Wednesday, 30 March 2011

If you are in a hole - stop digging

I am a volunteer on one of our premiere steam railways.  Recreating the 1930's or so is not just about steam engines but you have to get the fixtures and fitting right and so a few days ago I found myself digging a hole to install a lamp post manufactured by the correct railway company in the 1890's.  This required a 24 inch deep hole, 20 inches square (thats 60cm deep by 50cm square for non-imperial types).  It is hard work to dig a deep, neat square hole in what proved to be rather stony ground but it is something that I have done more than once in the past.

This time it seemed SO much harder work!  It does involve mostly arm work and in that respect is the subterranean version of painting a ceiling.  I had definitely lost some arm strength!  When I got home that evening I changed out of my working clothes, showered and stood in front of the mirror.  The tops of my arms have definitely lost definition.  Before Christmas a sleeveless dress had a definite 'builder-in-a-dress' look to it.  Now that has gone.

I have been on oestrogen for a little over three months now and have a review with Dr Curtis in London at the end of the week, and I will update you with the outcome.  I have to say that I am very pleased with the effects, although it does make me look distinctly odd as a male now.  Only 92 days to go to my trip to Belgium for FFS.



Thursday, 24 March 2011

Living in Limbo

It is a rather odd period for me at the moment.  My facial surgery and switch to living as a woman is just under a hundred days away.  In the meanwhile the hormones have given me a womanly figure which is only too apparent in other than a very sloppy pullover or a suit jacket.  It is too uncomfortable NOT to wear a bra and the last thing I want to be from the summer on is ‘saggy’ in the upstairs department.  Keeping my mobile phone in my shirt top pocket as I used to is now definitely out!  My hair now covers my ears and my (small) male bald patch is disappearing steadily as new growth regains old ground .  On the other hand I am still living as a man, have only just received my voice training DVD’s which came from the USA a couple of days ago and I still have my regular Saturday morning facial electrolysis (although the regrowth is now very, very much sparser, finer and mostly light in colour).  I don’t shave at all and grow the hair all week so that the therapist has the best shot at getting rid of everything every Saturday.
What am I?  Male?  Female?  Neither really cut it at the moment.  I am some strange intermediate form which does not fit into either camp.  I can’t wait in the evening to get home and strip off the male veneer and wear something more feminine, even if it is a pair of female jeans and a cardigan.
I have had some odd looks in the petrol station and on the train.  Today I am paper-working on the train on the way up to London and in a shirt and tie I think I look distinctly odd.  I certainly feel it.
It is a bit of a strain but I just have to grin and bear it.  Later today I am going to book my Eurostar tickets to Belgium for surgery in July as they have just been released on the Eurostar website.  It can’t come soon enough for me.
There are SOME compensations to looking weird.  I saw no bar to getting my ears pierced yesterday and am now blessed with a couple of crystal studs which those ‘in the know’ have smiled knowingly at and those not (like the chap opposite me on the train this morning) just think I’m that bit more weird.  He’s right......

Friday, 11 March 2011

The hormones are biting

I have been on oestogen for about 2 and a half months now and am starting to see significant effects.  I should say that I had 4 months on oestrogen about 17 years ago, so perhaps I am building on earlier work. 

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect for me is that I now  have a delightful pair of A-cup breasts all of my own.  There is a constant sensitivity behind the nipples (I was going to say 'ache' but that's not quite right.) which I understaqnd can be interpreted as 'growing pains'.  And they are certainly still growing!  I am told that full development may take up to 2 years and is likely to be in fits and starts so now I'm wondering where I will end up.  What I have at the moment is not really noticeable under male vest, shirt and suit jacket but the warmer weather is coming and if I grow much more it will be difficult to hide.

There are other more subtle effects.  A number of friends have said that my face shape has changed a little.  This is difficult for me to spot because I see myself in the mirror most mornings and the change is rather subtle.

Another change I have definitely noticed is that I have lost some muscle mass and definition at the top of my arms.  Before Xmas I was shying away from sleeveless dresses because the tops of my arms were very obviously male.  Now they are beginning to look rather different.

All this augers well for my great change in the summer.  I wouldn't say that I am waiting with increasing anticipation but then I can tell you that my cosmetic surgery is 115 days away and my return to work as a woman is in160 days....

Another change, and I don't think it relates to the hormones, is with regard to mental processes.  Given that I am not hiding anymore from friends, colleagues clients, etc, it has begun to free my mental processes; do I fancy him, would I wear that etc etc.  The only parallel I can think of is when I go to France.  I speak quite passable French and it takes me about 36 hours to beging thinking in French.  Now I am thinking as a woman and it is just great!



Tuesday, 1 March 2011

And the winner is.......

Given the showing of The King's Speech and Colin Firth in the past few days I couldn't resist an Oscar reference in today's post.  (By the way, if you haven't seen it yet, don't wait for the DVD.)

My particular Oscars are for the two best e-mails I have had from work colleagues since they were informed, last Tuesday, of my intention to transition in August.  I have had about 30 e-mails, all very supportive.  Many were quite solemn but, I am pleased to say, some reflected our collective sense of humour in the business in which I work.

In reverse order... (Oh, that's Miss World rather than the Oscars but never mind.) second prize goes to the lady colleague who welcomed me to the sisterhood and informed me that there were a couple of things I should know.  The first is that all men are B******'s.  Secondly, that this didn't matter as there were some useful female manipulation techniques which she would be pleased to teach me!

The Colin Firth, first prize goes to the colleague who e-mailed to say (tounge-in-cheek) that he had been down to Clinton Cards but that a dilligent search of the 'work colleague congratulations' section had not revealed anything entirely appropriate.  He felt he could design something but that this was likely to be a rather niche market as far as specialist card sellers was likely to be.  My sort of guy!

It is SUCH a relief to be 'out' to my work colleagues.