FAQ

If you want to know something just ask me. aleana.robins@gmail.com

Q: Why are you doing this?
A: I have lived 47 years, 35 of them hating who I am in the mirror and when I look down when 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 don’t want to live the rest of my life this way.

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: Will this make you happy?
A: No, but it will be part of my future happiness. One thing will not make anyone happy forever, it is however part of a future I am looking forward to and that in itself will make me happy.

Q: When did you know you were transgender?
A: I did not know the term for it when I was young and back then it was a very negative term “Transsexual”. Though that said I have known for a very long time that I was not happy with being in this body. I did as much as I could to stay in this body. Being honest was not one of them, i mislead many friends not to be deceitful but to hide the fact that I hated being this way. Not being honest has lead me to some very serious times of depression.

Q: Are you ready for the costs?
A: No but I am going to do it no matter what. Costs for Transition can start at $20,000 aud and go upwards.

Q: What are you going to do about clothes?
A: DO? I’ve have already done. I only have 1 pair of mens works boots that I will keep cause they cost so much. Shoes! I love Shoes!

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 the religion. I feel until more time passes and they can see i am still the same goofy person I have always been…..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 attracted to???
A: 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 of the Transgender issues. Excluding Trans and Intersex there are three main classes of sexual attraction. Hetrosexual, Homosexual, and Bisexual. Please remove the thought of Lesbian and Gay, stick to the basics for now. below is a flow chart of a Transperson like myself. If you look at it in a way of Transition you can see that is does change the way you need to look at who we are attracted to. Now I know that it says (after Transition) but it should say (in/after transition) I made an error making this sorry. So back to your question “Are you attracted to???” I consider myself to be a Translesbian, though for ease of life I am a lesbian.

Flowchart

Q: Why do something at all??
A: Why not? If something is broken why not fix it? After all this past year has been the one time in my life where everything fits together.

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 sound right. 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: 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 idea. 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.

Q: Which bathroom do you 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 part of our society who say “we are protecting our wives and children”. But these people are cattle following American issues. So in answer 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.

Q: Do you have a mental illness?
A: Current thinking is that Gender Dysphoria is a mental illness and to some part I agree. Having Gender Dysphoria is like have on the wrong size size shoe it’s tight or to loose and never really fits at all. This causes many issues with those of us who are affected by it. Though I don’t think the issue is one that is like many other Mental issues. IN fact the way to solve the problem is through Transition. So in review, yes I do. In fact without the HRT life can be very difficult and hard to focus on the important parts of life. For some of the Trans-community Depression is a real side effect that happens as well. Anxiety can also be a friend. There are many issues that linger or tag along with some people who have Gender Dysphoria.
I am a lucky one my life is pretty stable now and I am safe. My depression was not linked to my Gender Dysphoria but was a result of Domestic Abuse. 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: How did you feel at your one year mark on Hormones?
A: As I have said before in the past I am very blessed. I have wonderful friend and their partners. I live in a wonderful and safe part of the world. In fact I am surrounded by love and compassion. My one year mark on Hormones was one of peace and calm that I have never known. Everything is changing 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. Sadly not everyone is as blessed as I am.

Q: What is Detransitioning?
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 and the Gender Dysphoria is something else that was hiding 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. Family might says 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. The Gatekeeper model the professionals use try to prevent this type of to and fro.

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.

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.

Q: What about facial hair?
A: Well it is sad to say that if you are saving 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 go the way of 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 more than I do the masculine.

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: 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: 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 blog (don’t worry I enjoy it, so it won’t be for a long time).

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 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.

The whole impact of Transition is unknown to me at this time. But I am very thankful for the ability to have started the physical side. I have learned so much and when the noise stopped that was one of the biggest blessings there is.

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 you did not worry you. But at the same time with great risk comes great rewards.

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: 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 him. 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 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 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 2017 I’m going to be going back to school, promoting my book, and most important taking care of my children. I will do my best to try to keep regular updates. Though come hell or high water the transition timeline will be done without fail.

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: 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 makes no sense.

In 2015 I was forced to cut ties with some of my family due to reason written about in my book. So the only person I would really enjoy seeing is my father, but the risk is too high.

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. Hard erections are a bit rare and can be painful due to the penis does not become erect on a regular basis.

Q: Do you consider yourself a lesbian?
A: Well I am a transwoman attracted to women, so yes. Though saying that does not make it easy to find dates or partners.

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 the lesser skills.

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.

Q: So let me get this right, you were a man who wants to be a woman and still attracted to women.
A: Okay in an oversimplified way yes. But one thing needs to be cleared up. I really never felt like a man. I did not enjoy sex like most men. I did not enjoy the pleasures of male rights. I love being maternal and the connections with my children are some of the best feelings in the world.

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.

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 marginalised, 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 ummm 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: 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.

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