You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘transgender’ category.
There are different levels of ‘coming out’ as transgendered.
I have been out on the U.K. transgender scene for over 30 years. I regularly hang out in Manchester’s Gay Village as Kate; I have been to lots of TG groups and events over the years. This is one level of coming out.
But when you come out to your neighbours, friends & family, when you begin to inhabit the real world as a woman, that is a different level of coming out – and it is truly wonderful!
I have tried not to use the expression ‘coming out in the real world’ to describe this, because the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) world is every bit as real as the ‘real’ world, but in transgender clubs and groups, or in gay bars or night clubs, one feels immediately accepted – you are just yourself. I really like lesbians and gay men, and I love socialising with them.
We in the transgender community owe a great deal to the brave lesbians and gay men who fought for their rights in the 1960s and 70s. The Gay Liberation movement blazed the trail for all folk differently gendered or differently sexually orientated. And I am so grateful that the lesbian, gay and bisexual community have embraced the transgender community in recent years, and I am proud that the ‘T’ on the end of LGBT stands for us!
Thank you, sisters and brothers, I love you so much!
Coming out in LGBT places, you will feel safe and respected, and you will find many new friends, and no one will harass you or discriminate against you – that is one level of coming out. And it is real, and wonderful. If you are still entirely in the closet, get out there, young woman, and meet us all in the LGBT community! We don’t bite! (Well only the Goths and Vamps among us, maybe!) – and we are friendly, loving people!
But beyond that, there is coming out to the wider world, to the ‘straight’ world, to the so-called ‘real’ world – and if you can do it, you strike a blow for the advancement of all transgendered people – because the more we do it, the more we will be accepted.
I have passed a few milestones myself this week. I went to the hairdresser’s en femme, and finally had the girly cut I have always wanted. It was great! Thank you, Ellie, you are a star, and you made me feel a million dollars!
After that, we did a bit of shopping in Tescos. No problem. Then we had a drink in the local branch of Wetherspoons. No problem.
This morning, while I was tapping away on my laptop, doing my trans social networking on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (I’m Amber Gothy, Amber Goth or ambergoth on these, so please do ‘friend’ me or follow me!), my son came in and said he had terrrible itching all over his back from sunburn. My son is 24, and he has known about Kate since he was 7.
So we went off into Chesterfield, on a busy Saturday, and got him some Aloe Vera Gel in Boots; then we went into Wilcos so I could buy a Gillette ‘Venus Embrace’ lady razor pack and some Satin Care gel for doing my legs. Couldn’t find either in Wilcos, so we got them in Superdrug. Yes, I did that with my son.
My daughter has known about Kate since she was 9 – and she is 26 now, and has just had a baby boy, making me and my wife both grandmas! My daughter and son have also been very supportive and completely unfazed by my transgenderism right from when I first told them – I am very lucky, and I do know it – thank you, Anne and Henry!
My wife has fortunately known since before we were married – and I think that’s 38 years this year. She has always loved me as Kate (in fact she prefers me as a woman), and she has been wonderfully supportive and just about the most fantastic wife and partner any transgendered girl could ask for! Thank you, Rosie, for always being so accepting and loving!
To finish up about our shopping trip in Chesterfield today, we went into Waterstones, where my wife works, and she introduced me as Kate to one of her fellow booksellers, explaining that I was transgendered, and always had been! The lady in question didn’t bat an eyelid, just said: ‘Well why shouldn’t you do what you want?’
Walking through the crowded shopping streets on the way back to the car, no one gave us a second look. Apparently no one ‘read’ me – or if they did, they didn’t stare. The more of us who do this, the more folk in straight society will regard us as ‘normal’ – because we are normal! We’re just people!
So there you go. A happy, liberating experience. I guess I am fairly lucky in that I have my own long blonde hair, and I am not tall or big-boned and I do not have a very masculine face – although it is still more masculine than I would like, which is why I have decided, finally, to have Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS) this year. I am so excited about it!
But even if you are over 6 ft, with huge hands, a jutting jaw and a heavy beard shadow – you can still do it – and I know people who do. Some of the girls who come to Sparkle come by train or other public transport, and even if they look a bit masculine, they brazen it out! They don’t care! It is all about confidence. Most ‘genetic’ women (i.e. women born female, with XX chromosomes rather than us poor girls who were born XY) do not go around wondering if strangers in the street or in a shop are thinking they might not be women. They just don’t ever consider it. Even women who are – well – frankly ugly or overly masculine in some way – don’t ever think this (though to me, no woman is ugly, some of us are just differently beautiful, and it is what is inside that is important). So we, as transgendered women, just have to remember when we are out and about – we ARE women. Walk with confidence. Act normal. Don’t slink. Don’t look embarrassed or furtive. You are doing nothing wrong. You are just being yourself, your true self. You are expressing your femininity, as any woman – or for that matter, any man – has the right to do.
Be proud that you are a woman. Be proud that you are transgendered! You are in a state of grace! You are lucky! Not everyone – particularly not ‘straight’ men – can feel and experience what you can feel and experience, if you ‘out’ as a woman. Women know it’s great to be a woman!
(URL for this is: https://ambergoth.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/coming-out-as-transgendered/)
WARNING ABOUT SPIRONOLACTONE
I don’t take Spironolactone any more – I had a severe allergic reaction to it earlier this week. I had only taken 25 mg of Spironolactone the night before, then another 25 mg the following morning, and I found I got a really bad rash, that looked like hives, all over my legs and back. I also got a headache, felt giddy and queasy. I felt so bad that I phoned the emergency G.P., who told me to come down immediately. He confirmed I had a severe allergic reaction to Spironolactone, and said I needed a blood test as soon as possible.
My wife took me straight to A & E at our local hospital, where I had a blood test. The results were that my potassium levels were low, but I wasn’t about to drop dead, fortunately! I was advised to have another blood/liver test in the next few days.
Is very worrying to think that the Trangender Care website (http://www.transgendercare.com/medical/resources/tmf_program/tmf_program_regimens.asp) says you can take up to 200 mg of it per day!
Has anyone else found that taking female hormones and anti-androgens makes you grow what looks like labia on the midpoint line of one’s scrotum? This has happened to me, and I have seen two female doctors who have never seen anything like it, but agree with me that it really does look like the lips of a vagina growing there. It’s a long line of skins tags in the shape of the edge of the labia, and they go up into the outline of a vaginal opening in sort of dots on the skin of the scrotum! Am I actually changing sex spontaneously? Nothing actually opens there, it’s just the appearance of it. We took some photos, and you would think it actually was the female pubic parts – the labia – starting to appear on my scrotum! Weird eh?
If anyone else has heard of this condition, please let me know. Can taking female hormones have this effect? It seemed to appear about the same time as I starting wearing Estrodot 50 transdermal patches, as well as taking 2 mg Estofem pills.
Please comment if you know anything about this!
I don’t know if any of you are serious about really becoming girls, but if you are, my advice would be to seek medical advice in the first instance. If you do choose to self-medicate, which can be risky, below is a ‘typical’ transsexual MtoF feminizing medication regimen from: http://www.transgendercare.com/medical/resources/tmf_program/tmf_program_regimens.asp.
This is a U.S. site and some people have suggested (see comments) that the doses recommended here are far too high. It is best not to self-medicate at all if you can get hormones through a Gender Identity Clinic or from your GP. If you must self-medicate, start off with a relatively low dosage, like 2 mg of Estrofem or similar a day, and see how you go.
This is how I started, and together with the 5mg Finasteride which I was taking anyway for prostate problems (BHP), was sufficient to cause breast growth.
The following full transsexual regimen, which I have been taking more recently (minus the Spironolactone), certainly promotes full feminisation fairly rapidly:
Feminising Medication Regimen
- 4 mg Estradiol (Estrofem) (sublingually – under the tongue) daily – one in morning, one in evening
- Two 50ug (mcg) Estradiol (Estrodot) patches applied weekly Saturday morning and Tuesday evening, or any other two days in the week, three and a half days apart – but stick to the same days each week. Alternatively you can use transdermal gel rather than patches – see the above website.
- 5 mg Finsasteride in the morning (in the U.K., you can get this from your G.P. on the NHS, if you have a dodgy prostate – BHP – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).
- (Optional) 25 mg Spironolactone (Spirotone) in morning, 25 mg Spironolactone in evening – building up to 50 mg Spironolactone in morning, 50 mg Spironolactone in evening after 6 weeks, and thereafter optionally building up to as much as 200 mg per day, according to the transgender care website (http://www.transgendercare.com/medical/resources/tmf_program/tmf_program_regimens.asp) BUT BEWARE! I don’t actually take this myself, because I had a severe allergic reaction to Spironolactone.
- (Optional) Progestin : 5 mg daily for 10 days at beginning of the month.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor or medically trained. You should NOT start taking feminizing hormones unless you are absolutely sure you want to do this. In my case it came from somewhere so deep down in my psyche and subconscious that it was inevitable that I would do it eventually.
It SHOULD be done under medical supervision. If you don’t want your transition to be medicalised and controlled by an ‘expert’ gender identity clinic, involving psycho-sexual psychiatrists and psychologists, endocrinologists and SRS/GRS surgeons, whether private (or if you are in the U.K., at an NHS clinic such as the one at Charing Cross Hospital), you can obtain the feminising hormones from a reputable Internet supplier such as InHousePharmacy – I can recommend this company without reservation. They deliver anywhere in the world, it’s the real proprietary medicine, and thay are prompt and reliable on delivery. In the U.K., you may have to pay 20% V.A.T. plus £8 handling charge to the Post Office when you import the drugs, but this is quite hit and miss. The last two deliveries from InHouse Pharmacy I had to pay it, but on the most recent one I didn’t, so it seems to depend on the efficiency (or otherwise) of the local Post Office.
It is wonderful and truly liberating that one can control one’s own feminizing drug regimen, and it has only been possible to do this since the advent of the Internet – certainly no one could do it in the 1970s, or 1980s – or I might have started a lot sooner.
BUT, and here is a very important point, you should still at least tell your G.P. what you are taking, in case there is any conflict with other medication. My G.P. (who is female), knows what I am doing, and so far she has been pretty good about it. She hasn’t commented on the full transsexual drug regimen, as above, as she admits honestly that she is not an expert in this area.
UPDATE: I am about to start sessions with an NHS Gender Identity Clinic (October 2011), and I am guessing they probably won’t be that pleased that I have been self-medicating. I hope they don’t tell me off too much! Hopefully I will finally receive some advice from an expert clinician in transgender endocrinology and be able to get the hormones on NHS prescription in future.
Please be warned: it is best NOT to do what I have done. Taking female hormones has well-known risks associated with it for women or men. If becoming the woman you have always felt yourself to be is important enough to you, you will no doubt proceed in spite of the risks – but be aware of them.
I was surprised to realise recently, looking back on my invoices from Inhouse Pharmacy http://www.inhousepharmacy.vu/transgender/transgender.html that I have been taking female hormones for over 5 years, so I guess it’s not surprising that I have boobs and a curvy shape – my hips have broadened, and my fat distribution is pretty female – my arms and legs look feminine, and it has also feminised my face.
I did not begin with the full pre-SRS MtoF transsexual feminising regimen as above, but started with just 2 mg of Estradiol (Estrofem or Progynova) for most of that time, building up to 4 mg per day. That is enough to promote breast growth and body feminisation- you start to see the difference after 6-9 months.
I was lucky in that I started with a fairly un-masculine body to begin with – I am not that tall, I can wear a normal female size of shoes and clothing, and I have always had broad hips and rather narrow shoulders, and not much musculature – so my body lapped up the female hormones from the beginning. I am also blonde, which means that body hair has not been a great problem, and it has now reduced to a female level anyway.
I have had quite a lot of laser hair removal treatments to get rid of facial hair, and can now manage with only light foundation or no foundation at all. I will probably also have to have electrolysis eventually to get rid of the remaining facial hair, as I want to look as natural a woman as possible. I would love also to have Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS), but I am frightened to do it. My face is reasonably feminine anyway, and since I went full-time as a woman from July 2011, I haven’t really had any problems so far. (However, see update below about Facial Feminisation Surgery – I have decided to go for FFS.)
I am able to go shopping en femme with my wife, and I don’t get stared at. I can go into the female changing rooms – I guess I just look like a woman. I can hardly believe it myself! My wife says when we are shopping and she looks round, she just sees another woman – and doesn’t always realise it’s me!
I have my own shoulder length blonde hair, and so don’t have to wear a wig, and my boobs are big enough to give me some cleavage. I dress sensibly, and wear what other women around my age wear. It’s great to be able to spend as long as I want looking at lingerie and women’s clothes and shoes without feeling embarrassed! I have debit and credit cards in my female name, so paying is no problem. I am working hard on developing a feminine voice – so far without much success – more on this is a future blog.
UPDATE: I AM having Facial Feminisation Surgery this November 2011 at the Facial Team Clinic in Marbella, Spain – and I am still frightened! But I am going ahead anyway, as I think it will give me more confidence that I just look like any other woman. I will post about this nearer the time and after the surgery.
I hope this has been some help to a few of you – please do let me know by commenting.
Hugs and kisses x x x
I have started a new Facebook Group – anyone who likes transgender fiction can join: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_157755277597309
Yes, I have two Facebook accounts now.
Pope Benedict XVI says saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
The pope used his traditional end-of-year speech to say a few words about what he considers the important issues of the day. In a world where the practices of greedy bankers and corrupt financiers have forced the global economy into recession, and the insane policies of evil African dictator Robert Mugabe have caused the outbreak of a cholera epidemic and driven his own people to the brink of starvation, the 81 year old pontiff felt an attack on homosexuality and transgenderism was the best way to make use of his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff.
At a time when a record number of homes even in more affluent countries are being re-possessed and many people find themselves unemployed and facing an uncertain future, the pope emphasised his total rejection of ‘Gender Theory’. While people are facing starvation, disease and genocide in the failed states of Africa – Zimbabwe, the Sudan and Somalia, to name but three of the worst – the 81 year old ex-member of the Hitler Youth showed where his priorities lie by saying that homosexuality and ‘Gender Theory’ are as big a threat to humanity as environmental challenges such as the destruction of rainforests.
Pope Benedict XVI explained that defending God’s creation was not limited to saving the environment, but also protecting man from self-destruction.
The pope warned that ‘Gender Theory’ blurs the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the “self-destruction” of the human race.
Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender, and how people perceive their biological identity.
Gay and transsexual groups, particularly in the United States, promote it as a key to understanding and tolerance, but the pope disagrees.
It is not “outmoded metaphysics” to urge respect for the “nature of the human being as man and woman,” he told scores of prelates gathered in the Vatican’s sumptuous Clementine Hall.
The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. It teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are.
In 2005 (his first year in office), Pope Benedict XVI upheld a ban on men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” becoming priests, and also described homosexuality as a “tendency” towards an “intrinsic moral evil”.
The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – once known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition – from 1981 until his election. His defence of church doctrine led to him to be called “the Pope’s enforcer” and “God’s rottweiler”.
Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy in April 2005. At the age of 78, he was the oldest cardinal to become Pope since Clement XII was elected in 1730. Joseph Ratzinger was born into a traditional Bavarian farming family in 1927, although his father was a policeman. At the age of 14, he joined the Hitler Youth and was briefly held as a prisoner of war by the Allies in 1945.
Could there be another reason why the pope has used his end-of-year address to speak out against homosexuality and transsexuality? Perhaps he hopes that the traditionalist, ant-gay wing of the Church of England will depart from the Anglican Communion and re-join the Catholic Church.
It cannot have escaped the elderly pontiff’s notice that in July 2008 the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan declared that Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, “should resign for the sake of the church.”
In a press conference at the decennial Lambeth Conference, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul said that homosexual ordination “is not what is found in the Bible” and that it is “not the norm of the Anglican world.”
Archbishop Bul, who serves as Bishop of Juba as well as primate of the church in Sudan, represents some of the most persecuted Christian minorities in the world, and lives in the country where Mrs. Gillian Gibbons was last year accused of insulting Islam. She was arrested, tried, and sentenced to 15 days in a Khartoum jail.
What had she done? Sheffield-born Mrs. Gibbons, mother of two, primary school teacher – and clearly a danger to the Sudanese state and to the whole Islamic religion – had allowed the seven-year-olds in her class at the Unity High School, Khartoum, to name their teddy bear Mohammed!
Did the pope speak out when the Sudanese government of President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir persecuted a harmless, 54-year-old English primary school teacher? Did he denounce this ludicrous, outrageous act of bullying? No, he did not – even though he is no lover of Islam. In 2006, in a controversial papal speech, the Pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things. This provoked intense anger in the Muslim world. He recently generated more anger among some Muslims by personally baptising a prominent Muslim convert, Magdi Allam, who has been an outspoken critic of Islamist militancy and a strong supporter of Israel.