Author Topic: Hi, everybody...  (Read 4095 times)

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Drew

Hi, everybody...
« on: June 14, 2005, 05:46:46 pm »
I am new here.  I am considering SRS (FTM) but have many questions.  I am hoping to compare notes with other FTM's or MTF's.  I have been struggling with gender stuff for about as long as I can remember (I am 44).  I had a brief moment of elation a couple of weeks ago when I told myself," YES!  You are transsexual, you can see a therapist and get a letter to present to an Endocrinologist, and be the person you are supposed to be!"  However, I am bogged down by the knowledge that my dear girl-friend loves me this way, a masculine spirit in a woman's body, plus, as you all know, the coming out to family and friends.  My girl-friend is aware of my struggles, and asks that I keep her informed, which I have promised (of course!) to do.  I opened up and revealed my struggle to a psychotherapist a few months ago who warned me about the dangers of SRS and hormones.  I guess that NOTHING about this is every going to be easy or quick, and I appreciate any advice.  Thanks in advance,
Drew

Offline Dennis

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Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2005, 06:04:18 pm »
Welcome Drew.

I'm another later in life transitioner. I'm 43 and just started T in January. As far as risks go, there's a fair bit of research showing that it has little to no impact on mortality rates. What you're doing is exchanging female health risks for male and, depending on what runs in your family or what you're predisposed to, that can be a detriment or a benefit.

Your partner could probably also benefit from some counselling at this time, to keep the lines of communication between the two of you clear, whatever you decide to do.

I'm not sure if your psychotherapist is trying to dissuade you or just make sure you are aware that it is a major undertaking. You might want to suss that out and ensure you have someone who will help you explore all the options, not try and divert you from one that may be right for you.

Dennis

Drew

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2005, 06:45:34 pm »
Hi Dennis,
Thanks for your response.  I think that counselling is a good idea for my gal.  After all, she didn't sign on for this.  I was seeing a therapist a few months ago for depression.  I no longer see her, but while I did, I mentioned my wanting to transition.  I think that she took the conservative route, but I also suspect that she really liked me the way I am.  She mentioned that chest surgery was very risky. (?)  She did suggest that I find ways to move more as a man in my life, through working out, etc.  I work out every single day.  I lift free weights, do aerobic training, circuit training, the whole nine yards.  I have only so much naturally occurring T in my body.  I am very toned for a woman, but nowhere near what I would be if I were male.  This is the part that is killing me...I worry that so many people I love really love me THIS way.  As a woman.  My partner loves my breasts, but me?  I HATE them.  I really hate them.  She can't believe that I could have them "sliced off", as she puts it.  The other part that is killing me is...can I really put my needs on hold permanently so that those I love will be happy?  Do you know what I mean?  I have ordered an herbal T booster,  in the hopes it will offer me some relief, yet allow me to stay in this woman's body and keep my partner happy.  It is supposed to be safe for women, and naturally stimulate T production.  I suspect it won't accomplish much...there is only so much T a female body can produce naturally.  I won't do anything foolish, like taking hormones without a prescription.  Have you experienced these types of feellings? 

Thanks again,
Drew


p.s.
I find it comforting that I am not the only late bloomer! :)

beth_finallyme

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2005, 07:47:51 pm »
hello Drew,

i'm an even later bloomer, in my 50s. i've known i was transsexual since the day (in my teens) i first read the word in an article about Christine Jorgensen, before that i just knew i was different than anyone else in the world. I kept it hidden for most of my life. For me hidding caused terrible depression that grew worse with every year. it is truly a miracle that i survived. i love life now, so i'm very greatful that i did. Only you can decide what to do Drew, but be careful if living for others becomes depressing, that can be disasterous for some.

Stick around and chat if you can. Those of us that are  MTF do share some experiences with you guys,  Dennis is a great guy as are all the FTMs here.  Now if we could just find a witch doctor to switch our bodies................... ::)

much love and happiness
beth

Drew

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2005, 09:47:47 pm »
Hi Beth;
Thank you for writing.  I agree with you about living for others and depression.  I think that my situation will just take some time for me to be sure about what I am doing.  This is a very serious and permanent thing that I am considering, as you well know.  It has taken me a long time to get to this point, and there has been NO encouragement from others.  I suspect that although we are different, MTF & aspiring FTM, the risks are the same, the fears are the same.  It is encouraging to me that you are now happy...it tells me that if I am brave enough to take the necessary steps, I may be happy also.  I plan on hanging around for quite a while...this seems like a very good forum.

Thanks,
Drew

Offline Dennis

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Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2005, 09:58:46 pm »
Damn that would be great, Beth! Would save a lot of money and angst, wouldn't it?

Drew: chest surgery is less risky than most surgeries. It carries the risk that any general anaesthetic carries, but there are no organs and no lymph nodes removed. It is done as an outpatient procedure in many clinics, including the one I'm going to in August.

My partner had an immediate, visceral 'get out of my life' reaction when I told her I was seeing a therapist about transition. She insisted that I tell her after the first appointment whether I was or was not going to. I said, 'you'd better assume I am then if that's your worst case scenario'. Subsequently, we had nasty arguments about my breasts (and now I wonder what I was doing allowing anyone, even an ex-partner to tell me what to do with them). She could not empathize with hating them in the least.

Other than that reaction from my partner, other people in my life have been very supportive. I get gently teased at work about my voice and I feel free to happily run into work excited because I grew a chin hair over the weekend (although I was advised by many of the women in the office that they had me beat on chin hairs).

Although I hadn't consciously been aware of what was causing my body dysphoria for a long time, I found nothing helped, not losing weight, gaining weight, working out or anything. Working out was the closest, but as you said, there were limits. It's been nice being on T, the muscle is packing on with very little working out (I really should do more - have to get rid of the beer gut I'm developing).

Exploring those feelings with an open-minded and knowledgeable therapist is not necessarily committing to transition, but it can help you decide how far, if anywhere, you want to take it.

Dennis

Drew

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2005, 10:27:20 pm »
Dennis, I'm with you and Beth...that "witch-doctor" thing would be great.  This is a very expensive condition. 
My experience with my partner has been a tad more positive than yours.  It has to be difficult for her(my partner).  Still, I am uncertain as to how much she will stand for.  It is helpful to me to know that you hated your breasts...I honestly have had nobody to compare anything with.  This is the kind of info that will help me along.  That there are similarities in our experiences is helpful to me.  I will try to find a therapist who is trans-friendly.  How do you like being on T?  I had a dream about a week ago that I was transitioning, and had received a shot of T.  In my dream, I was elated.  When I woke up, I was so depressed, as I am not on T...  Depending on the ages of the women you work with, they probably DO have hairier chins. :)  Anyway, thanks.
Drew

Offline Dennis

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Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2005, 10:41:47 pm »
I love being on T, but my endo is taking a gradual approach - started me at 50 mg/2 weeks and then three months later to 75 mg/2 weeks. I'm back next month and I'd REALLY like more of an increase than another 25 mg, but she seems impervious to my begging. It seems that a standard dose (although individuals vary) is 200 mg/2 weeks, so I'm very low and it's bloody slow.

Patience is a virtue that is wearing thin for me.

Dennis

4years

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2005, 12:11:26 am »
Hello Drew and Welcome to Susan’s most wonderful Place (=

I seem to be the youngest in this conversation at 30, and a bit out of place going in the opposite direction as it were.

While F2M topics are not my focus I’ve read a fair amount and I don’t recall ever hearing of bilateral mastectomies as being particular dangerous.

Perhaps this wiki topic is of use.

Please feel free to join in on the conversations (=



I’d like to point out that patience is a very good thing really; considerably easier to not kill ourselves if we go slow. An in this vein a plaque on my refrigerator is appropriate, “Success is a journey not a destination.” … I used to hate that saying because I knew it was true but could never stand the journey and kept focused on the destination… Then I realized I was TS. Now the destination is to fluid to know and that journey is what is important.

Drew

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2005, 07:28:04 pm »
Thanks for the link, 4years...
I think that this therapist really wasn't that familiar with trans issues.  I think she liked me as I was, and in truth, all surgeries have SOME risk.  You are correct though, it really doesn't appear that mastectomy is so perilous. 

Dennis, geez...I, too, would want the max dose of T available.  Does your Doc say why she is being conservative?  Are you noticing major changes?  Is your voice changing?  This could be my situation in a little while. 
Thanks,
Drew

Offline Dennis

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Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2005, 10:01:17 am »
My endo does, unfortunately, have sound medical reasons for being slow - but I think she could speed it up a tad. One is my age. She wants to make sure that I don't get any blood pressure issues, although mine is on the low side of normal, so even an increase isn't going to be too bad. Another is that she is of the view that a gradual introduction to T reduces the risk of zits, emotional issues, and makes for a better sounding voice because it changes more gradually and your voice box has time to expand somewhat. And I can say I have had no problems with zits or emotional issues. My voice sounds fine and is still on the way down. I have just got over a brief period of cracking like a teenage boy which was kind of fun.

So far changes-wise, my facial fat is largely gone, so I have a leaner face. My voice has changed to the point where I pass 100% of the time on the phone (it was deep to start with though). I have bigger, more defined muscles, particularly on my arms. My shoulders are broader. I don't pass particularly well in person yet. I get the odd funny look when I go into the women's washroom (not gonna use the men's until I pass better), and the occasional "sir", but that's about it.

I think my hands are starting to change a bit to look more masculine. No major facial or body hair changes, I don't think. I have a bit of a wispy peach fuzz mustache that I didn't have before, but it's not even as much as most bio women have.

My boss wants me to do the switchover to Dennis at work in September. I really hope I change a lot more by then. Ultimately, the choice of when to do so is up to me, but September would be after I come back from holiday in August, so it would work well timing-wise.

Dennis

Drew

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2005, 06:11:55 pm »
Wow...
It sounds as if your Doc is doing the right thing.  The FTM pesonal sites with T diaries and voice wavs seem to indicate that guys rarely seem to break out of the late adolescent voice, imho.  Most speak of being afflicted with numerous zits.  You were lucky to have a deep voice already, I am guessing. Everytime I use a public bathroom now, I wonder, what would I do in the interim?  I guess, what you are doing.  I get "sirred" occasionally, but it's from folks who catch me in their peripheral vision.  I am nearly 5'9", not particularly tall for a guy, but taller than most women.  I have short hair, uni-sex.  My manner of dress is middle-aged dude.  Cargo shorts and Eddie Bauer polo shirts and T's.  My facial features, however, are undoubtedly feminine.  I know that with T, my features would shift, like yours are doing.  Is it difficult?  Are your moods changing a lot?  I know this is perceived as a female thing, but I have read that FTM's undergo mood swings like adolescent females do.  Perhaps it is because their dosage of T is too much- maybe your endo is sparing you from this, as well.  Forgive my curiosity (and envy!).  I hope to be in the same place before too long.  I am waiting for my new insurance to go into effect (although I know most of this will not be covered) and don't want to spook them.  As frustrating as this must be, it sounds like your Doc is doing what's best. 

Drew

Offline Dennis

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Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2005, 06:24:30 pm »
I haven't had any mood effects really. I used to get a bit of a burst of energy with a shot, but that's faded now. It was probably psychological - just excitement.

I have a really stressful job, so if I had effects like teenage boys get with their moods, I'd be blowing up all over the place. Still pretty steady though. That's something else my endo thinks can be attributed to a gradual increase.

When I get excited, I sound like a teenage boy, but my normal speaking voice sounds adult male. Probably that is attributable at least to some degree to the fact that my voice was deep.

But dammit, I want to pass better, now! I think when I'm really in between, I'll just do my best to avoid public washrooms. That's one aspect of transition that is easier to deal with living in a small town - most of the public washrooms are single occupant, so it's less intimidating.

Dennis

Drew

Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2005, 10:16:24 am »
Hi Dennis,
I've heard it takes time to get to the point where a person passes convincingly.  The adolescent period...as if adolescence the first time wasn't bad enough!  ::)   Jennifer Boylan referred to her "adolescence" as the period of "boy-girl".  I'll bet that by September, things will definitely be better.  Going anyplace fun in August?

Offline Dennis

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Re: Hi, everybody...
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2005, 10:58:47 am »
Yeah, San Francisco. I hope to take as full advantage of it as I'm able to after surgery. Then the rest of the month I'll spend at home (I live on the beach), walking the dog and playing computer games. And starting the hundreds of name changes on ID.

I haven't had a month off since I was 15, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Dennis

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