So it occurred to me that my 3 year anniversary of hormones happened about a month ago and I never wrote anything about it. To me, the 3 year mark is an important one because it is usually the point at which feminization either begins to stop or completely stops. At one year I felt significant effects, physically and emotionally, but still had a long way to go. At two years I felt completely changed, like an entirely new person physically and emotionally. At year three I just feel like me. I cannot recall the last time I noticed a change in my appearance outside of my struggles with weight or the growth of my hair. If I’m honest I really don’t expect there to be any further changes, unless I make changes to my current HRT dosages/medicines, which has actually been discussed with my doctor as recently as this past Thursday. For now things are going to remain the same but it is possible we will be doing something to help further the development of breast tissue. When, or if, that happens I’ll be sure to update all of you.
For now, however, I think it is time to do my last big HRT picture update for some time to come. I don’t expect to be doing these again in the future, at least not until it has been 5 or even 10 years on HRT (or if I start to have feminization surgeries). That’s not to say that I won’t still share pictures from time to time but this is going to be the last dedicated picture entry for the foreseeable future. Given that it will be the last picture entry, I figure I might as well go back to the beginning, if not before, to show just how much 3 years of hormones and living as my identified gender can change a person.
I won’t talk about the hormone effects because… frankly, it would just be repeating what has already been said in the previous two HRT updates. As I said above, I can’t remember the last time I noticed any significant changes to my body other than weight gain. So, without further ado let’s get this picture party started.
Circa 2000, I was maybe 14 in this picture (I'm in the black and yellow windbreaker)
2002 on the right.
Also 2004, just chillin with my main man Darth Vader
Later in 2008
One year later 2009 with my now ex-wife.
2011 engagement photo.
2011 with my wonderful friend Kevin at his wedding.
2013 at a friend's wedding.
2013 at another friend's wedding. I was part of the bridal party (we dubbed ourselves Man-maids; oh if we'd only known)
2014 with my Mom, shortly after I'd come out to her as being transgender.
2015, about a week on estrogen.
2015 My now ex-wife and I after buying our house. It sucked ass having to sign my birth name about a 100 times. At this point I had been on estrogen for about a month and was desperately trying to grow my hair out (hence the McScraggles look).
2015, got my first wig! It looks silly to me now, but at the time I was soooo happy. My ex-wife was less than thrilled about it, but tried her best to be happy for me.
2015 My first week going to work as Emma. I don't know if you can see it, but I can see how scared I was underneath. It was so liberating to finally be completely out of the closet and living my true life, but it was all still so new and terrifying.
June 2015 at my first PRIDE celebration after coming out. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
July 2015 when Liz Collin came to interview me for her news story (video is gone but the transcript of the video they aired on the news can be found here http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/07/21/from-robert-to-emma-the-journey-of-a-transgender-minnesotan )
August 2015, new wig and new clothes. Definitely feeling and starting to see the 6 months of estrogen at this point.
October 2015, new outfit. Can't see it here but I'm definitely struggling with some serious depression and realizing (without being able to admit it) that my marriage is doomed to fall apart. I finally feel like the person I'm supposed to be but my wife and I are growing further apart. The friendship is still there but as she will tell me a month from this photo, she's not a lesbian.
November 2015, two weeks after my marriage ended. Don't let the smile fool you, I'm anything but happy in this photo, except maybe the dress which I love and the fact that this is the lowest weight I'd been at in years. The things I'd give right now to be that thin again right now, but alas.
Feb 2016, 1 year on hormones and with my natural hair out (don't mind the fake nose ring, was testing it out).
May 2016, died my hair for the first time in almost a decade and loving it.
July 2016 getting ready for Queer Prom.
November 2016, getting ready for Halloween as an S&M Kitten.
Thanksgiving 2016 with my two cousins. Was the first time I'd gone to see my family since starting my transition and they were so kind to me it made me cry. Still get misty eyed thinking about it.
January 2017, almost been 2 years on estrogen at this point.
March 2017, 2 years on HRT about to go get my hair died again. So excited about how long it has grown at this point.
April 2017 celebrating with friends.
May 2017 random selfie.
June 2017 sushi with my BFF.
July 2017, the counselors did facials at work with the kids (I'm on the left)
October 2017, at a friend's Halloween party.
December 2017, got a new top.
Christmas 2017, rocking my new swag!
February 2018 Blue hair!! Almost 3 years on HRT.
March 2018 still blue hair and now a Monroe lip piercing (hard to see, it's on the left side)
And that's about it. As you can see I look NOTHING like I did before the transition. I am distinctly aware of the weight I've gained over the past two years but I'm taking a lot of steps to address that in a healthy way (like regularly meeting with a dietitian). That discussion, however, can be saved for another time.
For now, I just want all of you out there to know that it is possible to make your transition and end up pretty happy on the other side of it. It isn't a fairy tale, at least my transition wasn't, but I cannot imagine being anyone besides who I've become. My transition saved my life, and that's not a joke. I was so depressed and know that had I not made the change I would have taken my own life; it was only a matter of time. Thankfully I had a dream that I was a girl and the powerful feelings of finally belonging and being at home in my body were too strong to deny.
I remember how impossible it seemed back then when I watched transition videos on youtube until the wee hours of the morning. I wanted what they had so badly and even though I planned to start hormones I never really believed that could be me, but here I stand, utterly changed. Is my body perfect? Not by a long shot, but can I finally stand to be inside it without hating every second of it? Yes. I look in the mirror and I see a girl (which is what I wanted to see). When I walk around in the world I am almost always gendered correctly or gendered the way I feel most comfortable (and when I'm not it is usually because I've put in no effort into my appearance that day).
So don't give up before you even begin if you are considering hormones. I never thought I'd be seen the way I am now, and had I allowed that doubt to stop me from trying I would have never gotten to experience all the joy that has come from my transition.
Well, that's all I have my darling readers. I hope you enjoyed the picture show and hope you keep checking back for new updates. I'm going to try to keep the writing coming as often as possible. Just remember, you are beautiful, and brilliant, and worthy, and amazing, and capable of almost anything. Believe in yourself, even if the world doesn't share your belief; and if they don't share it, then prove them wrong. Stay fabulous darlings!