My latest ramble to the camera!!
My latest ramble to the camera!!
I can’t believe I’ve already reached the end of the first month (well 28 days) of Hormones and I think the first changes are visible as I’m sure my body hair is finer. Especially on my arms where it was very dark, it’s still quite dark but I’m sure finer now.
Hormones, I’ve learnt, are incredible things and it’s a shame that the BBC tend not to leave one-off programs on their iPlayer for very long. Recently they showed a program called “The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass” which was a brilliant watch and very insightful.
A clip of the program is available (probably just in the UK) at The Fantastical World of Hormones but sadly the BBC don’t hold programs on iPlayer for long and it’s no-longer available. There may be illegal sources but I’m not going to post them here.
What it did tell me was just how fascinating hormones are and we may not often realise just well known some of them are. Estrogen and Testosterone are obvious, but did you know Insulin and Adrenaline are Hormones? I didn’t.
Essentially they work by ‘switching on’ what I would call a ‘mode’ in a cell. So an increase in Adrenaline causes the Heart to pump faster in readiness for the ‘fight or flight’ reflex. The sex hormones trigger soft tissue changes, skin, and hair growth.
I also found out what causes PMS, it’s a drop in Estrogen level so it’s clear it can trigger the mood of the person and the title of this blog is only so true – as being Hormonal is most definitely not a myth.
I found the last fact out as on Sunday and Monday I was very emotional, as my Estrogen intake is steady (and I’d guess probably stable now) it wasn’t likely caused by a PMS type symptom, although my Testosterone should be constantly dropping and that ‘could’ be the cause.
However in this case I think it was just ‘normal’ emotions rather than anything triggered by hormones – fascinating though they are.
An enjoyable couple of drinks, chatting to my flat mate and one of my best friends, and some fun telly watching The Great British Sewing Bee and ‘Hair’ soon sorted that :).
Next week I might feel up to a VLog – I did record one this week but didn’t feel up to editing it so decided to just do a text post this week.
I can’t believe I’m starting the 4th week on hormones, these 21 days have flown by and I’ve done so many things it got a bit dizzy at times…
But for the first time since starting on hormones I got emotional about something.. My fantastic sister sent me a gift of 3 lovely Cardigans, she’s often sent me clothes and every time she does it I’m blown away and reminded of the support I am fortunate enough to have.
But worse, this idiot who’s writing this blog, managed to damage the pink cardigan because I wasn’t expecting the give and thought it was a parcel containing my repaired phone. I snipped a flap in the back of it with scissors which really upset me – so after a conversation with my flat mate I’m going to look at something like appliqué to decorate it and repair it.
That wasn’t the only gift I got as my ever thoughtful flatmate arrived home with a new handbag and butterfly necklace for me as she knew I loved butterflies and my current ‘handbag’ is a rucksack style affair which is a little small at times and definitely not ideal for all situations.
It’s times like this that remind me how lucky I am and why, despite whatever delays I’ve had with the NHS up till now, I’m able to be patient and just let the treatment side of things work their way out.
On the job front I am hoping that this week will see me confirmed into a new post at work. It’s far from guaranteed as it requires paperwork as it’s a secondment within my current employer, but after 18 months of near misses and being pipped at the post in interviews, it just feels great to be told by someone “We want you!!”.
So there you go, no Vlog this week as I haven’t had the time, next week I’m going to compare the photo’s I took at day 1 with those for day 28. If there is anything vaguely noticeable then I will post the comparison on the blog, if not you’ll probably get a comparison from 1 and day 56 as I’ll be disappointed it something isn’t visible by then!!!
Personally I’m one of the many people who HATE labels.. but sometimes they are required to get on in life. The one label I find interesting, however, is Transgender.
The Oxford dictionary states “Denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.”
while it also defines Transsexual as “A person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex”
Now the reason I find it interesting is based on a conversation I had with a couple of American friends. In the UK, Transgender (TG) and Transsexual (TS) are used fairly interchangeably. By the strict definition used in LGBT or similar, Transgender covers everyone, including Cross dressers and Transvestites, however it definitely includes Transsexuals.
Within the UK in my experience people suffering from Gender use the TG and TS terms pretty much interchangeably, however based on that conversation the two are treated extremely seperately in the US.
Indeed my friend got extremely offended by the term TG, it would appear some parts of the US ‘tar’ TS and TV with the same brush and use it to effect the rights of Gender Dysphoric people, however in the UK it’s very much a case of “Treat a person as they appear and how you would want to be treated.”
As such firstly I would be interested to hear from people about their feelings on this subject and bare in mind that if I do use the TG ‘label’ please don’t get offended :).
No-one who has been through gender transition will say they did it on their own. It’s a long journey with up’s and down’s, and without the support of family and/or friends many of us wouldn’t make it through to the end.
I know I’m more fortunate than most in that my family is very supportive on me, but the interesting thing is the friends side of the equation. I’m sure I’m not alone in that my family isn’t local so while they’re on the end of a phone line, having friends is important on a more day-to-day basic and in order that I have people to socialise with.
What’s most interesting about my friends, however, is most of them really got to know me after I started transitioning and when it comes to local (rather than internet/international) friends, nearly all of them knew me as a girl.
In other words, I’ve made most of my friends while transitioning, and this is I think the point of this post. A message to those transitioning that you can make friends, the same as anyone else, and the vast majority of people will accept you for who you are. Sure some people may find it strange, but the majority won’t and you can happily transition while socialising in the same local pubs, and social areas as anyone else.
So if you do loose a few friends, just be yourself and you’ll find new ones. Some of my closest friends are less than 2 years old, and I’ve been transitioning nearly four years!
But how do I make them?
I think it was a point one of my best friends made, the fact I’m happy to talk to people. By simply being myself, being happy to talk, being friendly and wearing a smile a lot of the time means I do make friends. But it’s not rocket science, it’s something anyone can do, whether they are transitioning or not. Just be yourself, don’t be afraid to talk to people and be confident.
I’m grateful for all the help I get from my friends, and even though I am more relaxed now, knowing I have a decent network of them, I still value some of them a lot and hope they remain friends with me for many many years to come.
Finally I think the reason I decided to post this entry is the fact that I do know some people meet prejudice and alienation through the transition and being alienated by family and friends is not unheard of. Such people often turn to the LGBT community for support, and while such support is often useful and needed, remember that you are transitioning to, usually, take the role of the gender you know you are.
So don’t be afraid to start going to your local pub, I was fortunate that one of my best friends started me on the path by taking me to the local open-mic night. But it’s something anyone can do, find something that interests you and start going, be yourself, but don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. People are nosey, but it’s not because your transitioning as such, they’re just curious.
As my sister pointed out to me recently, if you saw someone pregnant in the street, almost certainly the first question that pops into anyones mind is ‘Is it your first?’ or ‘When is it due?’ – which is no different to “Are you pre-post op?” or “What effect do hormones have?”
So just relax, be yourself, socialise and SMILE!!!