Author Topic: This is where Courtney's life begins  (Read 8639 times)

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Online Northern Star Girl

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #120 on: January 14, 2022, 12:43:57 pm »
@Courtney G
Dear Courtney:
I have been much enjoying following your Blog thread as you document your very personal transition journey.
Thank you for keeping me and the rest of your avid followers updated with your life endeavors.

HUGS and best wishes to you as you continue on.
Danielle 
 

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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #121 on: January 14, 2022, 02:57:49 pm »
I am not sure that I know how to express what I want to, but I sincerely hope that nothing I am about to say is perceived as negative in any way.  I don’t mean anything negative about you or anyone.

I truly appreciate your sharing your experience.  Frankly, I find it fascinating.  I think what I mean by that is, I don’t personally relate to most of it, but I relate to enough of it to be sympathetic.  I have a complicated situation, and I think I would accept what you find ideal if that made everything feasible for me.  I am nearly 60 years old and married to a woman I consider my soulmate.  And, I think I am here too.  She doesn’t feel about me exactly the way I wish she did (finding out that I am transgender and truly want to be a woman really made it hard for her to be sexually attracted to me.  She tells me whenever the subject comes up that she loves me but she is not a lesbian.  I believe that she may be more of a lesbian than she is willing to admit to herself.   After nearly 20 years, we know each other pretty well. 

She doesn’t want the social brand of being a lesbian.  She doesn’t want the world to see her as the spouse of a trans woman.  But, if I were 100% the man she thinks she wants me to be, I don’t think she would have the connection to me that she does.  She divorced one man before me because he was stereotypically a man.  She liked that I look like a man but didn’t treat her the way most men treat women. 

If it would keep us together, I would readily accept me transitioning physically without transitioning socially (any more than I have already).  I openly enjoy a lot of things most men don’t, and I am not interested in a lot of things stereotypically male.  But, I am already transitioned enough socially to be satisfied.  If I had a neo vagina and breasts, but dressed male and acted exactly like I do, it would be a definite improvement.

That isn’t to say I wouldn’t like to fully transition, which I think is what you are saying might be best for you.  I would like to fully transition.  But, I don’t need to present publicly as a woman.  If I know I am a woman, and am the butchest lesbian in town, I can be happy without the makeup and clothes.  I would prefer the makeup and cloths.  Heck, I’d like to look in the mirror and think I am pretty (what woman wouldn’t).  But, being comfortable with my body, having the right parts, is more important to me than all of that.

So, I can relate to what you are saying. 
What I don’t understand is why you think women can’t fish or do the other stereotypically male things you enjoy.  But, I know you are working to find out who you are, and that is the best goal possible to achieve happiness.  So, I think you are on the right track to getting there.  If not socially transitioning makes you life better, there are no rules.  You are writing the rule book for yourself.

Offline Rakel

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #122 on: January 14, 2022, 08:55:24 pm »
Good evening Courtney,

Many of us have had doubts about transition or not transitioning.

Speaking for myself, I had doubts for over 50 years, mainly because I was trying to live up to what I was told as a very young person. Just man-up and everything will be ok. Yeah, right. It did not work for me.

However, I was not ready to transition for many years even after I came to the realization of who I am, deep inside my personal self image. I was ready when everything fell apart and I found myself alone. Even though I was married at the time, I felt alone.

Now that it has been almost 6 years since my GCS, I still do many things that I did before transition. I am often found wearing t-shirt and shorts, that are not overly feminine, but I am comfortable dressing like this. I do what I want to do when I want to do it. Yes, sometimes I dress up, but most of the time, I am just plain old me and I like it that way.

Having doubts is perfectly normal in that many of us had to work through our doubts. There are a few of us who just could not accept the negative consequences of transition and halted their transition. Transition is not a given or absolute answer to people like us with gender dysphoria. The people who transition must be fully aware of the personal and financial costs of transition and have the means to fully complete their transition.

The decision to go forward with transition or halt it for a while or even completely detransition is a very personal decision. Only you can make that decision because you are the only person who will live with the consequences. I can only advise you of what worked for me and the things every person who is contemplating transition must be aware of.

I wish you the best and I trust that you will come to a decision on your own.

Take care.  :-*




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Offline Courtney G

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #123 on: January 14, 2022, 11:58:40 pm »
I'll write a longer post in a day or two regarding your thoughtful replies, but I just wanted to quickly try to clear something up

@davina61 : I'm sorry if you got the impression that I don't think a trans woman can or should work on cars - I was trying to explain that there's nothing about my life right now that's at odds with what I want it to be, that there's nothing missing in the life I'm presenting. There isn't some missing component that I've been yearning for. I wear men's clothes and I currently do everything I want to do, without compromise. But I can see how you might think that I was implying that motorcycling and working on cars are "guy things" and perhaps should be things only guys do, rather than women. For that, I apologize.

@Rachel Montgomery : I've read through my post a few times and I'm trying to figure out how I might have given you the impression that I feel that women can't or shouldn't fish. I did mention that I had time to think while I was fishing. I characterized that by saying that I had a "fishing rod in hand" to imply that I was in a place where I could think without distraction. Some might read that and think that I'm putting that out there in an effort to say "I was on a lake, fishing...you know, like a man should", but that wasn't the case here. I have female friends that I fish with and that all there is to it - it's just fishing, no matter who does it. As a feminist, I feel the same about *any* activity that *any* human being decides to do, regardless of gender.

I'm friends with three trans woman in real life. Two of them are car hobbyists, who collect and restore old cars. The third plays lead guitar and fronts a rock band. They are all role models for me. I'm sorry if the takeaway from my post was that I *think* that women are supposed to behave a certain way.

Offline davina61

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #124 on: January 15, 2022, 03:24:26 am »
What I meant was being you should not make a difference to transitioning , its the presenting female bit that's the step.
Folk say to me you are brave and I say NO , staying as I was is brave I just gave into it.
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Offline Peeptoe

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #125 on: January 15, 2022, 04:42:22 am »
Hey Courtney,  thanks for keeping us informed. It is quite a ride :) i guess you can grows your boobies and stop HRT once they're the size you want them to be. If anything changes, you can continue with HRT, transition partly, or fully. How is your partner taking it?

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #126 on: January 15, 2022, 10:18:56 am »
What I was trying to say is, I understand feeling comfortable with your life, and not even hating your presentation, but not being happy at all with your body.  The body problem is by far the most significant source of dysphoria for me. 

I like fishing, so it was a stand in for any and all stereotypical male activities.  I included that because I did get the impression that you felt that if you transition you would feel the need to give them up.  I now see that you understand that well.  So, the take away is, I can relate to body/self image incongruity being the most significant driver of dysphoria.  But, I do think I like the idea (which is meant to say I don’t know that I could pull it off) of passing completely/always.

Offline Courtney G

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #127 on: January 18, 2022, 10:08:23 pm »
As always, thanks for your replies...I appreciate every one.

How is your partner taking it?

She is taking it surprisingly well, thank goodness. There are no guarantees, but there's a decent chance we'll make it. Read on to learn a bit more.

UPDATE:

18 days on HRT. Breasts are continuing their slow progress, with the usual symptoms. I'm plagued with muscle aches lately and I have to wonder if this is due to atrophy or if it's something else. I'm trying hard to stick to a steady regimen of vitamin D and calcium, in addition to multivitamins. I'm getting in some exercise time, as well. I have tested low for D in the past, so that's something I have to take seriously.

The thoughts and feelings I expressed in my last update are still with me. I'm on a path to nowhere right now. I won't/can't stop HRT but I'm not sure why I'm doing it. The euphoric rush that accompanied placing each new patch or thinking about my pending developments has been replaced by a more clinical day-to-day series of objective observations. My libido is down.

I guess I should be making an effort to adjust my dosage down in order to slow down the progression of changes, but I can't seem to bring myself to do, because I've dreamed about this for so long - and I fear the sadness and emptiness I'll feel if I end up stopping.

I'm mentally "calm" but I haven't reached any sort of higher state of being from all of this. I'm still me. I'm now also a "me" who fears that the boobs I'm growing are going to come back and haunt me. Fortunately, my girlfriend is fine - our relationship feels stronger. Perhaps it's because of the burden that has been lifted when I disclosed my secret to her. Maybe I'm "nicer" with estrogen in my blood. But it's quite possible that my time here and chatting online with many new trans women friends has brought about a higher level of awareness of how women interact with and support each other. I'm really not sure. I have told her that I'm having my doubts and that I might reduce the dosage of HRT...she's fine with that, of course. Not sure what's in store for us, but we're OK for now and I'm so grateful for that.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #128 on: January 18, 2022, 10:22:55 pm »
That is great news.  Thanks for sharing.

Offline Courtney G

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #129 on: January 24, 2022, 08:00:00 pm »
That is great news.  Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Rachel. I appreciate the fact that you've been following along. Speaking of that....

UPDATE:

I really don't know what to say right now. I'm still on HRT. My breasts are slowly moving towards the next phase, while at the same time I keep contemplating the consequences of this. I often have to remind myself that they're not just going to pop out all at once and show through all of my clothing. But I can't even bring myself to lower my HRT dose. I want the development.

I don't want to regurgitate the same series of thoughts over and over again here. I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now, still edging forward, but not sure where I'm headed.

Offline jennifer7020

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #130 on: January 25, 2022, 07:05:45 am »
Thanks, Rachel. I appreciate the fact that you've been following along. Speaking of that....

UPDATE:

I really don't know what to say right now. I'm still on HRT. My breasts are slowly moving towards the next phase, while at the same time I keep contemplating the consequences of this. I often have to remind myself that they're not just going to pop out all at once and show through all of my clothing. But I can't even bring myself to lower my HRT dose. I want the development.

I don't want to regurgitate the same series of thoughts over and over again here. I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now, still edging forward, but not sure where I'm headed.

Thank you for the update. I am sure I am not alone in following your blog, your progress, and by extension that you are safe and well. Even a 'holding pattern' post is nice.

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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #131 on: January 29, 2022, 08:28:50 am »
Thanks, Rachel. I appreciate the fact that you've been following along. Speaking of that....

UPDATE:

I really don't know what to say right now. I'm still on HRT. My breasts are slowly moving towards the next phase, while at the same time I keep contemplating the consequences of this. I often have to remind myself that they're not just going to pop out all at once and show through all of my clothing. But I can't even bring myself to lower my HRT dose. I want the development.

I don't want to regurgitate the same series of thoughts over and over again here. I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now, still edging forward, but not sure where I'm headed.

Which is... fine. And not uncommon.

And no, you're not going to turn into Dolly Parton overnight. I daresay you can relax on that front. What seems huge when observed with anxiety from above can look a lot more like fairly typical moobs when viewed casually from the front. As in, people care more about their own issues than ours.

Sounds like you're realizing a few things about yourself, Courtney. You sure are paying a lot of attention to your physical development, and you want that development, and you don't want to cut back on the hormones.

Seems to me that the big question is not how other people will react but why you yourself insist on being so fretful.
"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

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Offline Courtney G

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #132 on: January 31, 2022, 10:29:10 pm »
Sounds like you're realizing a few things about yourself, Courtney. You sure are paying a lot of attention to your physical development, and you want that development, and you don't want to cut back on the hormones.

Seems to me that the big question is not how other people will react but why you yourself insist on being so fretful.

^ An astute observation. The physical changes are important to me. More on that below...
I am fretful...I'll admit it. And I'm a study in contrasts. I have a lot of confidence, about so many things. I've very good at many things. I'm not, and have never been, confident about my looks and my body. More on that below...

UPDATE:

Alright, it has been a month. A real milestone. A month on real, pharmaceutical-grade, prescribed-by-a-doctor, gender affirming hormone therapy. But what gender am I affirming? I don't know. There's a little voice in my head that keeps saying "ok, you've had your fun. Now it's time to go back to your normal life." Another not-so-little voice that says "you really don't need this and it's going to be pretty inconvenient? What is the payoff?"

I don't know how to answer those voices. I don't know if there is a payoff. I don't really connect with the things I read from people who have started to transition:

"Everything finally made sense"
"I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. The voices in my head finally settled down."
"I finally feel like me - the real me, not an impostor."
"The emotional rush from estrogen was so affirming; it felt so *right*"

None of that has happened for me. I don't *feel* any different. My moods and behavior haven't changed much at all, really. And yes, I've read all about the various types of gatekeeping that we do in order to talk ourselves out of this. But objectively speaking, I don't feel much at all, really. Not a sense of calm about the fact that everything is "right", nor abject terror at how wrong this is. I'd hoped that HRT would bring an answer that rang like a bell. Instead, I've gotten a muted thud. Hey, maybe it's too soon. Maybe another month or two will bring those profound feelings that people talk about.

In the meantime, I've got some sore boobs that jiggle a lot more these days. And, as a result of a whole regimen of things I've been doing (plus E), I have many brand new hairs sprouting in long-abandoned zones of follicly-challenged scalp. The boobs are exciting, but not in that sexual rush sort of way that I used to feel. More in a "this is nice" sort of way. And honestly, it's a bit of a disappointment. I've fantasized about it for so long and I thought it the fire would just get brighter and hotter, but I'm left with some warm embers. The fact that my libido is down isn't helping with the thrill factor.

The hair regrowth is, honestly, a mega-massive, earth-shattering, double-hyphenated game-changer. THAT is thrilling. It's a major major major source of body image trouble for me.

I am trying hard to find some perspective here. What did I want? What did I expect? What do I want? A month of HRT has left me with these thoughts: I don't want a full transition. I don't want a public transition. I don't want to walk and talk like a woman in the eyes of the world outside. I just want to be me. Yeah, I kinda still want the boobs. I want the hair. I want to get rid of more of my body hair. And yes, I want to feel things more. Not really a well-sorted, gender=based game plan. Just a mishmash of disparate desires.

And yes, I fret a lot. I've never been confident about my appearance - not at all. And about the only things I've had going for me from a conventional male-body perspective are starting to go away. I don't have abs anymore. I don't have a flat belly and a tight chest with well-defined abs. But I do have many, many friends who love me as I am. But I never liked this body and I haven't been able to talk myself into feeling any differently about it.

So I'm taking a real gamble here. I'm changing my body, knowing that there isn't much else that's going to change. And will I be happier? I don't know. But I can't stop. I'm just moving forward because I don't know how not to.

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #133 on: January 31, 2022, 11:06:52 pm »
You are an enigma wrapped in a riddle boxed in a mystery. I hope your considerable intellect is enough for you to crack your code.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #134 on: January 31, 2022, 11:49:28 pm »
If it doesn’t help, I don’t see any reason to keep going forward.  Momentum?

Stop.  Reassess.  And see how you feel about that when you are off the HRT for a month.  If you want to start again, you can.  But, if you keep going on the hopes that someday you’ll get a warm feeling about it that you don’t have now?  If you do that, there will be irreversible changes.  Why?  For what?

Hey, it’s your decision.  Do what you think is best.

Offline davina61

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #135 on: February 01, 2022, 03:23:27 am »
HRT made no difference to how I feel or think but then I was never very "male" in that respect. Boobs have stopped at almost a C and have a bit more hair sprouting but not nearly enough . What I do have is the desire to be me as I feel and if anyone objects they can do one. Passing was never something I thought would happen but I mostly do, need to work on the voice more.
Just meaning you can find your own level , I suppose for you its finding where that is . Just follow your dream/ desire.
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Offline TXSara

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #136 on: February 01, 2022, 07:08:26 am »
Wow, Courtney -- you never disappoint.  You always seem to leave us with plenty to reflect on and unpack for ourselves.


Alright, it has been a month. A real milestone. A month on real, pharmaceutical-grade, prescribed-by-a-doctor, gender affirming hormone therapy.

Yeah, but... you really don't know what your levels are just yet.  Are you going in at the 6 week point or at the 3 month point?  My Dr. wanted 3 months originally, but I talked her into 6 weeks.  I'm glad I did, because that's when we found that my estrone levels were too high (and estradiol too low) and we needed to change course.  It may be that you are getting a LOT out of the spiro and not much out of the patches.  Who knows without a blood test?

But what gender am I affirming? I don't know. There's a little voice in my head that keeps saying "ok, you've had your fun. Now it's time to go back to your normal life." Another not-so-little voice that says "you really don't need this and it's going to be pretty inconvenient? What is the payoff?"

You always make me smile with your brutal self-honesty.  You make me take a little time myself to reflect.  Luckily for me, it hasn't put me into a tailspin just yet  :).

I don't really connect with the things I read from people who have started to transition:

"Everything finally made sense"
"I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. The voices in my head finally settled down."
"I finally feel like me - the real me, not an impostor."
"The emotional rush from estrogen was so affirming; it felt so *right*"

None of that has happened for me. I don't *feel* any different. My moods and behavior haven't changed much at all, really.

I don't connect with all of those things either, at least not to the assured level that they are spoken.  I would say that for me, I was always more emotional than your average bear.  I cried, laughed, got angry, etc. more often (I think) than most men.  I think that switching my hormones enhanced that some while also giving me the "license" if you will to feel more outwardly.  I can say that for me, I'm really happy that I'm now able to embrace what what already there -- my "new" gender policing rules state right here on line 3.2.2.1(a) that it is now OK to cry in public.  Rule 3.2.2.4(b) says that I need to filter out some of the outward irritation and anger, which is also fine by me.   ;D

In the meantime, I've got some sore boobs that jiggle a lot more these days. And, as a result of a whole regimen of things I've been doing (plus E), I have many brand new hairs sprouting in long-abandoned zones of follicly-challenged scalp. The boobs are exciting, but not in that sexual rush sort of way that I used to feel. More in a "this is nice" sort of way. And honestly, it's a bit of a disappointment. I've fantasized about it for so long and I thought it the fire would just get brighter and hotter, but I'm left with some warm embers. The fact that my libido is down isn't helping with the thrill factor.

The hair regrowth is, honestly, a mega-massive, earth-shattering, double-hyphenated game-changer. THAT is thrilling. It's a major major major source of body image trouble for me.

You and me both, sister (on the hair being a life-changer).  I don't know how far gone you are just yet (I think you're younger than me right?  I'm 48), but my male pattern baldness was a huge trigger for me.  Luckily, I think I began addressing the problem early enough that I will be able to achieve more/less full coverage when I'm finally done.  They really make some good hair systems out there nowadays, but I REALLY want to lose the wig eventually.

We completely differ on our opinions about breasts -- I actually see them as an annoyance currently because I would rather they come a little later when I have facial features to match.  I don't like having to hide them at the gym right now because every other physical feature screams "DUDE".  They have never been a source of sexual stimulation for me, so I don't have the feelings you're talking about -- totally get it, though.  The truth is that (assuming you're on spiro) not much is going to stimulate you right now.  I think that's great because it allows us to analyze what's going on in our heads without our libidos getting in the way.  You can ask yourself -- Do I like my breasts or not? without the filter that comes with a high sex-drive.

I am trying hard to find some perspective here. What did I want? What did I expect? What do I want? A month of HRT has left me with these thoughts: I don't want a full transition. I don't want a public transition. I don't want to walk and talk like a woman in the eyes of the world outside. I just want to be me. Yeah, I kinda still want the boobs. I want the hair. I want to get rid of more of my body hair. And yes, I want to feel things more. Not really a well-sorted, gender=based game plan. Just a mishmash of disparate desires.

Sounds to me like you might just be non-binary, and that's cool.  It's a perfectly reasonable choice and one that you may be able to achieve with a low level of estradiol.

I do admonish you, though, that you will STILL be met with disdain by others if you choose that route.  I think that those who have the fortitude to live "in the middle" are a LOT braver than I could ever be.  My whole transition plan revolves around staying as close to the male gender norm as long as I can, then "jumping the chasm" when I feel like I can make it across.  I feel like that middle ground is a dangerous place to be.

And yes, I fret a lot. I've never been confident about my appearance - not at all. And about the only things I've had going for me from a conventional male-body perspective are starting to go away. I don't have abs anymore. I don't have a flat belly and a tight chest with well-defined abs. But I do have many, many friends who love me as I am. But I never liked this body and I haven't been able to talk myself into feeling any differently about it.

I was in the same boat a while back.  When I turned 40, I was 215 lbs on my very slight 5'7" frame.  I was, in a word, FAT.  What got me motivated to lose all that weight wasn't transition -- it was the fact that both my parents were Type 2 and I knew that I was actually on a worse trajectory than my dad was at the same age.  I got serious about it and made it a top priority.  I am now hovering between 140 and 145 lbs, and I have been there for the last 3-4 years.  I now have abs again, but it is only because I went in for an abdominoplasty last summer to get rid of the saggy skin that was left over.  I guess what I'm saying is that it CAN be done.  You must have to commit yourself to it, and you have to decide that it is REALLY important to you.

So I'm taking a real gamble here. I'm changing my body, knowing that there isn't much else that's going to change. And will I be happier? I don't know. But I can't stop. I'm just moving forward because I don't know how not to.

I think you'll find that other things change as well, but I totally get where you're coming from.  My opinion is to let it ride out until your next endo appointment, then (a) take a look at your levels, and (b) take a hard look at yourself to decide what you really WANT.

Know that we're all here in your corner, my friend -- whatever you finally choose to do.

~Sara

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #137 on: February 01, 2022, 11:47:05 am »
I think that Sara’s advice is reasonable.  But, if there is no NEED (only you can judge) for HRT, then I recommend stopping sooner rather than later.  Waiting to see what your levels are so that you know what point you are basing your decision from makes sense.  Long term continuation if you aren’t getting some benefit seems unwise.

Just my opinion.

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #138 on: February 01, 2022, 11:57:46 am »
I'm an old cow who chews cognitive cud. I read Rachel's advice last night and it struck me as right, but Masticate is my middle name, so after I've done that, her advice still strikes me as right.

New hair seems to please you most, but there are other ways to restore hair. Try those non-HRT hair restoration ways for a boost.

Courtney, I have lauded your intellect and honesty a few times and I tend to not divulge details of my life, but this might help: Like you, I'm smart and I used my hefty brain to fit into the male role for three decades, but I kept blundering and blundering. I remember moments when men and women and boys and girls looked at me as if I were crazy and some of my strongest attempts to present as male struck others as parody. I transitioned when I realized I couldn't muster maleness. I wanted to do so. I tried to do so. I simply don't have the brain to do so. Heck, my students called me "Mom," not to be mean, for they'd immediately blush and apologize, but recognizing the role I kept defaulting to. Have you also struggled to pass as male as opposed to simply fancying yourself as female?

Online Maid Marion

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Re: This is where Courtney's life begins
« Reply #139 on: February 01, 2022, 12:01:04 pm »
Everyone is different.  I've never had an inclination to hide my hourglass figure.

Marion

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