I finally Transitioned. So now what?

Today I ran across a meme that said “Okay, you’ve transitioned. So what are you plans for the rest of your life? – I don’t know. I didn’t think I’d get this far…” and girl howdy did it resonate. Realizing I was trans AND having to get a messy divorce at the same time really threw my life off. I lost any forward momentum that I had and instead focused on getting myself a career that would allow me to transition. And I did that pretty successfully. I found people who cared about me and supported me for who I really was, both in my personal life and my professional life, and I successfully navigated the miasma of steps necessary to change my legal name and gender and get the trans affirming healthcare that I needed.

So now what?

Now I want to give back to my community. Remember 5 years ago when I tried to start an all-trans choir? Well now that I’m more stable and better networked, I’ve resurrected that plan and I’m taking steps to make it a reality. Last fall I found a friend of a coworker who is a trans choral director and together we started plotting to bring about Seattle’s first Trans and Nonbinary Chorus. In January, I formed a board and we’ve been meeting regularly to plan. Now this week, I’m filing paperwork to get incorporated as a Nonprofit Organization!

I have to admit, this is absolutely terrifying. I know I have a lot of the necessary skills for managing a small org and I’m really good at paperwork, but the idea of me being an Executive Director is still mind blowing. When I feel overwhelmed and like maybe I should quit, I think about all the trans people who are currently without an inclusive singing community and it gives me the hope I need to make this vision a reality. I want to build a place where trans people can be fully themselves without constantly having to educate cisgender allies to make that happen. A place where we can learn to embrace our changing voices and identities and find musical embodiment.

It’s going to take a lot of work to get there and a lot of support from our community. But I’m confident that this is the right next step. It’s not going to be paid work for me, but with the right donors and grants, it can be a paid job for a trans artistic director. So if you’re interested in singing or becoming a supporter, check out our website at https://www.stanceseattle.org/join_us and sign up for updates.

Sex and Dating Updates

Things in my sex life have finally been going much better. I still have only orgasmed on my own the once but it’s starting to get a lot more reliable with good partners. One person even managed to give me the best orgasms of my life two dates in a row! It’s nice to not end sex frustrated and worried about when and if it is going to happen. Instead I get to have that nice satisfied feeling and all the happy endorphins that I missed so much after my first surgery.

The new orgasms feel so different than with my old parts. Before it was like climbing a mountain, seeing a beautiful view, and then coming down much faster than you went up. Now it’s more like cresting waves that build on each other until they crash on a beach and slowly ebb away. It’s a lovely feeling that always leaves me feeling so happy and contented. I’m really glad I got the revision surgery.

I’ve also continued to experiment with men and it’s really solidified for me that while I may be a little bit bisexual and it is very validating to be attractive to straight men, I really am very lesbian leaning. I enjoy dating women and enbies in a way that I just don’t get the same fulfillment with men, whether they’re cis or trans.

I’ve started doing more dating lately, still with a lot of COVID precautions in place, and it feels good to have that fun new relationship energy and to delve more deeply into existing relationships in my life. I’m really thankful to have so many supportive and loving people in my life.

Glow-up

When I first started my transition, I looked pretty awkward. I was deeply uncomfortable in my body and finally had language to name it what it was – dysphoria. I tried a lot of things in my early days including some ill fitting thrift store clothes. I heard later that my ex got a hold of those photos and was mocking me for them with her mom.

But the joke’s on her because she didn’t get to stay around long enough to see me become the beautiful, confident woman I am today. The last few years the combination of estrogen, surgeries, and hair removal have really worked their magic and I’ve had a serious glow-up. I finally feel like myself and I’m so much happier (especially without her transphobic energy in my life).

I have three lovely and affirming partners and more love and support than I could ever have imagined in my life. I often wish that I could go back in time and show myself what I would become when I finally shed all the shame. I would have made very different life choices if I had known my worth and not listened to my ex that I was so weird that no one else would love me.

I still have a long way to go in healing and personal growth but I know that I am on the right path and I’ve surrounded myself with good people to keep me there. Thank you all for your love and support that brought me this far.

Sexual Adventures

Content warning: Explicit discussion of Sex

This week I decided to have some adventures and sleep with a couple cisgender straight men. In retrospect, Pride Month was probably a weird time to suddenly choose that but as a friend pointed out, exploring my bisexuality is a form of Pride too since I usually only sleep with women and other trans people.

Overall, I’m glad I tried it and it was really affirming to quickly and easily find non-fetishizing straight men who found me attractive. But the sex was kinda “meh” for me. Like it was fun to try something different but it didn’t get me even close to orgasm. I was really hoping that it might kick on my G-spot but I think instead, it solidified for me that I like the kinds of sex I’ve been having better. This may be something I try again in the future every once in a blue moon but mostly to add variety rather than fulfillment.

Straight sex

As I’m thinking about potentially having sex with cis men soon, it’s really weird to think that this is now considered straight sex. And how different that meaning is for me now than what straight sex meant for me 5 years ago. Really makes you question the whole concept of straight vs queer sex and the idea of that as a dichotomy. But at the same time, I think it is important to be clear that a straight man can have sex with a trans woman and that doesn’t mean they’re gay. It’s all complicated and hopefully someday no one will care but here we are.

The Braces are off!

Last Monday, after almost 3 and a half years, I finally got my braces off! And while it has been exciting to finally be able to eat without spending the next hour getting pieces out of my teeth, the most surprising thing for me has been how significantly my facial dysphoria has been relieved.

When I first got the braces, I went through a week of intensive dysphoria so bad that I was dissociating completely out of my body and it felt like I was seeing my life from the bottom of a deep well. It was the worst. And while I managed to pull myself out of that well, the dysphoria for the last 3 years has been bad, enough so that I was afraid to smile completely, especially in photos. I’ve also been seriously contemplating whether I needed facial feminization surgery (FFS) because I hated my face so much.

But the last week has been so much better! I keep glimpsing myself in the mirror or my zoom screen and smiling instead of cringing. Even with my retainer on, I look so so much more beautiful! My face has changed so much, even in the last year, and it is nice to finally be able to see that.

Reflections on Trans Day of Visibility

Today is the annual Transgender Day of Visibility. A day dedicated to celebrating trans people while we are alive and appreciating trans excellence.

But for many of us, this year feels particularly hard. While we have recently enjoyed many of the benefits of being more visible in media and politics and the allyship we have gained from intersecting communities, that visibility has also come at a high cost. Violence against trans women of color is at an all time high. And the political right has chosen to make our identities a wedge issue, pushing forward hateful and harmful legislation across multiple states and at the federal level. The horrendous laws in Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Tennessee have targeted trans teens in particular, excluding them from sports and gender-affirming care.

If you are cisgender, I encourage you to take some time this week to read about the issues facing our community right now such as the scientific evidence supporting trans youth in sports and find ways to act to support your trans colleagues, friends, and trans youth across the nation. As a starting point, I recommend reading this brief article from The Nation about how Visibility Alone Will Not Keep Transgender Youth Safe. I also encourage you to find transgender-led advocacy groups to donate to such as Seattle’s Gender Justice League and the grassroots Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network Fund.

Missing the old days

Today I’m really missing the days back before I realized how much dysphoria I had where the sex with my factory installed equipment was still good. Once I started estrogen, the sex was just never the same. But my brain and body were so much happier that it was a worthwhile tradeoff.

I’m glad I have what I know are the right parts now, but I am also sad to be still stuck in this period of time where sex is ultimately just frustrating. I know it will probably get better but the waiting is so hard!

Looking back

Sometimes it’s helpful to look back and realize how far you’ve come. I ran across some photos recently of a vacation I took in 2016 and I was shocked at how hairy I used to be and how different my face looked. It is really a testament to how well laser hair removal works that I don’t really have to think about that much anymore. I used to have a very full beard and now I have shaved once in the last 2 months. It is such a relief to not have the constant dysphoria-inducing shadow on my face from stubble. And I’m so thankful that I had the resources and support to make all this expensive hair removal happen.

2016 me
Me today

A hard reality

I know I probably shouldn’t be writing when I’m tipsy but here I am anyway. And it’s time for me to say some uncomfortable things about surgery.

Right now I’m kinda regretting having bottom surgery. I know this period of no orgasms is supposed to be temporary but it’s been 4 months since I’ve had that release and I’m beyond frustrated. I really wish I still had my old parts so I had a reliable way to get off. Instead I just have to keep throwing different toys against this clit-less vulva and hope something finally happens.

I don’t know if things would be different if I still had my clit but I am terrified that this anorgasmia will last forever, especially with its loss. It has always been my biggest fear and this waiting game is wreaking havoc on my anxiety.

Anyway, that’s where I am. Hopefully I won’t be there forever and someday I’ll unlock the magical orgasms I’ve always dreamed of. In the meantime I’m going to try to keep focusing on the wonderful reduction in dysphoria and hope the rest catches up.