Month: May 2013

Five Weeks

I feel like time is both flying by and crawling at the same time. I have so much to do in the next two weeks due to the end of school rapidly approaching, but at the same time, I’m anxiously awaiting my next injection which is still a week away. It seems crazy to me that 5 weeks have passed, but I’m still waiting for more noticeable changes to occur. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely changes that have happened. I just want them to happen faster! Not much has happened since my last update, but I think one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that I definitely smell different, not in a bad way. It’s just different from the way I used to smell. Also, I’m not sure if this is transition related or if I’m just really busy/stressed with school and work, but I’ve been really tired lately. Even after getting a solid 8 hours of sleep, I don’t feel completely rested. I’m looking forward to see if this changes after I graduate and get off time at night instead of working on projects, presentations, and papers from the time I get home until I go to sleep.

Other than that, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. We’ll be going over my lab results. This is my first blood test since starting testosterone, so hopefully everything is good.

Awkward Bathroom Time

Today was my first day back at school after being gone all last week for my trip to Washington. I was waiting for my lab partners to show up this morning to the lab. I decided to go to the bathroom to put lotion on my tattoo since I didn’t know what had been done last week or what needed to be done for this week. I walked into the women’s bathroom and a woman was walking out of the stall at the end of the bathroom. She looked at me and asked, “What do you want? Are you looking for something?” I said “no” and went about my business, and she hurried out of the bathroom. It was really unexpected for me. I feel like I don’t look very manly still, and I’ve been used to people apologizing to me for misgendering me when they hear me speak. It felt good to be identified as male, but brings up larger issues.

I have only come out to one person at school so far. I’m kind of biding my time until graduation to come out. Most of the people who know me will be moving on to either grad school at different schools or finding jobs in industry. This will leave me with a much smaller group of people that I have to deal with in regards to coming out. Until then, I guess I will have to deal with women in the bathroom who don’t know me and are confused by my presence. I’m still really anxious about coming out to people at school and work, but hopefully after July 5th, I will have legal proof that I am male and that will help me make my work/school transition.

Four Weeks Photos

These are pictures that were actually taken at four weeks and a day. They were taken from my phone so they’re not as good of quality since we were in Seattle to get married. I also don’t think they look very good because it was right after I woke up, and they’re not from quite the same angle as the first ones. Anyway, here they are!



Note: This is posted one day late.

Four Weeks – Third Injection

So, I’m writing this in the car while Alex drives. We are on our way to the Seattle area to get married tomorrow. On the way from San Diego, we stopped to visit both my mom to drop off the dog and also my grandparents who live in northern California. They both tried so hard to call me by my chosen name; it felt really good. My mom did better with calling Alex by his name, but still had a lot of problems with the pronouns. I think it will take her a while to get the hang of it, but I understand. My grandma, on the other hand, kept saying “you girls,” but then would immediately say “you guys.” It was kind of amusing. But, she did really well with both of our names. I was kind of nervous because this is the first time I’ve seen this particular set of grandparents since I came out (and for that matter, anyone in my family besides my mom, uncle, and brother), but things were definitely a lot better than I could have imagined and not awkward at all. They just wanted to make sure I was happy.

On top of seeing my grandparents and getting married, today was my third injection! That means it’s been four weeks already. It hardly seems like it’s been a month at all, but the changes are becoming a little more noticeable.

Voice: I’ve definitely noticed that my talking voice is a little lower; however, when I saw my mom, she said that it didn’t sound any different. *shrugs*

Below the belt: The sensitivity has gone down some, but it seems to increase right after the injection. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days. I think the size has increased slightly.

Muscle/Fat: I think that my shoulders are getting wider. Definitely noticing more increases in muscle size. Also, my hips have gotten smaller from last time I measured! Now, my hips and shoulders are the same size, so that’s pretty exciting. I’ll be really happy when my shoulders are wider than my hips.

Hair: I’ve got a couple more hairs on my chin, but haven’t really noticed any changes to my hair in any other places yet.

Later tonight, I’ll have Alex take some photos and I’ll post them up here.

Other than that, I’m getting a tattoo later today! That’s pretty exciting for me. I’m finally getting a tiger tattoo that I’ve always wanted. I feel like this is a good “coming out” tattoo for me or just starting a new chapter of my life with the transition and getting married. =D I should mention that I’m really exciting to wear my dress clothes!

Note: This is two days late because I didn’t have internet access until tonight.

Name Change – Part 1

On Wednesday, I had a check up with my doctor. I had planned to ask her about getting an affidavit for my legal gender change that must be submitted to the courts. So, I showed up to my appointment and discussed some of the changes that have happened and how I’ve been feeling. I walked out feeling pretty good. Then, I realized that I completely forgot to ask about the affidavit to state that I was undergoing “clinically appropriate treatment” for my gender change. I ran home and wrote a message asking about getting that done. She responded that night and said she would write it in the next day.

I picked the letter up this morning from student health services and hopped on my motorcycle to head downtown to the central location for San Diego Superior Court. I went up to the filing court, feeling pretty nervous, as she looked through my paperwork and told me things I needed to fill in. She didn’t even bat an eyelash though. By the time I finished, I was sweating through the many layers I had on: binder, t-shirt, long-sleeved button down shirt, and my motorcycle jacket. I finally finished and paid my $435 filing fee. Luckily, my mom is pretty supportive and sent me a check earlier this week to take care of this. My court hearing date is July 5th, then hopefully everything will be official!

Next thing I had to do was find a news paper to publish my name change announcement, in case anyone objects. That was another $50 to have the announcement published for four weeks. I’m not sure what other people have to do in other states, but California is kind of a pain in the ass sometimes.

All in all though, I’m glad to have the wheels set in motion. With the name and gender change coming up in the relatively near future, I’ll have to find a way to come out at both jobs. That is something I really need to put some thought into.

Also, another thing that is looming over me is my graduation. I’m definitely looking forward to being done, but also nervous about having to see family members that I haven’t seen since before coming out. I think they’re all pretty supportive, but I get anxious about these things.

Three Weeks

It’s been three weeks since my first injection. I haven’t really noticed too many changes or if I have they are hardly noticeable.

Below the belt: It’s still pretty sensitive. I’m not sure if there has been any growth there, but I think it has become harder.

Voice: I think I’ve noticed a very slight change in my talking voice and a somewhat more noticeable change in my singing voice. My throat feels as if it needs to be cleared frequently.

Hair: I might have gotten a couple of darker hairs on my chin. I already had like two or three pre-testosterone, but I think there are a few more now.

Face: I’ve gotten a little bit of acne, but not very much. It’s pretty manageable right now.

Muscles: This is the place where I’ve noticed the most changes. My muscles have definitely become more dense, and I think they’ve grown a little bit in size. I work out pretty consistently, three days on and one day off rotation. I’ve gained four pounds in the past three weeks, and I’m pretty sure it’s all muscle weight, not fat. Also, I’ve lost a half inch from my hip circumference. Those are pretty exciting changes for me.

It’s a pretty busy time period with school, work, and the rest of life, so I will make this a quick update.

Unable to Remain in the Shadows

Today, I wanted to post about the wonders of my school insurance and my transition related care. I wanted to urge people to take advantage of their insurance while it was available to them, but I just saw something on Facebook that I would like to talk about.

I was browsing through Facebook while I was cooking dinner, and I came across a post by one of my family members. This post linked to an article that talks about the recent amendment to a bill passed in California by the State Assembly that will transgender students to participate in sports that sex-segregated according to their gender identity. This is a step forward in transgender rights, in my opinion. It should be noted that in this amendment, the use of facilities is also included because you need a place to clean up and change after rigorous exercise, right? Well, this seems to have ruffled a lot of feathers among the conservatives. It seems as if they believe non-transgender teenagers will take advantage of this to watch people of the opposite sex change in the locker room. This seems absolutely ludicrous to me. They believe that teenagers will pretend to be confused about their gender identity, but fail to realize that the struggles of people who truly are trans or even questioning their gender identity.

Now, I had a decision to make. I could just go on with my night and pretend like I didn’t see this post, or I could sit down and write a response to try and show them a different perspective. It’s really easy to be silent when things like this happen. I am not typically the type to argue when someone has a different opinion that I. People are entitled to their opinion whether I think it is right or wrong, but I felt like I had to say something. Recently, I watched a video by a transman who talks about transgender rights and the need to step out of the shadows. I’m not sure if I would have said something or not had I not seen this video, but I agree with Dade. We do need to step out of the shadows and speak up if we ever want to see any change happen. No one will fight for us if we’re not willing to fight for ourselves.

So, I commented on this person’s Facebook post. I explained that it’s a tough situation for everyone, but try to imagine how this teenager feels who is struggling with their gender identity and being discriminated against for being who they are. I talked about the bit of anxiety I get these days when I have to go to the bathroom, and I’m not sure which bathroom I should use. I have only just begun my physical transition, so I still look pretty feminine despite me identifying as male. I make decisions about which bathroom I am based on location and situation, but I wish it wasn’t something that I had to think about at all. I think this amendment is definitely a step in the right direction. There are people who will take advantage of any law, but that doesn’t mean we continue to discriminate against a certain group of people because of the wrongdoings of others.

I’m not sure what will come of the comment I made, but I’m glad that I decided to speak up.

Two Weeks – Second Injection

Today was the day for my second testosterone injection. I have been eagerly awaiting this injection for the last couple of days, since school calmed down a bit. I went to bed early-ish last night because I was excited to get up in the morning and go to student health services, but apparently my dog, Harry, thought he’d make the morning a bit more exciting. He wake me up early this morning by making throw up-y sounds. I jumped out of bed to clean up his puke before it set in the carpet, then went back to sleep for about half an hour before I had to actually get up for the day.

I got up and did my normal morning routine before school, but this time I packed up my testosterone to take with me to student health services so I could get my injection before class. However, as I was packing up my bag, I noticed Harry was in some weird contorted position just outside the room. At first, I thought he was having a seizure, but as I got closer, I realized he was looking. When I looked at it more closely, I saw his fur was all matted and wet from continued licking. This isn’t his normal behavior, so I checked the area to see what was bothering him. What I found was not what I expected. He had vaccines given to him earlier this week, and apparently the injection site was irritating him, so he licked it raw. =( By the time I disinfected the area and cleaned him up, I was running behind schedule by 10 minutes.

I hurried to student health services and checked in. The nurse who gave me my first injection called me in a couple minutes later. I walked in the room and sat down. This was it. I had to do it myself. She watched as I drew up the testosterone into the syringe. She showed me where to inject again. I sat for a minute or two holding the syringe in my hand. I am not going to lie. I was nervous about giving myself an injection. I didn’t want to wait too long though, no point in building up the suspense. Next thing I know, I was pushing the needle into my leg. My leg started shaking, but oddly, it didn’t hurt at all. I began to depress the plunger, but my leg just kept shaking. So, I had to take breaks from injection the testosterone to get a handle on my shaking leg. At this point, I don’t know why my leg was shaking. I had already done the hard part, but I finally got all of the injection into the muscle and quickly pulled out the needle. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. Next injection will be better since I’ll just be able to do it at home without having to go to student health services. I am glad that I had the nurses guidance though!

I ended up being half an hour late to my class because the nurse wanted me to wait around for 20 minutes, but it was definitely worth it. I found out that I didn’t really miss much anyway, since the professor had only started lecturing about 5 minutes before I showed up.

Anyway, as far as changes go. Nothing seems to have happened since last week. I think my face has gotten more oily, but that’s about it.

One week (minus a day)

It’s been almost a week since my first injection. I thought I’d take a break from working on my presentation to make a quick update since I probably won’t have time tomorrow due to my presentation, midterm, and going to see a sneak preview of Iron Man 3 tomorrow night! And I’m waiting on some images to upload into Google Drive, so it seems like a good time.

I actually haven’t noticed much as far as changes go. That area below the belt is still quite sensitive, and I was told that there might have been some growth, but I’m kind of skeptical. =) I feel like my muscles might have increased in hardness a little, but it’s really hard to tell since I feel them several times a day, lol. I’m pretty sure my voice is still the same, but I will make a short video to do a comparison in a little bit. I may even work on embedding them hear at some point. I’m a bit awkward on camera though, so we’ll see about that.

Other than that, I came out to the grad student that I consider to be a mentor of sorts. It may be helpful if I give a little background on my school/work situation. I’m a full-time student currently enrolled in a contiguous B.S./M.S. program. I’m currently in my last quarter of my undergraduate studies. I also work in two labs on campus. In one of the labs, I basically work on my own cleaning, organizing, and preparing various things. My employment will end there either when I graduate or at the end of the summer. That’s still up in the air as of right now. The date of the end of my employment there will determine if I come out to my coworkers or not. My second job is in a research lab within my department. I have been working there for just shy of a year now, and I will be continuing to work there through next year (my Master’s year) since I will be doing my thesis work in the lab. This means that I will have to come out to everyone in my lab and to my department. Anyway, I told the grad student I work with about myself Monday evening. He was really supportive and offered his help if I need any. I knew that he would be cool before I told him. There are others in the lab that I’m not so sure about, but I feel like I should tell them before changes become too noticeable. I also plan on getting my name and gender changed legally, so it’ll reflect in my records. I don’t think I’ll be able to do this in time to get my correct name on my Bachelor’s degree, unfortunately. I’m not sure what the school’s policy on name changes after already completing your degree. I read that to have a name change reflected in a degree, it has to be shown a few months ahead of graduation. It’s already too late for that, but I at least have time for the Master’s. I suppose I can check with the LGBT Resource Center on campus. I’m sure they know the ins and outs of the system.

That’s it for now. I should continue to work on my presentation, even though I have a bad case of senioritis.