7500 miles and a new city…

Funny how you expect things to be when going down a certain path.

Funny how rarely that path is ever how you expect it to be.

We’ve been on the road for a really long fucking time. 28 days. Some 7000+ miles (because really who keeps count after the first 5000). I don’t want anyone to tell me that what I’m about to say is normal (or not normal for that matter). I’m not looking for that arm around the shoulder “hey everything is going to be okay” feel good feeling. This is more about me just letting my fingers hit the keyboard and whatever comes (or goes) being okay.

I don’t really know what I was hoping for when I decided to take testosterone.

I mean I spent the year previous waiting for the province of Nova Scotia to validate what I wanted so I had a lot of time to think. Think. Think.

Which translates to: stalking instagram. Looking at other trans* people IG and making a sort of check list of what I wanted when I was going to be given the go ahead. You’ve heard me state things like no facial hair, deeper voice, more squared in the face, no on the male pattern baldness possibility and so on and so forth.

My first month on T was business as usual. I felt that first voice drop (or at least I think I felt it). Had a little bit more facial hair that I incessantly kept under control (if you see some random dude plucking chin hairs while driving, that’s probably me) and overall just let things be.

My second month was also business as usual. Learning how to advocate for pronoun usage in certain situations because most of the time people knew I was transitioning and when the misgendering did happen I was able to take a quick assessment of whether it was worth my time since getting ready to leave the area so soon. So much time was focused on getting ready for this crazy ass road trip to our new city. It was pretty easy to just let shit roll off my back because when you know you’re not coming back anytime soon and the next time you are back shit’s gonna look a lot different…well you tend to not care as much I suppose.

But that little seed of “you’re not doing enough” to present as a more male figure started creeping in. I KNOW, I KNOW….listen I get that it’s not me having to do the work cause if you stalk my IG the way I stalk other people you know really quickly I present more as a dapper (or #dandy) gentleman than lots of my male counterparts. But those changes in my face aren’t coming fast enough so no matter what I do today to present more male, my feminine face is going to give that shit away.

This third and last month has been the hardest. Being on the road meant a lot of different things. Less control of my food. No button down shirts or neatly pressed slack. No bow ties. No suspenders. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t running around in a tutu (though that might have made the trip more interesting) or running around with a rouge on my face. But every fucking day I was misgendered. Not just once in the morning and hey you can let this one go. But constantly. Pretty much every time I came in contact with someone other than my wife or friends we were meeting on our trip (and of course they get lots of transition time because I can appreciate them trying and I know this is all a process for everyone).

My little seed of “You’re not doing enough” is like a fucking weed that has overgrown my pristine lawn. I’m in the beginning of my 4th month and I still feel the exact same as I did when I took my first shot. Yes. Yes. Yes I know….it takes time. Be patient…BLAH BLAH FUCKING BLAH.

I equate it to the following: I want to lose weight. So everyday I workout and count calories. I step on the scale at day one and write the number down. 100 days later after going from never doing anything to moving and eating in a more healthy direction I step on the scale and that number is exactly the same.

FUCK THAT!

I look at other people’s 3 month mark and I see something.

me: nothing.

You might see it and that’s all find and deliciously awesome but I don’t see anything except weight gain and a few more facial hairs than I care to have and now I’m second guessing everything about everything. I never hear of other trans people saying this. Only “I feel like I’m becoming the man on the outside that I am on the inside” or “everything is more clear” or “YES! Facial hair” and I’m like “WTFAMIDOINGANDISTHISTHERIGHTPATH

*deep breath*

But….

I’ve landed in my new city. Life is still pretty fucking chaotic as we are living in a 200 sq ft space for the first few weeks until our 9 month place is available. None of my “hey I’m presenting as male as fucking possible and also did you check out me socks” clothes fit (that’s another blog post) so I’ve had to go out and buy a few sharp button downs and some new slacks so there is that to help build up my confidence again. I’m trying to navigate the Vancouver trans health system and have an appointment on Tuesday (but even the front desk person looked puzzled when I said I needed blood work done to check my T dosage….FFS). I know there is a great trans community here and once we get settled in a little more I’m hoping be in that community a little more.

I think it’s important that we as a community talk about this feeling of “wtfamidoing” feeling. I know it happens more often than we let up. We want the world to think everything about our path is where we want to go until we’re at a place that we don’t really know what we want but can’t admit it. I want other trans people to feel okay about saying fuck yhea this is hard and confusing and kind of awesome some days and kind of “is it okay to shave my legs” confusing other days.

So there you have it.

Month four…

Five better be better.

Two months…and away we go…

Its been a busy couple of weeks in between posts.

The honda is all packed up and this time tomorrow Mimi and I will be somewhere closer to the US border, starting out on the 28 day adventure and making our way over to Vancouver. As much as I love being here in the Maritimes and will miss my in-laws pretty immensely, there is something so profoundly exciting about moving to a new place where everyone I come in contact with will know me as Carver.

I’ve been away at Deaf camp this week. It’s a highlight of my year; going deep into the woods with 30+ kids both signing and non-signing, spending 5 plus full days swimming, doing arts and crafts, learning survival skills (I didn’t know you could eat moss) and sitting around a camp fire does something to the soul. It was a little different for me this year as last year I was just getting comfortable in my transition. I think this time last year I was still introducing myself as Tara but quickly following it with a “but you can call me Tee” and since it was camp it was just as easy to get the kids to call me T-Rex. Using the single stalled kitchen staff bathroom but still using the girls/women’s shower area. Being uncomfortable but with enough people that knew the journey I was slowly ramping up that it didn’t really bother me.

This year new campers / counselors met me as Carver. The returning campers / counselors practiced calling me Carver (but everyone knows they can still call me T-Rex because seriously who is giving up that nick name?…not this guy!) Lots of questions about “are you a boy or a girl?” and getting up early enough to use the boys/Men’s shower area because that’s where I belong but not wanting to deal with any side glances.

It didn’t feel uncomfortable to respond with “I’m a boy” or to the “before you were a girl?” (Yes) “and now you are a boy?” (That’s right) line of questioning…It didn’t feel awkward when an itty bitty said “you sound like a girl” and responding with “lots of boys sound like girls and lots of girls sound like boys but really a person’s voice doesn’t make them a boy or a girl, it’s what inside that decides

I’ve been more adamant these last couple of weeks about not letting someone “ma’am” / “lady” / “she” me. Mimi has become the champion of responding to the “what can I get for you ladies?” with a resounding “That’s my husband“. Funny too I’ve noticed that when that interaction has happened I’m still trying to soften the blow of being called out with a “it’s okay, it happens all the time” which I realize means I’m still trying to take the blame for not being “masculine” enough to pass, instead of letting someone else sit with the uncomfortable feelings of their mistake.

It’s been two months since I started T. I’ve been sick this last week with a cold so the extra drop in my voice has been an added bonus. Mimi and others have said they can see physical changes in my face which I can’t see looking in the mirror but can sort of see when looking at comparison pictures.

Top L: week 1 Top R: week 3 Lower L: week 4 Lower R: week 8

Top L: week 1 Top R: week 3 Lower L: week 4 Lower R: week 8

My Halifax doctor has nearly doubled my T from .25/ml to .40/ml every two weeks until I reach Vancouver. I’m now at a dose that I can go every week if I choose though I feel like the extra boost keeps my emotions in check a little better. When I get settled in with a new physician and another higher dose I’ll probably go weekly.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be in a city where hopefully everything happens a little faster, I get closer to having top surgery and life for Mimi and I just fall into place in Vancouver.

This next part of my post is a little TMI so if you’re not interested in the physical changes in my pants then this is probably where you want to hop off this ride and come back at another time…

 

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So there is definitely a change in my “girl” parts becoming not so girl part-like anymore. It’s not much and since I don’t spend a lot of time looking down there (ya know dysphoria and shit) it was a little bit of a shocker to see just how much I’ve grown in just the two months on T. I knew it would happen. I’ve been in relationships with other trans people so it wasn’t that much of a surprise to see the changes happening just how quickly it has started. Also my libido in general is changing…I know I’m looking at Mimi differently and the urges to “get it on” are more frequent.

A little side story….I’m not a very sexual person. I find Mimi very attractive but have a hard time acting upon any urges. Throw a little Asperger in the mix and you’ve got the makings of a person who would rather rub feet that bump uglies. We’ve worked really hard in maintaining a loving marriage with other kinds of affection rather than of the sexual kind. HOWEVER; I am definitely thinking of Mimi in more ways than rubbing feet if you know what I mean.

 

Not sure how much we’ll be able to blog while on the road but I’m sure we’ll have lots of stories about how our travels went. You can follow along our Halifax —–> Vancouver adventures over at Mimi’s instagram: Redstar5

 

~Carver

A little bit of chaos, a whole lotta love

IMG_1907

Mimi here. 

Sometimes I get super nervous and worried about how the world sees us. Sometimes I just feel disappointed that everyone else doesn’t just see the loving married couple we are and leave all the labels out of it. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t write about how Carver’s transition is making me feel, like it shines a big ‘ol spotlight on the two of us for something that feels super intimate. But then I think about how much it has helped me to read the words shared by others and connect with couples who  have experienced similar stuff. So I’ll do the uncomfortable and share what’s up here. 

What is “enough”?

Carver writes about his fear of not being trans enough. It’s hard for me to understand the pressure he feels when I haven’t been in his shoes or felt the same dysphoria with my gender. But I do see the pressure. I see the influence of those societal “norms” in people who try to label transfolk. What it means for trans men to “be a man”. I wrote a couple of weeks ago how I don’t tend to subscribe to labels and I don’t believe gender or sexuality is one size fits all. I believe a person can be trans and not desire to be what some may describe the typical gendered appearance at all. I believe there is no one size fits all man or woman with gender just as there’s isn’t with sexuality.  My deepest wish for my husband is that he can shake off the expectations and find comfort with himself wherever that may land on the spectrum that is gender. Before making the decision to transition and begin hormone therapy Carver used to declare himself 87% boy and 13% girl, with that 13% having to do with requiring matching undergarments. It’s been an evolution of what feels right for him. No matter where the measurement landed then, where it lands today, and where it will land – I love him.  I just hate that he feels this external pressure to be enough. 

We met one another as weight loss bloggers. A whole concept around personal standards of health, fitness, body image. It was a different kind of transformation that we both experienced. In many ways this new transition feels like a continued transformation. The physical and the mental shifts that come along. Not just for Carver, but for me too. I know this is profound on other levels for my husband. I know Carver is likely ready for this evolution of mind and body because of where he’s been before and I know he’d say it’s partly because he has the support and encouragement to take any path he’s ready for with his love proudly beside him. But I want him to know there’s not a standard of any kind that I hold him to. If the testosterone doesn’t make him happy in the ways he expects, if he doesn’t like any of the effects of hormone therapy, if he takes T long enough for his voice to drop and stops there. That’s trans enough for me. He is enough for me. Period.  Full stop.

Timing & Communication Break Down

Sometimes the timing of this transition feels like a lot to manage because we are transitioning so many other things at the moment. Our whole lives. More specifically my life. I feel a little like someone is picking up our snow globe and giving it a serious shake. Sort and purge all of my belongings down to a dozen bins in the back of our car and relocate to a brand new city on the complete other Coast of the continent. It comes with a lot of excitement and so many things to look forward to but it hasn’t been easy all while in the midst of Carver beginning testosterone. Not that I would change either decision for a second, I wouldn’t. I’m grateful for both. But none the less, it’s rocking my world and with the moving and shaking I’ve had more anxiety. As we get closer that’s making things challenging in the communication department for me. I have found how we communicate is shifting. Whether that’s about the testosterone, my anxiety or a little of both I’m not sure. But I don’t find I’m able to feel understood as easily these days. I’m mindful of this and I think we’re both doing  our best to tread carefully and be gentle. 

Noticing some shifts

This week Carver noticed his voice sound deeper for the first time to him. I’ve noticed it for a couple of weeks now and it’s deepening more to me. I know this is one thing he’s especially sensitive about, so I’m pleased for him. It’s exciting that to see/hear the things that he’s desired are happening.

As for other changes. There has been a handful of times now where I see how Carver thinks and processes things are shifting for Carver already.

Example:

We were in the grocery store the other night and we needed some help. Instead of being his somewhat reserved self and taking a more passive route or just not bothering to wait for help at all he took immediate action and was quite commanding in his request. Not demanding or rude in anyway – just much more direct and to the point than I’ve ever seen him. Especially in a store type situation like that. I watched it happen thinking to myself – “Well, this is new!” 

Things I’m learning: Don’t ask questions you not sure you want the answer to. (Maybe this is a good rule in life and not just our marriage) Because you will get a blunt and direct answer whether you are prepared or not.

Example: 

Me: I think I disappointed you.

Him: Silence.

Me: When I say something like that I need you to respond.

Him: Well yeah, I was disappointed. Sometimes you disappoint me. 

Boom. Nothing soft or gentle about that.

Honestly as I’ve said I’m really not sure if that answer would have been so different three weeks ago pre-T given our current status of pre-moving limbo anxiety. But there it is. There’s lots of new changes happening, I’m moving along with the flow and we’re doing our very best to communicate with a whole lotta love between us. 

Am I trans enough?….

I know it’s not week 5 of Transformation “T”uesdays but next week I go back to what is my last hurrah of work here in Halifax Nova Scotia before packing everything up into our Trusty Dusty and head out west in just a few weeks. I wanted to make sure I had the time and space to make a blog post and next week just may not have either.

On the “are there any noticeable changes” front I’m still going with an resounding no.

I’m not sure what I’m expecting and whether or not I’ll even recognize those “noticeable” changes so I’m relying on the side by side shots to help me see something…

comparison 1 and 4

Emotionally I don’t feel much different except (and this could just be my imagination) I’m having a harder time crying. As silly as this sounds I can usually open up the water shed at a cute puppy or a heart wrenching story about a kid who loses 100 pounds before their high school prom but this week no matter how hard I try (and I’ve been trying) it just hasn’t been happening.

Well wait, that’s not true. I did cry during an anxiety attack but I was pretty worked up by the time the tears started falling. I know this probably all sounds (or reads) a little silly but for me it’s kind of a big deal. There was a particular thought process happening and it went something like this:

My emotions: Hey, shouldn’t you be crying right now? This is some heavy stuff you’re watching and your heart can feel the pull…why aren’t there any tears? This is not like you.

My brain: uhhhhhh nope. Not gonna happen right now.

My heart: Hey now. This is new. I mean I can feel the signal to let them go but what the fuck? I mean hello, they are right there ready to go.

My tears: Yep, we’re ready to go.

My emotions: Wait now. This might be it. We are amped up. Yes. Yes. I think this is it…

My heart: Yes. This is it.

My tears: Here we g……huh. Oh……sooooooo, we’re not going?

My brain: Nope! 

I’ve noticed that a few times this week. This process of feeling something close to crying and then falling short. Not wanting to cry because for me right now it makes me feel physically (and emotionally) too much like a girl. I don’t ever remember thinking this way before, and if any one loves a good ugly cry it’s this guy.

Something I’ve been struggling with since the very beginning of this journey, is this self-proclaimed notion of not being trans enough and in a way I think the idea of not crying makes me feel more “manly”. Less feminine (though I don’t know where the fuck you would find anything even remotely feminine on or about me). Every day I am misgendered and while I know it’s not about “them” being douchey douchey bags and just about seeing what they see at first glance, I’m often questioning my ability to “pass” as male rather than female.

I don’t know what it is about me. I mean seriously. No tits (thanks to my g2cb binders). Sick AF hair cut. Shirts pressed, Slacks creased. Bow tie and Suspenders on point and yet….

blog picture

“can I help you ma’am”

“what can I get for you ladies”

“she said (insert something I just said)”

I’ve only really advocated for myself a few times after spending days being she’d/lady’d/ma’am’d/her’d and at a breaking point of wanting to grab the someone and shake them by the shoulders screaming “TELL ME WHAT IT IS ABOUT ME THAT IS CAUSING YOU TO MISGENDER ME SO I CAN CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY”

Seriously it is like a kick to the non-existent balls to have the majority of the world see me like this:

dressed as a lady

When I see myself like this:

hot man in suit

I don’t dress the way I do because I’m dyke. I don’t hold the door open for my wife or take the check because I’m a lesbian with heterosexual role tendencies. I don’t give advice to young men about bringing flowers on a first date or making sure they remember to sit after their date takes their seat and always let them order first because I’m really just a stone cold butch…

I do it because inside I am a man and try as hard as I might, something about me on the outside makes that hard for the rest of the world understand.

It’s like being with your husband/boyfriend/father and they get called a lady. The thought would be outrageous for most people and every single day that happens to me and those that have to share this life with me.

Even around “my people” I’m afraid I’m not trans enough to pass. It’s why I do most of my stalking of other trans-identified people online and usually on the outskirts. I look at their before/during/after pictures and I think “when is that going to happen for me”? Clearly they are passing. When will I pass? I’m afraid to talk with those that will understand or share lived experiences because I spend my whole existence being placed in the “female” box and since I don’t pass with the rest of the world how can I expect to pass within the trans community?

It can be really frustrating. I’m afraid to be around other trans men because I don’t want them to she me. I’m afraid to be around other trans men because I don’t know if I want what they have and yet I know I don’t want what I have right now. I’m afraid to be around other trans men because I still like to wear my unicorn slippers and shave my legs every once in a blue moon.

I mean seriously, who doesn’t love unicorns?

I feel like I’m in limbo right now on so many levels. With my body. With testosterone. With moving. My brain is computing everything around me as chaos and upheaval. But in reality life is just taking baby steps to get anywhere.

So that’s where I am this week. Shot number 3 happens next Tuesday and I’m now on the look out for chest hairs (NO!) and rogue whiskers that need to be plucked…

~Carver

 

 

Transformation “T”uesday Week Three

Shot number 2 is done and done.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted this post to be about. Did I want to talk about my first experience in letting my rogue non T whiskers grow beyond the usual length and finding my first salt and pepper whisker? Or that instead of the usual 4 rogue whiskers that normally grow I’ve actually counted 7 as of this morning and trying not to say “OMG, the T is already making changes”

Then I got up this morning and realized I wanted to talk about the actual process of administering the shot.

mimi's first injection...

This is my wife’s first attempt at administering what for now is an every two-week regimen. I think she was super nervous (the full video of it can be seen on my facebook page or on my Instagram page) but she did great. And lucky for both of us I already come with a vast knowledge of giving T shots.

I come to this journey with a unique set of experiences that I don’t think most trans people experience and sometimes that can be a blessing and curse (and sometimes those blessings/curses happen at the exact same time in the exact same experience).

Before meeting my beautiful wife I was in a long term relationship in which my partner disclosed their trans identity 8 years into our relationship. Some day I’ll sit down and tell you about how every single person I’ve dated ended up on the trans spectrum (either as FtM or trans masculine or trans identified queer) and so the idea of then partner coming out as trans was no real surprise and in fact I often wondered why it took so long into our relationship for it to surface.

It wasn’t long after this revelation of sorts that we began the process of finding the right path for M. Therapists that could sign off on gender reassignment paperwork, necessary surgeries and of course the much anticipated Rx for T. Appointment after appointment to prove what was already proven, but knowing the hoops had to be jumped through no matter how mundane they were.

The day the first T shot was to be administered I didn’t make any assumptions about whether I was going to be an active participant. I was in the room, I was there just to watch until M said “pay attention, cause you get to do these every week”…

I didn’t really need to pay much attention since I am a retired body piercer so I know my way around needles and gauges and all that fun stuff. I watched once and then from there on out I was the sole administrator of his T. I was in an amazing position. Here he was asking me to be an intimate part of this process. Not just an onlooker but part of the team.  Of course I was watching all the changes take place but those changes were taking place because of something I was doing. I felt I was being brought into the inner circle of those changes when many times the only person in that core inner circle is the person physically experiencing those changes.

There was no question in my mind that Mimi would be brought into that core experience with me. Can I administer my own shots? Of course. The nurse at the Clinic was under the assumption that I’d be in every two weeks for them to give me the shot but I made it clear that they were just going through the motions to show Mimi because after the first one we are doing it at home. Even Mimi was apprehensive about it…

“Are you sure you want me to do this?”

Yep.

I don’t want Mimi to feel like she has to sit on the sidelines and watch the changes. I want her to be a part of the process. I want her to know that every time something changes in me, it’s because she’s helping me get there. So this morning I drew up the shot, and she gave it. It was adorable, and loving, and funny as hell.

Nothing really noticeable seems to changed over the last two weeks except those rogue whiskers I mentioned earlier. They’ve been around for a while. Long before I was even in the process of getting approved for T. I chalked it up to old age and ya know, whiskers happen. I pluck them pretty regularly but this week I noticed they were growing in much faster and instead of the usual 4 there were a few more…

Also, because I’m starting this whole process a little later in life than I think most people, some of those whiskers are already coming in salt and pepper. That’s right, my puberty happens with silver fox “beard” to go with the silver fox hair on the top of my noggin. I’m still very much on the fence about the notion of facial hair. Some days I think I might like to explore that and others I’m definitely a hell effing no on the whole thing.

The one thing I have noticed and I heard about this from other trans / trans masculine people is that I am feeling a little more clear headed today. Slightly more confident (which helped in my job interview just this morning) and have made a few decisions more quickly than I might have even just two weeks ago.

comparison 1 and 3

So there ya go!

~Carver

Thoughts from the loving wife

us

Mimi here. The loving wife of Carver the handsome.

When I think  back to when Carver and I first met I see the same person I love as my husband today 5 years later. I remember meeting him back in April of 2011 as someone I idolized who had followed my blog as closely as I had followed their’s for more than a year before we met in person. I still see all of the things I fell in love with then in the person I’m with today – just maybe amplified through his growing  comfort with who he is. I love that our marriage and our support of each other means he’s comfortable taking the next steps in his transition – whatever those may be.

We have a philosophy together. We work through things, we talk about them, we support each other once decisions are made. The decision to pursue testosterone for Carver has been a while in the making as he has written about. I’m some ways that was infuriating because I knew it was what he wanted and wished most days I could press the fast forward button to get him there faster. In other ways though I’m grateful for the time. The time for us to process and research and ask questions.

Now that it’s here and Carver is almost two weeks into his first testosterone shot there isn’t a whole lot yet that seems different. I’ll agree that he has been a little short in his comments sometimes since T shot #1, but that could just as easily be attributed to our busy travel schedule and lack of regular sleep patterns lately as it could to the T. I also credit him with being hyper aware of it at the same  time.

My own Sexuality

Sometimes I get stuck on the labels. The people who try to figure out what box to put me, to put us into. If Carver is trans, what does that make me? Are we a straight couple, a gay couple? Am I bi or queer,  straight now?  All of the above? What hat do I put on my head to fit in to everyone else’s boxes?

Ultimately I don’t really care much for labels. I can say that I feel much more akin to the  LGTBQI community, maybe even more now than before.  I know Carver used to tell the story of how we met and explain as part of the story that before I met him I identified as heterosexual and now that he’s come out as trans maybe people will see that as my label. I don’t know that even before we met I had worked out a label for myself. I just wanted someone to love.

I just see it as loving who I’m meant to love. If you looked at where I fall on the Purple-Red Scale of Sexuality I’d be somewhere in the E5 range. Most of the time I find myself wishing the rest of the world didn’t need to assign a label and we could just accept love as love no matter how you find it or who it is with. This doesn’t meant I don’t think about this stuff, probably waste more time on it than I should. But it does mean I don’t especially care what box or label someone else needs to stick me in to figure us out. You can call me or us whatever you need to, so long as you see the loving marriage first and foremost.

All the questions

I’m really grateful for the internet. I know there’s a lot of awful out there, but like my friend Krysten I try to see the goodness and don’t let the fear of the awful subtract from the great people it has connected me with. Hell without the internet I never would have connected my life a continent apart to Carver’s life. Now I find  myself especially grateful because it’s connecting me to people who have experienced what we are about to embark on as a married couple. A giant thank you to R & I for reaching out to me after my IG post a couple of weeks back and for fielding so many of my questions on What’s App when I know no one else on this planet (yet) who is quite in the same position. I can’t tell you how much it’s put my mind at ease to hear the perspective from another couple who were married first as a same sex couple just like Carver and I and are now two years with R on testosterone and just as happily married as ever.

Communication 

I’m a worrier. I come upon that habit quite naturally from an especially talented momma worrier, but I  work hard to keep it in check and recognize it can be wasted negative energy. But when I think about married life with Carver on testosterone I worry about  things. More specifically I’m curious about how things will all happen. I have read that testosterone is likely to change Carvers’s disposition, more confident, more aggressive, less communicative. I worry that it will change how we communicate, and that we’ll have to be careful to keep our conversation open. When I asked this question to R&I they told  me they were worried at first too, but “in truth T is a hormone and it can’t cause a personality transplant”. ha! Their advice was to communicate even more during the transition period and expect that as Carver’s confidence increases he may not need to talk as much to work through the emotions.

Self Care

Two main things that R&I have helped highlight for me. One being to really work to communicate openly about the things you worry about and process together during this new transition. The second being – that as the loving partner in this relationship, although I may not be the one experiencing the changes firsthand, the changes affect who we are as a married couple. And as much as I want to focus my energy on being the supportive loving wife that I am, I need to remember to look after myself too. Take the time I need to process individually and find ways to relax and reflect.

Lots to look forward to

As we both look forward to our move to Vancouver, I’m hopeful that I will get a chance to find new friends to connect with and chat with about what’s happening in my life and theirs. That I won’t feel alone in this perspective of a partner supporting their love through this transition. I can’t wait to explore a new city both independently and while holding Carver’s hand. As I write from a cafe in Vancouver waiting for Carver to come pick me up – I find myself looking forward to the fresh start. Where he won’t have to feel any pressure about explaining his chosen name and he can know everyone as Carver from the very beginning. Where the resources for transfolk are at least tenfold more plentiful than back home in Halifax (and that includes resources & support for partners like me too).

Most of all right now, I’m grateful. Grateful that we live somewhere that this is possible for us. That he can make the choices that feel right for him and I can proudly support him. That we have so much love and support in our lives. Since the events in Orlando last week I’ve felt sad and scared personally in a way that I didn’t expect. Attending the vigil in Halifax to remember the lives lost and come together with the LGBTQI community and allies brought that feeling full circle. But mostly it solidified for me that sharing our story is  important. If our story can help someone else – anyone else – see that love really is love no matter what label you want to slap on it than it will mean something.

And away we go……

That’s right.

It’s been over a year since I posted.

The reason?

That’s how long it took me to get to this point.

he

While the journey to the here has been fairly uneventful, it has been filled with a roller coaster of emotions. From excitement at getting my approval letter for T, to frustration over having to then wait another year for an appointment to see the endocrinologist. To “You got to be FUCKING kidding me” when the appointment was finally scheduled only to realize I would be in Vancouver and then be told it would be another year before I could get in. To the resolved defeat in deciding to wait until the move to Vancouver this coming August to get shit rolling. To the “why didn’t anyone tell me this a year ago” when a fellow trans person mentioned I could probably get into the local sexual health clinic and within 24 hours had every appointment I was going to need (long before my original endo appointment) to prepare me for the BIG DAY.

Over a year in waiting and last week that waiting came to an end.

T tin

Tuesday June 7, 2016 (practically my unbirthday!) I began Testosterone (here on out known a T). There’s so much going through my head and numerous people have said I really should document the changes much like the way I documented my weight loss. The problem is that this is really just about me and sharing that is scary. Blogging about weight loss is easy when most of the people I know want to lose weight and it’s something most people can understand. Blogging about Trans stuff is very personal. Most of the people wanting to read this stuff won’t have a single clue about what’s really taking place.

But they’re right. I should be documenting this stuff. All the stuff. Blogging has always been a cathartic way for me to deal with changes. All changes.

Mimi and I have talked in-depth about this space. When someone takes the steps to change their physical to match their emotional that person isn’t the only one going through the experience. Any one around me is also transitioning. Also changing. Also experiencing the “stuff” that comes with going from Tara…to Tee……To Carver.

I’m thinking of trying to set aside every other Tuesday as not only my T day but also a day to blog about what’s happening. Emotionally. Physically. Talk about what I like so far. What I don’t like.

I’m also opening up this space for Mimi. To blog here. There is so little support in the world for me; imagine how little support there is for those that love me? We’re in this together in everything, including this blog.

first week on T

I hate looking at pictures of myself. Especially when I’m tired and my age shows. I don’t like being reminded that I’m a late bloomer into finding Carver. I’m not working out (saving for the move…or that’s what I tell myself), and I’ve been spending way too much time on my electronics. I’m spending way too much time being paranoid about the first changes that might occur. I’m spending too much time looking at other trans guys and deciding what I like and don’t like. What I want and don’t want. What I hope comes first and what I hope never comes.

It’s been a week now and no changes yet. I’ve been short in temper (but I think that’s just a me thing) and am trying to not over analyze it (OMG, the T is making me a dickhead / What am I going to be like weeks from now). I am trying to be cognizant of my emotions (I WANT ALL THE CHANGES NOW / i don’t want any changes) especially around Mimi  because we’re already two injured souls with a lifetime of crap and the last thing I want to do is make her feel like she doesn’t matter.

I’ve asked Mimi a thousand times if my voice sounds different knowing damn well it doesn’t. Without a pause in her step she replies “Yes!” and for that I know she’s my person. I’m paranoid a spot on my face is the oncoming barrage of acne. I’ve started a face washing regimen to get a “head”start on things (see what I did there). |My doctor says if I didn’t have it as a teenager I probably won’t have it as a middle-ager. They warned me of hair loss (FUCK THAT!) and hair growth (NOPE!) so you can believe I’m keeping an eye on both.

So there ya have it.

First week on T and everything is okay.

~Carver