Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy is a tonic for the soul. I have recently been sucked into a few “conversations” on Twitter with people who politicise the intersection of transgenderism and feminism…and while I could do without the insults, what intrigues me most about the “debate” is how little the theory thrown at me corresponds to lived reality. I reviewed a book How to be a Girl which is told in personal and agonising detail about the lived experience of a mother raising a transgender daughter.
[Separately, I don’t understand why someone who is a feminist wouldn’t welcome trans-feminine people. After all, the issue remains the patriarchy. That said, I don’t assume “female” for myself…but post-op, I most certainly would. It’s disappointing to think that after all that, someone might still want to exclude you. Does that help the feminist agenda? There is a feminist woman who I have interacted with through her blog and mine, who insists on calling me ‘boy’. To what end?].
Not only are there so few of us, but suicide attempts are 100x higher (fact) amongst those without GAHT than those for CIS people…and notably, happiness outcomes for those on GAHT are equal to or higher than for CIS people. The hysteria around “teaching” people to be trans is absurd. We are born this way. This is just another gaslighting parallel to conversion therapy…you don’t turn someone gay, you don’t “cure” them either. That kind of thinking should have no place in a tolerant and healthy society.
I am finding myself having to read a fair bit of hateful material on Transgender politics, in part to arm myself with fact when I am asked or forced to defend myself and my brothers and sisters. But also for a career choice I am weighing that could put me squarely in the middle of these kinds of nasty discussions.
I love natural women. For myself, I love to depilate. I’ve been waxing for a long time, and as the only male in my entire family who was never really hirsute to begin with, this has left me perennially smooth. For those of us who have done this, you will know the joys of slipping on a pair of tights with pants or some soft, silky trousers over freshly depilated legs…ahh, the sensual joys.
I can remember when I was in 5th grade, slipping into a pair tights and a leotard and then climbing into bed and feeling the electrifying caress of the sheets on my body. Well before sexual arousal came sensual experience. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine a very different me, spoken to by the feelings of her skin. A sensualist denied, in hiding, tucked away for all these years.
I’ve never liked being naked, never comfortable with my own nudity, which I guess is not surprising given my body’s disconnect from my identity. This extended to sleepwear. I favoured those Grandpa pyjamas, the kind that look a bit like a men’s suit. Brooks Brothers style only my favourites were a custom version from Alain Figaret in Paris—white with navy blue piping—oddly, the style is for women, but thankfully they produced them for me.
But this is something that is changing right now as my body is taken over by oestrogen. I don’t want to wear pyjamas anymore. For the first time in my life I am sleeping naked. I love the feel of the sheets on my body. I love to put my hands on my hips and thighs and caress them, feel the changing shape.
No Longer an Amazon
I am happy to say that my second breast has joined the party, and it is now fully and intensely sensitive and beginning to take shape, just like the other. Right now, if I throw my shoulders back and puff out my chest, I can achieve a bit of a Charles Atlas look on my thin frame, but any other position shows me with the buds of a teen girl.
I went for the first time to get fit for a bra. I don’t have enough there yet to justify a cup, but I do already feel the need to have something holding my chest and reducing the sensation of the rub of my shirt on my nipples. Especially so when running, as I can feel already a bounce in the skin.
It was funny, the sales lady just thought I was asking really specific questions for a woman in my life until I told her that it was for me, and then explained to her that they were growing. And then it all clicked into place. She measured my chest, offered me to try things on, and gave me a bunch of soft cotton bras designed for teen girls who are budding. She was so helpful and understanding…
And it feels nice to wear them. This is huge for me, because breasts were the one thing I didn’t want, and which held me back from transition more than anything else. They are so public. But I find myself checking their progress every day, and loving being able to just surrender to what is happening to my body.
Not physically smaller. Not diminished either. Just taking up less space. It is a very elusive feeling. It isn’t that I feel that I have to take up less space, just that I don’t need as much—and this is not a conscious feeling, but one of being less hard…that I have softer edges, exist with a need for less, and that my passage through life takes up less space. I’m going to call it equilibrium.
Feeling happier about my looks
Objectively I was and am an attractive “man”. But I couldn’t see it. Cannot. And yet, for the first time in my life, the person looking back at me in reflection does not seem ugly. She probably looks exactly the same to everyone else, but to me, there is something different there, something which is allowing me to accept myself as I am.
I don’t know what to do with this. In the last few weeks, I have realised that my submissiveness belongs to my male self. And as this drains away, so too does a desire or need to submit. It is odd, too, because I found a person who so completely and utterly fits where I was a year ago, and whom I was about to approach, until I realised that I don’t feel submissive anymore. That sexual attraction and fulfilment lie in sensual pleasure, not in BDSM.
I say this, and yet, I get to be and play with a divine dominatrix who is teaching me and guiding me in different and new ways…and yet our interactions seem to have equity…and are allowing me to be present with a stillness that is new to me. What matters most? To be able to share my transformation with someone who doesn’t judge.
Sex Workers and My Life
My best friend and my therapist have both opined that sex workers are likely to become more of my life. We seek community where we feel welcome…we create community where we are not judged.
I guess that what I am finding is that there is gratitude towards the profession. But there is also something else. Being with people who don’t judge me. That means a lot. Being with people who share kinks, predilections, world views. But also respect. To choose a profession that carries stigma, that puts you in the crosshairs of the patriarchy, to be reviled by some feminists and many men, disrespected, looked down upon—it is utterly inspiring to see empowered women making that choice and owning their bodies, their lives, and not accepting the judgmental mores of Western society. I love it.
Changes foretold, but not yet observed
My body odour has changed and will likely change more. I will smell less. And I see in people’s faces when they look at me that something is different. Oestrogen rewires our pheromones. I wonder if this is in play yet?
And if you wonder at all whether oestrogen is deeply transforming, consider this. Apparently, even the odour of my scrotum will take on the odour of a vagina (post-facto apologies if that is too revealing). That was a hard sentence write. Just using technical words to describe my male bits feels gross…a little glimpse of dysphoria. And yet, a year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to put the words ‘my’ and ‘scrotum’, let alone even use the word ‘scrotum’, in the same sentence. Even now it makes me feel a little ill. Still, by feeling further from my masculine self, feeling more feminine, I am able to detach just enough to observe.
My skin will change, become softer (I have soft skin to begin with). It will also become more translucent. My supportive wife asked to see my varicose veins and cellulite the other day (I have neither). That’s just my punishment for wearing a skirt, which in her words, “where I come from we call that a belt, not a skirt.” My reply? “I have beautiful legs. If you’re going to stay here, you’re going to see a lot of them.”
Divorce and My Life
I just want to be disentangled from my wife so I can get on with my life…and live without judgement. She is pretend nice, but it is hard to be under the same roof and not hear and feel the barbs.
Go ahead, take me to the cleaners, but I get to start over again as a free person.