FAQ Trans-female


Foreword

All good conversations begin with a common ground of a desire to learn with respect. Before you proceed in this subject. My approach to these questions come from a stand point of my lived experiences and my current education. My point of view is NOT an agenda nor does it follow trends.


Q: Will transition make a transgender person happy?
A: No, but it will be part of their future happiness. One thing will NEVER make anyone happy forever, it is however part of a future that many are looking forward to and that in itself will allow others to find happiness where staying as they were will not. Please understand that those of us who are Transgender do not begin transition in a rush. There is a lot of soul searching and talking to professionals before a person ever begins Transition.

Q: Are there costs for Transitioning?
A: Costs for Medical Transition can start at $20,000 AUD and go upwards.

Q: What do those who are Transitioning do about clothes?
A: Well this is a very simple thing for anyone to do. With online stores and tutorials the Transgender community can transition into a style that suits them. Plus if we all just relax most people who are Transgender you might never know that they are just buying clothes just like you. Then wondering why a size 16 is different in every store.

Q: Who are Trans-females attracted to???
A: First this is no ones business so please don’t ask. But for for use of education I will answer this. Well lets take a look at attraction. Cause this is a huge issue right now in the US as many people are just plain confused about Transgender issues. Excluding Trans, CIS and Intersex there are three main classes of sexual attraction. Hetrosexual, Homosexual, and Bisexual. Please remove the thought of Lesbian, Gay, and strait let us stick to the basics for now. Here are some simple rules that work with everyone.
1) If you are attracted to the opposite gender then you are Strait.
2) If you are attracted to the same gender then you are Homosexual (Gay is nicer to use).
3) If you are attracted to both genders then you are Bisexual.
But…
There are always exceptions to these rules.
1) Asexual – A person who is not sexually attracted to anyone.
2) Pansexual – A person who is attracted to the personality rather than the gender of the person.

Okay, I know that is very hard to wrap your mind around. But if you think about it a person is attracted to who they are attracted to. They also know who is attracted to them. So, men don’t worry about your man card. You will still be a man if you are attracted to a Transwoman.

Q: What does the hormones feel like?
A: When the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is right on track it is easiest to say it like this. My body was like a poorly tuned guitar. You can play a song but it never sounded correct. Once the HRT for me was in full swing it was like the perfectly tuned guitar the music was sweet and divine. I felt whole…..

Q: Why are those who are Transgender doing this?
A: While I cannot answer for everyone I can only answer this through my own life experience. I have lived over 50 years, 35 of them hating who I was in the mirror. When I looked down well that just not something I can say in a “G” rated blog post. I grew up praying that I would wake up and not be me. It has almost killed me a few times as well. I also didn’t want to live the rest of my life that way.

Q: How hard was it to start your Transition?
A: Transition can start at anytime for anyone. Some parts of Transition are personal and do not require a doctor’s help or guidance. Though if you are thinking about HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) you are going to need to seek professional assistance. I do not condone using the self medicated ideas. The HRT program is modeled using a gatekeeper style and is logical and safe. It will take about two years before you might be allowed HRT. You will be seeing two different Psychologists and an Endocrinologist who will tell you all about how hormones work. If you are like me you should take the time and do the research as the Doctors do not tell you everything as a lot of them have never done it.
Make sure when talking to the doctors that you 100% honest and forthcoming. After all this is your body and your mind we are talking about. Messing around with them can be dangerous and the results can vary depending on genetics and age.

Q: Which bathroom do Transwomen use?
A: I live in Australia where the people do not worry about those types of issues or if they do they are not going to say anything. The laws protect people’s rights are strong and fair. Though just like in the US there are voices coming from misguided yet strong willed parts of our society who say “we are protecting our wives and children”. But these people are cattle following American issues without really thinking through the issue in the first place.. So in answering this, I use the women’s restroom. The US could learn a lot from Australia we are not perfect we have a long ways to go in some areas. But for the Transgender community it is pretty good.
For your information here are some links that might be a wonderful read if you are thinking that it is about women and children’s safety. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Then ask yourself why are they pushing an agenda to harm others in our communities when the evidence is not supporting what they are trying to do. [13]

Q: Do you have a mental illness?
A: The current practice is that being Transgender is NOT a mental illness (see the DSM 5). There are two types of issues that reside in being Transgender, Gender Incongruity and Gender Dysphoria. Gender Incongruity is like have on the wrong size size shoe it’s tight or to loose and never really fits at all. But you wear it because it works. But not having secondary based issues. Where as Gender Dysphoria is a combination of several different mental health issues that are linked with Gender Incongruity, but not a part of Gender Incongruity. These mental health issues are but not limited to Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidal Tendencies. Gender Dysphoria is a severe mental health condition and requires professional assistance. Whereas Gender Incongruity is NOT a mental health condition and is found in all of the Transgender community.

I am a lucky one my life is stable now and I am safe. My depression was not only linked to my Gender Dysphoria but was also result of Domestic Abuse. It took me years working with professionals to understand my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Also HRT assisted in helping my Dysphoric issues which were a chemical imbalance (Incorrect Hormones). Environmental issues play a huge part in a person’s Gender Dysphoria. Social acceptance helps, though sadly many of the Trans-community are not that lucky or live in places. Where it is not safe to tell anyone.

Q: What is De-transitioning?
A: Sometimes being Transgender is a huge struggle. Hormones, loss of family, loss of friends, social acceptance, employment are just a few of the daily struggles. Sometimes HRT is not right for the person. Gender Dysphoria could be something else that was in a person’s mental state. So what happens is a Trans-person goes back to who they were before Transitioning and the problems that are a part of that as well. But this does not end the issues that might have caused the de-transition in the first place. Family others might use new insults “see I told you it was a choice” or “see you do have a mental illness” these are just a couple of examples. There is also the issue of being used as a poster child to say that being Transgender is “wrong”. This creates more stress for the person who is going through a difficult point in their life in the first place. The Gatekeeper model the medical community use try to prevent this type of uncertainty.

Q: What does Cis mean?
A: Well the term Cis is a double edged sword rife with confusion and self hate. What I mean is that when the Trans-community uses the term Cis we are drawing a line in the sand saying there is a difference between you and me. Cis is a person who was born in the correct body and that their mental view matches. We scream for acceptance but we accept the Cis term to be used. But at the same time the without the Cis term being used we were faced with an even more horrific term being used Genetic Male or Female. Which does not really make sense as the spectrum of XX and XY are only part of nature to propagate the continuation of the species. No one can avoid the fact that XX and XY and the others that reside in between. In the end when bones are dug up these markers remain. But they tell you nothing about who that person was.

Q: What about Body hair?
A: Body hair in time will reduce if not go away. Though the more you have the longer it will take. In some cases HRT will no remove or reduce body hair thus you will need to seek professional assistance to remove it.

Q: What about facial hair?
A: Well it is sad to say that if you are shaving now get used to it. It does not stop it might slow down and you might be lucky to have the right skin hair combo for IPL (laser hair removal). Then you can also use Electrolysis. Both of these options are costly and take time.

Q: What pronouns do you use?
A: For me I prefer the use of feminine pronouns (she, her). I identify with the feminine traits more than I do the masculine. If you are ever unsure of a persons pronouns just use their name or title. You can even be brave and ask with respect. After all pronouns are a part of respecting a person.

Q: How did you “coming out” go?
A: This is in my book and it is a rather long story to give it away in a single line. Read my book and you will get a better picture.

Q: Why did you write a book?
A: It all started with my About me page and a wonderful person I like to call my brother from another mother.  I wrote a 10,000 word about me and was about to add even more when he suggested I rethink that and possibly look into a book. One thing lead to another and then one week the children were away and I started writing to avoid being alone. 72,000 words later the book was born.

Q: I love your timeline about what is going on each month, will you continue it as you now have a book out?
A: Yes, There are a lot of people who don’t like to read blogs much less understand them. The book is a bit more expanded on a few thing from the timeline that people who read the blog will not get. Though I will not be writing a second book for the rest of my Transition, so the blog will have everything past 16 months until one day I stop writing the timeline.

Q: Do you plan to keep the blog going now that you have your book out?
A: Well the writing of the book finished in November of 2016. I did think that was all I had to do for it. Then test readers, editors, fixing errors, by the time it went to print it was near the end of December.

Your question came to me via Facebook so we chatted a bit about it and I said yes. But to be honest the reason for writing the blog was not just part of my story.

I started the blog because I was not really able to find an open and honest conversation about being transgender. Sure you could watch endless videos to get a small idea that changes from person to person. There are some that are wonderful like Julie Vue. But in the end she did not really cover what I was looking for. That was a month by month breakdown of what the in’s and out’s of being Trans was like. There are times even I miss the mark on it. But with my timeline updates I think I can show how it is not an overnight fix. That the change I’m going through is also more than just physical.

I would like to keep my blog going as a guide to help people understand. Though in 2020 and onward I will keep writing and promoting my works, working with the medical community to create a better understanding of being transgender, and most important taking care of my children. I will do my best to try to keep regular updates. Though the transition timeline will never be done.

Q: Do you regret the starting your Transition?
A: Transition is a double edged sword. What I mean by that is not everyone you care about will be there once you go into transition. Some people will show their true colours and you will learn who is and who is not going to be by your side throughout it all. This was a very hard lesson to learn, I lost a number of people (95%) who I thought would always be by my side in life. I have even had people lie straight to my face tell me one thing then when I was not looking start talking behind my back.
Saying all of the above still does not outweigh the facts that I now live a life with people around my inner circle I trust with everything. I know who they are and they know me. These wonderful people have learned so much about the true me and have accepted it without a second thought. I have also met new friends who I hope will be in my life for a long time to come.

Q: You talk about Breast Massage how is it done?
A: I am not a qualified person to help you with this. My friend showed me and her help was wonderful as she is qualified. I do not have her permission to share her details at this time. She has however suggested that you have a look on Youtube. Plus while doing so it will allow you to become more in tune with your breasts and you will know if negative issues arise. Should a bump that is not normal arise speak to your doctor asap! Get to know the signs of Breast cancer and be aware that you are now more at risk than before due to women are more at risk than men and you have taken the step that is giving you all the hormones of a woman and are blocking the male ones.

Q: Are you worried about the surgery?
A: Well to be honest, yes. I think you would be a fool if something like a major change in your life that could possibly kill and you did not have some concerns. But at the same time with great risk comes great rewards.

Q: I am confused do you or don’t you believe in a god?
A: Yes, I believe that we are far to an amazing creature to be a one off chance. I do believe in a creator, higher power, God or what have you. But I do not feel that we as a human race understands them. I live my life as best as I can helping out where I can and I raise my children to be good and kind as well.

Q: Do you have a penis still?
A: Well to a point yes I do. But it does not function like most men. Hormone blockers reduce the levels of testosterone in my blood making my penis a device for waste removal only. Erections are a bit rare and can be painful due to the penis does not become erect on a regular basis.

Q: What are the three things that being a woman bother you.
A: Bras, dick pics, and people who think that I am less than a man who has lesser skills than I do. In 2020 I started working with Engendered Equality speaking out against the epidemic violence that is directed towards women as a whole that includes Transwomen of the Transgender community. You never really understand this when you are posing as a man. Most men do not even understand the violence that is directed towards women. I must say that most people don’t even see the passive violence directed towards women. If you are unsure what I mean by passive look at how many times women are interrupted or even talked over by men. I hate the idea that because I am saying something about this violence as a Transwoman I could not even come close to understanding. Then I want you to take a look at all the Transwomen who are murdered every year. In 2020 in the US alone there were 40 reported murders of Transwomen.

Q: Why did you expose your “issues” to your children.
A: I have amazing children. I have taught them that being honest is one of the most important things a person can do. So hiding who I am is being dishonest with them. What good I have done teaching them that would be wasted. Plus every time I tried to teach them another moral I would be wasting my time (hypocritical).

Q: How do your children feel about it all?
A: That is a very good question. Some of them have not taken it well cause they are a bit more zealous in their religious choices. I feel until more time passes and they can see I am still the same goofy person I have always been….. If they do not then I am not going to spend my time worrying about what they think of me. I have some at home that need me to continue to be a great parent. Though the rest have taken it okay there have been a few struggles. But all things aside we are a family, good families stick together.

Q: Are you sure you are not attracted to men, I can change your mind.
A: Look it is so very simple, you have to see that from the day everyone looks at another person and says “Yup, you are the one I want” it is pretty much set that is who you are going to be attracted to. Few things change change that outcome such as Hormone Replacement Therapy but on average that is only a 30%. While I will say this much I am 99% sure of who I am attracted to, the 1% is lost in confusion. But if the 1% becomes clear it will never be swayed to a person telling me they can change my mind or show me dick pics.
Did you know that the above question is violent towards gay women?

Q: Are you ready to face life alone due to your choice?
A: Okay let’s clear this up. Being any part of the LGBT+ spectrum is not a fucking choice. I did not wake up one day when I was 6 years and say to myself “Hey, I know what I need for my future. That is to be marginalized, abused, lose rights, and all round treated like a second class human by family, friends and people I don’t even know. Let’s do it”
Now for the second part of your question “Alone” hmm in so many ways I don’t want to be. It comes down to a matter of numbers and I will try to explain. Let say that in a row of 1000 people, 800 of them are Hetrosexual (M attracted to F) leaving you with 200 who are not. To make this easy let reduce the pool of people once more 99 are Gay men (I am not a gay man). 99 are Gay women ( I am part of this group) 2 are asexual (does not care for sex or is not working in that issue).

So back to my 99 of those women it can be safe to say that about 25 of them are in some sort of a relationship. Another 25 are simple not attracted to you leaving you with 49 people in a town of roughly 100,000 people. Good luck!

So being “alone” is a possibility do I want it this way no, do I have a choice? No. I make the best of my situation, I focus on my children and my goals that I have set for myself. I don’t have the time or energy to suffer fools. If a person want to be with me that will be in that 49 or even less due to laws of attraction. If I die “alone” then that is that and I have made peace with it. I hope I have answered your questions even though my numbers might be a little screwy but I am sure you get the point.

Q: I have heard that there are studies of Transgender brain differences where can I find those?
A: There are a number of studies that have shown a difference in those who are Transgender and who they can be linked to the Genetic versions of those that the Transgender person identifies as.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6677266/
https://www.endocrine.org/advocacy/position-statements/transgender-health#1
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25667367/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25140398/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200205084203.htm
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22146048/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16010462/

Q: After the surgery can you get pregnant?
A: No……no….. and no.

Q: When will you get the surgery?
A: When the time is right and things are okay for the change. In the end I will make the choice based upon many factors that most people do not understand and are personal.

Q: I have noticed that you are from the US and now live in Australia. I have read you never plan on going back, why.
A:
Well there are a number of reasons why. I’m a parent of three young children to whom I take a great pride in being there for them. Next is did you know in 2016 one Trans person is killed every 10 days (as of last figures I saw)? Those killings not in just one place they are happening all over the US. I love my children and to place them at risk is not acceptable. Australia has been very wonderful to me and to leave a place that is home and safe makes no sense.

Q: Do you ever think this is all too much.
A:
 No, I will admit at times it is hard. There have been many lessons that I have had to learn. But I’m not really known for quitting. Plus I feel better now than I have ever had.

Q: Why do something at all??
A: Why not? If something is broken why not fix it? Everyone deserves the right to live a good life. Another way to look at it is if you lived all your life with color blindness and someone gave you a set of glasses that allowed you to see colors for the first time. Would you ever take them off or would you enjoy life the way it was meant to be? If you had cancer and someone offered you a cure would you take it? For many in the Transgender community this is a life or death issue. The Transition is an amazing event in a persons life. Sharing that event brings us closer as humanity, you never know what kind of friend you may create.

Q: How did you feel at your Five year mark on Hormones?
A: As I have said before in the past I am very blessed. I have wonderful friends and their partners. I live in a wonderful and safe part of the world. In fact I am surrounded by love and compassion. My fifth year mark on Hormones was one of peace and calm that I have never known. Everything changed in so many ways. I at times wish that I could have been in this safe place with all that I have now but younger. Though mind you, I am very happy and I was very happy at my one year mark this continues to grow with each year. Sadly not everyone is as fortunate as I am.

Q: Are you going to go all the way with this?
A: Much to my family’s horror yes I am. If you were overweight all your life what would you do to be just right? Buy clothes that fit? Not have to worry about people’s comments? Feel really good about yourself? You would do it too. So here I am looking forward to the future as me, a woman. By the way this is something most Transgender people feel is rude to ask so please remember I am answering because I am happy to while others might not be. Whoopie Goldberg once said you would never ask a woman how tight is her vagina.

Q: What does purging mean?
A: Being Transgender is never an easy part of life. There are many struggles that are involved in coming to terms with how a person views “Self”. A Transgender person might buy clothing that is linked to the identity that they have always felt inside. But if they have not accepted that view of “Self” they might find guilt or shame. Which might be followed by removing those items that might be associated with the other gender. This is what is meant by purging.
It can also be linked to and unhealthy approach to “Self” as well with a person going through several cycles of binging and purging. Peer pressure and societal pressures can also play a part in this issue as well.

Q: I have heard the term “Trap” what does this mean?
A: This is another scare technique that is used by those who are insecure about who they are attracted to. It does NOT mean that they are Transphobic. This is used when I person thinks that a Transgender person will trick them into a relationship. When the truth is both parties should be honest with each other about their history and their attractions. In the end this is a weak slur used to create hate and divisiveness.

Q: What is your old name?
A: This is something that is no ones business. Asking this devalues a person and their journey.

Q: So you want to be a Girl/Boy?
A: I want you to think about this question. I from the day “being” became difficult for me and I had to spend so much energy to act like a gender. To fit a stereotypical mold, I have felt horrific. I knew that everything I tried to do was filled with failure due to the issue that keeping a façade in place was much more difficult than being honest. I never understood my birth gender or how to be comfortable with it or those who were part of it around me.
Can I say that I understood what it meant to be a woman as well, no. It is hard to understand something that you were not allowed to be a part of. Meaning that I was not allowed to exist in a place where I felt comfortable in. I will never understand the issues of having cramps during a period. I will never know what it is like to carry and give birth to a child. But do those issues alone define womanhood? Can a woman be just that a woman if parts of her body did not work or she was never able to. But I can understand that I feel closer to the ideals of womanhood than those of manhood.
In the end do I want to be a girl/boy? No I just want to be. I want to be free from anxiety, self-loathing, depression, and disliking what I have seen in the mirror. If “being” the opposite gender to that which I was born with allows me to just “be”. Then yes I want what my mind has always seen but my body has not given me.
*Please understand that asking this question of others in the Transgender community is not a kind question. It may result in a less than kind answer.

Q: Can I call you by your old name?
A: No! I have said this many times I have always had a very deep respect for the old me. “He” did all “he” could to keep me safe as growing up in abuse because you told the truth was dangerous. His name is also the name of those who came before him and those who might come after him. One of my children carry his name. My name is my name, his name is his name we are/were different people.

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