Estradiol: For when you’re not moody enough already

So last week I had my estradiol dosage jacked up and the big results so far are that I’m currently watching my free copy of He’s Just Not That Into You on Vudu… and enjoying it.

So seriously, as a feminist I’ve always tried to resist the stereotype of women being moody and emotional and everything, but ever since starting hormones I’ve felt like an emotional nutcase, and it’s just been crazy this past week. One second I’m all lovey and affectionate and everything, the next I’m catty and bitchy, and then next thing I know I’m curled up under my giant quilt scrounging through online video services on my PS3 looking for romantic comedies. I think I’ve only seen, like, 4 romantic comedies in the past 10 years, and all of those were because my girlfriend dragged me to them and made me promise not to make fun of them under pain of no sex. I watch horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and, when I needĀ  good cry, kid’s movies. (I always cry at the end of kid’s movies, hormonal or not.) I do not watch romcoms, or comedies of any kind, for that matter. However, pretty much everything I’ve watched in the past week has been a comedy of some sort. I’ve also taken to laughing like a maniac at them, which is something I usually don’t do. Usually when I laugh during a movie, it’s because of how bad it is.

Anyway, while I’m enjoying the mini-boobs and the fact that my ass has finally joined the rest of my body in the third dimension, I could really do without the moodiness. Also the having to pee 50 times a day. I’m not saying that I regret anything, it’s just that years of training in feminist philosophy have not prepared me well enough to know what to do or how to think when I find myself identifying with Drew Barrymore. Dudes, next time your lady is acting all moody and weird, cut her a break. Your hormones make you hit things and want to fuck everything you see, which is really a lot simpler than experiencing the whole spectrum of human emotion within a single 24-hour period.

Obligatory end of summer update

Whoa, so I haven’t been around here in, like, forever. I’ve been splitting my time between working on a paper and actually having a social life for the first time in about a year. On Monday it’ll be back to having no life: I start my new job and then after a week of orientation it’s back to school. After taking part in the book discussion group earlier this summer, my professor–who has turned into something of a mentor this past year–gave me permission to sign up for her graduate seminar in Advanced Metaphysics in the fall, which will be focusing on feminist metaphysics this semester. I just got approved for that class on Monday by UNL’s Graduate Studies department, so I dropped my Spinoza class. Here’s the new schedule:

  • Intro to Physical Anthropology
  • Ethical Theory
  • Advanced Metaphysics
  • Fiction Writing
  • Writing Theory for Consultants (job-related)

In addition, I’m still volunteering at the LGBTQA Resource Center, so it should be a pretty busy semester. I’ll probably either end up killing myself or coming out totally prepared for grad school. My Philosophy of Language professor has been helping me with my paper. I’ve decided to write on the reappropriation of the word ‘queer’. Specifically, I want to explore how a word which started its modern life as a pejorative could end up changing connotations due to a conscious effort among
a specific language community. I suspect it has something to do with how much a word is needed to perform a particular job. Professor Dowell sent me some information about a conference coming up in November in Memphis that she said my paper would go over well at, so I think I’ll be submitting it.

Also, I had my almost-three-month hormone check-up on Wednesday. I switched doctors and am now going to Planned Parenthood. The doctor I was seeing at UNMC is more qualified, but it’s just easier to grab a 5-minute bus ride to Planned Parenthood than to venture up to Omaha at the asscrack of dawn, especially with how busy I’ll be this semester. They did more blood tests, and I’ll find out next week if they’re going to do anything with my doses. I have been noticing some significant changes already. The most exciting is that I’ve started developing breasts. They’re painfully sensitive and nearly microscopic, but progress is progress. Also, my body hair has started to diminish and grow more slowly. My skin also seems smoother and generally healthier, but I’m not sure how much of that is the hormones and how much is the fact that I recently started a new skin-care regimen. I’ve also started getting ma’amed a lot on the phone, which is a big plus. And today when I went to the pharmacy to refill my sleeping pills, which are prescribed under my full male name, the pharmacist asked if I was picking them up for someone else, which made me feel good.

Finally, on the dating front, I’ve met a lady whom I think seems like quite the winner. We seem to have quite a bit in common, and she is incredibly sweet and caring. The main problem is that she lives in Omaha and my piece-of-shit car probably isn’t fit to travel the highways. Also, she’s allergic to cats, which could be an issue…

Anyway, I’ll try not to disappear for weeks on end again. I realize that a lot of my friends come here to keep up with what’s going on in my life, which is nice, but I may be kinda busy for a while. I’ll still try to keep you folks posted.

The doctor’s appointment came and went

So I should probably let you all know how things went at the doctor yesterday, especially since I haven’t talked to anyone since I got home. Honestly, I’m kind of having a hard time processing things. It was at UNMC, which is obviously a teaching place, so in addition to my doctor I dealt with her resident and a visiting med student from China who was shadowing her. I liked the resident and the med student didn’t say anything; at first I was worried because he was a guy and I have a hard time talking about trans issues around guys because I think they think I failed at being a man, but he was so non-invasive that I completely forgot he was there 30 seconds after we were introduced. My doctor was a tiny yet intimidating Eastern European woman. I think she may be Czech. I’m intimidated by Eastern Europeans because they seem incredibly blunt and forceful. It’s weird. I’m going to keep seeing her despite the fact that I’m worried that she is going to start hurling insults at me because she’s some sort of expert in transgender health, which is why she has people coming from around the world to shadow her. She also knows more about the issue than anyone else I’ve talked to: I wasn’t expecting to learn anything new, but I did. Apparently there have been rare reports of transwomen developing benign pituitary tumors after starting hormones. (She says she’s never seen it in her practice, but she does routine tests just to make sure.) She was actually quite complimentary: Part of the psych eval my doctors sent over included my GPA, and she was very impressed. Anyway, it was basically a two-hour interview session to make sure I was ready for all this jazz, then she cut me a prescription and took my blood for baseline levels so she could track my progress and check my thyroid levels (I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as a teenager and apparently that may be a problem). I go back in three months for another check-up. I need to have quit smoking by then. (I’ve already gotten on that.)

Anyway, I’ve been in shock since then. It just seems like things should be more difficult than they’ve been lately. I had a pretty hard time from 2007-2010 which pretty much resulted in me dropping off the face of the earth for a while, and now I’ve become conditioned to think that life is always shitty. These past two years have been so great that I’m expecting something life-shattering to be just around the corner. I don’t know, it’s kind of weird. I just hope I don’t become paranoid. Maybe things can get better.

There’s a lot more I want to say, but like I said, I’m having a hard time processing things, so I’m just going to leave it at that. Peace out. Thanks for your support.

Big day tomorrow

So first thing’s first: I changed the domain name because I don’t like clunky URLs, so update your bookmarks if you actually still use those (I just use history; not sure if I’m a weirdo, though).

Now onto the excitement! Tomorrow is the big doctor’s appointment to get me some hormones. I’m stoked beyond belief. Really, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep at all tonight. I need to be up at 6:00 tomorrow in order to get there in time.

I understand that hormone replacement therapy is a long, drawn-out process, and it can take months to actually see any benefit, but still, the sooner I get started, the sooner I’ll start to develop more feminine characteristics. I did start hormones once before in 2007 before having to stop because of a severe bout of depression (the doctors say it wasn’t related to the hormones), and I started to notice changes about 6-8 weeks after starting. Mostly it was wicked sore breasts. Like, wicked sore.

I’m not sure what type of estrogen I’ll be on or if there will be an anti-androgen in the mix, but the doctor I saw last December said that she usually used estradiol and spironolactone. I’ve done some digging and there are people who swear by certain types of hormone treatments, but based on my research it all boils down to biology. Different people react differently to different hormones. I’m just going to go by my doctor’s judgment.

Okay, that’s all! Just wanted to keep you posted! Peace out!

Only three more days to go

Friday is rapidly approaching and I’m wicked psyched! Despite having to haul my ass out of bed at 6AM during summer vacation, I really can’t wait. I went to my pharmacist to refill a prescription today and wanted to check to make sure they were trans-friendly, and she said that they don’t keep a lot of hormones in HRT dosages in stock since they don’t get much call for them, but they’d be happy to order in whatever I need.

I’ve also been experimenting more with my voice. For a while the best I could do was super-androgynous, but I’m starting to get much better. The first trick is to open your throat up like you’re yawning, which is how you get the proper resonance. That part I’ve got down and it’s actually starting to feel more and more natural as I use it. The next thing is to pitch it up just a tad. Too much and it sounds fake, but not enough and it’s wicked androgynous. That’s the part I’m having problems with. It takes a lot of concentration for me to keep my voice in the proper pitch range, and as I start focusing more on the conversation I forget to keep my voice pitched up and it starts to slide back into that androgynous zone. I just need to keep working on it; I’m sure the more I practice the less attention I’ll have to pay to it. Also, I’ve been trying to practice projecting, since that’s really hard to do when your throat is flexing in funny ways, but just now before writing this I was practicing and I’m getting better at being audible. Things are looking up!

Also, to all my friends who have been so supportive of me, I really want to thank you. You guys know who you are.

Online dating is actually really cool

So, after posting about my initial trial of the online dating world last night, my friend sent me a message on Facebook telling me about this site called Plenty of Fish. She said that it’s where she met her husband and that she’s had a lot of friends who have had success with it. Also, it’s incredibly unrestrictive of its free members, so you can actually meet people and stuff without shelling out ridiculous amounts of cash dollars.

At first, when I saw the site I was skeptical, because the web design is incredibly tacky and looks like something you’d see on Geocities or Tripod circa 2001. However, I gave it a try, and less than 24 hours later I am having incredible success. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from women who don’t care that I’m trans, and I just spent most of the day chatting with a woman who lives here in Lincoln who thinks I’m actually kind of pretty and interesting. I’m really excited because she likes camping, and I have been looking for a new camping buddy. There’s also a musician up in Omaha whom I’m kind of interested in who has shown some interest in me, as well as a filmmaker, so I’ve got some options. Even if it takes me a while to meet the right woman, I’m just really stoked that there are at least people out there who don’t care that I’m trans. Really, I was having second thoughts about my transition, just because I was afraid no one would love me and I’d remain alone for the rest of my life, but now I’m completely recommitted to this transition. Just knowing that there are people who are actually interested in me fills me with enough confidence to make it through this.

One factor that I didn’t take into account was that there are, in fact, bisexual people in the world. Some of the girls who’ve expressed interest in me say they’re bi, and my friend told me that most bisexual people these days identify as pansexual, and now I feel really silly and shitty for completely forgetting that there are people like that in the world. That seems like the way to do it, anyway; I wish I was that evolved.

Anyway, things are going pretty well right now. If you’re lonely and looking for someone to talk to, check out Plenty of Fish. If I can find people interested in me there, I’m sure anyone can.

Entering the terrifying world of online dating

So I’ve officially gotten so desperate that I’ve entered the incredibly terrifying world of online dating. I’ve been single for more than two years now, and at first it was great because I got to have time for me and everything. Now, however, I’m starting to get really meh. I feel like I’ve worked through all my personal stuff and am finally ready for a serious relationship. Really, I thought I could go on indefinitely on my own, but I feel somewhat incomplete. However, it’s hard to meet people at school since I’m at least four years older than most of the people there, which doesn’t seem like much of an age difference, but when you’re in your twenties a four year difference is pretty much a massive generational canyon. I’ll be 26 in a month, and most of the seniors are only 21 or 22–I know one or two who are 23, and that’s about when my adult personality started forming, so that’s getting close. My therapist said it’s actually pretty common to feel disconnected from your fellow students when there’s an age difference of even a few years. For that reason, I opted to try some online dating services.

I started with Pink Cupid, which is subsidiary of Cupid.com aimed at lesbians. They have a free sign-up option where you have limited actions and everything, so I figured that I’d do that just to see if there was anyone in my area. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone uses that service very often, so I don’t think I’ll be upgrading to their paid service.

I then went over to Match.com. They are more restrictive of their free accounts, but there are more people on it, and they also have that six month Match.com Guarantee. However, they’re more expensive. Also, I’m not sure whether their guarantee covers trans folks. I know I shouldn’t be so pessimistic, but something tells me that it’s harder to match a trans lesbian than it is to match a cisgender lesbian. Le sigh…

Well, I’ll think about whether I want to try paying the outrages fees for their “Guarantee.” However, I’m skeptical of the whole online dating thing. It seems kinda weird. However, I’ve found social media to be more fun than I would have guessed, so perhaps my expectations shall be proved wrong. Still, I’m mildly skeptical.