Author Topic: Kathy's journey  (Read 16666 times)

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Offline KathyLauren

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Kathy's journey
« on: December 05, 2017, 05:19:10 pm »
I think it is time for me to start a blog thread.  It seems to be the thing to do, and it would keep all my "well that was interesting" posts together, where they might make more sense than they do individually.

So, to start, here is a quickie bio so I can begin this thread with my story up to date...  I am 63 years old.  All my life I wondered if I was transgender (though I didn't know the word), but I always managed to talk myself out of it.  A little over two years ago, I attended a convention where the keynote talk was given by a transgender woman.  The fact that her trans-ness was not an issue either for her or for the audience cracked through my internalized transphobia and got me exploring. 

I quickly found Susan's Place, and, after a few months, got myself figured out to the point where I knew for sure I was trans.  Six months after that (Yes, it took me that long to get up the nerve!) I was able to come out to my wife.  I got myself into a support group, into therapy, got my referral letter, and started HRT in January of 2017.  I went full-time in April, 2017, and have been enjoying life ever since.

My wife is my biggest supporter, and has been since day one.  I have few family members: two brothers, both supportive, and a cousin half a world away who is accepting.  Friends and neighbours range from supportive to accepting.  No bad experiences at all. :)

-----

Which brings me to the present.  Though things are going well, I am not done yet.  My body dysphoria was never intense, but it was there all along.  Now that my other forms of dysphoria are coming under control, the body dysphoria is front and centre.  So I am planning to get surgery.

Last week, I started seeing a therapist for the first of my referral letters for SRS.  Though I have gone private for my therapy to cut through the waiting lists, I can't afford SRS, so I am stuck with our public system and its waiting lists.  The bad news is that I have no choice of surgeon: there is only one that they will use.  The good news is that the one surgeon is Dr. Brassard. 

So it's not so bad, if I can jump through all the right hoops.  I have another therapy appointment in the New Year, after which I will probably have my first letter.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 05:19:30 pm »
Today, I had my weekly electrolysis appointment.  I did some laser last year, but there was only so much they could do, since most of my facial hair is white.  And once I started on estrogen, my skin started to react to the laser. I now have a nice melasma spot on my cheek the shape and size of the laser probe.  So it's all electro from here on.

For the past month, my electrologist has been working on the first clearing around my mouth.  We quickly established that EMLA cream wasn't going to cut it for pain relief, so I arranged with my dentist to have the areas frozen before each session.  That worked beautifully, so my upper lip, lower lip and part of my chin are all clear for the time being.  She is not expecting to have to use such high power settings on any regrowth that occurs.

Now we are working on the part under my chin and down the neck.  That area is almost as sensitive as the mouth area, but it is out of the reach of dental anesthetic.  I was able to find some 5% lidocaine and used that for the first time today. 

I wasn't impressed: the pain felt similar to using EMLA.  Until she told me at the end of the session that she had cranked the machine up way higher than she ever had before.  So the 5% works really well!

Still, it was wearing off by the end of the session.  I found out that crying actually helps cope with the pain!
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Laurie

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 06:08:22 pm »
Kathy,

   I am glad to see you start this thread. In my opinion it is long over due. I look forward to following you as your story continues to develop and watching you grow. You have always been one that I appreciate and have been a model for me to follow. I have admired your progress and your attitude is inspiring for so many here on Susan's.

 Hugs,
   Laurie

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 07:47:07 am »
Thank you Laurie!  I feel a bit self conscious about being called a role model because most of my good fortune has been pure dumb luck.  But coming from one of my own role models - thinking of your epic road trip, for example - that means a lot.

My neighbour called this morning: she had a carpenter over doing some work on their house and he discovered a leaking pipe.  She wanted to know if she could borrow some plumbing wrenches.  Having done the guy thing for so long, I have a well stocked toolbox, so no problem.

She is one of the few people whom I don't mind seeing me without a wig.  (My wife is the other one.)  Which is handy: I don't really want to dress up when a neighbour pops over to borrow tools.   She calls herself queer, but most people would call her and her partner lesbians.  She works with LGBT youth, so she was the perfect person to come out to after I told my wife.  She helped me find the resources I needed to begin transitioning.

That is the kind of thing I mean by dumb luck.  Who would have thought that, in a rural community of no more than 300 people, my next-door neighbour would be the ideal ally?
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Megan.

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 08:12:23 am »
*Megan tunes into the Kathy channel*

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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 08:22:37 am »
Now we’re getting somewhere! Got the popcorn ready and relaxing for the show.

Yet again I wish we didn’t live so far apart. A face to face yak session would be so cool, but this is a good second choice.

Steph


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 10:21:16 am »
This news story, about the Montreal Massacre 28 years ago (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-polytechnique-memorial-2017-1.4432979), reminded me of this significant development in my awareness of my femininity.  The massacre happened when 14 women were murdered at a university in Montreal specifically because they were women and they were pursuing a higher education.  I saw the news reports at the time and I remember it well.

At the time, I was horrified, as I thought any right-minded person would be.  But when I tried to talk about my feelings of horror, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that, because the victims were targeted because they were women, as "a man", I could not possibly comprehend the feeling. 

I learned to keep my mouth shut about my feelings on the subject.  I didn't believe I felt the horror any less than women did, and I resented not being allowed to talk about it.  But clearly, my reaction was not typical, and I found myself wondering about that along with everything else over the years.

Now, of course, I have a different perspective.  I don't believe that those who silenced me were right that only women could feel the horror.  Yet perhaps I did feel it more intensely than men did.  Because, now, in hindsight, I realize that I was one of them.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Laurie

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 11:54:54 am »
Yet again I wish we didn’t live so far apart. A face to face yak session would be so cool, but this is a good second choice.

Steph

   Kathy, I don't think you should allow Steph(anie)'s excuse. First off, in my opinion you two are not that far apart. and for a second She has a plane. Granted I don't know performance details nor any of the logistic of an aerial trip in a private plane, but I still wouldn't let her get away with it.

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 12:03:32 pm »
   Kathy, I don't think you should allow Steph(anie)'s excuse. First off, in my opinion you two are not that far apart. and for a second She has a plane. Granted I don't know performance details nor any of the logistic of an aerial trip in a private plane, but I still wouldn't let her get away with it.

Heh. First, it’s a 100mph plane. It’s gotta be 1500 miles door to door. 15 hours is a bit much. Second, the class license I have (US Sport Pilot) doesn’t allow me to fly in the Great White North. And lastly, I ain’t flying north of the Mason-Dixon Line this time of year. Brrrrrrr!

Now, my neighbor has a 300mph twin and he’s headed back to Sault Saint Marie, Canada for the holidays soon. That’s only about 4 hours...

Gnaw, still too cold...

Steph, finally enjoying FL weather after a looong hot summer.


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline DawnOday

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 12:17:05 pm »
Dumb or not, luck is luck. Destiny is destiny.
Dawn Oday

It just feels right   :icon_hug: :icon_hug: :icon_kiss: :icon_kiss: :icon_kiss:


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First indication I was different- 1956 kindergarten
First crossdress - Asked mother to dress me in sisters costumes  Age 7
First revelation - 1982 to my present wife
First time telling the truth in therapy June 15, 2016
Start HRT Aug 2016
First public appearance 5/15/17




Offline Laurie

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 12:46:41 pm »
Heh. First, it’s a 100mph plane. It’s gotta be 1500 miles door to door. 15 hours is a bit much.


 Lets see... 1500 miles in 15hours vs my 8000+ miles in 31 days...

  Yep just lame excuses. nothing but lames excuses. If I remember right someone has asked me to make a 3400 mile drive to come visit a few times now. I wish I could remember who that was.

  Don't let her get away with it Kathy.

Offline Steph2.0

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Kathy's journey
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 12:51:38 pm »
If I remember right someone has asked me to make a 3400 mile drive to come visit a few times now. I wish I could remember who that was.

Eh, you could do that standin’ on yer wig.

Quote
Don't let her get away with it Kathy.

Or... since someone 3400 miles away won’t come see me (with some lame excuse), maybe Kathy can come enjoy my guest room and this lovely weather.


Steph(anie)


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 12:56:25 pm »
Stephanie (or any other sisters from Susan's for that matter) would certainly be welcome here, and I'd even come pick her up at the airport.  Once I get my paperwork sorted out, which will take a couple of years, (and after a couple of impeachments / convictions have been processed), I'd be happy to meet her halfway.

I wish I could still sign out a jet and a fuel credit card and go anywhere.  I'm thinking it would be about 3 hops, about 4 hours, to get to Florida from here.  Unfortunately, those days are long gone.

Or... since someone 3400 miles away won’t come see me (with some lame excuse), maybe Kathy can come enjoy my guest room and this lovely weather.
I'd love to.  Wish I could!
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2017, 01:00:08 pm »
Once I get my paperwork sorted out, which will take a couple of years, (and after a couple of impeachments / convictions have been processed), I'd be happy to meet her halfway.

Hmmm. Good point. Maybe I will come visit.


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/11/2017 * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * Began FFS Consultations June/July 2018

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 11:27:42 am »
There's a guy in the community here who used to be the manager of the local restaurant until he retired last year.  He had waited on our table many times and certainly remembers my wife, who liked to be bratty with him.  (Don't worry, he gave as good as he got, all in fun.)  So today, he and his wife came to the community coffee gathering, the first time we have seen him since before I transitioned.

As he sat down, he looked at me and asked, "Who is this young lady?"  I thought he was just being cute, but, being a properly-brought-up lady, I introduced myself: "Hi, I'm Kathy."  But then he introduced himself: "I'm L____", as though he thought I didn't know him, followed by introducing his wife, whom I had never met.

It could be taken multiple ways, and I'm not going to put a lot of effort into over-thinking the interaction.  But the simplest explanation is that he actually didn't recognize me, in which case it's a multiple pass: I look sufficiently unlike my former self that he didn't make the connection; he gendered me as female; and he didn't clock me as trans.  Wow!

Or, knowing that he is a bit mischievous, maybe he was just putting me on.

Whatever the explanation, it was a fun way to start the morning.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Megan.

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 11:30:22 am »
There's a guy in the community here who used to be the manager of the local restaurant until he retired last year.  He had waited on our table many times and certainly remembers my wife, who liked to be bratty with him.  (Don't worry, he gave as good as he got, all in fun.)  So today, he and his wife came to the community coffee gathering, the first time we have seen him since before I transitioned.

As he sat down, he looked at me and asked, "Who is this young lady?"  I thought he was just being cute, but, being a properly-brought-up lady, I introduced myself: "Hi, I'm Kathy."  But then he introduced himself: "I'm L____", as though he thought I didn't know him, followed by introducing his wife, whom I had never met.

It could be taken multiple ways, and I'm not going to put a lot of effort into over-thinking the interaction.  But the simplest explanation is that he actually didn't recognize me, in which case it's a multiple pass: I look sufficiently unlike my former self that he didn't make the connection; he gendered me as female; and he didn't clock me as trans.  Wow!

Or, knowing that he is a bit mischievous, maybe he was just putting me on.

Whatever the explanation, it was a fun way to start the morning.
This would drive me mad, but either way a great and positive experience! X

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 03:41:39 pm »
Oh good! You have your own thread Kathy. I just caught myself up and ready to read your stories.

And just to add my 2cents about living far apart, I am claiming that prize!!! Can’t get a whole lot further from NS than Sydney. Whenever my wife and I go back to visit her family in NA, it feels like we have traveled for weeks.

Jayne



Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 05:23:09 pm »
And just to add my 2cents about living far apart, I am claiming that prize!!! Can’t get a whole lot further from NS than Sydney. Whenever my wife and I go back to visit her family in NA, it feels like we have traveled for weeks.
Well if you're in NS and don't drop in, I'll never speak to you again!
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Anne Blake

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 09:21:02 pm »
Hi Kathy,

I am happy to see you starting your story thread, I have always appreciated your comments in other threads and look forward to having a place to watch it unfold. The pop corn is in the microwave, let the show begin.

And Deb and I are hoping to make it up into north eastern Canada next fall, would love to stop in and visit.

Tia Anne

Online Jayne01

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Re: Kathy's journey
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 09:33:14 pm »
Well if you're in NS and don't drop in, I'll never speak to you again!
I certainly wouldn’t want you to not talk to me. We are hoping to get back there for Christmas next year, depending if I can get the time off work. Next Christmas seems so far away.

Jayne



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