she obviously knew.

Just one of those funny things!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Second Verse, Same as the First

Spiraling upward. Thats how I think of the path I am currently on. In a way, it feels like I am going in circles and covering a lot of the same ground, but really its not exactly the same thing. There are tiny differences; emotional, physical and social accomplishments that take me a little higher with each pass.

Every month on hormone therapy puts me physically closer to where I need to be. Every laser treatment gets me that much closer to the confidence I'll need to face the world on a 24-7 basis.
Sometimes it is hard to imagine how everything will eventually work out, but if I keep making steps in the right direction I'll eventually get where I am supposed to go.

The last few days have included several such steps. I went back to the endocrinologist last Friday, and was given a clean bill of health, and I am now on the medication regimen that will probably carry me through my entire transition with no further changes. 11 months after starting hormones, I'm now through with adjustments and ready to just keep doing what I am doing. Its really a relief. They are also now spacing out my visits farther, which saves me quite a lot of money. The visit was very uneventful and everyone at the clinic just treated me like a regular girl.

After the endocrinology visit, I got to spend the entire weekend with my friends Lisa and Tina. It was so nice seeing them both again, and getting to hang out with people who are so supportive. We tried a few restaurants, and hit the Trans-Kentucky meeting as well.

While we were out Friday night, we met the most fascinating girl. We were going to eat at Mia's, a restaurant in downtown Lexington. As soon as we stepped out of the car, this lady dining at a table outside started looking in our direction. When we walked past her table, she called us over, and said she jsut wanted to say hello to her sisters. She was trans! I never would have guessed in a million years.

Later she dropped by our table and told us a bit of her story. It seems she has overcome a lot of adversity. Her family is very conservative, and like most of us, she had to work toward her transition on a budget, but she wanted to be finished by age 30, and amazingly she made it.

She had breast implants and an orchi performed in Mexico, at a budget price, then followed up with an SRS in Thailand from a surgeon not typically used by westerners. While she was telling her story, I was imagining what it would feel like, being prepped for surgery in a foreign land. I think she must be one of the bravest people I have ever met. In the end, she offered to show Tina and I the results of her various operations, and I took her up on the chance to actually see the results of an SRS. She looked very normal. I would still never have guessed that she was anything other than a genetic girl. I left the lady's room feeling so hopeful for my own future. The price and the results were both beyond my expectations. I would love the chance to thank her for sacrificing her privacy to let me see how much can be done to correct problems like mine. She is a courageous, open and just incredibly cool person.

(*** I hate to have to include this note, but because of a misunderstanding that arose on a friend's blog some time ago, I am compelled to be abundantly clear on this point. This was in no way a sexual encounter, so please, don't read lots of innuendo into this. Its simply not there.***)

Also Friday night, I got to meet Lisa's friend Stacy, and beat Lisa and Tina at pool once. :P (edit: Tina won the second of the two games. I just got lucky. LOL!)

This Wednesday was also an interesting day. I went for more laser work! It didn't hurt nearly as much as the previous visit, and even after two and a half months between visits, some areas of my face were relatively clear. This visit seems to have effected almost all the remaining hair, so hopefully I'll be temporarily free of facial hair after shedding over the next week. Beyond that, I dare dream that most of it will never come back.

I can't say it all went off without a hitch though. On the way down, I had a tire blowout just 7 miles out of town and had to change my own tire beside a busy interstate. It was all pretty nerve wracking. Besides that, my tire was a micro-spare, and the other tires looked very worn out too, so I had to negotiate a tire purchase myself. Normally I would not want to do that because I know very little about tires. On top of that, I had to arrange everything in person with a freshly fried face. Embarrassing!

Also yesterday was quite nice. I got to visit Robin and Chase for the first time in ages. All the family issues are still there, but at least we can visit again. Visiting their house was nice, and getting to sit around joking with them and playing a bit of Guitar Hero took me back to early summer, when I felt a lot less alone on this journey with supportive friends only a few miles away.

Things just keep getting better all around. I have lots of research to do as the time comes to take further steps toward transition. I'm thinking I would like to have an orchi within the next 12 months so that I can take fewer meds. Some time around June I would like to be able to move, change employment, and my name. Within 24 months, I want to have finished my SRS.

It seems daunting, all of it. But I feel hopeful and determined.