Today marks the end of my first week in RLT (Real Life Test). The cognitive dissonance has faded considerably, while any reference to my previous name still throws me a little. My coworkers have been good, and I'm getting comfortable with my jaunts to my private, semi-personal bathroom. The women have been a little more inclusive, and the guys have continued on as business as usual.
There is now one person in the office who doesn't know I transitioned. She started a couple of days ago, wore her swing skirt to work and is anxious to form office girlfriends, including me :)
Yesterday, started out mixed. I slipped in the shower, banged my head on the wall and sprained my neck just slightly from the impact. When I got to work, I almost missed a primo spot, parked and walked past a group of shoulders there for training. While I was waiting for the elevator, the group headed inside to the classroom and one of the soldiers surprised me by pausing, turning and giving me a long, sultry, "Hey," before heading inside.
Then I got letter from the son of one of my coworkers. He was wondering if I was the same "Sophie" that his mother (a close friend and supproter) was talking about going through sex reassignment, and I assured him that it was indeed me. He only recently came out as a crossdresser to his mother in December just before Christmas, his feelings resonate pretty closely to heterosexual crossdressers that I know. Mostly, he's attached to his "attachment." We did, however, share a Native American ancestry.
The Germanic, Swedish and Anglo-Saxon blood must have overcome my Tsalagi (Cherokee) blood. I am 1/16 descended from both parents. My adolescence was slow, and at 19, my beard was light and slow to grow. Boot camp a couple of years later fixed that--I had to start shaving twice a day as the follicles woke up to the daily shaving. Now, it's a bit of a pain as I go through laser, and will have to go through electrolysis in a few months to catch the gray strays.
I considered breast forms for a short period of time, but really settled on breast growth, because I knew everything had to be real for me--hair, breasts, nails, and eventually "down there." Instead of breast forms, when I tried to compromise by living "as a crossdresser" in order to save my marriage, my boobs were tiny--the silicon bust enhancers you can buy at Walmart. Another issue I had is that when I finally relaxed into my female mode, it was never done. I was never statisfied enough to take enjoyment as male. The few emotions I felt as male were dark and shallow. There is so much more "me" on this side. Because my cravings were just as much physical as emotional, I consider myself both transgender and transsexual. My gender meta-awareness kicked in at 10, followed almost immediately by breast envy. At 12, when other boys were feeling their manhood, I felt something completely different between my legs that was not what I saw when I looked at it. From about 5 years old, boys in groups of two or more terrified me, and I did all I could to avoid them.
From his description, my friend's son sounds like he may be closer on the spectrum to being bigendered to a degree with at least half of his non-androgynous feelings on the male side. If that's the case, not only would cross-sex hormones make him incredibly paranoid and depressive, he would probably regret genital surgery from male to female, especially given the costs involved. But only he can know that.
When I came out to my mother, I first chatted with her in person over a cup of tea and slipped in the question of what she would have named me had I been born a girl. When she told me, I decided to use the middle name, which is reflective of hers and ditch the country-cousin sounding first name. I did not come out to her then. On a following Sunday, I believe the next month, I still showed up as Robert, and took her to my IMVU web page, where I was known as Sophie Jean, and I had a crossdresser photo posted.
I made it a habit to see her once a month on a Sunday, and since I was going to church as myself at a Unitarian Universalist Church on Sundays, I would always go home, wash up and change first. Eventually, she suggested that I just come after church as I was. It was all right. Of course, the first time she met me as Sophie was at a Dairy Queen in the Baptist-dominated country town where I grew up from the age of 12. She convinced me to do my night makeup, and she took a picture before I left. It was an environment that I felt really nervous in, but I did it for her.
Eventually, I loaned her my copy of True Selves by Mildred Brown that a psychotherapist had instructed me to pick up years previously to see where we were headed. Mom still hasn't finished it, and it is really tough on her to miss her son, but she's coming to love her daughter.
My friend's son offered me a blonde wig that he felt didn't look right on him. I outgrew my wig about a year and a half ago. It, too, is blonde. And after having my hair cut back twice over that time, the last time 10 months ago, it is at a nice medium business length. When I moved to Kentucky in October, I left the wig with my family in Texas, because I felt it had become a crutch.
I told my friend's son that I hope that he didn't mind telling his mother that he made contact with me for support. I tried to get her to just open up at first by asking her to tell me about her son. When that failed, I simply told her that he found me.
I reminded him that she lives alone and it would mean so much to just go see her as his male self once a month or so. To just sit and chat about whatever is on his mind or hers, maybe to bring back pleasant memories together or even, if she's willing, to talk about his father.
And, of course, this reminds me that I need to call my mother this Sunday on Mother's Day.
Hugs and God Bless,