coming-out-to-family, transgender

Holiday Milestones (Pt. 1)

Hi friends!

This has been a Christmas to remember. The steps forward I’ve taken have been monumental, and have me feeling more confident in my journey than I ever have. However, I could not have done this alone. I had the help of my loved ones (both friends and family) to guide me.

footsteps-in-sand
“Do you know why there was only one set of footprints?” “Sandpeople always ride single file, to hide their numbers.”

For starters, I talked to my brother about my transition. Let me repeat that: I TALKED TO MY BROTHER ABOUT MY TRANSITION!!!! After a missed opportunity to speak to him in person (thanks for the flight delay, Southwest), I decided to take the leap and tell him…via text message. I know, he deserved better. It’s how I did it, though. Needless to say, it was a real shock to him, for a lot of reasons. Of course, he had to come to terms with the fact that he’d have a sister instead of a big brother. Lord knows what else was going on in his head.

After we finished talking, my worst fear was his telling my father. At this point, I was in a foreign country surrounded by my father and his family celebrating the holidays. I was a ball of nerves. I had to hide out in the restroom a few times to hold back tears. I almost choked up saying my piece during grace.

This is where my support structure (my friends & my amazing boyfriend) came into play. They had no need to, and surely they all had holiday merriment of their own to enjoy, but they spent the time to talk to me via text and Facebook to keep me calm & assure me I had done the right thing. They all claimed everything would be alright. In my state, that was easier to hear than believe but I agreed as best I could.

As the hours faded into the night and the rain came down, my worst fears…never materialized. We hugged each other & said “Feliz Navidad”. I was slowly calming down. Of course, as I arrived at my friend’s place to settle in for the night, the weight of the world came off my shoulders. It was a relief I had never felt before.

The next morning, I slept in. I hadn’t even had my coffee yet when I decided to check my phone. Awaiting me was a text message I never thought I’d ever read:

“I’m behind you on your decision. It’s a hard one to make but whatever you do, I’ll be with you.”

All the feels, everyone. I felt all of them.

The next few days were a continuing dialogue about any questions he had. My new name, what I looked like, who I had told, what to expect, etc. However, a curious thing had happened. We started talking again like we used to. It’s like some block that stopped us from talking as often as we did was lifted. It’s been a welcome return to form for my brother & I.

As I wrap up this post, I’d like to acknowledge my brother should be reading this. This will be tough for you, and I understand that. It’s tough for me too. I’ve never been happier, though, and I think you see & hear that. Nothing changes the fact that I love you, little brother, and always will (as tough on you as I may be sometimes).

Stay tuned for Pt.2 of my Holiday Milestones series. So much more to share…

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HRT: Weeks 17 & 18

My my, aren’t the holidays just flying by? 

Well, here we are, trying to wrap up our last-minute holiday shopping and survive those last few days of work before breaking for the holiday. BUT, before you go, here is my HRT update for the week (and last week’s, since the changes are fewer but more noticeable).

Fat redistribution: well, that’s a bit of a misnomer. What’s actually happening is this: my body is now using places like my hips & butt to store fat instead of my stomach. I picked up on this as I’ve been eating like an unattended kid at a birthday party lately. Even though I’m a pound or so heavier than normal, my stomach and face aren’t showing it. It’s all going to my hips – hence why I’m in love with leggings right now. 

I’ve also grown more confident in my talking to friends about my transition.  It seems like it’s becoming easier to talk to people about it, and I’ve been telling more people in my life about it. I’m getting to the point where most of my friends know. It’s all coming down to family hearing the news soon…

Until next time, friends, Happy Holidays!

coming-out-at-work, transgender

Coming Out At Work: The First Meeting

Ok, friends. I’m a day late on this post but I was, frankly, emotionally spent and needed to collect my thoughts before writing this. I promised my experience coming out at work would be a new feature here and, oh my, is this post a doozy.

Yesterday, I had my first meeting with someone from my company’s HR department. We met at a coffee shop near our offices to allow for a little privacy. My HR rep is incredibly sweet and, despite only having one other interaction with her, I felt deep down this would go well.

After some light chit-chat, I segued (clumsily) into the purpose of our meeting. Immediately, she assured me that the company was behind me 1000%. That, however, was just the start.

The way it was framed went like this. Since this would be the first time anyone in my organization has transition, I was assured that I was not alone – we (both my colleagues and I) are taking this journey together. Needless to say, I had to breathe a little to keep my composure after hearing that.

It only gets more emotional from here, so grab a tissue for the rest of this.

After some back and forth on my timeline for going full time, my HR rep got real. She told me I would be her “special project”. Why? It’s personally important to her that she get this right. Any failure is not just a failure on the company, it’s a failure on everyone as people (her words, not mine). At this point, I’m fighting back tears…as was she. Finally, we both let ourselves get a little misty before composing ourselves and walking back towards our offices. (I can’t imagine what a casual party thought seeing two people have this genuine moment of mutual empathy would’ve thought).

Walking back to our offices, I offered any help I could in making this easier for the company. This includes referring them to a few friends in HR that have helped people transition in the workplace before. I also assured her that my easy-going nature would still stay intact so I was free to answer any questions anyone has (within reason).

I ended the day with two thoughts as the day went on:

  1. I am incredibly fortunate that every person I’ve come across in my journey has been supportive. I don’t know what I did to be this fortunate. (Damn it, I’m welling up just typing that!)
  2. Regardless of what & how my colleagues may feel about my transition, I know that I have the support where it counts.

Until next time, be good to one another, and be open to compromise. Life is too short to do otherwise.

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HRT: Week 16

4 months. Wow. You’d think things would get boring at this point but my journey keeps on getting more eventful.

For starters, the one thing I’ve noticed physically is…well, curves! I’m very much starting to see a little more curviness to my figure. I had a pretty big moment this week, in that I went out without any shape wear – specifically, hip / butt pads & falsies. Aside from my waist cincher (I mean, c’mon, let’s be reasonable here), it’s about as close to “au-naturale” as I’ve ever been out in public.

So out I went in my leggings, cute San Jose Sharks teal top (go Sharks!) and black sweater. Venturing out into the world, I was of course expecting odd & confused looks, maybe a comment here and there, like the Gender Police were hiding behind every corner waiting to apprehend me. I heard…nothing. Not a peep. Not a stare. I went about my evening without any incident at all. It was a relief & a confidence builder, in the truest sense of each.

I came home all smiles. I’d post a photo of my look from that night, but my bedroom floor looks like someone planted a bomb in my laundry. 😉

Another exciting post coming later today. Until then, be happy & safe my friends!

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 15

Hi friends!

It’s Tuesday and, as you’ve come to expect, here’s my weekly hormone replacement therapy update.

This week, it’s less about outward-facing physical changes and more about hormone levels. Last week, I alluded to my doctor having blood work done to check my hormone levels, to see if my Estradiol dosage was going up.

Well, those results came back last night. My doctor informed me that my testosterone levels were very low (11, to be exact) and my estrogen levels were high. So, no need to up my estrogen dosage.

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Right now, there isn’t a huge need to up my dosage anyway, even if I physically needed it. Changes are happening more quickly than I anticipated, so I need to stay on my steady pace and not let my body get ahead of me.

Until next time, friends!