out-and-about, transgender

My First Swimsuit

Hi friends!

This past weekend felt like a rite of passage for me, as I attended my first bachelorette party with some of my very best friends, and maybe a little too much fun was had by all (note: is there a thing as too many mimosas? ) Of course, we did the typical things. We all got dressed up and went out for drinks. We got up and drank a restaurant out of all of their champagne. We all wore matching tops. However, one of the planned activities had me nervous from the moment I heard it would happen: we’d be hitting a hot tub during the day. That meant I’d have to wear a swimsuit and not much else (well, maybe sunglasses).

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hormone replacement therapy, transgender

My 9-Month HRT Follow Up

Hi hi!

Today, I paid my doctor a visit to evaluate my hormone levels after 9 months.

I actually hadn’t seen the lab report from my 6 month follow-up, so I was interested in seeing how I was doing. After a little chit-chat and catching up, my doctor prints out my report and breaks things down for me.

The Good
The report mentions the “reference interval” range of testosterone for average adult males up to 40 years old is between 348-1197. Mine, by comparison, is at 8. So, my testosterone levels are minimal. I joked “doc, I could’ve told you that before I transitioned.” *rimshot*

The So-So
My estrogen level was at 46.5. My doctor tells me that the average range for women needs to be in the hundreds, so I’m being bumped up from 2 patches, twice a week to 3 patches, twice a week. To think I was moody before…

The “Let’s Keep An Eye On It”
The most notable thing my doctor pointed out was that my prolactin level was at 26.3. As a preventative measure (he assured me it’s rare that someone at that level would show anything concerning), I’m being sent to get an MRI. This is to ensure that my pituitary gland looks ok and has no abnormal growths. Am I a little nervous? Sure. However, he assures me that there are plenty of options for treatment should anything arise.

As a bonus, my doctor rewrote my prescriptions with my new name. That was nice.

I’ll be posting another update once I hear the results of my MRI back. Until then, be good to each other and GO SHARKS!

out-and-about, transgender

HRT Update: 9 Months

Hi friends!

Today marks my nine-month anniversary since I started hormones and began the transition into who I am today. I’ve been back at work for over a month now, and it’s been just under two since my name and gender legally changed. What’s changed since my last update?

To be honest, while I don’t hide it, I tend to forget about the fact that I’m a transgender woman half the time. Life feels normal now.

I take my pills during the morning & evening, and switch my patches out twice a week just the same as I would stick to any maintenance meds (like my asthma inhaler). I get up, make coffee, put my makeup on and head to work, sit & work at my desk 8 hours a day, and come home to make plans w/my boyfriend or friends, stay in and watch a movie, or run errands like anyone would. The “newness” of it has subsided and, while a core part of me, being trans is just another component of who I am, right along w/my job, family & interests like music, movies and sports (Let’s Go Sharks!)

If anything, though, I have to acknowledge that a big reason why my life feels normal is the amazing group of people I call friends, colleagues and family that have accepted me as who I am, no questions asked. I owe them a huge debt for helping me get to this point.

It all seems like a dream. More than that, even. Yet, here I sit…a woman in her late 30s, writing a blog and enjoying her life.

Enjoy your week, friends, and be good to each other.

 

out-and-about, trans-rights-now, transgender

US Department Of Justice: HB2 Violates Civil Rights Law

I knew this day would come, but I didn’t plan on how happy it would make me.

News broke today that the US Department of Justice has contacted North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, to inform him that the much-publicized House Bill 2 (better known as HB2) is in violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

According to the letter sent to Gov. McCrory, HB2 is specifically in violation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual on the basis of sex and from otherwise resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights“. Furthermore, their statement today said:

Federal courts and administrative agencies have applied Title VII to discrimination against transgender individuals based on sex, including gender identity.

Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment. Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII…

Rather than copy-paste the whole article, I encourage you to read the full story on the North Carolina Observer website. Then, imagine me reacting in a fashion similar to this…

Today has given me a lot of hope.

transgender, voice-feminization

Say It With Me: A New Feature

estill-voice-trainingHi friends!

One of the things I’m still struggling with is one that is all too common among transgender women – my voice. I’ve been told that it’s fine by friends but, in the end, I’m not fully happy & confident with it. So, I’m trying to do something about it.

I’ve decided to venture into the world of voice training, to help feminize my voice. I’ve explored a few options and tried my hand at a couple of them.

For you, this means…a new feature on my blog!!! I’m calling it “Say It With Me.” I’ll be covering what options for voice feminization I’ve checked out, what’s worked so far, what hasn’t and, most importantly, my progress.

Stay tuned for my first post on this topic in a couple of days…

 

transgender

8 Months

Hi friends!

First up, cue up this song on Spotify. It’s appropriate for this post.

Have it up and playing? Good. Let’s begin.

It’s not quite 6AM on a Monday. I sit here huddled up on my couch with my laptop and a strong cup of coffee, reflecting on the 8 months on hormones that have gone by. It seems like I recall my 3 month HRT anniversary, then 5 months. The rest seem like a bit of a blur. As time goes by, the daily doses of testosterone blockers & the bi-weekly swapping of my estrogen patches become a routine part of my day, no more than my coffee in the morning or figuring out what’s for dinner.

The changes keep on coming, too, but they become “little victories” as opposed to these “it’s finally happening” sort of moments. The other day, I had noticed that my bottom lashes had finally grown out too, to a fairly significant length. My reaction? “Great. Now I won’t look like my eyes are half done every morning.” HA! I’ve noticed my figure begin to fill out a bit more now too, though, so my clothes are starting to fit a lot better.

That all said, it’s easy to take the road I’ve taken for granted with each passing day. I’m lucky to have the friends I do, to remind me that I should always be thankful and appreciative. My friends Jason & JD got me a little gift to ensure that never happens. As a gift to commemorate my legal transition, they went out and got me this piece of artwork. It’s fitting they used one of the first photos ever taken of me looking most like the woman I am now.

IMG_1467

Even more moving is the inscription on the back of the frame. It reads:

This is to remind you how truly beautiful a human being you are; inside, outside, all over. You inspire, you entertain, and you radiate happiness. Be you, always.

Those words are a loving reminder of who I’ve become, and the work it’s taken me to get here.

Every time I see this painting, I can’t help but ponder the road behind me, the people I’ve met, the people I’ve helped by sharing my experience, and the road that lies ahead. I suppose that’s what art is supposed to do: move you.

IMG_1469

I walk by it every day.

coming-out-at-work, trans-at-work, transgender

The First Week (Back To Work)

It’s Friday afternoon. By the time you read this, I will have completed my first week back at work. So, “how did it go”, you may be asking.

In a word? Wonderfully.

After a restless Sunday night’s sleep, I woke up at 5:30AM Monday morning. The butterflies were already buzzing in my stomach. I was able to pinpoint exactly when I last felt like this: as a kid when I came back from summer vacation. Not only would I see my peers again, they would get to see me…and how much I’ve changed.

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transgender

VIDEO: Transgender Pride Flag Raised Over San Jose City Hall For First Time

I was fortunate enough to attend this ceremony, in front of the County of Santa Clara government building in San Jose. The transgender flag was raised for the first time, anywhere in the nation. The local Board of Supervisors also awarded a commendation to a local activist. Watch the video and witness a small bit of transgender history taking place.

Watch the video here: http://cbsloc.al/1S4c4rV