HRT: Year Two (a/k/a The Not-So-Young and Breastless)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


That's right, boys and girls, it has been two years (!) since I began HRT.

That is simply astonishing to me. It simultaneously feels as if it happened an eternity ago - and yesterday. How is that possible?

Follow along, below the fold, for more!

I think the biggest change in the past year has been internal. The single most important event in my transition, in retrospect, happened just before last Christmas, when I finally allowed myself to cry - to really cry.

I wish the circumstances could have been better, but it was absolutely necessary for me to let go. It is no coincidence, I think, that I was addressed as "she" in public - while in boy mode - for the first time not two days later.

That has become a common occurrence, something I still find remarkable. I don't think I look all that different; clearly, others think I do. Just last week my colleague RO told me he didn't recognize me in photos taken just before I started HRT. Given that I am addressed as "Miss," "she," "her," and so on more often than not while out and about - even in boy mode - I have to concede they are on to something I simply cannot see yet.

I suspect it is more than just my appearance, however. The moment I allowed myself to finally cry that day was the moment I think "he" began to let go, and allowed me to become myself. Not two weeks later I marched into a MAC store, unplanned - again, in boy mode - and calmly told a makeup artist I was transsexual, and hoped they could help me.

Two days later they did, giving me a full makeover - at dinner time, on a Friday evening, in the front of the store. I didn't realize it would be like that, but I remember  thinking to myself that I have every right to be there; I'm a woman, and I should have been able to do this my entire life.

I sat there for over two hours, in full view of everyone, while the artist worked her magic. (Trust me - it was magic, given how pale and sick I was while recovering from the flu. She did *not* have much to work with. lol)

At one point the manager who had booked the appointment came over and told me she and the other staff members had been watching, and were amazed at how calm I seemed. I admitted I was amazed too. Her immediate reply: "It's because you belong here."

The other major tipping point this year was when I finally spent a day as myself outside my home as myself. Again, I was amazed to realize it felt… normal. Completely, utterly, normal. Even after I outed myself to the very first person I spoke to that day. :#) Cassidy Elizabeth, Mistress of Disguise, foiled again!

I am beyond fortunate that I seem to pass fairly well, given that I have barely begun to master makeup, or had my hair cut properly (it is an unruly mess right now), or learned much about style. I will hopefully improve on these, and other areas, the way I try to do with everything: hard work and practice.

To touch on the physical changes for a moment, the most visible change to me is how fast my hair is growing, particularly in the past few months. It seems to have gone into overdrive for some reason. My back and chest, meanwhile, are nearly clear now, which is pretty remarkable, considering where it was a year ago. (Sorta gross, I know, but there it is.)

I have also been startled by the progress we have made in my electrolysis sessions, especially the past month or two. I haven't shaved my face since last Thursday (sigh), but it was only today that it is noticeable. The discomfort is beginning to pay dividends - yea!!!

As I wrote yesterday, I cannot wait until I am full-time (24 days and counting!). I am wondering if lifting the constant strain of trying to pretend I am someone I am not will be noticeable. My therapist has said I have no idea what an enormous burden it is, and will not know it until it is gone.

I know I cannot wait to see what changes the next year brings, physically, emotionally, and otherwise. I am determined to get back on track to exercising regularly after nearly two years of assorted illnesses, injuries, and other woes. It is really important to me, and when I make up my mind to do something, I do not let anything stop me. On this date next year I am going to be in the best shape of my life. Book it. :c)

I will end with a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me in more ways than they can ever know, or I can ever repay. That includes both my dear online friends, those of you in my life offline, and of course my sister and nephew C.

Calie, Halle, Becca, Jenna, Leslie… you have been, and continue to be, an inspiration and a source of comfort. The same goes for Jen (from Jenesis), Debra, Faline, and others who are either no longer online or are living their lives as themselves.

A special shout out to Kelli, Stace, and, especially, April, for your unwavering support and friendship. I cannot imagine how I managed without you in my lives before this. (Or, to put it another way... where the hell were all of you before this?!?) ;-p OK, no more snark. I love you all more than I can ever express. :') Thank you SO, SO much!

Thank you for joining me on the ride so far! Cannot wait to see where it takes us next year!

***

Just wanted to post a brief note about the title. There is a story to it that involves (of course) April.

She decided earlier this year that she and I clearly merited our own sitcom, given our shared unique (read: weird) sense of humor and warped view of reality.

I have learned to humor her in situations like this, so I played along.

A: "This could be really great for both of us, Cass!"

C: "Um… okay. So, what's your plan?"

A: "Well, first we take the nation's TV screens by storm. Then, once you and I are America's sweethearts at the end of our first season, we use that as leverage."

C (confused): "Leverage for…?"

A (indignant): "Our boob jobs? What else?"

C: "Oh, of course."

A: "We get Victoria's Secret to sponsor it. And we show both of our surgeries on live television! I'm thinking one-hour special."

C: "One hour? Have you looked at either of our chests?!? We're both flatter than a Utah dessert, hon."

A (after a moment): "That's true, isn't it?"

C: "Better tell them to make it a mini-series."

So there it is. Let me say, here and now, for the record:

Fear not, for we shall both forever remember all of you little people once our inevitable rise to stardom begins.

Or... maybe not. (Hey, those all-night bacchanals at Brangelina's won't attend themselves, you know.) Perhaps we'll just hire someone to remember for us…

Anyway, that's the story behind it. (You're welcome.)

Oh, what was our second proposed title, by the way? Why, here it is:

The Bold & The Boobless

Send us you cards and letters to let us know what you think!

***

Just thought I would repost some pics, plus one new one, for easy reference in case anyone is interested.

June 2011:


November 19, 2011 (HRT day 1):



June 2012 (eight months):


November 19, 2012 (HRT, one year):



July 6, 2013:


July 20, 2013:



July 27, 2013:


August 3, 2013:


This is my favorite so far, which is why I put it at the top as well. This is how I wish I looked all the time! :c)

October 20, 2013:


November 19, 2013:


I deliberately took one the night before HRT, to show the difference between my beard now, after 14 months of electrolysis, and the day I began, above. 

I had shaved *that* morning in the picture taken on 11.19.11, if you can believe it. And in this picture, I last shaved… five days ago. I find that encouraging. :c)

(For the record: I *am* not topless in this picture, nor am I any of the others that make me *look like* I am, er, unclad. :#) The "girls" are simply not yet up to the task of holding up some of my nighties. Honest! Guess I need to ask Santa for a bathrobe...)

Really looking forward to seeing how I look a year from now! Curious to see if the changes are mostly over, or if they still continue. Should be interesting either way...

***

As a full service blog, I wanted to post the following link, courtesy of The Onion, as a public service. It offers some useful tips for we girls in the workplace. I hope you find it as enlightening as yours truly did:

http://www.theonion.com/video/the-onions-tips-for-succeeding-as-a-woman-in-the-w,34594/?playlist=recent-news

Watch and learn, girls, watch and learn. (I particularly like # 2, incidentally.)

***

I would be remiss not to include something from one of my long-standing favorites, so I shall go back to Pearl Jam, and a couple of deep cuts that I have always loved.

First, this gorgeous, haunted gem (and perhaps my favorite PJ song) from 1996's underrated No Code album:


Eddie Vedder has since admitted he wrote this about himself, detailing his struggles to deal with the massive fame thrust upon the band in general, and him in particular, after their first three albums. Happily, both he and the rest of the band seem to have survived - and prospered.

From 1998's Yield (also an underrated album, imho), here's "Wishlist." It began as a lark in the studio, but quickly became a favorite of both the band and their fan base.


I always liked the ambiguity of the song's final verse:

I wish I was your favorite song
The one that you can't turn off
I wish I wish I wish I wish
I guess it never stops

That last line could be taken several ways; is he saying he will never stop wishing (in a way that implies he will never be satisfied)? Or is he wishing that his/her favorite song goes on forever?

I suspect it is the former, since he made a small but telling change to the final line when I saw them at the final show on their 2000 tour in Seattle:

I wish I wish I wish I wish
I guess my list goes on

That always struck me as a more hopeful ending. He isn't resigned to feeling he can never be satisfied; instead, he is looking forward, hopeful about what is ahead that might bring joy. I have always preferred this ending. :-)

4 comments:

LL Cool Joe on November 19, 2013 at 7:55 AM said...

Wow you've come long way! You look great, but you know what my favourite thing about this post is? Your great big cheesy grin! :D You look happy!!

Cassidy on November 19, 2013 at 5:24 PM said...

Thank you, Joey. :#) Luckily I had the foresight to set the bar *really* low before beginning HRT so ANY change would be an improvement. ;-p

This "happy" business goes against my nature as a dour New Englander; the standard joke is that it's the kind of place where people say "Thank God it's Monday," which isn't too far from the truth. lol

First the Red Sox win their third World Series in ten years, and now I wake up happy most mornings... what does a girl have to do to be bitchy these days, anyway?!?

Thanks again, Joey! Really love the hair, btw. :c)

== Cass

Calie on November 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM said...

Lovely picture of you at the top of this post, girl!

I am glad you clarified the "topless" thing. Based one what I saw, that's something you had better not do in public anymore!

Thanks for the shout-out!

Calie xxx

Cassidy on November 27, 2013 at 10:03 PM said...

Hi Calie!

Thank you very much. :#) It is my favorite too.

I think the only risks to me going topless are a) hypothermia (it is very chilly here again!), and b) blinding people with my paleness. The girls won't be an issue, as they still remain stuck in the toddler stage, sad to say. :(

Hugs,
Cass

P.S. You are welcome!

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