Monday, 9 January 2012

No pain no gain

    I had my first meeting with the laser on Saturday. Full beard and chin. Ouch.
    There is no shortage of blow-by-blow accounts of laser hair removal in this sphere so I won't bore you too much with mine. Suffice to say it made me yelp a bit and I now have a slightly swollen and red face, with more than my fair share of zits. No pain no gain.
    I'm doing this with the luxury of presenting as a scruffy bloke in my everyday life. My current state can be explained away as an unusually severe case of shaving rash, in the unlikely case that anyone notices.
    I am very glad I am not faced with having to present as female today. Shaving or applying makeup at the moment would be rather painful and probably wouldn't do me any good in the long run. I have a new respect for those who go through this particular part of the process after going full-time, I wouldn't want to go out in the world as a woman looking as I do now.

21 comments:

  1. I know you know this but it does get so much easier. Plus those weeks where you are practically hair free make all the difference.

    Becca

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  2. You don't mention which type of laser treatment you are having Jenny. I believe some treatments are not as painful as others, either because they employ skin numbing gels or use a different method. I can only relate to one type and that was high frequency pulsed light or Epilight which treated a couple of square centimetres at a time using a cooled (refrigerated) gel. There was some redness but it was minimal. I suppose though that not everyone reacts to the treatment in the same way. Becca is right, it does get better.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  3. I have been on hiatus and so I may have missed something. I am wondering if you have now decided to become a woman?

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  4. Morning all,

    Yes, the operator told me that this one was likely to be the worst because I had the most black hairs to absorb light. Right now it's depressingly stubbly, though I'm told in a day or two that'll all drop out and I'll be smooth until the next lot comes through.

    The treatment I had was Lightsheer diode laser. I had Emla topical anaesthetic, but that doesn't go too deep under the skin. Like I said, no pain no gain :)

    This doesn't mark a decision to go full-time. It's something my wife urged me to do, I was holding back on her account. However I have to admit that though I'm still standing it does have the feeling of a gentle slide down the slope. I'm up for the specialist counseling services offered by the GIC, which I hope will help sort out some of the turmoil.

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  5. You mention a "feeling of a gentle slide down the slope". Could this be the infamous slippery slope that comes with HRT?

    And again...I am troubled by this apparent reliance on your wife and your counselor to make "decisions".

    My guess is that you will not agree with me on this, but....
    Either you IS or you AIN'T.

    And the cold hard "TRUTH" is only YOU really know for sure. There neally should be no need to "test the waters".

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  6. No, no HRT involved.

    I agree with you on the is or ain't thing. And I have little doubt I 'is'.

    But that ain't the point. I'm not the only player in this game. My wife isn't making decisions for me, we're making them together. That's how marriages work, at least hereabouts.

    Just be glad for yourself that this situation is beyond your experience.

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  7. Indeed I am, Jenny. Indeed I am.

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  8. So Jenny. Since you seem you seem to be one of those very few inividuals with whom I can have an adult conversation, AND ACTUALLY PROVIDE COHERENT ANSWERS to my seemingly ignorant questions would you mind answering just a couple more?

    When I was in my middle to late teens, (16-19), I was under constant assault by the rages of testosterone. My only release was provided in consort with other women. (Believe it or not, I did not learn until much later the mechanics of conventional masturbation).

    The 'only' problem with this was that I was "playing at" the role of a man in order to obtain this release. This "disconnect" from reality, MY reality, this false "roleplaying", pretending to be a man, is what would ultimately do me in and force me to come forth with the truth to my partner.

    Now, lest you believe that these were just sexual picadillos, or simply "zipperless sex", understand that one woman was living with me for nearly 12 months before I "came clean" and she left the next day. I tried again once more but lasted less than six months before the "madness", again drove me to the truth.

    So my question is this: How is it that you and so many of your comtemporaries seem to have simply avoided or DENIED this apparent "truth"? And how did you mange to do it for so long, decades even?

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  9. Dunno really.

    Lack of information, shame, pressure to conform to expectations.

    Really a refusal to believe I could be transsexual, a denial if you will. I guess I saw myself as wanting to be a woman rather than thinking I was a woman, therefore I couldn't really be 'one of them'.

    Very confused youth, me. I am certain that nowadays I would have found the information I needed to leave the closet, but twenty years ago that simply wasn't available.

    Does that answer your question?

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  10. Really a refusal to believe I could be transsexual, a denial if you will. I guess I saw myself as wanting to be a woman rather than thinking I was a woman, therefore I couldn't really be 'one of them'.

    Nicely put.

    +1

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  11. When I was very young I realised I had gender issues but of course at 4 years old and upwards I had no knowledge of why I felt that way. All I really wanted was to be a woman, not necessarily a girl but a fully grown woman, strange as that may seem. As a child I wasn't really interested in girly things and I suppose you could say that I was more a 'tom boy' had I been born and accepted as female. Throughout my life I took every opportunity to dress as a female and that occupied my thoughts constantly. When I became a teenager my dream was to be able somehow to have an operation to make me the woman I thought I was. Unfortunately I was ignorant of anything to do with gender re-assignment and what could be done or how to go about it but I did know by this time that it was possible. As gender dysphoria is generally a secretive condition that one usually doesn't want to reveal for a thousand and one reasons I remained in the closet for years thinking that one day I would be able to go through transition. Whilst thinking of these things I had to remain living in the real world and found myself conforming on all fronts after years of self-inflicted isolation and anti-socialism. I ended up married with children and I thought I had conquered all desires to be a woman but still I was dressing in private. I suppose this was a way of having the best of two worlds although that thought never crossed my mind. I had suppressed my feelings and desires thinking they would eventually go away. Well we all know that is impossible. Later in my married life, in fact about half-way through (15 years) my marriage broke down through a lack of interest on behalf of my spouse. It was at the end of this half of my marriage that the thoughts of regaining my desires to transition became stronger. I gave in to my feelings because I did not want to spend the rest of my life the way I was. My reasoning was this, my wife didn't want to resolve the problems she had with our relationship and my life at that point became an empty shell and I therefore wanted to turn back the clock and follow through with my life-long desire to change my gender. Strangely enough my ex and I get on better these days than we've done for many years and the love I have for her has never diminished, not even once all the time I've known her. Our relationship has changed of course, we are divorced but we live together and it all seems to work now. What I am trying to say is this, it isn't a case of black and white, no two explanations are the same, everyone's story is different and just as relevant and true as mine. Dysphoria does that to people.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  12. @Jenny. I *guess* you have answered my question.....sort of...

    You speak of a "lack of information", and yet a rather well known blogger managed to find her way 30+ years ago in the very UK where you could find nothing even 20 years ago. (1990's???)

    Now "shame", I can understand. IMO, because this condition, (TS), is so poorly understood, and so often associated and conflated with sexual perversion, it is little wonder that anyone suffering from these feelings of "dysphoria", would feel ashamed to seek out help...from anyone.

    What I really DO understand however, is your "refusal to believe" and/or "denial". This is in fact, something that I did in fact engage in, once I became fully aware that "changing one's physical SEX", was an actual medical possibility. But I was only able to maintain that falsehood/denial of REALITY, for just a few scant years. Barely enough to finish college and fully exhaust any hope for survival without recourse to some pretty drastic medical intervention.

    I was confronted with the usual array of "excuses"...too expensive, too painful, TOO FAROUT!!! (Remember..this was going down in the very late 60's, for me, and Harry Benjamin's, "The Transsexual Phenomenon" had yet to be published....And I never read it anyway until just a couple of years ago).

    And...What if it didn't "work"? What if I ended up dead, or worse?
    And yet....I HAD to go for it. even when it was presented to me as a "highly experimental procedure". I was willing to take those 50/50 odds or success frankly, because KNEW...."I had no other choice"

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  13. @Shirey Anne...I am a bit confused by the following statements. Perhaps I am reading them incorrectly, but they appear to be an oxymoron, IE a contradiction....

    "When I became a teenager my dream was to be able somehow to have an operation to make me the woman I thought I was. Unfortunately I was ignorant of anything to do with gender re-assignment and what could be done or how to go about it but I did know by this time that it was possible."

    This one also is difficult fo me to get my head around...."I ended up married with children and I thought I had conquered all desires to be a woman but still I was dressing in private. I suppose this was a way of having the best of two worlds although that thought never crossed my mind."

    And finally, this one..."Later in my married life, in fact about half-way through (15 years) my marriage broke down through a lack of interest on behalf of my spouse. It was at the end of this half of my marriage that the thoughts of regaining my desires to transition became stronger. I gave in to my feelings because I did not want to spend the rest of my life the way I was. My reasoning was this, my wife didn't want to resolve the problems she had with our relationship and my life at that point became an empty shell and I therefore wanted to turn back the clock and follow through with my life-long desire to change my gender."

    I guess the source of my confusion is that I seem to agree with Jenny, that this IS, in fact, a case of "black and white"..."either you IS or you AIN'T".

    I believe it is these "shades of grey" that belong in the TG bin and NOT the TS bin.

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  14. I hope you are not inferring that I didn't KNOW I was a woman Anne or that I only thought that was the case. You it seems have been able to sort out your problems at an earlier age, maybe because you had the courage of your convictions to go through with it. I unfortunately did not have the courage to take the bull by the horns. I was extremely introverted in my youth, bullied and lacking confidence so it was much harder for me to come out of my shell. I was probably not so much in denial as I was timid and afraid but I ended up remaining in the closet because of this. All those things have been dealt with now of course. I just want you to understand that not everyone has been able to or has been strong enough to overcome their dysphoria as you might have done and I resent the fact that your words seem to suggest that because some folk are late transitioners it somehow reflects an indecision in their minds as you their gender identity. It isn't simply a case of knowing it has more to do with courage and determination, fear and intimidation and other things. The fact that some people do transition late in life should reflect the struggle they have had to reach that point and may I say it is far more difficult to transition in later life than it is when young.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  15. I identify strongly with Shirley Anne's comments with respect to youth and growing up.

    Why didn't I find my way in the late '80s/early '90s? You have to understand, this was my deepest and darkest secret. As a confused and oversized teenager in the very hostile environment of an '80s British private school that would have been curtains for me. I would *never* been able to admit it. So I was pushed into a state of denial and secrecy that lasted nearly two decades and nearly killed me in the end.

    That's what being in the closet really means. It's self-inflicted and often unnecessary but when you're in it you can't see that.

    I've often thought that had I met a trans person at university my life would have turned out very different.

    So I agree with "You is or you isn't" because I've certainly seen people who I condsider to have gone forward irresponsibly. But I understand that we're all different and have different routes to coming to terms with all this.

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  16. The recipe for increasing number of comments seems to call for one ingredient only.

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  17. Jenny. I can certainly understand the denial and the need for secrecy. I survived a Catholic all male secondary education, although for me it was the mid 60's.

    Why I even suffered through the conventional therapy for that era which was Electro-Shock Therapy. Delightful stuff. So yes, I can understand the shame and denial.

    Where I begin to have a problem understanding however, is how that lasted for 20+ years, once adulthood was reached and you became responsible for your own actions and well-being. I agree that we are all different and have different ways of dealing with difficult issues.

    However as long as thse issues are relegated to "all this" and not clearly defined and classified, the shame and lack off appropriate therapy, born from mis or NON understanding, and/or conflation of TS with other phenomenon, will persist.

    It's NOT about being "bullied or timid or afraid" We ALL were.

    @Shirly Anne...I am not *impying* ANYTHING. Although based on you comments, several inferences could be made. For example "because some folk are late transitioners it somehow reflects an indecision in their minds as you their gender identity"...which is the one that YOU drew.

    Please do not project those inferences onto me and then "resent" the fact that it is YOU who is drawing the inferences.

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  18. Sorry Anne but you have mis-read my sentence which actually says: I resent the fact that YOUR words seem to suggest that because some folk are late transitioners it somehow reflects an indecision in their minds as you their gender identity.
    It isn't my thinking that indicates this but your own words appear do or appear to infer it. To me your whole attitude seems to be that because you were able to transition early everyone else should have been able to do so too. That is not the case in real life. We are all the victims of our own circumstances.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  19. I have to admit to being with Shirley Anne on this one. Everyone's path is different, and sometimes we don't entirely understand everyone else's.

    Now here's a question. I hope it is not too personal, if it is, feel free to politely decline to answer it.

    Anne, you're now an androphile, you fancy blokes. (For the purposes of this I'm referring to androphile and gynephile rather than gay, lesbian or straight, not tying gender to sexuality)

    I'm a gynephile. Never yet fancied a bloke, very happy with my wife. I recognise that with hormones one can find oneself on the other side of the fence, this doesn't worry me in itself but as it would affect my wife it concerns me greatly in that context.

    I think being a gynephile helped me convince myself I must be able to make it as a bloke.

    Now the question I have for you Anne is this: were you always an androphile? You had girlfriends back in your male-bodied days, but did you have androphile tendencies? Did you think "As a woman I would be very happy to fancy blokes"? And if so, did that help you in your conviction that you needed to transition at a young age?

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  20. @Ellena: I can't remember who it was wrote: "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards" :)

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  21. Interesting question Jen. There is no question that when I was young I was indeed attracted to women. I was drawn to them in everyway as those very creatures that I so "identified" with.

    The problem as I described earlier was that "the man" who was making love to that woman WAS NOT ME. "He" was a fabrication of my own making...a facade if you will, employed, if you will, to carry off that male role imposed upon me by my sexual morphology, (PHYSICAL body).

    So..."Was I a gynophile"? Yes. Without question.

    "Did I have androphylic tendancies?" No.

    "Did you think "As a woman I would be very happy to fancy blokes"? No. I never thought that far into the future. HOWEVER, and this I believe to be significant, I DID see myself as a woman enjoying sex with a man. In fact, this was the constant theme in ALL my erotic ideation. So YES, in my dreams, (fantasies as well), I saw myself as a woman, loving a man.

    "...did that help you in your conviction that you needed to transition at a young age?" Again, NO, but a qualified "no".

    You see the difficulty here is, I think, in how you are formulating the question. As would be expected, the question is framed in terms of how you now perceive things and how you might have perceived them back in your youth.

    I believe that my perception differed significantly from yours in that I already KNEW who I was from a very early age. That the "world", society, my parents, my school, my peers, EVERYBODY... insisted otherwise did little more than test my mettle and Faith in myself and a Higher Power.

    That is the only difference that I can see. I KNEW and was willing to act on what I KNEW was the truth. Everything thing else was just "noise", a distraction, getting in the way of what HAD to be done.

    BUT...That was then, and THIS is NOW. I bit the bullet. I took my chances, (which in those days were "slim to none"). Fortunately, and by the Sweet Love of Jesus, I survived and have tried to live my life in a way that worthy of the blessings that I have received.

    One of those things which I find important is giving voice to the truth as I see it. That "truth", much like "reality" is not often pleasant, but to deny or try to avoid it is often done at our own peril and potential detriment of ourselves and others.

    This is why I encourage everybody to look VERY hard at what it is they are doing, and not just allow themselves to slide passively down that slippery slope.

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