As I approach a year on female hormones, (I kind of consider that day my 2nd birthday – it’s that big a deal to me) I have been looking back at all sorts of milestones.
Taking hormones is what I call the “slow motion miracle.” Nothing happens right away and then seemingly overnight, “boom!”
Among the marvelous bits of progress are some of the following:
- A calmness in my head. The dysphoria that had dogged me my whole life has mostly ebbed away.
- I have developed small but wonderful breasts.
- My skin has softened considerably
- My nails break more easily
- The shape of my body is slowly changing. (I have a butt for the first time in my life!)
- I can’t drop weight like I used to
- I don’t have to shave my legs as often
- I don’t get mad anymore. At all.
- The degree of mental clarity is markedly improved.
- I cry more easily. A lot more easily. But not always because I’m sad. Sadness and tears do not have a causal relationship.
Others not related to hormone therapy:
- I have had a couple of electrolysis sessions and this has greatly reduced the hair on my face. It has affected the appearance more than the feel. My beard density is greatly reduced to where you can’t tell if I don’t shave for a couple of days, but you can feel if I don’t. (Yuck)
- My own hair is getting longer – it’s now down beyond my shoulders. I haven’t taken any length off in 18 months.
All of these things together happen over time. It’s not a daily change. One day blends into the next and I am just living my life as a woman. I have been doing so exclusively for 9 months now. In September I received a court order legally changing my name and gender. All of that has helped lessen the dysphoria, but it never had gone completely away, until recently.
I just returned from a trip to Phoenix over Christmas. My daughter lives there and has been attending cosmetology school. She was due to graduate on December 21st, 2013. She had asked me to come to Phoenix and be her final client before leaving school. This was a great honor for me and made me cry when she asked.
She did a wonderful job with the color and highlights but it was the blow-out that really made a difference! It was fuller, more body, more movement. It was beautiful.
The next morning, the 22nd, my daughter asked to do my make-up. I readily agreed and she showed me some tricks and did a masterful job. Then she once again styled my hair. When I looked in the mirror, I saw all girl.
That was a huge moment for me. Most women and pretty much all trans women are terribly hard on ourselves. I could always nit pick some part of me and see the “guy” peeking out. Not today. Try as I might, I couldn’t. It was profound. I wanted to cry but didn’t want to wreck the make-up job!
I don’t know if there is a name for that feeling. My room mate calls it “Crossing Over.” She says there are two stages to “Crossing Over.” One is when you are no longer being read in public. That has happened several months ago for me and has been nice. The 2nd stage is when you see yourself as female. Some never get there. On this Sunday, I did and have every day since.
Look, I’m nobody’s miss America. I’m closer to 60 years old than I am to 50. It’s not an ego thing, it’s an acceptance thing. OK, maybe it’s a little ego mixed with failing eyesight…but it’s still a big deal!
It was a combination of Chrissy working her magic along with the slow motion miracle of hormones and just the experience of living as Leslie every day. It’s happened, I Crossed Over! It’s a wonderful feeling, it’s one that I sometimes doubted I’d ever feel, but I have and it feels amazing.
What lies ahead in year two? Stay tuned, I can’t wait to find out!