Wednesday, June 3, 2015

6-3-2015 Entry: Bras, Bathrooms, and Gender Transition at Work

Okay, hello my darling readers. I apologize that I haven’t been writing much over the last couple weeks. Things at work have gotten quite busy and I’ve been spending a great deal of my free time at home working on my memoire. I am approaching 10,000 words written, which for those who are not familiar with word counts means I have about 20 pages worth of a standard sized novel. I have found the experience quite rewarding as it fills both my desire to share my experiences and my desire to create a story. Memoire writing from what I understand is almost like fiction writing in its story telling mechanics and I’m finding that to be pretty spot on. I’m not fabricating anything out of thin air, but I am choosing which details to put in and which to leave out for the sake of continuity of plot progression. I have even come up with the title, or at least something close to what I will eventually entitle the book: “Pink Nail Polish: My Transition from One Life to Another”
I chose pink nail polish because it has some significance to me and will play a part in the overall story progression of the book, but more on that later. I’m sure you didn’t stop by to hear about my memoire that you can’t read. You came to see what craziness I’ve come up with this week! Well, I have some juicy tidbits for you, but we’ll get to those in a moment (I know, I’m just wicked, aren’t I?)

First I want to discuss the HRT progress. So I went in for some blood tests last week to check on my progress with the hormones and everything appears to be in the green. The doctor seemed pleased with my reports about breast development and the minor redistributions of fat that I’ve noticed. This was my last monthly visit with her and I will now begin to see here every three months or so before eventually switching to every six months. She was very happy with the news I told her about my plans to go full time and transition at work, and just advised me to make sure I have appropriate resources to help me with inevitable stress and anxiety that come with transitioning at work. Other than that, nothing is really changing with my dosage. The pills have had zero side effects, so I will stay on a 6mcg (mg? I don’t recall) dosage for the time being as well as the same dosage of Spironolactone (this might change once my testosterone labs come back but they haven’t yet, so for now I’m staying where I am).

As for the effects of the HRT, they are ongoing with small gradual changes occurring every week. Nothing too amazing to report for right now as things are progressing at such a slow rate it’s often difficult to even tell a difference.

Okay, onto the juicy news you’ve been waiting for, but where to begin? As I stated in a recent blog post the trouble with going so long between writing these is that I have almost too much to share than you probably have the attention span for! Hmmm… maybe I’ll start with the intimates ;)

Bras! OMG bras! They are… weird, honestly. Wearing a bra for the first couple times was quite a surreal experience for me. My fledgling breasts are not nearly large enough to really give me the feeling of having womanly curves yet, but strap a bra on me with a sock padding the space between and Emma becomes a lady!! /wolf whistle.

No, but seriously, to have substantial breasts, artificially enhanced as they were, was a little mind blowing. It was like leaping a year ahead in time and getting to see what it’s like to look substantially more feminine. Couple that with the new undies I bought myself and I practically feel the need to walk up and down the hallways of my house like it’s a runway and I’m a Victoria secret model! Okay, maybe that’s just because I’m an eccentric loser, but it’s fun to see myself be sexy in the right kind of way. It really serves as a boost to my confidence. And GURL when I was trying on clothes at the JC Penny this weekend and I started unbuttoning the shirt I’d tried on only to reveal my black bra peaking through with my hair draped down my shoulder I felt super foxy! I was a drop dead gorgeous man-eatin babe! Even more so because I’m a big lesbian that they couldn’t touch me even if they wanted to, and we all know about wanting something because you know you can’t have it.

Okay, I think it’s important in this moment to remind those of you who know (and inform those who weren’t aware) that Emma is a Scorpio, and Scorpios rule the realm of sexuality and desire, so all this self-congratulating sexiness should come as no surprise. Besides, I’ve gone my whole life being the wrong kind of sexy, so it’s very exciting to experience gender appropriate sexiness.

Anyway, now that we are all painfully aware that Emma thinks she is a sexy beast, let’s move away from the fun intimates and move on to the not so fun intimates, also known as bathrooms!! This past weekend I experienced another first and crossed off another fear on the “fuck it, go big or go home” list, not once but twice in the same day. For the first time ever, I went into a women’s public restroom presenting as a woman, twice! At two different public restrooms! Aren’t you proud of me?

The first bathroom was at a Noodles & Co. that was almost as gross and unkempt as a typical men’s room is. My wife even remarked after I came out that she thought the bathroom had been gross. Basically, I was still eating my food when my wife finished hers and decided to use the bathroom. After I finished eating I realized that I too needed to go to the bathroom, but didn’t really know what to do. Was I going to break the cisgender rule numero uno these days and go into a women’s bathroom despite being anatomically male? Was I going to go into the men’s room despite wearing a skirt, blouse, bra, wig and makeup and out myself to everyone else in the restaurant?

When my wife came back I told her that I should have gone in there with her, to which she replied that I should just go in then because no one else was in there. Deciding fuck it, go big or go home, I got up and walked over to the bathroom and entered it. As I mentioned before it was in varying degrees of disgusting with toilet paper on the floor, mystery smears on the mirrors, and everything was kind of grungy. I decided to go into the handicap stall instead of the smaller one with the hopes that I would be less visible in the bigger stall should anyone come in. I started my business, being sure to keep my men’s under garments from dropping to the floor where they could be seen (TMI I’m sure; also, this was before I bought undies the next day, as an FYI). Just as I begin the process a woman walks into the bathroom and takes the only other stall to conduct her business. Needless to say I was like O_O on the toilet, afraid that somehow this woman would psychically know that things were not all on the up and up in the stall next to her.

I waited for her finish her business and start washing her hands before I wrapped up my own process. I started to stand up but suddenly realized that if I was going to keep this female charade going, I had to use some toilet paper even though I didn’t need it. So, I quickly grabbed a few squares and pretty much just crinkled it up before tossing it in the toilet. I pulled my skivvies up and situated myself before proceeding to wash my hands, check my appearance, and leave the bathroom. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being completely DGAF and 10 being “I’m going to have a heart attack from the anxiety” I would say this experience was somewhere up around an 8 or a 9. Why? I don’t really know. It wasn’t all that different from a regular trip to the bathroom, but for some reason it was quite nerve wracking.

The second bathroom trip was after my wife and I sat through a movie at the movie theatre (we saw Mad Max, which was pretty good actually; very feminist friendly believe it or not). This time I went in with my wife which was just plain fucking weird to do. I have spent the last 6 years with her going into separate bathrooms after movies and out in public so to go into the same one as her was rather jarring. This bathroom was much cleaner and conformed much more to the perception I had of immaculately clean women’s bathrooms. The strangeness of going into the bathroom with my wife only increased as we peed next to each other. Another first I never thought would happen in my life. Again I pretty much forgot that I should be using some toilet paper if I’m ever going to convincingly pass as a typical lady in the bathroom. Another new thing I didn’t really expect to see was the maxi pad/tampon dispenser, which I have to say, looks strikingly similar to the condom dispensers I’ve seen in the past in men’s bathrooms (rare as they are these days).

Overall the experience was just strange and rather nerve wracking, but I am happy that I went through with it because I’m about to have to do this on a daily basis, pretty much for the rest of my life, so I need to get over my anxiety eventually. Which, in fact, leads me to the next piece of juicy news. After a lot of thought, I have decided that this coming Monday, June 8th, 2015 is the day Robert Thrumston disappears from the earth in all but memory and paper. Yep, that’s right, this coming Monday is the day I finally become Emma full time and start going to work as a female instead of a male.

I probably don’t have to say this, but I am pretty nervous about it. I know it will be a good thing and I know that any initial bumps on this road will eventually work themselves out over time, but this is a HUGE change I’m about to embark on. It’s also gotten me rather sad as well, although those feelings are rather complex and difficult to truly articulate. I think I’m sad because, in a way, I am grieving the loss of this male identity that I’ve carried around with me for the last 25+ years (hard to say I had any sort of identity prior to the age of 3 or 4). It has been my safety blanket in a lot of ways, and I’m none too eager to spend my days without it. People don’t stare with confusion or disapproval at Robert the male the way they do with Emma the transwoman. People don’t feel the need to ask me super personal and prying questions that really aren’t much of their business as Robert the male. People don’t automatically assume I’m a wierdo, pervert, or sexual deviant when they see Robert wearing his button up shirt and khakis out in public. When they see Emma, transwoman extraordinaire that she is, wearing a skirt, some questionably applied makeup and a wig, they concoct all kinds of narratives about who they suspect me to be.

I have stepped out of the darkness in almost all avenues of my life except for in my roles as an employee, coworker, and general citizen of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN; but now I’m going to do exactly that. I’m truly going to step out into the world for anyone and everyone I encounter to see me, and the only way to do that is by sacrificing this shielding personality I’ve held onto for all these years. I have never been so vulnerable as I’m about to become. Even drafting the email I’m going to send out at work has been an exercise in exposing vulnerability. How much should I say? How much should  I leave out? I suspect my HR person would love it if I didn’t even discuss the fact that I’m transgender or that I identify as a transwoman, but I’m not sure I care what she prefers. I don’t know if she has MY best interests in mind when she advises me to “keep it short and sweet.”

I have worked with these people day in and day out for over a year now and never once did any of them probably question whether or not I’m a male. Can I truly give them a simple email that says, “hey, guess what! I’m totally a chick and will be coming to work as a girl from now on! Thanks, bye!”? Don’t I have to at least explain myself to some degree so they can understand WHY I’m doing what I’m doing? Obviously a biography of my years of gender dysphoria wouldn’t be appropriate, but they should at least know that I’m transgender and not just a transvestite or some cross-dressing fetishist. They should also probably understand that I want them to call me Emma and she/her from now on. And do I leave it at that? Do I tell them that I’m willing to talk about this on a one-on-one basis? Am I really up to explaining myself to all 45 of them, even when quite a few of them are from different countries and cultures who may have very different views about gender identity than western cultures?

The point is, even though I’ve decided that June 8th is the big day, I’m almost completely unprepared for it mentally. I have all the clothes and items necessary to make it happen, but I’m not sure I could ever really be mentally prepared for this. Just like you can never fully prepare yourself to enter a pool that has really cold water, I think my only recourse is to either painfully enter it inch by inch, or to do a goddamn cannonball like a rock-star. I’m opting to go the rock-star route and again say, “Fuck it, go big or go home!” and just do a cannon ball into the next phase of my life. Maybe I’ll regret that decision come next Monday, but for today, I have no plans to change my mind. I have to do this. I must do this. I will never forgive myself if I don’t do this, and so I am going through with it.

So, my darling readers, this may very well be the last time your beloved blogger (because how could anyone not love me, right? I’m just too fabulous! =p::: ) is typing while still presenting in physical life as Robert the male. Obviously I will be updating everyone on how things progress this coming Monday, as well as to discuss how my visit with the in-laws goes this weekend (can’t remember how much I’ve talked about the drama going on in that regard, next time for sure). Also, last but not least, fear not, you will hear my 2 cents on the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair photo shoot and how the transphobes have come out of the woodwork to desperately try to maintain their perceptions of the world and gender identity as the “normal” perception. Never fear, I’ve see the transwoman extraordinaire signal in the skies and I will swoop in to set everything straight! Or maybe I should say, turn everything upside down so we can get a whole new perspective!

Much love you to, my darlings. To those who’ve written to me in the recent weeks, please know I’m doing my best to carve out some time to respond to your emails. You have not been forgotten.



No comments:

Post a Comment