My name is Lewis. I am a transsexual living in the north-west of England. I was born female and now, at the ripe old age of 43 I'm doing what I wish I could have done at 18 - begin the transition process to male.
“If she went to sleep in a magical position, knees crooked just right, head at a magical angle, fingers all crossed one over the other, in the morning she would be a boy.”—East of Eden by John Steinbeck (pg. 246).
I never read this book but I used to think exactly that when I was little.
…I resurrected this blog.
Since I last wrote here, there’s been quite a bit of development. After a few delays and hiccups I finally started T on 15 August. I’m on Sustanon, once every 4 weeks, and I had my second shot last Monday.
I totally wasn’t expecting changes to happen so quickly.
The first thing I noticed was dick growth. OMG. It was tiny to start with and within 2 weeks it was over half an inch, although it did shrink back a bit towards the latter part of the first 4 weeks, and it’s just now getting back to where it got up to.
I am definitely hornier than usual (but that’s not hard either considering that I have a very low sex drive normally) but it’s not to the point of annoyance or distraction. I have also managed to reach orgasm without the use of a vibe, for the first time in 20-odd years.
In the first few days after starting T I suddenly felt very tired, and needing 10 hours sleep instead of my usual 7. Thankfully that didn’t last long: going to bed at 10pm really sucks.
My voice. I first noticed a change in my speaking voice about 2 weeks after the first shot, when I had to listen to a recording of one of my calls at work. It definitely sounds different on a recording, though it didn’t (at the time) sound different to me when speaking. The next thing I noticed was that I could sing in the lower part of my range more easily and that my natural pitch dropped about a tone and a half. Over the last few days it’s dropped again, and now I defintiely notice a difference when I’m speaking, and I’ve dropped about another tone in singing. I’m now finding it very hard to sing at the same pitch I used to. I’m not having trouble with pitching lower though; I was worried that my voice would be all over the place but it’s not; I’m able to keep it nicely under control.
I am definitely not a soprano any more.
No body hair as yet, but I do have a couple of new whiskers on my chin and I’m needing to shave them every other day otherwise I end up fiddling with them all the time. Actually no, my pubes are a little thicker, and they’ve started to creep down the inside of my thighs.
My appetite hasn’t increased as much as I thought, and I haven’t had any outbreak of acne (except for one little pimple that only lasted a couple of days).
I have a visit to Charing Cross before my next shot. I’m actually really looking forward to it this time.
I thought my appointment was 11.30, turned out it was 11.00 but in any case I was more than half an hour early anyway. The walk from the Travelodge was only 15 minutes. When I got there the doctor saw me straight away, I didn’t even have to wait. He was very nice, asked lots of question about my life, past and present, and finished off by asking me what I wanted for the future. I said, basically, that my next priority is getting onto hormones. He said that I have to be seen again by another doctor in April, but “…if he agrees with me, we should get you a reccommendation on that visit.” After that he sent me up to the hospital to get blood samples taken, and that was pretty quick too. The needle didn’t even hurt (and she took 6 or 8 vials - I lost count).
So then I had 8 hours to waste. I went to the Victoria and Albert museum on Leslie’s suggestion, then on to Leicester Square for a late lunch. Disappointing, that - the square itself was all boarded up for redevelopment work. After that I went up Oxford Street (didn’t buy anything) and ended up back at Eustn by 5 because I was bored and tired. Wasted an hour and a half in Costa Coffee and the last hour in a pub up the road, and now I’m on the train on the way home.
I have to admit that despite some last minute nerves (it took me 2 hours to get to sleep last night - and no Alice that wasn’t your fault!) I was pretty confident about this appointment, and I wasn’t in any way disappointed. It’s less than 3 months to my next one and finally I can see it all falling into place.
He said that after April there’ll be a third to follow up on how the hormones are going and to discuss further options for top surgery. That would have to be a minimum of a year after going fulltime (which is counted from last August when I changed my name) so it’s possible I might even get that far before the end of the year.
It’s crossed my mind that they might be fast-tracking me because of my advanced age *cough*.
Someone in this train carriage is playing the harmonica. How lovely.
I haven’t posted here for ages, mainly because my progress has been pretty much zero, and nothing worth writing about has happened since my last post. But the countdown is getting close to the wire now. Ten days from now (actually ten days from this morning) is my first appointment at Charing Cross. I’m getting very nervous now, but also excited. They better not cancel it on me now.
The main thing that’s making me nervous is the doctor I’m seeing (Ahmad). I can’t find anyone who’s actually seen this doctor (I don’t even know if the doctor is male or female) so I have absolutely no idea what to expect, whether they’re good or bad or indifferent.
I should have told my parents by now but I haven’t, and it’s probably not going to be possible before I go. I was meant to visit them before Christmas but that got cancelled because of the snow, and I really REALLY don’t want to tell them over the phone or in an email. It’s got to be in person. I hope this won’t make it difficult with the doctor; I know they like you to have told everybody before they let you start treatment.
I guess in ten days I’ll know.
So I have a dilemma.
There is a family “funeral” on Nov 8th and I’m supposed to be going. (It’s not a true funeral; this is one of Leslie’s aunts, who lived in Canada. The funeral and cremation has already happened but now Leslie’s cousin is bringing his mum’s ashes back to be interred with other family members. Nonetheless there will be a short religious service as the family are all Catholic).
Now, I no longer own any womens’ clothes. Certainly none suitable for a funeral.
So my dilemma is this:
1) Buy a whole new outfit, including shoes and make-up, and go as a woman.
2) Turn up in a suit and tie and shock them.
3) Call them in advance and tell them I’m transitioning and would like to wear male clothes for it (this will alomst certainly result in me not being welcome there ever again and certainly not at the service).
4) Make up an excuse why I can’t go (can’t get time off work - which isn’t true, I am already off that day.).
(#2 is only in there for completeness’ sake. I have no actual intention of doing that).
(#3 is something I’m very reluctant to do because I wanted to tell people face to face and I certainly want to tell my own parents before I tell Leslie’s parents, and I won’t have the opportunity to do that til Christmas. But if there is any reason why #1 or #4 are Very Bad or Very Wrong then I’ll have to start sending emails instead.)
I was in a pub tonight with some people from the Humanist society, who know me only as Lewis, and as male.
Towards the end of the evening, who should walk in to the pub, but the guy who runs the Tuedsay folk club that I used to attend (until he and I had a major falling-out and I stopped going, over a year ago). But he knows me only by my former name, and as female.
Fortunately I managed to sneak out without him noticing me. But we’ll be meeting there every month and I’m sure this must be one of his regular haunts. So I think next time I will have to speak to him and tell him what’s going on.
Also fortunately it’s a very LGBT-friendly pub so if he kicks up any fuss (for instance about me using the gents toilets) I think the landlord would be on my side.
Actually I’m sort of hoping we can come to a reconcliation, because I miss that folk club.
The pensions department at work had been difficult about changing my title to Mr as well as changing my name, and they wanted to insist on calling me “Ms”. I kicked up a fuss, wrote them a letter to say why they were just not allowed to do that, sent them a copy of the Press for Change bumf on the legalities of name-changing in the UK. They wrote back to me today, a letter addressed to Mr Lewis …., to say that they’d changed my title as requested. Score!
Also having a day off work I got my details updated with the last few places left on my list; mortgage people and the bank where I have my savings account. All nice and easy, no problems at all.
Bought two nice smart shirts and a new pair of trousers for work too. All in all, a busy day but a good one.
Of all the areas of my life I’ve thought that coming out at work would be the least problematic. The company I work for has a good diversity policy and I knew even before coming out that I would be fully protected.
I already told my manager in private, and also my manager’s boss because I needed her help in getting a new ID card sorted out. The plan was to tell the rest of the department later in the week when I got the notarised copies of my deed poll sent back.
Well. When I arrived in work on Tuesday, my manager took me aside and told me that her boss had told all the other level 6 managers already, and one of them was starting to gossip about it. So could I do the coming out thing today and then it would be public knowledge.
So I did. The intention was to have a departmental meeting and tell everyone at once. What I hadn’t bargained on was it being impossible to get everyone off the phones at the same time, so it had to be done in shifts. So I got to make my announcement 4 times.
I made it really brief and to the point - basically just told them that I’d changed my name to Lewis, and was now officially a “Mr”, and briefly of my intentions regarding reassignment, and asked them to start using my new name and male pronouns.
The reaction was almost total support. Some people even applauded. There are one or two who aren’t speaking to me (mainly the people who never did anyway) - but the ones who matter are being really supportive and there are even some surprisess - people who I expected to be difficult about it are also being supportive.
By the fourth “meeting” I was getting a bit overwhelmed and slightly teary. But it was good tears. I’m just amazed at how much support I’m getting, not just at work but everywhere, and how accepting people in general have been about it.
I’m annoyed about my manager’s boss telling people too soon though.
Today I’ll be wearing a binder at work for the first time.
of the LGBT 30 day challenge. Been a while since I answered these and #6 is short so two answers today.
Day 6 - Did you face any problems regarding religion?
Being as I’m not at all religious, this is a total non-issue for me.
Day 7 - How your parents took it or how you think they might take it.
I haven’t told them yet. To be honest I’m not that close to my family. Not that there’s ever been any massive falling-out or disagreement, there hasn’t. I just never felt like I could talk to them about anything, except the most trivial things, because when as a child I tried to talk to them about anything that was important to me, they would answer “don’t be stupid.” That was their answer for everything, so I learned to say nothing at all.
I see them only a couple of times a year; once in the summer and once at Christmas, and that’s about it. I’ll probably tell them at Christmas and I fully expect that they won’t like it, they’ll refuse to address me by my new name or by the proper pronouns, and will tell me they think I’m being stupid.
And honestly, I don’t care.