(Getting breakfast before my first class)
for those of you in school, I hope your first week of classes went well, and for those of you who are older or aren’t in school, I hope the swarms of college students haven’t completely driven you insane. I want to spend most of my time today talking about transitioning while in college, and some of the obstacles you may face, but before I do that I want to give a quick update on everything else in my life.
Last week I didn’t have time to see my electrologist so I am seeing quite a bit of re-growth. Tomorrow I will see her again and hopefully we can take care of most of it. Even though I’ve had 7 hours of treatment it seems to still be coming in at a steady pace which is slightly discouraging. If you need laser/electrolysis, start now. For someone with a full beard it could take upwards of 2-300 hours of treatment. The annoyance of being full-time and having to grow out my facial hair for Monday appointments is starting to set in.
Today I switched my estrogen prescription from CVS to Walgreens so that I could get a 90 day prescription in hopes of saving on my co-pay. Sadly my new Estradiol pills are small round yellow circles as opposed to the cool purple ovals I got from CVS. On the bright side, they seem to dissolve much faster when taken Sublingually.
With all that aside, I would like to talk a bit about my first 3 days of classes after going full-time and what they have been like. Last semester I was living part-time at school and was still going by my male name in most of my classes, but this semester I decided I would go to all my classes as Abbey. Before I get into the details, I just want to say that it has taken me a while to get to this point and to have the confidence to deal with the obstacles I will most likely encounter.
The first obstacle I encountered was the dreaded attendance list. I may be out to all of my friends and family, but the only thing my new professors have to go by is the name on their course roster which happens to still show my male name. If there is a way to change this without a legal name change, I do not know, but you are most likely to face this problem if you are in college. In preparation for this, I emailed all of my professors beforehand notifying them of my trans-status and that I would like to go by a different name. Of my 4 classes, I couldn’t find one of their emails, and another already knows that I go by Abbey, so that leaves me with 2 professors to email. One professor got the message and called me by the correct name, but the other must not have gotten my email and called me by my male name. It was a pretty awkward moment for me, but in reality half the class probably didn’t notice and this is something you need to be prepared for in the case that it does happen. I have since emailed her asking her to call me by Abbey in the future. Professors seem to be pretty understanding people. If you think about it they have seen pretty much every kind of person come through their classroom.
Aside from role call, I haven’t had any major incidents or been outed. Surprisingly I feel like I am being treated and accepted pretty well by other students. Naturally, one of the most awkward times is when I have to use the bathroom. I used the women’s bathrooms on campus on several occasions before, but never on a daily basis. After talking with a few girls in other classes and being treated as female consistently, I am becoming more and more comfortable interacting socially as a girl. It feels easier and more natural.
Sometimes it is the small things that really boost your confidence. Like I said earlier I was in a group with 2 other girls in class, and it felt good to have them refer to me as “her” and not make any inclination to the fact that I may have been male at one point. In another class I got paired up with another girl to work on an assignment and we surprisingly got along pretty well. On yet another occasion I was headed to the bathroom and as I was walking towards it a girl was coming out and she held the door for me to go in. It is extremely subtle, but by holding the door and expecting that I was going to the women’s room, she was in a way, silently accepting me as female. Despite all of these things being small in the whole scheme of things, they all build up to make me feel much more comfortable in living as my true gender.
What it really comes down to is confidence. Obviously there is an element of looking female, but once you have a somewhat androgynous/female appearance, what really determines wether you pass or not is your confidence level. If you are confident that you are female, and act as if you are, people will more often than not, accept you as female. My physical appearance has not changed too much since I started hormones, but my confidence level has greatly improved and so has my ability to pass.
As the school year progresses I am sure I will have plenty more to talk about, so keep your eyes open. By the way, it sucks having to use the women’s room. Half the time they are completely full!
And on that note I am going to leave you with a little something that has been a source of inspiration for me when I find myself in times of trouble.