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All posts for the month April, 2014

Week 10, Day 1 – Breast buds and catching up.

Published April 28, 2014 by Katier Scott

So the hormones are definitely starting to have a noticeable effect, as I’ve said for a couple of weeks not I have noticeable soreness on my chest but over the last week I have definite breast growth. Very small so far, although I do feel that it’s noticeable on the photographs I took for the project.

I am, by nature, hugely curious, so I wondered why a natural process like breast growth, and let’s not forget that even for trans women it is, still, essentially a natural process, was so sore. I didn’t get to the bottom of the answer, but it did answer something that I had noticed and assumed was natural. When breast growth starts it starts with a ‘bud’ behind the nipple. 

This lump is soreness and is, apparently, known as a breast bud and it’s presumably all of the milk producing elements of the breat compacted into a tiny space. It is this stretching and developing that causes the soreness, I believe.

On a different note my blog has caused me to catch up with friends who I hadn’t spoken to in a while, which is a lovely, if unintentional aspect of this project.

I’ve also, this week, had my first bloods done. I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday and if that goes well I will be doubled on my dosage from 2mg to 4mg. How this will effect the progress will be interesting to see, apparently the staged approach is deliberate for a number of reasons. One is a safety net, as HRT can cause health issues and 2mg is seen as a safe dose that will allow any problems to be spotted before they cause harm. Moving to 4mg should get the Estreogen up toward a natural level although, I believe, 6 or 8mg is a likely target. The second is, apparently, the staged increase has the effect of promoting better feminisation effects. 

What I am, however, struggling to do is think of things to put in without repeating too much so please, if think there is a transition related question you have, please ask :).

Week 9 Day 2 : Late Again

Published April 22, 2014 by Katier Scott

I have a good excuse for being late though as I’ve just spent the last 6 days in a field and got back, very tired, but happy, yesterday. 

I attended the my first LARP event of the year and had a fantastic time both crewing the event and playing in character. The event I attend is the Empire LARP run by Profound Decisions and after lacking ‘keen’ prior to the event, I definitely have it now. Next event in 5 weeks and I can’t wait!!

I’m obviously in the fortunate position of having a slow, but fairly smooth, transition so far, and appreciate many people struggling with Gender Dysphoria are not so fortunate. Indeed, I’ve probably said it before, I hope this blog helps those less fortunate. However piece of advice I think is essential is that above all else you can’t let Gender Dysphoria rule your lives.

Transsexuals are above all else human beings who have a ‘condition’ that can effect their confidence and mental stability, but if they worry about it then they only make it worse. As with people suffering from a huge range of conditions such as mental and physical disabilities, we are in a situation that, frustrating as it is, should not stop us getting on with our lives.

Not just that but we have to be patient, everyone who requires the services of a doctor or other health specialist has to be patient, even people with life threatening conditions can find themselves with delayed surgery or treatment when someone with a worse condition has to take their slot.

However ultimately the biggest difference between most people and Transgendered people is we can start the treatment process ourselves. Anyone who is 100% clear in their mind that they are living in the wrong gender can, and should, start living in the correct role as soon as possible. It should make your own life more manageable as you are more comfortable with your appearance (although I am fully aware I hate looking at myself in the mirror until I have my hair sorted, have shaved, and put make-up on) and beneficially it helps with the diagnosis when you see the Gender Clinic.

It took me two appointments with the GIC to get my hormones prescribed, that is the absolute quickest that it is possible to so as all steps of any medical treatment which can’t be provided purely on factual analysis (i.e. blood tests, x-rays etc.) requires the separate referral of two specialists. Other examples of such things would be any plastic surgery done on the NHS – e.g. a boob job, tummy tuck etc. . 

If I had arrived at the GIC with zero time in role I certainly wouldn’t be in the position I am now, in other words be pro-active and it’ll help you a LOT. Not only will you be making progress mentally, but you’ll be making things easier once you get to the GIC.

Next step in my own treatment will be next week as I’m having my blood test on Friday and then seeing the GP the following Weds. That meeting will hopefully double my hormone intake if everything goes to plan. 

 

 

Week 8 Day 2 – Moving on up.. more piercings.. kids.. and microboobs.

Published April 15, 2014 by Katier Scott

Well the life of the Hormonal Woman sure isn’t slowing down.. but neither is the life of my friends. One of my best friends, and flat mate, is busily packing as I type this because she has a fantastic job opportunity in Scotland so is doing a month trial prior to moving there permanently if everything goes to plan.

I’m so pleased for her as she has worked so hard, and is the consummate professional, in all she does especially in her professional work.

Last week I mentioned piercings and I’m now up to 11 as my intended Tragus piercing turned into a double Tragus. I’d not even considered a double which shows why going to a top quality piercer is so worth while. I love the balance my piercings have and when the Rooks are healed enough to change the jewellery then they will have double concentric, seamless, rings. Should look really pretty when it’s all done.

My new job went really well in it’s first week and alongside my flat mate, I bumped into another friend in town the other day who told me she had god a new job – so new jobs seem flavour of the month. Just need my other flat mate to get a bit of luck and get the job he deserves.

On the transition front it’s a little bit of more of the same, my boobs are definitely growing and skin softer but nothing more I’ve noticed. At the weekend I met up with lots of family and some old family friends to celebrate my parents 70th’s (they were born 7 months apart) and had a fantastic time.

Funniest bit was waving and smiling across the room at an old family friend who looked at me and I could see her brain whirring into action before she worked out who I was. She knew I was transitioning and there was far from any problem, but of course I looked different with makeup, a nice dress and long hair, so it took her a moment to realise who I was.

Was fantastic to meet up with the old family friends as many I’d not seen for possibly as much as 5-10 years but they were all completely accepting and we just chatted and caught up. They were interested in the transition of course but purely from a curiosity and learning point of view – which is fine by me!!

The second moment that made me smile was my lovely eldest Niece who, back in January when visiting my sister and her family, apparently asked my sister whether I was a ‘man or a woman’. The Neice is 5 years old and obviously the confusion is understandable, but fair play to my sister she didn’t sugar coat it and simply said “She was a man but is now a woman”.. from that moment on she simply refers to me in the female context.

Which caused a moment of confusion during a casual conversation at the dinner table because my family do still often use the wrong pronouns – which doesn’t bother me because it takes time and they are doing it out of forgetfulness and habit NOT out of lack of acceptance.

My mum said ‘He’ referring to me and my Neice (I’m keeping this blog anonymous for everyone you might notice) was clearly confused because she thought mum was referring to me.. but I’m a ‘she’ to her – mum bless her corrected herself..

But the purpose of this story is the proof that of all people kids, especially young ones, are very accepting and as such if your reading this blog and are in the situation of interacting with a trans person, say in a school environment, don’t worry – your kids will be fine, they just see people as what they are told they are and that’s the end of that.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a number of 4-9 year old children in different situations and to a person they just accepted and treated me the same as all the other adults, and indeed generally got on with me so well as an adult who taught them interesting arts and crafts that they were disappointed when I left and asked when I’d be back.

Speaking of GIC’s I’ve now switched from Charing Cross to Sheffield and have my next appointment next month – around 5 months after my previous appointment. Considering Charing Cross’s normal appointment ‘gap’ is 6 months, and in 5 months I’ve changed clinics AND got an appointment.. that’s rather pleasing to say the least.

I managed to get the change because Sheffield omitted to take me off their waiting lists and by the time I reached the head of the queue I was lucky that the funding rules have changed. As such I was able to make the change with no fuss, and it is in theory a change anyone else can make – although most clinics have long waiting times – Sheffield is around 2 years, Charing Cross and Leeds, around a year to 18 months.. etc.

If you are on the queue to one GIC and they are giving you a years wait, however, I’d highly recommend phoning the GIC’s and see if you have a better option as by switching to one which is currently running shorter waiting times will help balance the patient base in the long term.

Week 8, Day 1 – New jobs, boobs and crazy weeks.

Published April 7, 2014 by Katier Scott

Since starting hormones things have certainly been crazy but despite that I’m still keeping up with weekly photographs for the project at the core of this blog.

For those who’ve missed it, I’m taking a self portrait each week of me topless over the course of 52 weeks documenting the changes hormones have on my body. The result will be a book that will give people an insight into the stage in a transition that becomes an important landmark for a large proportion of transsexuals who transition. It should be noted, of course, that some never go onto hormone therapy, and for others the target is the final surgery. 

For a lot, however, it’s the changes made by hormones that provide the biggest step in their transition as it has the most dramatic effect on the appearance on their body.

This week the hormones have definitely been making an effect, I’ve noticed my chest has gotten softer but hasn’t started to grow – which was interesting because I wasn’t sure how the changes would actually work – but now I’m sure there is the starting of growth, but more telling my chest is slightly sore. This is something I expected and it definitely feels like a landmark and at the moment isn’t causing any real problems even in bed.

Although, in combination with my latest piercing – a second rook – it does mean if I move to the wrong position in bed I do get discomfort to remind me and make me reposition. I am now up to 9 piercings that I use ( my original two, poorly pierced lobe piercings have been abandoned and one has healed up) all pierced by a superb piercer who does a fantastic job. I am hoping to hit double figures soon with a Tragus on the other side to my rooks – that’s going to be interesting to sleep with but will be well worth it.

Up to now it’s been a case of ‘ooo is that different’ but never being 100% sure, this time I’m absolutely certain that the discomfort, and my emotional instability, have been caused by the hormones and definitely feels like progress. Still a long journey ahead, but any signs of progress are good for morale.

I’ve also just started a new job at around 3 weeks notice which has added to the craziness but means financially I’m going to be better off for a few months. It’s a 6 months secondment which does mean potentially going back to my old job, but on the positive side it does show that it’s possible for transsexual people to be employed on merit.

And I think that is the important message, don’t give up when your applying and always try to get feedback. It’s easy to get disenchanted when applying for jobs, but the fact is a lot of people apply – I firmly believe that most employers WILL employ transpeople but you have to, like everyone else, get your application right.

It took me 2 years, a lot of applications, and taking all the feedback possible – as well as 4 successive successful interviews where someone else interviewed narrowly better (in all cases absolutely no doubt that it was purely down to their better performance on the day) – I can understand people putting failure down to being trans.. however while I’m sure there are instances where this is the case.. I firmly believe, having worked in a variety of situations – including with children, that in the majority of cases a transpersons failure to get a position is purely down to simple application or interview ‘failure’ rather than being trans.

In short – take feedback on board, keep fighting and if your looking for work – good luck and don’t give up!!

BUT 

Remember it’s quality that counts.. spamming poorly thought out or constructed applications will not succeed, it’s better to take your time over them and focus each application properly.

 

 

Week 7 Day 2 – Clothes and reaching 50!!

Published April 1, 2014 by Katier Scott

I’m actually writing this on day 2, which is kinda nice – all be it unintentional – as that means today is day 50 on hormones. I was going to do a comparison shot but honestly the changes aren’t particularly noticeable and today my photo looks a bit rough to say the least.

I’m going to keep the rough shot in the book because I think it’ll be interesting to see not just the hormone changes but the fact that, like everyone, I can have good days and bad days. While today wasn’t a bad day, my sleep pattern has been thrown out a bit and I also didn’t have time to take the photo in the morning as I had to go out to help a friend with some things.

Therefore I’m definitely tired and the make-up is showing a few hours wear – so I’ll keep it as an interesting photo as most of them will have me wearing fresh make-up.

What I really had planned to talk about today, however, was clothes. When anyone starts RLE (be it MtF or FtM) they have to quickly switch wardrobes and immediately start wearing clothing appropriate to their gender, often with little or no preparation.

Some may have clothing from a closet Cross Dressing phase, or bits and bobs they’ve worn – for example – at TG meetings or Fetish events, however most of these are likely to be either evening wear and/or simply inappropriate.

While it’s absolutely true that anyone can wear what they like, the fact is that a Transsexual is trying to fit in and while they can have their own individuality, if they are too individual it’s very easy to stand out and be made to feel uneasy by the general public.

As such it’s important for Transexxuals to understand what a typical woman might wear in a particular situation, and while I don’t always get it right – even 4 years down the line – I believe I’m good enough to be able to give some solid advice mainly aimed at MtF’s – In some respects a FTM has an easier time because it’s harder to go badly wrong.

  1. Jeans – Get female cut ones and you’ll be fine, I can’t emphasise enough that there is nothing wrong with wearing them, just because your now presenting as Female doesn’t stop you wearing Jeans. Most women do, most of the time, especially in social settings or when out shopping
  2. Footwear – Be sensible about it ladies!! While some women will be seen wearing, for example, 3″ stilleto’s out shopping they are far and away in the minority. Ankle Boots, Ballet Shoes, Trainers and VANS type footwear are all suitable ‘standard’ footwear with Shorter heeled shoes also being perfectly acceptable – although more usually they would be worn with a smarter outfit for work or going out.
  3. Tops – I’m talking casual here long tops and short dresses are good in combination with jeans. The long top will help disguise the unwanted bump and create a balanced look. Necklines can be fairly plunging but make sure your entire breastform and bra are hidden. Vest tops under plunging V necks are good to help with this. Even when wearing a skirt longish tops usually work quite well – although obviously probably not a good idea to wear with short dresses.
  4. Boobs – don’t go overboard, I wear a ‘Uplifting/padded’ B cup bra with Primark Bra inserts (intended to make a standard bra – uplifting), and for my frame ( a UK 12-14) they produce a decent balance but not over-large boobage. The Primark inserts are fully hidden in the bra and the lack of cleavage isn’t particularly noticeable.
  5. Skirts – Probably the biggest mistake I’ve seen or heard of a is a Transsexual wearing a miniskirt, 3-4″ stilleto’s while shopping.. but while, even when going out, that is definitely on the extreme end, skirts are definitely fine in the wardrobe. But keep them at least mid-low thigh in length at a minimal. Knee length for work or similar, and wear appropriate tights. I have a mix of skirts including a couple of denims, a corduroy and various other ones, and they do get worn in all occasions but with care. The biggest balancing act I think is mixing them with footwear – ballet shoes are a great go-to, as are Mary-Janes, or low heels. Ankle boots can work, but knee length can be tough to balance.

I think that just covers the basics, I was going to do some photos of outfits but that will have to wait till next week as today has been a bit mental. But I hope these basic tips help someone out 🙂