Not Now (Revisited)

Back in September I wrote a post about things that I told myself “not now.” I thought it might be good to look back on this post and see what happen with the not nows I discussed. These not nows were going out with makeup and a wig dressed in obvious feminine clothing, coming out at the mental health program I attend, coming out to my parents, going on a date, meeting another gurl dressed with makeup and wig, doing hormone replacement therapy (hrt), and legally changing my name. I will describe in  this post how a fared on each one of them. There is also one that I had not even thought to include at the time, but is now becoming a reality.

As far as going out in feminine clothing with makeup and wig, I wouldn’t dream of going out any other way. So you could say, instead of not now, never again in the sense that I need some kind of feminine appearance to go out now. Actually, when I wrote the original not now, I didn’t really dream that it would actually be overcome so soon. I thought it was certainly possible, but when I started to transition last July I was thinking it would take me a year. So this one Stephie’s got it going on.

Next on the post was coming out to the to my peers at the mental health program I attend to help keep my depression and anxiety abey. Well, that was done too. First I came out in a group for mentors of which I am one. It was a group of about 5 other mentors. It went well. One (fairly young) said she had friends who were trans. And a few express some concern about safety. But the “big reveal” as I like to call it, was indeed on October 9th. I co-lead the group with the topic of “remaking yourself.” I waited toward the end of the group. There was about 15 to 20 minutes left, and I told them I choose the topic because I am in the process of remaking myself. I told them I was a transgender woman and was in the process of transitioning to live my life as a woman. I was not presenting as a woman at the time.

I also was able to come out to my parents and immediate family. I have a brother and his daughter (my niece) and another brother and his wife in addition to my elderly parents. I came out to everyone but my parents and one brother on Thanksgiving day. The one brother found out later that night when he came home from taking my parents home. I was well received, which was my expectation. My family is very liberal, especially on social issues. I came out to my parents the week before Christmas. The reason I didn’t come out to them on Thanksgiving was my mom did not appear to be doing mentally well. She looked confused a lot of the time. I think she is losing it, and when I asked my father, he did not deny it, but neither did he confirm it. Anyway I came over to their place and had lunch and then said I had something to tell them. I told them I was a transgender woman. My father seem to take it in in his usual calm manner. He even asked about hormones and my hair. But, my mom didn’t even blink. She showed no response at all. Not even of shock. So my father is cool with it, and according to him so is my mom.

Going on a date has happen too. I met a gurl online who lived 150 miles away, but was willing to travel. We got to know each other and after a month or so of chatting online and talking on the phone once, we made a date. November 12th. A day I will cherish for a long time. We met at a hotel, but went shopping at a nearby mall first. When we got in her car to go to the mall she gave me my first piece of jewelry—a lovely anklet. Afterwards, we had lunch back at the hotel. We also had some private time in her room. Dressing and playing (sorry I don’t share my private times here). We parted when she drop me off at my girlfriend’s (who was well informed about my whereabouts). She said that she could not meetup again for quite awhile, and I left giving her a kiss on her cheek as I had greeted her in the hotel lobby.

The next not now has not actually happen yet. In public with my date I did not have a wig on or a skirt. But, I now feel it is not very important to do. It’s something I still would like to do; this is meet another gurl for coffee en femme. But, as I go out everyday in wig and makeup, this no longer remains as a not now because it is now not something I must accomplish. Who knows? The future is open.

Hrt on the other hand is fast becoming a reality. I thought that following WPATH’s† Standards of Care that one would have to wait a year doing gender therapy, so I thought the earliest I would be able to start the process would be this coming July. But, I had come to find out there is another option with WPATH’s guidelines, and that is going by informed consent, which just requires a letter from a qualified mental health professional saying that you are capable of providing it and do not now suffer from psychosis or other serious mental illness symptoms like being suicidal. Under the encouragement of my therapist I schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist for March 4 (been there, done that) in December of last year. This endocrinologist follows the informed consent model. I just provided blood work and have a follow up with the doctor April 8. If nothing is wrong with the blood work I should leave with scripts in hand.

The legal name change not now will still have to wait. It will require planning and legal action, which includes the filling fee and going before a judge. I may be able to obtain legal aid through some of the non-profit transgender legal groups around like the Transgender Law Center, and there may be help for the filling fees. In the meantime I have been changing my name to Stephie wherever I can where a legal name change is not required. This includes my goodreads account and Amazon username. Also, making a preferred name where possible, like with most of my medical providers (still need legal name change for insurance purposes). I also am trying to get all my emails sent to my new email account instead of my old one.

So, these were the not nows I discussed in that previous post. What is the one I had not even thought to include in that post? Voice feminization training. It had crossed my mind at some point because I had heard about it. But since, I started to present full time and the possibility of being on hrt soon I decided to pursue it back in December. I am now in training at a local university speech pathology lab working with a graduate student under the supervision of the head of the training program. They are both very nice. I am now learning how to take care of my voice as it will be strained working toward producing a higher pitch. A higher pitch is not the only aspect of my voice I will be working on. Sentences and word stresses in a more feminine style, laughter (hehehe), and other non-verbal sounds are some of the other aspects of my voice I will be working on.

Stephie – a work in progress.

 

† World Professional Association for Transgender Health {double check}

 

 

 

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