Month: August 2013

Oops, I cut off all my hair

About a month ago, I decided to order hair clippers so that I could cut my hair instead of paying $40 a haircut (which I was getting about once a month). Today, I decided to open the box finally and try them out. I started out slowly by using the the #8 guard. That didn’t cut any hair at all actually. So I moved down through the sizes. At guard #6, hair finally starting getting trimmed; however, the sides were still shorter than that guard. I eventually made it down to a #3 when the sides started to trim off too. At this point, I could have stopped because my hair had been trimmed to a length of my liking, but I thought I would go ahead and try to style it so that the sides and back were shorter than the top. So, I threw on the #1 guard to go around the bottom of the sides and back of my neck. Easier said than done. Needless to say, I need some practice. Now all the hair on my head is 3 mm (the length of the #1 guard). I thought about cleaning the back of my neck with no guard… but I didn’t want to have to shave my whole head with no guard, so I left it as is (same with the hair around my ears), haha. I’ve never had my hair this short. I think it makes my face look more feminine than usual, but that may be because I’m not used to it. It’s awfully fun to rub my head now though! Harry doesn’t seem to care one way or the other.

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I did get a compliment from one of the CrossFit coaches who saw me on Saturday, at least. I have to add that it’s really nice going to a place where they only know me as August. Today was my second CrossFit workout. It was pretty awesome (tough). I’m definitely going to be going back there. I was pretty much sold after Saturday anyway. I’m going to try to make it 6 days a week (work/research/school permitting).

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4 months on T!

That means I have photos.

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Looking back at my photos from three months, I don’t see much of a change. Half the month though, I was both sick and waiting for my hand to heal. The other half, I was trying to spend time with Alex before he left on his deployment. But now, I’m ready to get back into the swing of working out, especially if I decide to officially join the CrossFit gym I checked out on Saturday after my week trial is up. I am pretty sore from the workout yesterday, but it’s the kind of sore that makes you feel really good about yourself.

As far as other transition things go, my voice is gradually getting deeper. I’m not sure what it sounds like to other people, but I think it may be on the edge of teenage boy – adult male sounding. I’ve been getting a lot of comments from friends and people I work with about how they notice that it’s getting lower. It’s definitely one of those things that kind of makes my day.

I’m getting darker, longer hair on my upper thighs, whereas before it was so fine and light in color it was hardly noticeable. I’ve also noticed hair sprouting up on my stomach. And of course, I’m sprouting more hair on my chin, upper lip, and side burn region. I shave about once a week, but I probably should be shaving every 3-4 days because it honestly looks kind of silly after a week since it’s just a few hairs and not a full beard. The acne on my face has gradually been getting worse as well, but I’m okay with it. It’s nothing like it was when I went through my first puberty, and I’m sure it will calm down as time goes by.

I still haven’t noticed any changes in my fat distribution. I still have obnoxiously big hips and thighs. I can’t wait for those two areas to change more than anything. I’m hoping that by doing CrossFit, it will ignite some fat burning and get rid of that fat once and for all. That’s probably the area on my body that I am most dysphoric about; it’s always the area that I get frustrated about when my clothes (pants) don’t fit right. I eat pretty well, so I think it’s just being stubborn. Even if CrossFit doesn’t help with the fat, it will definitely build muscle. It’s as if I’m fighting a losing battle though by both trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. I’m not sure which I want to focus on more at the moment since fat burning requires a calorie deficit while muscle building requires a calorie surplus. I’ve definitely been in the calorie surplus area, considering all the muscle I’ve put on in the past 4 months. I just don’t want to purposely try to lose fat by eating fewer calories and then lose all the muscle I’ve been working so hard to get. Eh… I’ll figure something out. It’s just kind of frustrating at the moment.

Anyway, that pretty much covers the noticeable changes for this month. I’m still waiting on my new birth certificate to arrive, but other than that, most of my name change stuff is going smoothly. The only big thing I really have left to get is a new passport.

Until next time!

 

Small Victories

This morning, I went down to my Starbucks with my dog Harry. After I got my drink, I went outside and heard a lady telling her daughter that she had to ask the “puppy’s momma” if she could pet the dog sitting outside. That was my dog. Yes, he is adorable.

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I came up behind them and said that he was mine. The lady looked at me for a couple of seconds, seemingly confused, and then told her daughter to ask him (me) if she could pet the dog. Then, we talked a little bit about Harry and their dog. And after a few minutes, off we went. This interaction made me extremely happy. I walked away with a smile. It seems as if I’ve gotten to a point where my voice doesn’t give me away as female. I’ve been identified as male for as long as I’ve had my hair short (I first cut it when I was 16, but there were a couple of years more recently where it was longer). But then if an interaction would require me to speak, the second I opened my mouth, the other person would immediately look embarrassed and start apologizing profusely. This would then make me really embarrassed. This doesn’t happen so much anymore which makes me pretty happy since it’s one less awkward moment I have to deal with.

So, I’ve been thinking of joining a Crossfit gym for a while. I’ve heard a lot of good (and bad) things about Crossfit. I’ve checked out some of the workouts posted here, but they always seemed too hard for my fitness level. I decided to look on Yelp for Crossfit gyms in the area. The highest rated one on Yelp happened to be this one, Crossfit Fortius. I read through many reviews. All of them raved about how friendly and encouraging both the coaches and participants were, so I decided to shoot them a message through their online form. In my message I stated that I am transgender and was looking for a friendly environment (and also that I was trying to gain a more masculine build). I got a quick response:

“Thanks for contacting us!  We’d love to have you come by and take a few workouts with us and see if it’s a good fit.  We have a very welcoming and supportive gym environment, which I think you will appreciate :)”

So, today was my first day at the gym. I walked up and was approached by one of the coaches, Josh. He was very nice. He showed me around after I signed a waiver to participate. As I waited for the workout to begin (turns out I was the only one for the beginner workout), I talked to some people who were there doing other types of workouts. Everyone I spoke to was really friendly.  Then, the workout began. Josh went over the exercises, and I did a couple practice exercises. It wasn’t a very long workout (only a 12 minute circuit), but I was pretty dead by the end of it. I don’t think I could have done much more even if I wanted to. I’m actually pretty excited about this since I have a hard time coming up with workouts that challenge me to this degree or have the same intensity. I will definitely be going back this week to see how the regular workouts go. I have a feeling that I will enjoy going to this gym. It definitely has a sense of community, which is something I want, especially now. Which leads me into my next topic…

Alex is officially on his deployment now for the next 7-8 months. Luckily, I’ll be busy with school and such, but that doesn’t start for another month still.  I’m kind of sad (okay, really sad) that he will be missing most of my transition. I’m trying to think of interesting ways to keep him updated on my transition. The thing I’m thinking of right now is making periodic videos and then sending them on a flash drive (since internet is limited to mostly emails). I’m definitely open to suggestions. I’m also open to suggestions on how to keep myself busy while he’s gone besides school and working out.

Soon to come (tomorrow) will be picture updates.

They spelled my name right

I haven’t updated much lately because not much has been going on as far as transition things go. There are a few things to note though. I got blood work done last week and saw my doctor this morning. My hemoglobin and hematocrit have gone up, but they are still within the healthy make range (pretty much in the middle). Also, my LDL has gone up some and my HDL has gone down, but again they are both in the healthy range. Last thing to note is that my BMI has gone up too (I’ve gained nearly 20 pounds since beginning testosterone injections), bit I’m pretty convinced that it has all been muscle. My waist and hips have remained the same size, while my neck has increased (along with my biceps, forearms, calves, and shoulders). Overall, my health is still very good, but my doctor still wants to keep an eye on things. We also discussed changing my injection frequency. I was on 1.5 mL (100 mg/mL) every two weeks to .8 mL (100 mg/mL) every week. I noticed the last two injections that some would leak out of the injection site, so I asked about reducing the volume per injection and increasing the frequency.

In other news, this month when I was paying my car insurance, I noticed that it was cheaper than normal. I went back through my statements to figure out why and apparently when I changed my gender with my insurance company, they decreased my premium. That was a nice, unexpected surprise.

Last, I got my degrees in the mail yesterday. I’ve been kind of bummed about them because I didn’t have my name change in the system before I graduated, so I was expecting to just hide them away. However, when I opened the envelope, I saw this:

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I was pretty excited about this, since I was sure my old name would be on it.

Anyway, I will be doing a picture update soon for my 4 months on testosterone.

Until then.

They spelled my name wrong

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Okay, so they didn’t actually spell it wrong. A year ago or so, EH&S was offering free, personalized lab coats to all lab members. Unfortunately, at that time, I was still going by my given name. Today, my lab coat finally arrived. I do admit though, it’s nice to have my own lab coat that isn’t all grimy and smelly. It’s just that it now has the wrong name. Also, it almost doesn’t fit in the shoulder region. I expect to make more gains in that region. I was joking with some guys in the lab about being hulk-like. I think I’m going to try to score another pair of lab coats, though.

Last night, I was grabbing some food with a couple of other grad students. The waiter came by and asked, “would you gentlemen like some more water?” That pretty much made my night. The frequency of me being identified as female is slowly decreasing. A couple of friends even commented on my voice being lower after not seeing them for two weeks. That was definitely a huge confidence booster since in the beginning they hardly noticed the changes. I feel like since my dose increased some changes have started happening slightly faster. I’ve only been on the new dose for three weeks now, but it seems to be making a difference.

I just wanted to make a quick update and show off my new lab coat. =)