The trials and travails of transitioning

So it’s been a weird few days. Since I’m starting hormones soon, I’m trying to quit smoking because estrogen greatly increases the risk of stroke, which is increased even more if you smoke. (This is why it’s not a good idea to smoke on birth control pills.) I am generally a pretty heavy smoker; usually I smoke at least a pack a day, and quite often it’s even more than that. However, I’m down to fewer than 10 cigarettes a day and the cravings are starting to get more manageable. I’ve figured something out: when I feel a craving, if I just write (journal, short story, novel, anything) for a minimum of fifteen minutes the craving passes. It’s great that I’ve discovered this trick, because not only am I smoking less, but I am getting more work done than usual. Making all sorts of progress.

I decided to go through with the name change, but the family is not honoring the request. Oh well, they’ll come around.

Also, last time I went out for a cigarette (about two and a half hours ago) a group of little seven- or eight-year-old boys asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I told them neither and tried to explain the concept of transgender to them, which may or may not have worked. I figure that if I have trouble passing I can always use my visibility to raise awareness for trans issues.

I did, however, have a cold encounter at a gas station yesterday. I went to get a soda and for what I assume was my androgyny the cashier tried to refuse to help me. He didn’t say anything; he just acted like I wasn’t there. I just stood there and refused to go away until finally a line formed behind me and he was forced to help me. He did so in the fewest words possible and without ever making eye contact. What a winner. Seriously, though, that’s been about the worst encounter so far; most people don’t seem to even notice me, so either I’m doing an okay job of passing, or I’m failing miserably, or people really don’t care that much. I’m not sure how to find out which is the case; I’ll have to get to the bottom of this.

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