The Journey is and has been amazing. I feel more settled and centered in my body than ever before. I feel, for me, there have not been as many big changes as for others because I was already so masculine. The first time I went to a transgendered peer support group, before I started hormone therapy, I was shocked that it seemed for the most part I already looked more masculine and was more masculine then many who had been taking testosterone for years. I discovered that my hormones levels were high on the testosterone end for someone born female. Not really surprising. The main thing that was missing was facial hair. That experience actually made me initially question if I needed to take hormones and I am so glad I chose to go ahead. I discovered that everyone begins from a different place so each transition or body’s reaction happens in different increments and each body has its own timing.
The first noticeable change was my voice. I started as a lower 2nd tenor, as my voice has always been low but now I am a upper bass. I lost a great deal of range and voice control as a singer during all of this which, thank the universe, is finally settling down,. This is the hardest thing for me because I have always been a singer, love music and I’m currently singing in the Seattle Men’s Chorus. Most of the guys in the chorus have been extremely supportive about my transition, with only a couple assholes. In a group of about two-hundred and fifty guys that is pretty amazing. Other changes in my body, which were not as apparent to me initially as much as they were by others who have known me well and intimately, are that my hips have narrowed and my neck has become thicker. I always had an athletic body but now it is even more V shaped with my shoulders being broader and my hips more narrow. My itty bitty tits shrunk even more, thankfully, so I never had to deal with large breasts. Then there is my boi cock – well let’s just say that it has grown and is still growing. It is much thicker and has grown a couple of inches. It no longer looks like any woman’s clitoris that I have ever seen (and I have had the privilege of viewing many). My facial hair is really coming in now, “OH HAPPY DAY” and I love it. My entire body has become more hairy, but I am glad that genetically my family is not overly hairy. My whole body just feels thicker, more solid and more masculine.
I have a sense of being more rooted inside and out. It is as if I don’t have to prove anything anymore. Everything matches who I know I am inside – there is no conflict. Those that have known me for years say I have always been confident and I was as an athlete and teacher but there was always an unsettling inside. I had several close friends who just did not get it and I did not at the time know how to easily explain who I was. I do know that those who did get it, got my spirit and who I was on the inside and treated me that way made me feel whole. I also had friends who thought it was their job to constantly tell me, “You know you’re a girl, don’t you?” I did not know at that time how to respond to that other than “am I like any girl you know?” I did not know to start a conversation with them about what really makes a person a man or a woman. I would love to go back and talk with some of them now and maybe one day I will get the chance to – or maybe they will read my blog. Even though hormones change things on the outside, our physical being, the real power is on the inside. My head feels clearer. My confidence is a much more settled and it’s a quiet confidence. It’s a knowing that it all feels right and that everything is in sync.
The crazy things people have said to me in this journey when old friends found out I was going to transition still amaze me. Things like, “I hope you don’t turn into one of THOSE men”, “You will have a hard time getting anyone to date you,” “You will get rage and a temper on T,” “Will you be gay or straight then?” “You will want to have sex with just anyone or anything,” “You will have no self-control.” I could go on and on. I found it very interesting that this what people think of men? There are some men who act in all of those ways and there also many good men, who have self-control and treat women with respect. These statements and questions made me sad that people think this way. I have not turned into one of THOSE men. What my friend was referring to was male chauvinist pigs, who treat women like pieces of meat. You are welcome to ask the women in my life how well they are treated. I have had more dates then ever, so that was not and is not an issue. I actually have become much more picky about who I have sex with and I have re-examined what I’m attracted to. I am attracted to feminine energy and that can come in various forms. I am very calm and have not experienced any form of rage or gained a temper. As far as the gay or straight question, if you need a label I like to say I am just queer.
It is interesting to watch how my transition has affected the people in my life, some old friends who have known me for many years and some newer. I chose to make my transition public, many don’t. Many quietly transition, don’t keep contact with many people from the time in their lives before transition; move to a new location, under a new name once they are “passable”. I understand why many go this route. I put a great deal of thought into how I wanted to do this. I’ll admit there was a part of me that wanted to just go somewhere and totally start over. However, I saw so much pain in the transgendered community, I knew that I was being called to be a positive light in the GLBTQ community. My career has always been very public and I wanted to proceed with my transition in a way that would help educate others and make positive change. Now I speak on gender panels and panels on sexuality and am a keynote speaker at events on gender and sexuality. I am a co-chair of Seattle’s LGBT Commission and working to make positive change, equal rights and understanding for all. I have some old friends even from the Christian Southern Baptist High School I attended that have been supportive and wonderful. Of course, I still have some old friends who don’t understand, some who will barely speak to me now, some who probably think I am a freak, some who are praying for me to get healed. I truly believe that we can make positive change by being warm, friendly and respectful even to those who don’t get us right now. I will always speak to and treat those people with love and respect because that is the only way to bring about positive change.
I look forward to what this next year brings.
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