(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.
I just got home from my endo appointment and it went better than I could have hoped. My mom and I arrived at the hospital a few minutes early and checked in by 12:40. After the nurse took my blood pressure and weight we sat in the office for a good 30 minutes. Why we waited so long I don’t know, there was barely anyone else in the waiting room. Finally after brainstorming some middle names lo and behold Dr. Safer appears. After going over my labs and having the usual chit-chat he said that there is no reason why I couldn’t double my dose of estrogen to 4mg/daily. I was pretty sure he would say 4mg, but all the anxiety that he might not have said 4 washed away. I am pretty excited about it. I should see some good development over the course of the next few months. 🙂
Also, last night I uploaded a gallery of all my summer photos, check em out!
I am typing this up as I munch on candy corns.
Today I put together an updated version of my fat distribution chart. It took me longer than I expected because there is no real easy way to convert an excel chart into an image file. I am using Libreoffice Calc and I just ended up exporting as a pdf file and then I opened it in photoshop. The lines and text came out more gray than white, I adjusted it as best as I could for the time being.
I also updated my breast growth timeline and it can be seen over on the Breast Development page. I am pretty excited about the amount of growth I am finally getting. I see my endocrinologist tomorrow at 12:40pm and he should raise my dose to 4mg of Estradiol. I am going to ask him about taking it sublingually as I’ve heard of many girls doing the same. I am curious if one less pass through the liver makes a huge difference.
Between school and all my appointments I am going to be overwhelmed so I don’t know when my next update will be. I will make sure to post the results of my meeting with my endo at some point tomorrow. I hope everyone survives the beginning of the school year. (myself included)
Upper Arm Circumference: 12
Lower Arm Circumference: 10.5
Under Bust: 34
Natural Waist: 32.25
Belt Line: 38.75
here are my updated measurements as promised. I updated them on the measurements page and I am working on updating my chart that compares weight to fat distribution. I should have the new chart up tonight or tomorrow.
In the mean time Ashley asks: Are you going to show your laser progress? Like you did for electrolysis.
A: Hi Ashley,
I am planning on showing some of my laser progress, though it won’t be as in-depth as my electrolysis. I only have two pictures for comparison thus far so I think I am going to wait a few weeks until I get some more re-growth and then I will post what I’ve done so far.
It has been quite a while since I last posted, I apologize for that. I kept meaning to post but something else just kept coming up! For that reason I am going to make this post a little longer than usual. After I got back from New Hampshire I set about enjoying the last 3 weeks of summer vacation before classes started again. The picture above was from just before we left the condo and headed to Maine.
Last weekend hurricane Irene came through and caused quite a stir. Everyone in my area was in a state of panic, getting ready up for the apocalypse. We didn’t get hit that bad out near the coast, It was mostly some heavy winds and rain on Saturday and some more rain on Sunday. We were lucky enough to not loose power but my cousins and aunts one street over lost theirs for about a day or so. The only real damage I suffered was that half of my Staghorn Sumac trees were bent over in the winds and a few even cracked. It couldn’t have come at a worse time now that we are getting right to when the berries are ripe for picking. Maybe I will still be able to salvage some and make some lemonaid..Who knows?
I’ve had two electrolysis appointments since I got back, last week I had quite a bit of regrowth and my electrologist thinks it is the hair that we treated near the beginning that grew back. It is kind of good and bad at the same time, it sucks that is is still growing, but at the same time she was able to get a lot of hair in the Anagen growth phase which is more effective. I also had my 2nd laser appointment this week. It is hard to tell how effective it is, but I think the hair under my arms looked a bit patchier than it used to. I should be able to tell for sure by my 3rd treatment. Even if it’s effects are minimal, it is still significantly easier than electrolysis.
I saw my girlfriend on Wednesday for the first time since we came back from NH. We made Chicken Cordon Bleu last night for her mom and tonight for my family. It came out fantastic! We’ve tried a bunch of recipes from Allrecipes and they have all turned out great.
This afternoon I took sam out for a short hike around Appleton Farms, one of the oldest farms in the country. They have 6 miles of trails that sit adjacent to 133 acres of grassland. The weather was perfect and the hills were absolutely beautiful. We ate some sandwiches by an obelisk and watched the cows graze the fields. It is nice to get away from the internet for a while. I have quite a few pictures of what I’ve done over the summer and I thought the best way to share them would be by making a new album with everything from the summer. So once I sort out the good ones I will be putting them up for your viewing pleasure.
I finally got the results from my most recent blood work and they look pretty good. My testosterone levels are down to 184.96 ng/dL, which is still not in female range but it’s a lot better than the 300-400 that it was before. My estrogen is siting at 50.16 pg/mL, that should jump up when I add more estrogen. I have my next endo appointment in 3 days and there is no reason why he shouldn’t bump me up to 4mg Estradiol per day. Looks like I will finally be on a respectable dose!
I think I will end it here before it gets too long. I am going to take my measurements and some new breast growth pictures tonight or tomorrow and I will update my comparison charts soon. Have a good Labor day weekend!