4 months and some days

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The last week I have been obsessed with this song. I can’t even handle it. So. Good.

Ok, have not updated in a week and quite a few things have happened that I am really pleased about.

First things first:

I came out to my whole team in our meeting last Thursday. It was really great. I was super scared to do it, but I did it and everyone was really supportive. They all actually applauded me. I felt like Ellen Page. I’m even allowed to go by my chosen name on the phones now and at work and my supervisor is still trying to get HR to get my email and chat name changed too.

Saturday was my four months on T. It feels like I just started, but it also feels like it’s been forever. Such a strange feeling.

Today I had my third appointment with my endo. She said that all my labs are great and the my testosterone levels are in the normal male range. On the very low side, but in the actual male range. And she upped my dosage. So I am now on 60ml once a week. I am really excited.

We also discussed my mental health and some other concerns that I have had. The first two times I saw her I wasn’t sure how I felt about her, she’s just very straight forward and blunt, but this time I didn’t feel rushed and we just got to sit and talk. It was really nice. She gave me a referral for a psych consult and a new therapist since I don’t like the one I got my T letter from anymore. And she didn’t judge me for telling her I’ve been feeling depressed. Which I was really worried she would be like oh, you’re not stable, we shouldn’t raise your dosage, but she didn’t do anything like that. She was just really respectful and we talked about it and she let me know what she thought. Which I had talked to Kass about and was already planning on going to a psychiatrist, but I felt better to tell my doctor because I generally lie to them. So I liked being able to be honest with her. Next time I come in she is going to run some additional labs because I have been having the worst Charlie horses and she isn’t sure why and then she is going to do a full physical. Which I am not excited about, but glad that it will be with her and I don’t have to explain my ‘situation’ to someone new. How awkward.

In all the last week has been pretty good and I’m happy with the outcome across the board.

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Coming out at Work.

So the other day I posted about having some issues with not being out at work. I was struggling really bad and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to tell someone or I felt like I might walk of my job. And that was absolutely not an option.

So. Come out it is!

Out of a roughly 500 employee building maybe 5 people knew or so. One of them being a supervisor that I had the beginning of last year. I IMed her and told her that I really needed to talk, that I was going to explode and that somehow, someone needed to help me come out and use my chosen name. She put me in her calendar for 4pm. 

After my lunch I raced up to the third floor and waited. I waited for about 15 minutes and decided that she probably forgot. I was feeling a little furious by this point so I headed back to my desk. My current supervisor IMed me when I got back and asked her if I could come see her. She had a call for me to listen to. A customer complained about me because I wasn’t able to lower his bill. She said that was all she had for me and asked if I had anything. I asked her if we could talk in private. She we went to an office and shut the door. When I came out to the last supervisor, I thought I was going to pass out. I started seeing spots and felt light headed. My ears were ringing. This time, I just sat down and told her.

I’m transgender. And I need your help.

She looked a little surprised, but not so surprised.

She told me that she was glad I came to her and she went right to work helping me sort everything out. My original supervisor told me that HR told her that I would not be allowed to change my name until it was legally done. This was last May before I had even gotten my letter. I sucked it up and was fine with it. But now that I am in this odd stage, my voice dropping, growing facial hair, etc., I just can’t handle the thought of addressing myself with such a female name anymore. The thought was debilitating. And it was honestly affecting my work and in turn my commission. 

My new supervisor came back to me about 30 minutes late. She had gone directly to HR and told them what I needed as a transgender employee. They were totally fine with it and she said they seemed to not even remember saying no the first time. Which is great, albeit a little frustrating. In the meantime the other supervisor had tracked me down and apologized for missing out meeting, she was pulled into her supervisor’s office and was reprimanded (She is actually a really good supervisor, but she has quite a mouth on her and if she sees something that she doesn’t like or doesn’t think is right, she will quickly say something and it gets her in trouble. Often.) So she pulled me aside and we talked. She said that she and my new supervisor would tag team HR to get this resolved because the last thing she wanted was for me to feel uncomfortable at work.

So my new supervisor is now working on getting my name changed for my email address and in our IM system and she got me a new name tag for my desk. In the next supervisor meeting she is going to let everyone know so that I don’t have to and she said that it will get around, and I don’t need to worry about it, and that she will field as many questions for me as she can. I am going to let my team know in our meeting tomorrow. I am a little nervous to come out to about 15 people at once, but I think that most of them will be ok with it. I actually had to two macho guys that sit in the cubes on either side of me as me what I had started calling myself. I told them Wes. One of the guys is in a wheelchair and he told me that he wanted to start going by Hot Wheels. So for the rest of the day that’s what we called him. The guy that sits on the other side started using Wes right away. He then asked me if that was what I wanted him to do and I told him I would appreciate it. Later that evening he asked me why I had picked Wes and what it stood for. I explained it was short for Weston and then I took a deep breath and told him I am actually transgender and I wanted a very old school masculine sounding name.

He looked me in the eye, held out his fist to fist bump me and said “You do what you do, you’ve always been cool to me.” 

And that was it.

If coming out can always be this easy with that great of a response I would like that please and thank you.

This has however caused some weird feelings for me. Whenever I come out to someone and I feel that it is really important, I always question myself over and over for a while after that. 

Is this really what I want? What if I changed my mind? Do I really like the name I picked? How do I know I want to be a man?

hate that I do this to myself. But it seriously happens like every time. It’s really frustrating. I did it again this weekend. All weekend I questioned myself and my motives and felt so uncomfortable. I try to avoid talking about this as much as possible. Maybe because I don’t want it to take away points from my “trans enough” status or something, I don’t know. But I finally opened up to Kass about it last night. She could tell there was this nervous energy radiating off of me. That and my Trichotillomania got a little intense yesterday. I pulled out like half of my eyelashes sitting at work (only partially exaggerating). She told me that she thinks that it is because we are told that we have to be normal. And the more that I come out and assert who I am the less “normal” I become. That she thinks that being shunned one to many times has caused me to question my every move when it comes to being different from ‘everyone else.’ I think that she is right. It has been really hard. I hate feeling like I am so different. She asked me if this is what I really want or if I am maybe second guessing and if I think I am changing my mind. I told her that I am pretty sure this is what I want, but that I’ve just been feeling upset. She told me that she will always support me and that if I decide to stop where I am at, she is ok with that and that I will just have a deeper voice and will be a little hairier but that whether I continue on or not, she will always support me.

When she talks to me and tells me things like that it always reassures me of two things. That I love her so much and that I am doing the right thing. I think I just get so wrapped up in my head and I get so scared sometimes of being different and standing out. It frightens me. Risking the people are close to me and my potential safety. But I know that this is really what I need.

 

Wes.

Just Man Up

I’ve been struggling with coming out at work. 

I hate being in this weird limbo stage. It kind of fucks with my head a little, being one person at work and someone different everywhere else. I have started coming out slowly to more people. I came out to a woman yesterday and she seemed supportive. But I know that she is a lesbian, so it felt like a safe bet. It’s the macho straight cis-guys that sit in the cubicles on either side of me that I would like to share my status with, but I am a little apprehensive to do so. I also almost came out in my team meeting on Wednesday, but I just could not get the nerve up.

I was talking about it with a younger woman I work with who knows. She stopped by my desk the other night to say good-bye. I was finishing up a phone call with a customer. She was telling me that she just couldn’t believe how much my voice has changed, but that she noticed it was significantly more feminine when I was on the phone. I explained that my ‘phone voice’ has always been that way, and it’s a really hard habit to break. Also, it’s been a little bit of a struggle to train myself to speak from my chest instead of my throat. Sometimes the rattling/vibrating feeling I get because my voice is much deeper reminds me that I’m doing it right, but out of habit I always revert back to my throat. I explained this to her, but she didn’t seem to understand. After 26 years, old habits die hard. We were also talking about my facial hair because I had shown her how well it was growing in. She asked if that was just me letting it grow and I explained that I shaved a few days ago, but that it’s coming in very quickly now and I’m just waiting for it to fill in. She told me that I just need to let it grow and see where it goes. I explained to her that since it is so visible, and since I don’t pass I am concerned with looking unkempt and it drawing people’s attention more. She told me to fuck what they think and asked, “But it’s that what you were going for? Didn’t you want facial hair?” I explained to her that I do, indeed, want facial hair, but that at this point in time I need to be careful. I am in this in-between faze and I am concerned for my safety and I am tired of being stared at, that the last thing I want is to draw even more attention to myself in general public. She said that she understood, but I realized she didn’t when she told me:

Just man up and do it.

This was really concerning to me and I realized that even people in our own community don’t understand. This more than ever makes me want to fight for education in our own community as well as with the general public. How can we expect the straight and cis-gendered community to see, understand and accept us if the people ‘most like us’ (if you will) don’t. I brushed it off at the time, and tried to explain once more my view, but she still didn’t seem to get it. The more I think about it though the more it bothers me.

Im Kass.

I am cis gendered and have been lesbian identified and out since I was 15. I am married to Wes and very much love him. I was not surprised when he told me he wanted to transition. There were times in our relationship when I saw how much pain he was in and I wanted to tell him what I saw and that I knew. Kinda like when people say “I wish someone would have told me I was gay”, but I waited because I knew he needed to figure it out on his own. I am glad that we are here at this point and he is beginning his transition.

I had an idea in my head of what transitioning would be like. I pictured testosterone shots and hair growth and voice deepening, and masculinity. I pictured support groups and new friends, and community. I pictured the same me and a different outside him but same inside him. I pictured doctors appointments and lots of money being spent. I found out that things that I pictured were wrong and that there is so much more than I had ever thought.

First, being a couple when a person is transitioning essentially means that both people are transitioning. and for awhile I very much thought I was being selfish thinking that. But for over half of my life I have been a lesbian identified cis gendered female. I have been fired from jobs, rejected by family, fought for equal rights, learned to be proud and come to terms with the fact that my identity is beautiful and I am strong and brave and have nothing to hide. And although most people perceive me as a straight woman unless my significant other was standing next to me, I was never closeted while at work, or anywhere else for that matter. One of the things I loved most was hanging pictures of the two of us around my office space. It made my day go faster to look at our memories and see us at our happiest.

I started a new job, it was almost perfect timing really because we decided that we would just use male pronouns from the beginning and eventually I can hang pictures. However it hasn’t been really as easy as that. We got married in September, and the people in my office really like me (for once, its amazing, part of me wonders if its because they all think Im a straight woman and can finally see me and not get hung up in the fact that Im queer) and have been really excited to see wedding photos, and want to know about my husband and have even made jokes to watch out and not get pregnant in the first year of marriage. I go back and forth on wanting to tell people, wanting to let them in, trust them. I have told 4 of my co-workers. The first woman is a lesbian, and although she is part of the queer community I still felt like I was going to throw-up when I was getting ready to tell her (I get a little nauseous when I get nervous). The second person I told was the person I share my desk with, and I felt the same “walls closing in, everything is getting black” feeling I feel when I have to speak in front of an audience. But I made it through. And she and the other person came to our wedding. Recently I told my dad. I had been putting if off because he and I hadnt spoken in 10 years and then just like that we had reconciled. There is nothing in this world that would ever make me pick anyone over Wes, and I was pretty sure my dad was going to be fine with the changes on the horizon, but it was the anxiety and fear of the unknown. The rejection. The having to say goodbye. Each person I tell, the feelings are always the same. I feel like I am coming out again. Its the same “hard talk” feelings, I feel very emotional like I cant control the tears, and I get a little faint, and nauseous. The conversations are usually about 2 minutes long. Like a shot, most of the pain is in the anxiety before.

Another thing Ive realized is there is literally no way to prepare for all the situations that are going to come up during this process. For example, we were swimming the other day as we like to do at the gym and I realized that 1. I like using the locker room with him at this time while he still appears female and will be upset when I have to use the locker room with a bunch of strangers I dont know. 2. What do we do before the top surgery? Which locker room does he use when he looks like a man but hasnt had top surgery. 3. Im nervous for him. Ive always been the person who protects him. I always stand up for him, I always tell people to fuck off if they treat him poorly, and what will happen when Im not there because Im a woman and he’s a man and Im not allowed in the bathroom or locker room.

Another things that has been very different from what I pictured is the community. For some reason I had an illusion that there would be a great support network for trans people and their families out there. But there isnt. We have gone to a few groups, and met a couple people. Some have been really nice and we have genuinely wanted to stay in contact and become friends with them. Other people we felt like it was best to keep our guard up and not let them in too close, which made us a little sad as it felt that was the majority of the people we met. Its really hard to get information on safe doctors and safe spaces, sometimes it can be scary trying to do that stuff on your own and it would be really nice to be able to ask someone.

For now, that is about it. Its been 4 weeks/4 T shots. I for some reason thought he would have a full beard by now. Silly.

 

-Kass.