Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Good Week

Transitioning has it's ups-and-downs, but this has definitely been a better week for me. A lot has happened.  Some good experiences and some bad, but definitely all teaching moments:

  1. Clocked!:  I was out as Rebecca when I stopped at a thrift store for a quick look.  We have a large family, and it's important for me to stretch the wardrobe dollars as much as I can, so I usually shop at thrift stores.  Anyways, I passed two pre-teen girls, and I think they read me.  They were staring, and switched positions to get a better look, and were talking excitedly.  I acknowledged the attention with a glance. This was the first time that I felt like I was a spectacle.  Being transgender does require some practice.  Some people can practice in private and arrange everything perfectly.  They have the luxury of transitioning once they are passable.  In my case, my wife won't let me dress at home, so I have to practice in public.  I honestly don't mind the feedback; I just wish I had stopped to talk with the girls for a moment.
  2. New counselor: The medical group through which I receive all my mental health care recently hired a new counselor who has experience with LGBTQ care.  We had our first session yesterday morning and I appreciated the difference right away.  While the previous counselor helped me come out as transgender, I was her first transgender patient.  I valued our relationship, but I think I disappointed her as I dealt with the ups-and-downs of the early stages of my transition.  The new psychologist feels much more affirming.  I went to the appointment dressed as Rebecca, and she asked right away if I had a preferred name.  The one question I wanted to ask was if she would help me to become a woman. She answered, "We'll get you to where you feel you need to be!"  I was happy with her reassuring nature.  To top it off, she is also named Rebekah!
  3. Hair:  While I have generally hated my hair for most of my life, I suddenly find myself receiving some flattering comments as a woman.  I have really curly hair.  As a man, I would cut my hair short so I didn't have to deal with the curl.  I began growing my hair out ~ 7 months ago, so it's getting long and curly.  Most days, it's an easy feminine look to wear my hair curly; I use a little hair gel to help with the curl definition, but my hair does just about the right thing on its own.  Yesterday, I was checking in at the psychologists office, and there was a Hispanic woman behind me in line.  I suddenly heard the lady ask, "Okay, so what product do you use on your hair?"  I initially didn't think the question was for me, but glanced around and there was nobody else within earshot.  I turned around and we began a brief conversation about naturally curly hair. The woman had wavy hair with a lot of volume, but wanted it to look more curly, and expressed some frustration with her hair.  I firmly believe there is a inherent beauty to being female, so it was easy to tell the woman that she looked beautiful.  I appreciate the frankness of women; I love the feminine culture of giving and receiving compliments.
  4. Transition timeline:  So, my wife and I have agreed to separate so I can live as a female.  I've written some in past postings that she doesn't agree with my transition and wants me to move out.  We were planning that I would move out in October after we had paid off some financial obligations.  We recently had some investments mature, which will allow me to move out sooner.  The new date I'm working towards is August 1.  I'm busy trying to find an apartment and furnishings.
  5. Shopping by committee:  Ever since it warned up in Chicago, I have wanted a light colorful outfit for the summer.  I finally managed to go shopping yesterday.  I have to admit that I had a blast.  I found a skirt I liked, but had real difficulty matching a blouse.  I asked the store employees for help, and soon it became a competition between the store manager and her assistant.  Not long later, several patrons became involved.  At one point, I had 5 ladies offering their advice on how to pull together the outfit.  In the end, I found something that worked, and had a great time doing so.  I'm excited to wear the new outfit tomorrow.
Anyways, a good week.  I am looking forward to August 1 - I plan to go full time on that date and start hormones.


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