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I will respond via email as well as post your comment and answer on my blog unless you don’t want me to. If you leave no email I will simply post it on my blog.
Q: Some trans have been accused of being selfish and alienated their families. Do you think your experience of slowing down and taking time to show you care for them has helped the situation be more satisfying for everyone? – Summer Day
A: I think the effort I made to include my family in the transition process undoubtedly helped everyone get through it. After going through that most of my family is supportive and there for me. If I had done it the other way and simply started self-meding and changing who I was without them knowing, I would’ve eventually had to confront them about it and they probably wouldn’t be as supportive after being lied to and left behind. In order to keep your family healthy I think it is important to bring them with you, get them to learn about what it is to be trans, help them understand that you are going through. It is definitely a process but you will eventually get through and in the end you will have your family standing at your back.
Q: How did your family react to your coming out as trans? What part of that was most difficult?
A: Overall my family has reacted really well to me being trans. Only 2 or 3 people in my extended family disagree with it. That being said, it was still a terrifying experience. The hardest part for me was taking the first step and coming out to my mom. I was 18 years old and one night I sat down by her while she was on the computer. I told her I had to tell her something but it took me at least half an hour to get it out. Once I finally got it out she was shocked and cried, she is a very emotional person. It was very tough for my parents. We tried going to a few therapists but my mom broke down one day on the way home and it just made me feel so bad. I basically dropped the subject for 3 years because I was afraid of seeing my parents like that.
Fast forward to a year ago, I had still been dealing with my trans feelings and it wasn’t getting any easier. I decided I had to do something about it this time. I sat down in the same chair I did 3 years before and told her I still felt like I needed to be a girl. It was difficult at first but we found a good therapist and they came to accept the new me. Now they are doing pretty well, my mom still messes up and calls me a he sometimes but she usually catches herself.
Q: Can I ask you about your sexual orientation? Do you consider yourself a lesbian? And what about your girlfriend? Did you both started as kind of an heterosexual couple or you were always out with her and as a girl? Sorry if asking this seems somehow weird, but I’m questioning my own sexual orientation a lot and see you and your gf (even if only in pics and posts) and think to myself “thats the kind of couple I’d like to be in” (it’s a feeling that I get from seeing you, not something rational). So I think that hearing about it might somehow help me think about myself, in a way.
Take care Abbey! 🙂
Greetings from Argentina,
A: Hello Brenda! That is a perfectly reasonable question, it is something I haven’t really touched on before. (Other than mentioning I had a girlfriend) To answer your question, I identify myself as a lesbian. Sam, my girlfriend, is a little more in a gray area on this one so I can’t really answer on her behalf. I think she kind of thinks of me as in-between, or the best of both worlds. (I like the idea of a mixed super-gender)
Sam: ” I wouldn’t categorize myself as a lesbian, but I wouldn’t label myself as anything else either. I like the idea of a gray-area and I really don’t know, or care, what my sexual orientation is. If I like you, we’re going out, end of story. There have been women and men I’ve wanted to go out with, but then I found Abbey and I’m quite content.”
When we first met she actually didn’t know what I was because we had one of the same classes and she had a huge crush on me but didn’t know who I was. However, when she did find out who I was she learned that I was trans and still wanted to get to know me. She has never really thought of me as male so I would say it’s always been a lesbian relationship. I find nothing wrong with a relationship between two females, trans-females, or any combination of the two and I think it isn’t necessary to fit into a specific orientation.
I hope this was helpful in your your understanding of yourself!
Q: Have you always been attracted to just girls and never boys throughout your life, and have you dated females before your current girlfriend?
I’ve always been attracted to girls, so much so that I turned into one. Before my current girlfriend I had 2 other relationships that I would consider serious. One was when I was 18 before I really understood that I was trans, and the other was when I was 21 and starting my transition. The second was transgendered like myself. What really attracts me to people is their appearance/figure, and their personality, NOT what is in their pants. I am attracted to girls regardless of their genitalia.
Q: I was wondering how easy it is to start hormone therapy in Mass? I’m around the same area you are, and I want to start hormones a.s.a.p. I might be able to start them in like October, but they told me I have to get all these tests done first, which I hope to do in a few weeks.
A: Hi Ashley,
Q: I apologize if this is a bit personal for your blog! Do you plan on getting Sexual Reassignment Surgery? If so, how important do you think the surgery is to maintaining your identity? If not, do you just feel it isn’t necessary to go that far?
A: At this very moment I do not feel the need to get SRS. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to have a vagina, but due to certain restrictions in the cost and the procedure itself, I have chosen not to get it done. I am perfectly okay with having a penis, to me it isn’t what in your pants that maters, it is how you feel on the inside and how you identify yourself.
That being said, if we have some significant advances in SRS technology within the next 10 years and my finances allow it, I would definitely not rule out the idea of getting it done.
Q: What is your hair regimen? What do you do to get your hair all shiny and looking nice? =)
A: I use Rusk Most shampoo and Rusk Smoother conditioner. They are pretty expensive but I really like how well they work. The conditioner is a leave-in conditioner so you put it on when your hair is still damp, it makes my hair much softer than other conditioners I’ve tried! It still does get frizzy sometimes but it is minimal.
Other than that I don’t really use any products aside from the occasional hair spray or sculpting wax. When I wash it I run a comb through it in the shower to smooth out any snarls and then comb it straight after I towel dry it. If you are having trouble with unruly hair try some different products and see what works for you!
Since responding to this my hair regimen has somewhat changed. Right now I am using Lush Happy Hippie shower gel, which has a delicious grapefruit/citrus scent and is even Vegan. I am looking for a new conditioner from Lush to try.
Aside from that I just started using TIGI’s Bed Head After-party which is a smoothing cream that makes my feel AMAZINGLY SOFT! The way it makes my hair feel makes up for the $21 price tag.
Q: I was wondering if there were any trans stores around eastern Mass, I know nobody in real life who shares these feelings.
A: There is one trans-friendly shop that I know of in Wakefield, MA. It is called Florence’s Fashions and is a small boutique store that has a variety of women’s clothing, wigs, and breast forms. The owner is heavily involved in the trans community and is happy to give you advice help with your outfits. Shopping at a big department store can be extremely intimidating for the first time, Florence’s provides a safe place to start learning what to look for when shopping for women’s clothing. They do not have much casual wear like T-shirts and shorts but they have a decent selection of dressier clothes. Here is a link for more information about Florence’s Fashions.
Q: You mentioned self-harming in your post explaining your period of depression. Had you self-harmed in the past, and did involve cutting, burning, or some other method of injury? Is this something you are concerned about happening the future, or was it a one-time desperate kind of action?
A: Before I had my issues of depression there were a few unrelated instances in the past where I had harmed myself. When I hurt myself I would cut or scratch myself with a knife or a pointed object. I cut mostly on my arms or hand. The only real visible scar left is one on my hand but it blends in pretty well. I have had thoughts of self-harm since my hospitalization but they are much less frequent and only occur during times of heavy emotional stress or trauma. I think the tendency to look toward self-harm for relief is partially ingrained into my psyche, but with proper coping techniques and a more effective method of release those tendencies can be overcome. It is like unlearning a bad habit or impulse, we come to fall back on them and it takes time and effort to healthier habits.
Q: Do you think it’s more important to aim your blog at the trans community or reach a wider audience?
A: I think it is equally important to provide content for both members of the trans community, and those who may just be looking in to check it out. The other day I realized that there are all the girls who want to live stealth and hid their trans status. That is their own decision, but what I realized, was that if everyone is in stealth, how is the community going to get to know trans people and begin to accept them? The more visible we are, the more they will interact with us and learn to accept us. The same way Gay people have started to gain acceptance over the last decade. The more of us out there showing the world that we are just as normal as them, the sooner we will get equality.
Q: Being defined as trans can be a drag because it narrows everything down to that focus. Do you have other interests or ways of socialising that help keep you level and be seen by other people as a rounded person? – Summer Day
A: Being trans is only one small part of who I am, I have many creative sides and loving sides hidden deep within. As for hobbies, I enjoy 3D sculptural art and I do thing like welding, jeweler crafting and glassblowing. I am also a musician, though I haven’t been putting much time into my music as of late. My social skills may be a bit lacking, but I can get by.
Q: Your story is an arresting and different alternative. As an artist do you see any mileage in using it dramatically or commercially one day? Is there something about your experience that is making you as a person and gives you a platform? – Summer Day
A: I do see the possibility of my being trans becoming part of my art work in the future. I am interested in art that blends the lined between masculine and feminine. If I ever do any modeling that would be a perfect example of pushing the boundaries of gender in art.
Q: How tall are you? If you don’t mind me asking. =)
A: Not at all! I am 6′ 3″. growing up I had every gym teacher asking me to play basketball. =)