A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Archive for the ‘voice’ Category

Facial hair (sort of).

I don’t feel like doing a super-long post, but here are some pictures of my facial “hair” growth since I started taking T on April 24th (I think, or was it March?).  It’s not much more than slightly darkening peach fuzz, and I don’t have any “before” pics to compare them with, but it’s definitely more than I had before.

herp

derp (my eyes look kinda cool in this one)

Mainly I’m just feeling the pull to start really documenting these things before they go away forever and I have no evidence of things I once had.  I mean, that seems desirable in one way, but I’m really feeling the sting of losing my singing voice more than I thought I would.  I stumbled across some music recorded by a transman who recorded half his vocals before going on T and then finished the song after he transitioned.  It just sucks because that’s exactly the project I wanted to do but never got around to doing, because during that part of my transition, I was struggling to stay alive on the streets and I didn’t have a spare nickel to get socks, let alone rent studio equipment.  But it burns mostly because I know that if I’d put some effort and thought into it, I could have culled the assistance and the funding to pull it off.  It’s San Francisco and someone would have known someone.

When I saw his video, I panicked and went to look for a song list of duets that I had just wanted to record for the hell of it.  I was holding out some feeble hope that maybe my range wasn’t as bad as I thought it was and I just needed some warming up, is all.  When I found it, I tested to see if I could hit those notes, and I squeaked and scratched my way through 2 songs before closing my list in disgust.  It’s really gone, it’s really irreversible and there’s no way to get it back.  I had a good voice, too.  Now I’m just this normal guy who can’t figure out what the hell pitch he’s in because his vocal cords are a little different every week.

I wish this post could be less depressing, but it is what it is.

Halloween was fun.

BUSYBUSYBUSYBUSYBUSY

If you’d like me to describe my life over the last few months, here it is.

1) Work.

2) Sleep.

Essentially, that’s it.  I’ve actually been so drained after work that I’ve been coming home and crashing sometimes as early as 6 in the evening.  That said, I have been waking up at ungodly hours and getting online because I can’t fall back asleep, so really I guess I don’t have any excuse for not blogging other than I’m pretty damn lazy at 4 in the morning.

But enough of that.  I have managed a couple of life updates despite my job sucking my life’s blood from me.

– For one, my friends and I have finally been getting our finances together enough to be moving out.  We’re looking at being able to go by this weekend, if all our reference checks could return their damn calls.  So, for all intents and purposes, this may be the last blog I type from my parent’s home.

– My gender therapist basically recommended me to move on to the next step and pursue a doctor who would prescribe me testosterone.  That process has been ongoing and I have yet to hear back from her, even though I sent in the paperwork weeks ago and they said they’d get back within 4 business days on the outside.  I have to give them a call.

So, that’s where I am in a nutshell.  I can’t think of much else to update.  I pass probably 30 percent of the time consistently with people who didn’t previously know me, and closer to 70 percent of the time with people who haven’t heard me talk yet.  My voice pretty much breaks any preconceptions, and it makes phone communications pretty much suck the life out of me.  If no other reason I’d like to get on T for that.

OH!  I had my first child misgendering experience the other day.  I hear of it happening all the time to other transpeople, but it seemed so cliche to happen to me.  A client with a little boy came in for an intake the other day, and I had them follow me back to the conference room.  From behind me, I heard the little voice ring out-

“Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?”

I almost cracked up right then and there.  And then she answered- “That’s a girl, honey.”  I didn’t even know how to respond- I just pretended I didn’t hear them.  How do you respond to that?  “Actually, ma’am, I think your boy was closer to the truth than you…”  How do you even humiliate someone like that, cause a scene, etc.-

And I feel ashamed for not standing up for myself.  I feel like I’m demanding so much of the people who have to deal with me every day, but I’m letting other people slide, and it’s not fair to this person or that person-

It’s all just stupid.  Why can’t people be okay with the fact that sometimes, the gender drama just isn’t worth it to me and I don’t give a shit what people call me, as long as it doesn’t become some stupid drawn out soap opera?

1 Year Manniversary!

So, it was this day last year that I made the decision to start living full time as male.  I’ve pulled this from the first post on my blog:

“This is Day 1.  Ground zero.
Today’s the official start of my transitioning process.
Some day, I won’t be the only person who sees me as a man.  Some day the whole goddamn world will without a second guess.  And it’s only a matter of time.
Joaquin Jack, the rootin’-est tootin’-est outlaw in the Wild West.”

A lot of things have changed since that day.  The most recent change?  I’m now officially a working stiff.  Yep, that volunteer gig I’ve been talking about since April?  They finally offered me a full time, paid job with benefits.  My medical insurance starts in September, and I can start the process of medical transition this year.

Social transition started a long time ago.  Most people I know call me Tommy, even in the workplace.  Most of those people call me by male pronouns, except for family and people in the workplace.  I don’t know how I’m going to navigate that when I start looking and sounding more male, but I have a very cool and understanding supervisor who is used to dealing with people in unusual personal situations, so I’d be surprised if she treats me unfairly.

Funnily enough, my attitude towards pronouns has gotten a lot more lax lately, mainly because I’m just so tired of seeing people struggle with it.  I’ve even had a few people who have been trying their damnedest break down and cry over it, even when I wasn’t pressing the issue.  I can tell with these people, they genuinely want to say the right things around me and it really gets to them when they don’t, and it’s gotten to the point where I frankly don’t give a shit anymore.  I mean, it’s awesome when I get sirred in public, but there’s nothing I can do right now about the fact that I look, sound and smell female, and asking people to do mental acrobatics around it is a little unreasonable until I’ve been on T for a while.

That’s not to say that I let people walk all over me, though.  Recently a few friends and I were hanging out, and I was telling this story from back when I was still doing the whole “chick” thing, and one of my brodudes said, “Hey, FYI, you’re still a chick.”

I punched him in the face.

It was kind of awesome.  His head slammed the wall behind him and he came up dizzy and checking if all his teeth were there.

He got the picture.  We were cool from then on.

***

What else has changed since last year?  Hm…
– My car works again, feels good to have independence.
– I’ve finally gotten back into the habit of showering and brushing my teeth every day- I care about my body now that it might actually belong to me one day.
– I’ve been eating less junk food and soda and crap and staying active, and I’ve gained some muscle and lost 23 pounds worth of spare fat.
– I’m on my way to quitting smoking (which I’ve never really mentioned on here because I don’t want to make any of my  former smoker transbros start jonesing, but I feel it’s worth bringing up at least on my manniversary.)
– I finally got together the balls to cut my hair last year, feels awesome not to have an extra blanket of heat coating my neck and back in the summer.
– I’ve become an expert at using an STP at public urinals, and have broken the fear of using the men’s room.
– I’ve come out to my dad and we even talk about it at lengths these days, and he (sort of) accepts me as his son, off and on.  It’s all I can ask for at this point.
– Have been wearing a real binder, not an improvised one that could distort my ribs, for probably about 9 months now.  Of course I’ve been binding off and on for a long time, and every single day for a year now, but using one regularly that doesn’t hurt my back has done wonders for my self-esteem and general health.
– Since having them compressed every day, I’ve lost at least a cup size.  I used to be a full C, and now I’m kind of a saggy B.  Not as attractive with my shirt off, but much easier to bind, and sometimes I can even wear a baggy shirt without being self-conscious.
– I’ve pumped off and on all year, and let’s just say my microcock is a lot easier to see these days.
– A lot of other smaller things that I don’t feel like recounting.

The only negative thing is that I’ve become a lot less comfortable with sex these days.  Since being with someone who doesn’t neccessarily find my trans situation attractive and kinda made me feel like shit about myself in several ways, and becoming more and more wary that any guy I’m with will want to do me in the manhole, I’ve lost my sex drive almost entirely.  This has led to even more anxiety about it, since, as a general rule, “males have a bigger sex drive”, and since last year, mine has only shrunk.  Of course, it’s all a performance anxiety and self-consciousness issue.  But it’s kind of positive that I’m less desparately, widly depressed about how small my dick is and more generally just not interested in sex right now.  I’m sure when I find the right person, all that anxiety about my genitals will go away, and having my sex drive boosted by T won’t be as soul-crushing.

Anyway, my manniversary celebration turned out to be a lot less exciting than I originally planned, but then, I originally planned to be taking my first T shot right about now.  I’ve basically only had my best friend over today and we’ve surfed the internet all day and listened to music.  That’s it. It just seemed superfluous to make a big deal out of “Hey, I decided something this day last year!”  I’ll probably go buy a cake or something when I actually get on T.

***

I think the biggest point of all this is, I held my own Real Life Test, just to know for sure, for my own purposes, that this was what I wanted to do, that not only could I handle the societal pressures of being male, but the problems that come with living as one gender when the world percieves you as another.

It went far better than expected.

I’ve been living with genuine peace of mind in myself for a year, despite the storm raging all around.  I’ve come to know who I really am, and that person wasn’t as cool as I originally thought he would be, but I’ve settled with being a big dork, and I’m happy with that.  I haven’t been experiencing any delusions or hallucinations, the dissociation has ceased, my emotional turmoil has settled considerably, and since having a cool and sane head, I can see that a lot of the world wasn’t as big and scary and dramatic and bad as I thought it was.  I’ve developed a sense of responsibility to myself and others now that I have a cemented sense of identity and I don’t feel like a visitor to this world operating an expendable avatar.  I’m comfortable with myself and my friends tell me that I seem happier.  There’s no more being constantly on edge for fear that my own mind will revolt and I’ll have to account for yet another day lost to someone I don’t know.  I’ve gotten used to what it’s like to be the only person in here, and it’s surprisingly simple, even if at first it was a little claustrophobic.  I feel much more real, I feel connected to the consequences of my actions, I feel in control.  I feel… normal.

That was something I never expected.

My voice just cracked.

I’d like to do a really short update and let you all know that I’ve been on a voice exercise regimen that I basically created for myself from the Rent soundtrack (cheesy, I know).  It’s about an hour of singing and stretching my vocal chords down as far as I can (I’d really like to try and create a guide eventually, because it goes in a rather specific way with warmups and so forth, and it’s quite fun).

I’ve been at it for a few weeks, and when I started I really couldn’t sing any lower than the tenor parts (I’ve been trained as a soprano my whole life, so that’s a hard habit to break.)  But just this morning, a few weeks later, I started off basically singing the bass parts with little difficulty, which was sort of an instant snap.

I think my voice cracked.

This is incredibly positive for me, because my voice was part of the major trinity of things that I’m sure will secure my ability to be read as male in a social setting,  (which, if you’re curious, was voice, proper binding, and facial hair), and one of two things I was fairly certain that I couldn’t get without hormones.  What this does for me, by proxy, is ensure my future fertility- I’ll explain this.

I’d really like to be able to preserve my eggs before I get on testosterone, as I’ve said before.  This really puts a kink in my schedule to get on testosterone, because I doubt I’ll be able to afford it any time soon.  Now, don’t get me wrong- I plan on getting on testosterone eventually, 100% no doubt about it, if for no other reason than to feel right INTERNALLY, even if it had no effect on my exterior.  BUT, if I can achieve those three checkpoints into being read as male without having to go on testosterone, it will make waiting to get on testosterone infinitely more bearable, and I probably won’t turn around one day and say, “You know what?  FUCK my future kids, I just want my T!”

Achieving the second point of the trinity, with facial hair possibly on its way, will definitely make my life easier.

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