Friday, April 24, 2009

What's in a name?

Not much has been going on lately, which will hopefully explain the lack of new posts. And if it's not a good enough explanation for you, laziness is probably as close to the truth as anything else. Maybe some of that coasting I mentioned several posts ago, too.

Lately, increasingly, I have noticed that when people call me by my given name, it's starting to sound weird to me. Like "who are they talking about?" weird.

I'm not really sure what to think about that.

I spend most of my time out of the house in boring-guy-mode still, and I've spent how many ever years before this answering to that name. So why now? Why, when I hear my chosen name maybe 4 or 6 hours a week, is that starting to become more normal for me than the one I've heard for so long? The whole thing just boggles my mind.

I certainly will not complain that I'm getting used to my new name. After all, it's one that I have picked, and one that I like a whole lot. That's what people will call me all the time in the future. From reading some blogs and accounts from other trans people, it took them a bit of time to get used to hearing their new name all the time. So maybe I'm getting that out of the way early?

Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that I've started feeling more amorphous and not-one-not-the-other lately. I feel like I'm stuck somewhere in the middle now; the changes are occurring, but not fast enough, while on the other hand I don't feel like I've made enough progress with coming out, and with my voice, and with this and that and the other. I have a whole list of things in my head that I haven't done, or haven't done well enough, and yet I want all this to be done with tomorrow.

While I'm on the name topic, I've been wondering if I should keep my last name, or go with something new. I don't have, say, a business, or a spouse, or anything that really ties me to that name. Of course the family part is there, but girls change their names all the time when they get married, and that's never a huge deal. And from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I don't think my last name sounds good with my other new names. I welcome those who know my last name to say my whole name out loud, and listen how it sounds. Doesn't really flow well, does it?

I've been thinking about something really short, a single syllable, with a bit of percussive sound to it - Quirk, Quinn, Scott, something along those lines. I used to know a girl with the last name of Quirk, and always thought it was a really cute name. It's distinctive, and it's fun, and it flows well with the rest of my name. And perhaps most important, I like it a whole lot. Trinity Annabelle Quirk. Trinity Quirk. And for the Unix nerd in me, tquirk is almost an entirely top-row username.

J once said that through this whole transition process, I get to become exactly who I want to be. Name, appearance (within limits), how I carry myself, everything. I can be exactly the person who makes me the happiest. It's both a sobering thought, and an amazingly inspirational one.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Talk with my mom

I finally had a good opportunity to talk with my mom. We've both been avoiding the subject of my transness and my impending changes for a long time, and it was time for us, as the walrus says, to speak of many things.

I told her that I have been on my HRT since mid December. I told her that when I go over to my friends' houses for dinner, I present femme. She didn't quite understand, so I explained what that means. That scared her, and she said that she is NOT ready to see me in girl-mode. When she admitted that she still doesn't understand the basic idea of why this is and why I have to do what I'm doing, I tried some other ways to explain. Some may have gotten through, but I think she's still pretty mystified. I let her know that this mystifies me sometimes, too.

She told me that she's afraid for me, and afraid that she'll completely lose her son. I couldn't comfort her on that, because she will. We talked about the future, and what each of us expects as we move along. She also told me that my sister is furious with me, which rather surprised me. I knew she was upset, but I had no idea of the depth of her feelings. We also talked about some other family stuff that's going on. I related some of the ideas that I've discussed with my therapist. Some were true revelations to her, and some helped her to realize that it's not just her.

The most important thing that we talked about, I think, was that she wants to know what's going on with me, even if it upsets her. Her reasoning is that it will get her to think about it more, which should force her to confront the way she feels about it, rather than avoiding it as she has been doing. But she assured me that she's willing to try, even if the things I have to tell her upset her.

At one point, she said that she's dreading telling her friends about me. I told her about some of my coming-out experiences, and some of the reactions of my friends. I assured her that I understand all about that, and that it's a hard thing to do. I talked a little about how helpful my experiences with talking to other trans people were, and suggested that it might be helpful for her to talk with some other parents of LGBT people, to see some other perspectives. She was somewhat open to that idea. I did a little checking and the local PFLAG folks have meetings twice monthly, so I'll pass the info along to her.

We talked for about three hours. We spent as much time sitting in silence as we did talking; each of us was absorbed in her own thoughts. But I think it was very productive, and we each got a lot of things out into the open, which had remained unsaid for too long.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Physicality

I was considering referencing a terrible 80s Olivia Newton-John song in the title, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. You don't need to thank me, but I won't stop you if you really want to. :)

I recently saw my ob/gyn, because I was a little concerned that he wasn't doing any testing - I'm a big proponent of doing tests and knowing, rather than just sort of guessing and winging it. So we talked about what a blood hormone level test might show at this point, and what it would cost, and it seemed like a lot of effort and money for some not-so-meaningful information. His reasoning makes plenty of sense, but I'm still a little concerned. I just have to remember that he's done this many, many more times than I have, and he knows what he's doing.

We did talk about my dosage, and ways to increase it, since simply doubling it was a little too much. I suggested maybe taking one and a half estradiol pills per day, for 3mg, and he said that would be a good thing to try. So far, very very good. I have half a guess that the doubling might not have been strictly too much, but rather too much too fast. It seems that wetware reacts in weird ways sometimes, so I guess a try-and-see approach might be the best way to go.

My physical changes are continuing. My breasts are growing, slowly. They've basically stopped being completely annoying - itching, ouching, tingling, and being thoroughly distracting - and just settled into being ouchy when I press up against them or brush across them. Fair enough. I am learning what my body needs, and as a result, I'm trying to be more careful with myself. Going through sort-of puberty again at my age, well, us not-so-youngsters aren't quite built for that any more.

My darn upper lip is once again leaping to my attention. A couple of days ago, I noticed the light gray tinge that signalled the return of my facial hair, and now it's coming in. Back to shaving every day. I'm hoping that it will be even more reduced from before the most recent laser treatment. Since I have my trip in July, and the regrowth seems to come right at two months after the treatment, I'm going to see if I can hang on until mid-May for my next lasering. Once that's done, it'll be time to find an electrologist. I do have a lot more blonde hairs than I realized, which ignore the laser, and the dark stuff on my upper lip is proving very resilient to the laser, so it's probably time to up the ante.

Emotionally, I feel like I'm getting to a point where any hiding is really annoying, and I just want to be all the way out. Like out out. But based on my physical state, I don't think I'm ready to do it. I can tell, but I don't feel comfortable enough that I can show everyone yet.