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Rachel Montgomery's Journey (Part I?)

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Rachel Montgomery:
Hi everyone.  I have never done a blog, but I have been following several people here and commenting on their threads.  Some of you have encouraged me to write my own blog, so here is my faltering attempt at that.

I know this isn't AA, but my name is Rachel and I am transgender (more specifically I have been diagnosed with GID/GD).   I have also been told I have something similar to Kallman's Syndrome.  I have all of the symptoms of Kallman's except that my sense of smell is normal.  The doctor labeled it Idiopathic Hypogonadotripic Hypogonadism. It is my understanding that this fact might exclude me from a diagnosis of GID, but not for one of GD.  As far as I am concerned, the reality is what it is, and labels don't change that.

I am transgender and have been aware of that since my earliest memories (2-4 years old), though I didn't have a label for it.  I knew I wanted to be a girl, and I was told very plainly that would never happen.  In fact, my grandmother told me (when I was 5) that I was a "pervert" and going to Hell.  She then read to me from the Bible a passage that said there will be no perverts in heaven.  So, I did my best to hide my gender incongruity and act like a "normal boy".  I think I pass as a fairly normal person, though I know that I am transgender.

Anyway, when I was 16 I still hadn't started puberty and they took me to an endocrinologist.  He diagnosed me as having "Constitutional Delay of Puberty".  He offered me testosterone, and told me it would make me hairy and masculine.  I rejected the offer.  I started puberty on my own at 18.  It was a slow process.  Even at 21 I looked like a high school kid.  But, I eventually developed into a mature looking man, and promptly started male pattern baldness (that was heart breaking).

In 1996 I was having migraine headaches and went for a CTScan.  After the images were made I was left alone in the room.  Being a curious person, I went and looked at the images.  The radiologist came in, saw me doing that, and insisted that I stop looking at some other patient's medical records.  I told him that I was pretty sure these were images of me.  He said they couldn't be because this was clearly the brain of a woman, and in he twenty some odd years of practice, he could ALWAYS tell the difference.  it was easy, and this was a woman, so not me.  The girl who had made the images came back into the room and I asked her if the images were of me.  She confirmed for me and the radiologist that they were.  He acted frightened, said he should not have told me what he did.  Then he declared that I had no lesions, no tumors and no sign of stroke, I was fine.  It was unusual, that's all.  He had heard of it but never seen it.  Then he jogged out of the room.  No more questions.  I called his office and I asked to speak to him, but all I got was a message saying I was fine, no lesions, no tumors, no sign of stroke.  Yeah, that isn't what I wanted to talk about.

Since then, I have been unable to get a second opinion on the gender of my brain.  I have had MRI's and CTScans over the years, but the radiologist will not speak to me.  I am told that I don't have any lesions, tumors or signs of stroke; end of discussion.  I strongly suspect the first doctor was right, but...I'd like a second opinion. 

My T levels were never been above the baseline for normal males, but close.  Then, around 50, my T levels dropped to zero (the lab said they were so low they could not be measured).  This made me feel very sick, and I went to the same endocrinologist.  He diagnosed me as having metabolic syndrome, and started me on Androgel.  I was fairly emotionally stressed over taking testosterone, which emotionally felt like poisoning myself, but I felt so physically ill that I did it anyway.

After a year, I went to a different endo who told me I had something like Kallman's (he said I had IHH).  He explained that something is wrong in my pituitary/hypothalamus axis, and it causes me not to make enough LH (Lutenizing Hormone) and GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone).  I suspect that this problem has something to do with my prenatal development.  Both endos shrug at the question and say they don't know.  (How could they know for sure, but I would suspect they have a theory).

Rachel Montgomery:
I have been reading Emma1017's thread and I seem to be about where she was 2 years ago.  I have not started HRT, and don't plan to if I can avoid it.  I don't want to hurt my wife either.  I am out to her, she knows, but almost no one else knows.  Her kids definitely don't know.  My parents and siblings haven't been told, and I think they would be surprised.

My family (including my in-laws) are VERY conservative.  I live in Alabama, which is fairly conservative (certainly compared to the rest of America), but my family takes it to another level.  My parents would be unhappy if I were gay, but they would get over that.  I have heard my dad say he couldn't stand to be in the same room with a transsexual.  Of course, and the time he said it he was in the room with one, but I suspect he didn't know.

In reading Emma1017's "Which Hurts Less" she describes well the argument (with myself) that is taking place inside of me.  Why is it so important that I become a woman?  What do I really think would be better if I transition?  Would it offset all that I would lose?  I'd lose my family, my friends, my career, and I would basically have to move to another state.

I know right now that if I ever start HRT, I would never stop (except if my doctor made me for a surgery or something).  And, once I started down that path, I wouldn't be able to transition fully fast enough.  So, I have declined Estrogen when it has been offered.  I don't think I would need anything to knock down my testosterone.  Just stop taking my medicine to boost it, and it would fall away to nothing on its own. 

But, my wife would divorce me.  My parents would disown me.  And, I really don't know how my sisters would react.  I have an idea, but I don't know.  I do know that when an old friend of my sister and myself (from 30-40 years ago, not someone I am close to now) had a child transition from MTF, my sister posted on FaceBook to the child's mother that her child was it was a "sin" and the child was "going to go to Hell", and they should not let her transition.  The mother "unfriended" both her and me over that, even though I have voiced my support for their daughter.  My other sister expressed her opinion privately that my first sister was right in what she said, but should have had more tact than to say it in a public forum to the mother of the child.  So, I don't expect much support from either of them.

Rachel Montgomery:
In essence, I hope I can avoid transitioning.  My wife did make me promise that if I had to transition to be happy, that I would transition.  But, she said if I did that she would divorce me.  She said we would always be friends. 

I don't really know what that means; "to be happy".  Happy how?  Maybe I have never really been happy and just don't know what it would feel like.  I wouldn't be happy about her divorcing me, about me losing my family, my friends, my career, and moving to somewhere where I know no one.  But, once I went through all of that, MAYBE I could find a way to be happy as a woman?  Or, maybe, as Linde has often said, I would be happier as I am now, spending my life with the woman I love, and not getting to be open about who I am.

Happy is relative, right?  I mean, no one is totally happy, right?  There are good things and bad in every life, and you just have to deal with the bad and appreciate the good, right?  right now, the bad in my life is having to deal with GD.  But, there are a lot of good things. There is a lot about my life that I do appreciate.  The biggest thing missing is being known fully and loved completely.  My wife loves the character who I play, the man she married.  No one else even knows the real me, and my wife doesn't want to ever see me as a woman.

I don't know what to do.  Some people talk about a crossroad, saying there will come a time when you have to decide.  Does there?  If so, did I already cross that point?  Did I already decide (for example, when I became a husband and a step-father) that I would choose that path?  If you go the wrong way on the crossroad, can you turn around?  Or, make a running correction?  How do you know if you already crossed the point of no return?

SarahEL:
Very well done on taking the brave step in starting your own blog.
I hope it has helped putting this out there.. and I am subscribed and awaiting your further posts...

Sending you hugs...  xx

Rachel Montgomery:
Thank you for your friendship.

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