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

Posts tagged ‘gender dysphoria’

Tomorrow is the Big Day.

When I woke up this morning, this was the first thing on my mind.

(Well, technically, the first thing on my mind was “Oh my god, it’s Sunday and I can sleep in as long as I want!!! …oh wait.  That was a dream.  It’s Wednesday.”)

Fuckin’ Wednesday.

But anyway, as soon as I remembered where/who/when I was, the first thing on my mind was this.

“Oh wow.  Up until tomorrow afternoon at 2:00, all of this will have been a fantasy, wishful thinking.  Nothing is set in stone yet.  But after tomorrow, I’m in for the long haul.”

Yes.  My insurance FINALLY kicked in some time earlier this month, and tomorrow, I have my first official appointment with my gender therapist.

I’m actually fucking terrified.

This is the day I’ve been waiting on, uninsured, for two years, technically my whole life.  But there’s really nothing in your life before that moment that can prepare you for walking in to the one person who has the power to help you, claiming that you were born into the wrong body, and begging them to fix it.  There’s no precursor to it.  It all comes down to that moment- is my case strong enough, or not?  Are they going to try to dig up things from my medical past to disprove my psychological stability?  Is this going to be one of those therapists who thinks that if I don’t cookie-cutter fit the binary, then I’m not trans enough?  What if she thinks that if I’m not attracted to girls, then I can’t be trans?  We all know these things aren’t true, but what if that course of the training hasn’t made it out to my neck of the woods yet?

And even after all that, once I make my case and she says I need to get on hormones ASAP… now I’m medically committed to something that has thus far been an intangible.  Sure, I’ve been binding my breasts for two years, I’ve cut my hair, thrown away all my old female clothing, even tried to grow facial hair by my own means (not a very good idea.)  But nothing I’ve done has been permanent yet.  I’ve rearranged my social and professional life, but the pronouns aren’t sticking with everyone yet.  In all technicality, if I decided to drop it all right here right now and just let it go and live my life as female henceforth, none would be the wiser.

Transition is ACTUALLY REALLY SCARY.

I was thinking all of this in the bathroom, and then I glanced at the mirror and I realized something.

There’s something that definitely scares me more than committing to live my life as a male, and that’s committing to life my life as a female.  The idea of that doesn’t give me a couple jitters, some butterflies in my stomach, or a little case of commitment anxiety cold-feet.  It makes me want to crawl out of my skin, rip babies heads off, projectile vomit, and start speaking in Latin while my head spins.

Let’s face it, no matter what I’m committing to, I do have a fear of commitment.  It’s just my nature.  The job I’m in right now is possibly the best thing that could happen to me, ever, and my first instinct is to abandon ranks because it’s a year commitment through Americorps.  I’m in perpetual fight-or-flight mode just because committing to it makes me feel claustrophobic.

But what I’m doing right now is finding my way out of something that I had been committed to, without my permission, since the day I was born.  I’m breaking free of that, and if I damn well don’t feel like fitting the binary once I AM growing facial hair, well then, there are ways out of that too.

So, screw cold feet.  I’m moving forward, because dammit, if 21 years of gender issues don’t speak to my need for this, then I don’t know what will.

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.

Day 24: I FAIL. Hard.

Yeah, I think it was pretty clear about 10 days ago that I gave up on the 30 day challenge.  Not only does my lifestyle make it really hard to get on the computer every day these days, but I’m also perpetually lazy.

Plus, I started getting blog backup.  It happens every time I start queuing up a list of topics to write about- for some reason, if I ever have more than 3 things I think I could write about, I can’t make myself start to write about any of them because I can’t pick which one is more important to write about that day, or something.

Anyway, with all that out of the way, I think I said a few blogs ago that I was going to write about something really embarrassing, and since I’ve forgotten everything else I was going to write about, it’s about that time that I get around to writing about that.

***

Have you ever had a quirk about yourself that you couldn’t decide whether it was a comedy-relief type human foible that could be applied to any other guy, or something that threatened your sense of masculinity so dangerously that maybe it was time to rethink your gender status?  I don’t like that everything about myself is now shaded by that “is it male enough?” filter, but this really stretches the boundaries of anything that is believably male, and I’ve been understandably uncomfortable about it for a long time.

See, since I was little, I’ve had this issue with… (oh boy, here it comes, my first time really putting it in words…) the textures of certain fabrics.  Euch, just thinking about it kinda makes me want to throw up.  My first memory of a fabric that made me want to cringe was pantyhose.  My parents made me put the things on to go to church every Sunday and stretching that nasty material over my hands so I could squirm into it just gave me industrial strength goosebumps.  Other textures bugged me from an early age, like most rough upholstery, just about any kind of carpeting, terry cloth, etc.  I spent a lot of years just putting up with it and trying not to touch those things with my hands.

It got worse as my childhood progressed.  I discovered that one of the few ways to desensitize my hands enough to deal with those kinds of fabrics was to keep my hands moisturized, through water, lotion, milk, or whatever was around at the moment.  One of the more shameful tidbits of my childhood is the technique I used to get around this problem when I couldn’t find anything wet to put on my hands- I would spit on them.  Euch.  It’s hard to admit to, but the god’s honest truth that often the only thing that would keep me from going bonkers was whether I could produce saliva.

Of course, when I was exposed to polite society, I realized that this practice was unacceptable, and thus began my dependence on lotion.  I had to keep some with me at all times to deal with the increasingly horrific textures the world had to offer.

I’d like to say that I eventually outgrew this problem, manned up, learned to deal with cloth without gagging, and ditched the lotion, but sadly this is not the case.  If anything, my aversion to textures is worse than in my childhood (though probably it just seems worse because I’ve been focusing on getting rid of it due to the anxiety it causes when compounded by my gender issues.)  My biggest problem with it right now is that I can’t really go more than a couple hours at best without finding some dark corner to dissolve into and rub the lotion into my hands hopefully without someone noticing.

It’s shameful, because lotion seems to be such a feminine things, and I’ve become nothing short of dependent on it.  If it were a better world, my friends wouldn’t know about this- they pick on me for it sometimes, which I try to brush off, but I know it makes them take me less seriously when they see it.  One of my friends was even present once when I couldn’t find any lotion in my entire house and… aw jeez, I mean, I guess I have to be honest about this, right?  Well, I’m not really prone to panic attacks, but I had one right then and there in front of him, and I’m sure he doesn’t see me the same way after that.  I mean, I was having an asthma attack of epic proportions and I couldn’t really talk and there were tears and all kinds of horrible things, and the worst thing was that my logical mind was saying that it shouldn’t have been happening, but I couldn’t stop, and I seriously flipped out.

So yeah, that’s the biggest skeleton in my closet, and I just wish I knew there was some way to fix it.  I tried searching online for answers, and the closest thing I could come up with was sensory hypersensitivity, and the worst thing about that is that every single site teaches you how to recognize and deal with it in your children.  There is absolutely no evidence out there that it ever happens to adults.

Ever.

So I really should have grown out of it by now, and it just disgusts me to even bring it up.  It’s a really humiliating thing and it’s taken me a year to even bring it up on this blog, and god knows I’ve tried before.  But, it’s finally time to bite the bullet and hit submit, because I think someone out there may have an answer, and as trivial as it seems, it almost seems like something that would endanger my chances of getting on T if I bring it up to my gender therapist.  So, yeah.  Here I stand, naked to the world.

Go easy on me.

Day 13: I have defeated sleep.

Just felt like informing you all that this is the first time I’ve ever gotten on the computer after a long day, sat down and stayed on it until the sun came up the next morning. Feels weird, man. Without the sleep in the middle, I feel like I’m still in yesterday.

In 21 years I’ve probably never gone 24 hours without at least 5 hours of sleep, and that’s skimping- my usual runs somewhere around 9. And yet, I really don’t feel tired- I just kinda feel like I’ve somehow crossed the threshold into the Twilight Zone.

***

Seeing as that’s completely unrelated to gender and I promised I’d spend this entire month forcing myself to talk about gender every day and hopefully get it out of my system, I guess I’ll go into what happened yesterday.

Um, I got to hang out with my dad a lot.  And there was, like, father-son bonding and shit.  This has happened a lot recently and I find that it’s very cool that I don’t have to go to someone else to learn how to be a man.  Yep.

What else.  Uhhh…  I guess the lack of sleep is making me more likely to spell out what I’m muttering as I try to come up with something.  We’re now going to try not to do that because it looks stupid.

…I actually just had to delete an “Errrrrm…”, which is brilliant.  It’s like I’m on chat or something.

Anyway.  Oh, yes.  My sex drive is definitely returning.  For a few months there, I was completely turned off the idea of sex in general.  I was really worried when it became the case that pictures did nothing for my libido.  I was getting to the point where I’d be looking for something, anything, to turn me on and I couldn’t find anything online, even the sort of stuff I knew used to get me going.  It all kinda just looked like art to me.

But then tonight I happened to run across a little gay porn in the forum I frequent, and I felt that old familiar sproing.  Maybe I’ll be able to enjoy sex again in the future.  Meanwhile I have to deal with wanting it and not really having the option…

…Which somehow seems like it’ll be easier now that I have all these new things along with my genital dysphoria, such as shame and anxiety.  All I really want right now from anyone is a bj, I think, and it’s not going to feel quite right until I get at least a little growth going on.  It seems like sex with other people might just serve to screw more with my dysphoria, so it’s easier not to rush into things and appreciate the solitude.

Still, though, I do miss the intimacy.  That’s one thing that makes me feel like less of a dude.  I ALMOST, not really, but almost like snuggling better than the sex itself, and it’s hard to ask that of someone you’re not intimate with, for some reason.  Hell, it’s hard even to admit to.  Sometimes I feel just… hungry, though, and physical contact of any sort is enough to start filling the void- the more skin contact, the better, in that holding hands is like a granola bar and naked snuggling is like a buffet.  It’s like sleep and food and water all at once and I feel so energized and yet relaxed afterwards- just replenished, I guess is the word.

This blog has kind of taken a weird, non-gender related turn, but whatever, it’s all about keeping it real, I guess.  The point is, women are “supposed” to want intimacy and so they trade sex to get it, and men are “supposed” to want sex and therefore trade intimacy for it, and right now I guess I’d trade a certain amount of sex if it meant I could have someone to hold.  I’m getting lower on energy by the day, and paradoxically, sleeping at night gets harder because of it.  You’d think I’d sleep more, but no- well, unless it’s during the day, I guess.  My sleep schedule gets all screwed up…

So, I’m starting to feel that my pride may have to take a back burner to my health, because I just feel like my eyes are becoming sunken and gray.

Or maybe I just to finally go to bed.

(Im’ma write about something REALLY embarrassing tomorrow!)

Day Three: Freewriting.

I knew this day would happen pretty quickly- I’d hit a day in the Challenge where I had to sit down and write something gender related, and I wouldn’t be able to come up with something that I haven’t already beaten to death or that I don’t want to think about, etc.  So I think I’m just going to freewrite and see where it goes from there.

I feel like I’ve finally crossed that threshold- that I’ve gotten as far as I can without taking testosterone, and it’s taken me almost a year.  That must be why that seems to be the standard unit of time they make you go through before they usually put you on T.

I’ve gotten to where I can actually walk into a men’s room, use my STP at the urinal without any trouble or even any nervousness, within a few feet of someone else, walk out and not see a single sign of questioning from any of the guys.

I’ve deflected my first “Are you a guy or a girl?” without missing a beat.  I’ve gotten my voice (with some straining) to sound semi-natural, at least, like a guy going through puberty, and not like a chick trying to sound like a dude.  And essentially, I feel like I’m about to go through my real puberty.

In a way, I kind of feel like a neophyte- I’ve heard it said that we all technically start out as female, and the only thing that really scientifically determines whether our genitals come out male or female is hormones.  Now, it’s obviously all far more complicated than that, and my feelings really can’t fit with the way a lot of other people feel, especially from a feminist perspective, but I feel like I’m just late on my development- like I’ve somehow become an adult without fully developing.  (Now, before anybody gets up in arms, I’d like to say that I know there are horrible implications in that thought, as if to say that women aren’t fully human yet, but that’s so far from what I’m trying to say that it’s not even relevant.)

The point here is that I feel like my body and mind were engineered to receive that boost of testosterone eventually, and as long as I don’t get it, I’m going to just hover around puberty for the rest of my life.  My looks reflect that feeling- people generally estimate my age to be somewhere between 13 and 16 years old, and I’m 21.  It’s extremely irritating that “wow” is the typical sentiment when I say that I’m 21.  I feel like my lack of T is holding me back from growing up, and when I get it and I’ve been on it for a year or two, I might even look something a little closer to my age.

In another way, though, it’s a kind of miraculous thing.  I never really got to have a boy’s childhood, and while my paperwork may say that I’m already a legal adult, I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to go through my proper puberty with my body at least close to the right age.  They say that HRT is like a second and accelerated puberty, so ultimately, I’m grateful for my condition as it is because it’s so compatible with what I’m about to do with it that it’s as if I had it custom ordered for the job of being FTM.

Wow, you really learn a lot about how you really feel about things when you just sit down and start writing without any goal in mind.

About that thing… (sex)

So, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how my sex issues have been working out.  Either people are having the same problems and they’re looking to me for the answers, or they’re just generally curious, but either way I’ve been wanting to make another sex-related post anyway, so here’s to it.

To start, my partner and I have just been more or less negotiating a lot on when to do what.  As I’ve said before, I have a lot of problems bottoming lately, and he just generally doesn’t want to a lot of the time.  But after I sat him down and said to him, that old classic line: “I have needs, too,” and pointed out that I really only got to top about 20% of the time, and asked him to try and imagine what it would be like if the tables were turned, he really put himself in my shoes and put a lot more effort into trying to accommodate.

Aside from that, we’ve been trying to find a natural rhythm in which to switch back and forth.  I’ve discovered something rather counter-intuitive about myself.

I have moments where I feel more or less in tune with my female side, and more moments where I’m in tune with my male self.  When I’m in tune with my male energy, I feel a lot more confident and comfortable in just about every area of life- except the ones that enhance what I don’t have, specifically, my penis.  So (and I’m assuming this will change when I get on T), when I’m feeling more male, I have a really hard time doing anything in bed that really has anything to do with the genital I have.

But when I’m in tune with my female energy, I feel awkward, overly sensitive, and generally weirded out in every area- except where sex is concerned.  I’m assuming this is because when I’m doing something that’s so basic and physical in nature, it’s better for my energy to be attuned to something that matches my body, rather than my mind.

So, to recap, I’m basically only comfortable with sex- and sex only- when I’m in tune with my female energy, and therefore with my body, but I’m far more comfortable with pretty much everything else when I’m in tune with my male energy, and therefore my soul.

I’m starting to feel that this problem could be rectified by having the full battery of surgeries and bringing my body in line with my soul, because quite frankly, the moments where I’m in tune with my female energy are far more few and far between.

Anyway, we’re trying to sync up the times when I bottom with the times when I feel more or less comfortable with my body, and topping with when I feel more male, particularly when I’m feeling very, very inadequate and unhappy about my… bits and pieces.  It works some of the time, but sometimes it’s unpredictable how I’m going to feel about it afterwards.  It can be very upsetting sometimes to try and force a stiff upper lip and take it on bottom without getting emotionally disturbed, and think that everything’s going to be okay, and then afterwards, feel completely broken and worthless, as if everything I’ve ever stood up for and fought for and every piece of manhood that I’ve built up from scratch has been ripped away, and I just stood and watched and let it happen because I loved the person who was doing it, and they didn’t even know what they were doing- god, that got to be a lot more dismal than I meant for it to be.

But anyway, it can be dangerous to think that I’m not going to feel like that and it wind up being that way, if I don’t want to be depressed for the rest of the day.  It can take every last bit of inner strength to build myself back up from something like that, and I think he’s finally starting to get what it takes out of me.  So, I get to top a little more these days.

On the subject of topping, I have a personal question for any of the guys out there who have had the problem of not having a member where they felt one was supposed to be.  This could be graphic, so speed away if you’re bothered by that sort of thing.  It’s also a pretty weird subject, even for this blog, so I don’t know how easy it will be for most of you to suspend your disbelief…  anyway, the point is, proceed at your own risk.

Sometimes I really have this feeling as if there’s one there, and it’s just… invisible, and untouchable.  The feeling of wanting someone to be able to touch it has been so strong in the past that I’ve actually had the experience of… well, I don’t know if there’s a word or a phrase for it, so I’m just going to call it “sensation transference.”  In other words, if there’s a part of my body that resembles the shape of said member, specifically, a finger, that is touched, or stroked, or even sucked in an erotic way, it can almost feel like the part that’s missing, to the point that if I close my eyes, I can even forget for brief periods it’s not there.  So… basically, for the time being, any time things get hot and heavy, my right pointer finger has inadvertently become my penis.

That can become awkward.  I’ve noticed a particularly strange characteristic in these last couple weeks- I think it’s subconsciously programmed itself due to my behavior over the months, but whenever I’m aroused, it feels really, really bizarre to try and bend my finger.  Not painful or anything like I’d suspect it feels to bend a natural one, but it’s sort of strange, like trying to watch a contortionist… or feels weird in that way that it’s odd to move your toes when they’re asleep- you know you should be feeling one thing, but you’re feeling something entirely different.  So, when I’m aroused, my finger’s default position is to be pointed, and I CAN unpoint it if I focus on it, but only when I notice and really pay attention to it.

Long story short, I get finger boners.

But on the other hand, we got some finger cots and I keep my nails cut short, and it feels REALLY, REALLY amazing when I really get in the zone and penetrate my partner.  It can almost be enough to stave off the dysphoria on most days.  Sometimes, though, the mental disjunction of the distance between where my finger attaches to the knuckle of my hand and where my penis should attach to my body can snap me back to reality with the weirdness of it, and sometimes even make things worse if the illusion breaks hard enough.  It all depends on how focused, or unfocused I am on any given element of the situation.  It’s all jumping through mental hoops.  But hell, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the face.  On some days, I can be satisfied!

So, does anyone else experience this strong penis-finger connection, this “sensation transference,” or am I the only weirdo who has this thing?

Random bits and pieces.

I’ve developed this weird little rash on my neck where my Adam’s Apple should be.  Yesterday, it looked like a hickey, which is weird because nobody’s been kissing me there.  Today, it feels bumpy and weird.  I don’t like to make a big deal out of unrelated events, but it just kinda tickled me- as if my body is going, “Look here.  You see this?  This here?  This is where this lump should be, and it’s not.  What the fuck.”

Also, I’ve been pumping, so “little friend” (as I call it) has been growing, I think.  I don’t know how much bigger, to be specific, or if anyone out on the interwebs needs to know the details, but my partner said it looks bigger, and he’s not the sort to say things just to make me feel better.  So that’s kind of exciting.

Insurance is being a dick.  I keep doing something wrong, or sending something in the wrong date, or etc. etc., and all I really want is to be able to go talk to a doctor about getting a T prescription.  I’m not asking for insurance to pay for it, I’ll pay for it myself, cent for cent.  But this is taking FOR-FUCKING-EVER, this red tape.  Plus, social services screwed me over for food stamps last year.  They said that when I was trying to cancel food stamps, THEY made a mistake, some sort of clerical error, and need ME to pay them back $200.  Are you kidding me?  I’ve been trying my damnedest just to hold on to $200, let along the $500 I need to get my car fixed- and yes, I’m in a situation where I don’t need help with food, but I AM ALSO in a situation where I DON’T need to owe people money!  This sucks azz, bro.

It just seems like the world is trying to hold me back from medically transitioning, because it’s taking forever to get this freaking ball rolling.  I’m going to be filling out the paperwork, AGAIN, hopefully for the last time, today.

I think my body’s catching on, though, in lieu of the ability to get testosterone in my body.  For instance, I’m noticing hair growing on my back and shoulders and all kinds of areas where I never really noticed any before.  Also, apparently my voice is deep enough for me to at least pass as a 15 year old boy.  I think it might be more of an inflection thing, and some of the voice stretching exercises.

Although I quit the minoxidil a little while back (read the comments on “Quick update: Minoxidil” for the reasons why), my eyebrows have been growing in a more male shape, which may or may not be due to the minoxidil.  I’ve been shaving my face a lot more often lately, too- it was kind of hard to let go of the tiny bits of peach fuzz at first, but then reading that it can actually incriminate more than having a clean shaven face (because men either have stubble or nothing and only women have peach fuzz), I reluctantly picked up the razor.  I’ve read both ways- that it’s an old wives tale that shaving makes your hair grow in darker, or that it’s just because the ends are more blunt when you shave off the tips, but either way, I think it’s been growing a little faster.

In order to give me more incentive to shave it off, I went to the store and bought this totally badass razor that has all these metallic bits and functions, and it came in a set with a bunch of guy-smelling soap and deodorant, all for $8, too, so I felt really good about that.  I was getting low on my shampoo.

All these little things and everything else coming together, plus just relaxing into a male identity and being more confident about it, I think is contributing to the amount of people reading me as male lately.  It was funny- at Faire, that group who initiated me, they were first a lot more awkward trying to tell me that they’d decided amongst themselves that I looked way better as a dude than as a chick.  They couldn’t imagine how epic it was to hear that!

I think it’s when you travel back, you can see how far you’ve come.  Last night, I was practicing one of my theatrical makeup techniques (specifically, how to make your eyebrows disappear without shaving them off) and it worked so well, I wound up turning it into a celebrity impersonation photoshoot for my makeup portfolio.  If you’ve ever heard of Amanda Palmer, you know it’s necessary to have no eyebrows to dress as her.  But you’ll also understand why, dressing as her, it was the first time in a long time I felt that comfortable wearing a dress.  She tends to defy gender boundaries, and that makes me happy.

Anyway, I noticed something in the pictures that jarred me a little- I didn’t look female when I put on makeup anymore.  I looked very distinctly like a drag queen!  That tells me how far I’ve come- I can’t look completely female anymore, even when dressing as one.  I knew that day would come, but I didn’t expect it this soon.

Family issues- my dad’s was trying at first, I think, to be accepting, but something’s going wrong here, because I don’t think he’s taking me seriously.  I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m going through a phase, and his latest hobby has been dropping little hints to remind me “what I really am.”  I think that he thinks he’s doing me a favor.  It feels like shit.  Like, every single little time I let my front of masculinity down the slightest bit, he’s there to catch me and remind me that “men do this and this,” or “you wouldn’t get it, it’s a guy thing.”  I have to conform to every single binary to get my dad to take me seriously, and it sucks ass, because I know he thinks I’m fake, and the way it’s going, he’s basically making me act fake so he’ll think I’m real.  He’s the only person who has power over me this way.  With everyone else, I can flaunt the gender binary and laugh when they look confused.  I don’t much care what people think.  With my dad, I really, really want him to think of me as his son… and he’s making me jump through hoops to get it.  It doesn’t help that I’m going out with a guy, either.  I’m sure that if I’d been born completely male, and if I were going out with a guy, he’d think I was a sissy-boy, too.  I don’t know how to resolve this.  He needs to understand that I’m not a traditional, cut-out male, but I’m not female, either.  I’m just his kid, hopefully his son, and if I’m not perfect, then too bad, because I’d be really boring if I were.  I’m doing the best I can to reconcile the two sides of my gender, and he’s not making it any easier.  In fact, he’s making it harder than anyone else, because I actually value his opinion.  I wonder, if he saw that, would he try to hurt me like this all the time?

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