A personal announcement, emphatic thank-you, and cheers to Fedora.

Ranger Rick wrote:

I hope everything goes well, Hypatian, good luck!

I saw this story when going through my RSS feeds this morning and thought of you. It's probably too much to expect, but I hope you never have to deal with someone like the employee, and that everyone can deal as well as the manager does.

Wow, the manager handled the situation beautifully. What a wonderful story.

Hypatian wrote:

Heck, I still have my goatee. I've sort of decided, I think, that if I commit to transition that's how I'll start. I'll keep it until then.

Well. [em]That[/em] plan didn't last long. *laugh* Tonight I just got so irritated with touching it that I couldn't take it any more, so it's gone. (It's also been... uh... a [em]while[/em] since I last shaved it off, and I wanted to see what my face looks like. Answer: I need to lose weight. But I think I see some promise in the lines.)

Now my face feels all breezy. And stubbly. Have to get some razor blades for a proper shave now.

(P.S. Sorry that I'm posting [em]all the time[/em]. I'm just too full of stuff that I need to say [em]somewhere[/em]. I expect I'll settle down before too long. Thanks again for being such awesome people.)

I hope you keep posting, Hypatian. I don't usually reply because I'm not sure how to be encouraging. I finished Wandering Son tonight. It was incredible. Best wishes as always.

It's a pity you've taken the goatee off, It could have been good to get some before and after shots in for comparison and down the line so you can see how far you've come. OR as we discussed, you could have gone for the respected look of a proud dwarven woman

Prozac wrote:

It's a pity you've taken the goatee off, It could have been good to get some before and after shots in for comparison and down the line so you can see how far you've come. OR as we discussed, you could have gone for the respected look of a proud dwarven woman ;)

We'll always have your before picture.

Hypatian wrote:

Tonight I just got so irritated with touching it that I couldn't take it any more, so it's gone.

Foreshadowing?

LiquidMantis wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Tonight I just got so irritated with touching it that I couldn't take it any more, so it's gone.

Foreshadowing?

Fiveoclockshadowing, actually.

LiquidMantis wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Tonight I just got so irritated with touching it that I couldn't take it any more, so it's gone.

Foreshadowing?

I get it!

Sent my sister a "Hey, how are things going? Hope you're cool with everything." email last night. She's doing well. She ended up talking to her boss Keith about things over the weekend. (He wondered why she was seeming kind of distracted. He's a really nice older gay gentleman who had some struggles coming out back in the day, which isn't the same as gender identity stuff but gives some pretty solid street cred for talking about conflicting emotions in family members. :))

I thought I would share this part of my response to her response, because I don't think I've ever written a better explanation of how it feels to me to be trans.

my email wrote:

When you said "You are still my brother", it was really nice, because I'm still the brother you grew up with, and that's never going away. But it was also a little worrisome, because deep inside I really want you to see me as your sister. Which is awkward to even think about at this moment because, well, how could I ask you to see me that way when I can't see myself that way?

But that right there is the very heart of it all: I can't look at myself in the mirror and see your sister—and I can't ask you to look at me and see your sister. I don't look like a sister. I don't have any practice being a sister. But that doesn't stop me from *desperately* wanting both things. It makes my heart ache so much. That feeling—that's my gender dysphoria. That's what's going on. That little stab of hurt, over and over and over and over.

I hope that made some kind of sense.

Please don't feel like you have to inhibit yourself when it comes to posting, venting, screaming joyously in text or expressing yourself in any way here.

I've pointed a close friend that began hormones ~6 months ago at age 42 to your posts. Your insight and eloquence in expressing the conflicts at play is invaluable even to someone who has a lot of support.

Best wishes to your friend. I'm kind of envious.

Hypatian, have you read Whipping Girl yet?

I noticed you mentioning dressing and the worry of how you would be perceived if you start going into girl mode. That particular book goes into the history of trans study through psychology and how often trans women are forced to be even more feminine outwardly than they would like, despite the fact that many can be tomboyish. It might be of use in making you feel more comfortable if you're worried about fitting one particular model of trans (which may be something I read into that wasn't there; if so, I apologize)?

I've been reading that, yeah. Still not very far into it.

As far as tomboyishness and stuff.... Yeah. It's an interesting situation. I think I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of being more tomboyish. The thing I worry about is being too mannish. If I had a less obviously MPB hairline, I'd be okay with even sometimes shaving my head while presenting female. But... Yeah, dead give-away. And at that point it all comes down to that level of "I'm totally comfortable with who I am—but I need to figure out how to express that in such a way that I don't horribly creep people out and make problems." So, that's a lower bound for me, in terms of "femmy" presentation. I want it to be sufficient to allow me to use restrooms. (At work, we have some unisex restrooms—I looked into that. But I'm not always at work.)

I've been watching some videos of various peoples' transitions on youtube, and one of the most inspiring to me has been shawncg1's. She started transition at 37, and that really gave me some hope. And I really liked her kind of no-nonsense attitude towards things. She relates one story about a new co-worker getting in her face when he found out and calling her "sir", and how what really pissed her off is that he was going out of his way to disrespect her (and this when she was providing IT support after hours). Anyway, she reminds me of Chris, one of the women who lived next door to me when I was a kid. So there's this "she's like my super-cool lesbian sort-of-honorary-aunt neighbor!" vibe for me, which is kind of cool. That's a role model I could live with.

A lot of interesting insights in seeing how a lot of different people have done things. It takes a long time to watch everything through, though.

ANYway... Mostly I'm just trying (poorly) not to worry about things too much. Nothing's going to happen quickly. I have lots of time to figure myself out.

P.S. If someone can explain to me what I mean when I think to myself "I am totally comfortable with who and what I am, except that I hate it at the same time", that would be cool.

Hypatian wrote:

P.S. If someone can explain to me what I mean when I think to myself "I am totally comfortable with who and what I am, except that I hate it at the same time", that would be cool. :D

Middle class yuppies feel your pain.

My guess, you're coming to know and accept who you are. You hate it because it happens to be quite inconvenient.

LilCodger wrote:

Middle class yuppies feel your pain.

Heh.

LilCodger wrote:

My guess, you're coming to know and accept who you are. You hate it because it happens to be quite inconvenient.

I reflected a bit (wrote that as I was leaving work). It's kind of the opposite, actually. I know and accept who I am--and I have for ages and ages. I don't hate the inconvenience of the way I am. I just can't control the way I feel, and I hate the way that I feel. It's like homesickness for a place you've never been, and aren't sure you'll ever be able to get to. It just sort of gnaws at you and makes little knots of pain in your chest. It makes you numb and makes you want to scream at the same time.

That feeling of wrongness is what I hate. It's still a part of me, and I still accept it. I just can't deal with it.

(Also: That's some teenage crap right there that I shouldn't have to put up with any more. Should I be really be considering a second puberty when I'm already angsting like that without even being on hormones? Going to need some sort of spiral-bound notebook to write really bad poetry in.)

Edit: Final update today. I've been doing some voice practice based on stuff I've found on youtube, and I'm amazed at how well it's working. I've got no consistency, and I've got a ton of work yet to really find "my" voice, but it's amazing what you can do with a reasonable understanding of the mechanics of voices, a demonstration, and just a little practice (like two days now). If I keep practicing, I think I'll be really [em]really[/em] solid on producing a female voice when I'm ready to need that.

(Of course, the harder part is learning to produce the appropriate contonation of female English speech. At least I don't have to learn to use a different vocabulary, like I would in Japanese. Well... Okay, in some ways that kind of difference is easier to consciously spot.)

I understand better now why people like youtube so much, and it's pretty amazing. Most of the "tutorials" I've come across on youtube before, I've felt like "WTF. Why are you wasting my time making me watch this video instead of just writing a guide that I can read?" (And the answer is probably "advertising revenue".) But this is something where it's absolutely better to not just read about what to do, but hear and see what's going on--how they're stressing their throat to kind of move the sound around.

And the various journals of I've watched of people transitioning. Most people aren't very good at writing things down that really express their emotions. We kind of want to "flatten out" what we say a lot of the time--or at least polish it up. And that's valuable, but... in this context, I think the visceral honesty of what they're presenting has a huge impact. Seeing their appearance change as they better understand how they want to present themselves, and as hormones physically change their bodies. Seeing their expressions as they talk about what they're experiencing--both the good and the bad.

Anyway... as someone who was using the Internet before most people had ever heard about it, it's kind of easy for me to be jaded about all this new stuff and wonder what's so great about it. Social networking! Bah! Humbug!

But if it wasn't for this stuff, it would be a lot harder for me to figure out where I'm going. Seeing these stories of individuals sharing their hearts has... so much more impact. Not everybody is as good at sharing of themselves, but since absolutely anyone can easily share stuff a lot of really good moments shine through.

So: The Internet? Coolest thing ever? I think so. (At least until we can get BBQ dinosaur ribs.)

Hypatian wrote:

BBQ dinosaur ribs

Holy crap now I am hungry, with an impossible to fill craving... :p

Science can tell you how to clone a tyrannosaurus rex. The culinary arts can tell you why this is an awesome idea.

Stele wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

BBQ dinosaur ribs

Holy crap now I am hungry, with an impossible to fill craving... :p

Awesome band name, too! Imagine the merchandising!

Hypatian, do you mind linking some of the YouTube videos you've found most useful?

Sure.

shawncg1 I mentioned before. She started transition at 37, and went for a very low-impact sort of transition. No FFS, no top surgery, just eventually bottom surgery. I really identified with her thoughts as a trans woman around my age.

TrannyGirl15 is an interesting sort of person. Hmm. Anyway, she started transition as an undergrad at university. She's had FFS and top surgery, but has no plans for bottom surgery. Seeing all of the before during and after of FFS was pretty amazing (although I thought she was very pretty before FFS).

Jesslyngirl87 is kind of inspiring in a totally different way. She was doing body building as a form of denial before she transitioned. Right before giving up and deciding to transition, she bulked up *massively*. And she's really self-conscious about how huge her arms and back are. So she's coming from a kind of interesting background right from the start.

cuteypietiffany is the last one I've watched, and I came across it while trying to find things about training your voice. Jessica (she picked a new female name when she came out at work) was dressing and passing a lot before transitioning. Her story is probably the most happy, with pretty much everybody in her life being supportive.

Those four I found interesting enough to subscribe to in case of future updates. I'm sure I'll find more in the future.

In terms of just mechanical stuff, cuteypietiffany linked to candiFLA's videos about training your voice, which are pretty good.

Stele wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

BBQ dinosaur ribs

Holy crap now I am hungry, with an impossible to fill craving... :p

Speaking of... this stuff is super yummy.

IMAGE(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41em5ZR%2BYQL.jpg)

Hypatian, have you "played" dys4ia yet? It's Auntie Pixelante/Anna Anthropy's game/story about the first 6 months after she decided to go through with hormone therapy and all the trials and tribulations she had. I found it hella interesting (and loved the catchy glitchy/bit-y tunes )

Yup! Yet another one of those "did this have anything to do with why I started opening back up?" things. Nice stuff.

Hypatian wrote:

Yup! Yet another one of those "did this have anything to do with why I started opening back up?" things. Nice stuff.

In posting this I started listening to the OST in a playlist I had. So I'm popping away and as the last song ends a cover of "The Power of Love" fades in. I thought that was kinda an awesome coincidence

Phew. Talked to my mom tonight. She was pretty taken aback at first, but after talking I think she understands better than my sister does. I definitely got the sense that she read from how I was talking about things that I think I'm more likely to transition than not, whereas I think my sister is kind of in denial about that. She agrees that dad would not understand at all.

So... that went well. I've got one more friend I might tell at work and then I've talked to pretty much everybody whose opinion I care about. Of course, there's still a chance that people I've talked to who thought they were okay will get the screaming heebie-jeebies later once they have more time to think about it. I can only hope that won't happen.

I'm glad my mom and my sister can talk to each other about things now. I hope that'll help.

Dad is still a problem... I don't know how to handle that yet, so it's probably going to get put off until there's no other choice. In the abstract, I don't give a damn about what he thinks--I don't think he's ever said a single approving thing about me (or anyone else, really) that I can remember--but practically, I know he will take it out on my mom. So I absolutely do not want him finding out unless I am physically present in order to force him to confront me and not anybody else. I think my current "plan" (if you can call it that) is to wait until it's a fait accompli, then tell him face to face. Going to be a mess no matter what. But probably not for a few years.

And I think my mom understands that I can't not be "selfish" about this to some degree. If I decide to go through with things, it will be because I [em]have[/em] to do it--and even if my worst-case scenarios of things like not being allowed to see my niece and nephew or losing my job were in the offing, that wouldn't change anything. So in the case of dad stuff, I'll do everything I can to protect anyone else from being caught in the blast... but I don't think I can keep the blast from eventually happening.

That's a hard thing to think about.

Well, that's really encouraging. Is there some equivalent of PFLAG for trans families/friends? Oh, looks like there is a part of PFLAG called TNET. Might want to look into that.

Aeazel wrote:

Hypatian, have you read Whipping Girl yet?

Finally finished reading [em]Whipping Girl[/em] last night. Very very good, although a bit strident at times. (And since I've personally seen at least some of the attitudes she mentions, I find it easy to believe in the existence of the others and very easy to understand why she takes the tone she does.)

Good luck Hypatian. I won't say anything else, lest I get foot in mouth disease.

Well one more thing: give up on Demigod already! Find a new MOBA, that netcode will never work properly!

Heh. I just play comp stomps with friends every one in a while.

Have you read Jenny Boylan's book yet? You're living what she went through, but her memoir is from a time well before social networking.

And speaking as a dad, tell your dad. He might not like what's going on in your life, but (assuming your folks are together -- I didn't dig deep enough in the thread to know for sure) your mother will need his help and support so she's able to support you.