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Shades of Transition


Lydia_R

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This is a bit of Lydia's victory post.  I've been after a better job for several years here and I finally got what I'm after this week.  I haven't signed the final papers yet, but it looks like it will happen and I'll start the new job in a week.  This new job is expected to both get me to retirement by the end of the decade and afford my transition.  It did come with the price of years of self education while my finances were in the red.  It worked though!

 

As for my transition, I've been doing GT for 2 months now and have decided to start HRT.  A few weeks ago I got interested in my male pattern hair loss.  I've known for a while that I've had some of this, but it was hard to see it without some camera and mirror trickery.  The first look at the back top of my head scared me a bit.  But then I took a bunch of other pictures and well, it doesn't look too bad.  There is some balding, but for my age, I'm doing fairly well.

 

And then right after that, I noticed the other article on here right around this post about life with wigs!  And I'm taking a look around at other women and men in the grocery stores with attention to their hair.

 

My hair has always been an important part of my style.  I was in the military for 7 years and had a hard time with buzzing my hair all the time.  I had hair past my shoulders before the military and that came back quickly after the military.  I got a fancy short haircut for a partner I was with for about 2 years, but that didn't last long.  Now I've only had two haircuts in the last 10 years.

 

The quality of my hair is not as good as I've thought it was.  There isn't a lot of body to it.  I notice some women just have really thick hair going down their back.  But some women certainly have longer hair that is thinner in the back like mine.

 

So, one of the main things with HRT for me is about hair.  I've been shaving the rest of my body for a few years now.  The negatives of HRT for me are some loss of male sexual function and growing of breasts (if I want to go back to being male).  I just finished reading No Way Renee.  I must say I love reading about Renee and had a great time with that book.  I relate to how she approaches work.  My music is very similar to her tennis.  She struggled with going back to being male for a partner and getting breast reduction surgery.

 

I see the whole transition thing as there are losses and gains whatever way I decide to go.  And the transition steps I choose to take are a personal thing.  I spent 2012-2017 with a female partner.  Then she died and I decided right away that I wanted to find someone to cook for.  And then 2 weeks later, a lovely older lady was at my door and was curious about me.  There was a lot of attraction there and she moved in with me a few months later.  She died 2 years later, but that was by far the best relationship of my life.  And it left me feeling pretty satisfied in the relationship department.

 

So the point of telling that story here and the "Shades of Transition" title is about what I'm looking for now.  I've been on my own for 2.5 years now.  I've spent a good deal of that time looking for a replacement for my last partner on the dating sites.  Those sites are not working too well for me and well, I want to be more proactive about my future rather than waiting for the dating sites to produce a result.

 

I've decided that I like living alone.  What I really want now is to have dinner parties.  Couples nights would be ideal, but more informal groups might even be better.  I like the idea of learning to cook properly in a wok over high heat.  I like the idea of making my own wanton wrappers.  And incorporating live music in with these parties on the back deck.  My house was kind of designed for entertaining.  I'm a total loner, so this is kind of a challenge for me.

 

And the point of mentioning the dinner parties and how it relates to transitioning is that my transition may even be a positive for this venture.  If I'm focusing on informal dinner party groups instead of finding a female partner, then HRT really doesn't have any negative side.  I'm fairly certain I'm going to like HRT and the changes in my body.  I'll certainly like any help I can get in the hair department!  I think transitioning could expand my social circle with a little effort.

 

My new job is going to be fully remote, so transitioning at work is really just about how I look on camera.  I'll wait a while to come out to them to build up some financial security and reputation with my co-workers.  I do have a fear of transitioning messing up my career.  But the thing with wanting to attack my hair loss has me wanting to get on with HRT and transitioning.  So it's just waiting to come out to my new co-workers.  I guess I'm reserving myself to kind of living a double life for a while here.  We'll see.  I'm sure this is going to be one of the things to work on in GT.

 

One of the things GT uncovered was...  Well, when I started GT, I was telling myself that I wanted to wait to begin transitioning until I'm retired.  That thought came to an end pretty quickly.  If I'm going to do it, now is certainly the time.  So, that is what I'm doing.  I'm going to enjoy getting on with my career and transition at the same time.  Waiting to transition is going to make me miserable at work.  Transitioning while I'm finishing up my career is going to create a good feeling.  And my calculation is that my career is 82% completed right now.  This should be a walk in the park to get to retirement.   I've got a solid plan for what to do in retirement too.  The only loss here would be of finding a lady to be with as a male.  I've had my fill of that in life.  Or at least I'm satisfied enough with all that.  It's a small loss.

 

I'm curious as to how others are dealing with transitioning at work, so I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with that.

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  • Forum Moderator

@Lydia_R good luck with the new job.  I truly hope you enjoy it.  I get it that living a dual life may be part of the price to pay.  See how it goes, but play it safe.  

 

I'm not sure I'd want to live with you with your record of losing partners!!! 

 

Once you start talking with a GT, things come out fast and you realize everything is possible.  But take your time, don't jeopardize your future.  This is critical.  

 

I didn't start transition until a year after retirement (no help there).  I guess I had too much time to think!?  With my personality I'm not sure I could have done it while working.  And I would have been afraid of losing my security clearance at the US Defense business I was a manager at; although there was a transwoman at another facility.  You mention "It's a small loss" in relation to relationships, work could be looked at like that too.  It's a trade off.  Many businesses don't care either way as long as you're a good employee.  

 

Sounds like you're doing well.  

 

Cheers, Jani

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing Jani.  I always like seeing your profile pic and it's fun to learn some more about you!

 

Once I become more established in this newer line of work I just learned, I should have more job security.  I hope to stay with this one job until I retire, but the skills I'll be using on this job combined with stashing large amounts of money away should make it so that if I lose this job, another one should be much easier to pick up.  My skills should be my security, not my money or an individual job.  I'm not there yet though.  It took some effort to get this job.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The first week on this job went well.  Fixing the employment problem was key to everything I want to accomplish for the rest of my life.  So glad the job search is over.  It really is a good fit for both of us.

 

I do hope that transitioning doesn't ruin this job, but as I said, I should be getting more and more marketable as time goes on with this job.  There is a decent chance that this job will be OK with me coming out when the time comes.  The idea of coming out at work is tough for me.  I kind of feel like I should take the don't ask don't tell approach.  I guess there will be a time when coming out isn't much of an option.  I'd love to just do my transition in retirement, but I'm not going to wait that long.

 

I get the ball rolling with HRT this week.

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1 hour ago, Lydia_R said:

The first week on this job went well.

This is wonderful news Lydia.  I hope it is all you wish for.  Take it easy with coming out at work.  If its a large enough company see it they have a HR policy manual that might indicate how they feel, or would react to certain issues.  Waiting until your retirement age would be tough, IMO.

 

Hugs,

Jani 

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I think the company policies will be on my side here.  This is a corporate position in a tech company.  The company has about 150 employees.  I'm a little nervous about my supervisor though.  I have the feeling that he may not take it so well personally.  And because of our roles, he's the main person I work with.  Then again, maybe I'm just being prejudiced.

 

The idea of not coming out at work goes back to my military days.  There was a lesbian couple in our unit of about 60 people.  Everyone knew about their relationship, but they never said anything about it.  It was a textbook example of don't ask don't tell.  They wound up advancing up all the way to the top of the career path.  It was just that they were focused on work.  It was professional.

 

And because of that experience, I wonder what would happen if I just transitioned and said nothing of it at work.  Would that be rude?  If I just kept my attire professional.  The more feminine I become the more feminine I dress.  Just a slow transition.  The idea of continuing to use my given name isn't a problem for me.  I'm very focused on just transitioning and making it to retirement.  Retirement is my goal.  Transitioning at work isn't really a goal.  I'm not out to make a statement.

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6 minutes ago, Lydia_R said:

I wonder what would happen...

Well that's a possibility.  But remember that sexuality (i.e Lesbian) and gender (i.e. Transgender) are different and viewed differently by the public at large.  Not saying it wouldn't work but it would require an explanation.  That this isn't a goal sorta makes it easy for you.  

 

Jani

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, I suppose it is different.  I've been letting your words sink in the last couple weeks Jani.  I've made "statements" at work before.  I believe in standing up for things that are important to you.  But at this point in my career, I just want to be a good boy and finish off my working years.

 

I think that in my early transition here, I'm a little crazy about the whole thing.  Having to go back to wearing men's clothes for the webcam at work set me back for a couple weeks.  I've been wearing my little black dress and leggings under my clothes every day at work.  That's how I used to do it a few years ago and I'm pretty comfortable with that.  It's Sunday night and I've enjoyed going all femme this weekend.  Work is going great and I should be starting HRT soon.

 

I'm learning some great new skills at work that are making me more marketable.  I hope to finish off my career with this one job, but I probably shouldn't be so worried about the future of my career.  Doing what I can today for my transition and my career.  I do have a vision of where I want to be in 5 years.  It's good to have something to work towards.

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  • 1 month later...

Things are still going good at work.  Still waiting on all the ducks to align for HRT.  Maybe another week or two.

 

I'm thinking more about how I want to do this transition thing.  For me, it's more about the body I want than presenting as female.  At least that is how I think about it now.  I see myself as being a unique combination of male/female.  I'm not too sure about how advanced my male pattern baldness is.  I'll probably wear hats to hide it.  Maybe a French beret in the winter and a baseball cap in the summer with my ponytail threaded through it.  I've got a prominent Adam's Apple, so hiding it in the winter with turtleneck shirts and sweaters will probably be a thing.  I don't know if I'll ever adjust to changing my voice, but I do like the idea of experimenting with it.

 

I'm hoping the HRT is going to play well with my body.  I've been warned about weight gain.  I'm pretty much a master of losing weight and have lost 6 pounds in the last month (holiday weight) to get down to 133.  I'd like to get it down to 125 which is the lowest weight that is considered normal for my height.  I've spent a good 70% of my life at that weight and really want to get back to that for good.  I'm not sure it will totally eliminate my belly, but that'll at least be the best I can do.  I've incorporated sit ups, push ups and downward dog into my daily meditation routine.

 

So I get pretty focused on my figure.  I'm hoping that HRT won't make too extreme changes to my body.  I welcome smaller changes though.

 

In 5 years I want to have my house paid off, transition complete and then I want to be sitting in a brand new hot tub in a bikini sipping mochas while I complete my last couple years of work.  Then in retirement I have plans to write books, compose music, code video games, have dinner parties, play more arcade games and watch old TV shows.  I've got a lot of work to do to make this happen.  I'm headed into a couple years of construction on my house.  Things are on track though (finally)!

 

The idea of passing as female is odd for me.  Is it rational for me to want to have a female body but not pass as female?  My attitude is that I never gave any thought to passing as male.  Why would I care about passing as female?  What it really boils down to is things like my Adam's Apple.  I'll probably wind up trying to minimize it with surgery, but at this point I'm just not sweating about it very much.  I'm just telling myself that I'll do the best I can and then not sweat the stuff I can't change or that are difficult to change.  I've probably been working with the attitude my whole life of not trying to pass as male, but not trying to pass as female either.  I do admit that transitioning may put me in a place of wanting to pass as female.  I don't like the idea of being androgynous, but I've certainly gotten to a point where I'm all mixed up now.  I just went to the bank in my new feminine active wear.  I've got fairly large breasts because of a medication I'm on and I wear a padded bra every day now.  But I still talk with a lower voice.  I'm getting used to being like this out in public.  I like how I am presenting.  It's certainly different than the norm.  I'm definitely only aspiring to be like the women now.  Pretty much every man I see I think that I do not want to be like them.

 

I certainly don't want to be overly girly.  I don't have any desire to wear makeup.  At least not yet.  I guess there is a part of me that might want to experiment with makeup.  Just to see what is up with it.

 

OK, it's the weekend and I've got next week's cooking all done.  I'll do the usual Saturday thing and shave my body and put on my red Star Trek dress!  I don't have boots so I wear it with heels :)

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On 5/14/2022 at 12:39 PM, Lydia_R said:

I'm hoping the HRT is going to play well with my body.  I've been warned about weight gain.

Hi @Lydia_R, HRT seems to have more affect on younger individuals but I’ve seen some amazing ‘before and after’ videos and photo collages of transgender individuals of all ages. You might be quite surprised at the changes you’ll encounter.

The weight gain can be a challenge but a good exercise regimen and good and consistent diet will help allow your body to adjust to the new hormones and the slowing down of your metabolism. You have a little time after starting HRT before the metabolism begins to change so getting a good head start on the weight control is a good idea, IMHO.

 

On 5/14/2022 at 12:39 PM, Lydia_R said:

So I get pretty focused on my figure.  I'm hoping that HRT won't make too extreme changes to my body.  I welcome smaller changes though.

The weight distribution is an affect that you may notice after a year or so. After two years the weight I lost on my arms and shoulders went directly to my hips and upper thighs, figuratively speaking. You may welcome the changes because it does help allow you to fit better in a more feminine and curvy wardrobe. I greatly miss the loss of physical strength but welcome the look of a more feminine figure. You’ll likely see an array of smaller changes too that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

 

On 5/14/2022 at 12:39 PM, Lydia_R said:

I certainly don't want to be overly girly.  I don't have any desire to wear makeup.  At least not yet.  I guess there is a part of me that might want to experiment with makeup.  Just to see what is up with it.

HRT may change this a little. I would guess that many women would forego makeup if they felt as confident without it. You certainly don’t need to wear it all the time. My wife wears a minimal amount unless we do something outside the home. I, on the other hand, have makeup on almost every time my eyes are open. It’s just a part of my daily regimen and I enjoy it very much. You might just like the way you look with it on enough to use it on occasion. It’s definitely worth experimenting with especially if you decide in time that you want to blend in as a woman. You might also decide it’s just not your thing and that’s a perfectly fine decision too. I’m sure in time and a little experimentation, you know more about what fits you best.

 

Good Luck,

Susan R🌷

 

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Thanks for another wonderful reply Susan!

 

There is the excitement of the unknown!  I'm certainly marking some time in my new job.  Every year that goes by here I get to some pretty fantastic financial milestones.  Working this new job is a bit of a paying the piper kind of thing.  Just a few years here though.  There will be transition milestones as well.  My life is under construction for a few years.

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25 minutes ago, Lydia_R said:

My life is under construction for a few years.

Yeah, it will surely be that. But in reality, we’re all a work in progress in this lifetime whether we’re transitioning genders or trying to be simply be better parents or spouses. I just try to embrace the new me at each point along my journey for a short time, take a deep breath and then begin to refocus on the next step forward.

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On 5/14/2022 at 12:39 PM, Lydia_R said:

My attitude is that I never gave any thought to passing as male.  Why would I care about passing as female? 

I love your attitude! I just read your thread for the first time and it strikes me that your journey is similar to mine in a number of respects.

 

First, I’m not deliberately trying to present as female or male. I’m just concentrating on being my true self. I’ve been on hormones for a year and I love the feeling. In fact, for a majority of my life I found myself checking daily to make sure I presented as a male and that no one could detect the female locked away inside. It was exhausting. I don’t want to make the opposite mistake and work overtime trying to reduce the clocking factor to zero.

 

Second, my appearance today, my reactions, my emotions are much more feminine. It’s natural, unforced, spontaneous. I don’t wear makeup so I can’t hide some of the masculine tells. However my smile and my eyes let the female in me escape with no attempt to bottle it up. I posted a picture of myself on Facebook the other day and someone who hasn’t seen me in a couple of years said, wow, they didn’t recognize me! 
 

Third, having said all that, I did have a trachea shave done. I was asked about it when I transferred my insurance to Kaiser and identified myself as female to them. They scheduled it and I had it done. It helps with self image. I’m glad I did it. I don’t think about it consciously. However I do appreciate it when I shave my throat. No more worries about nicking the Adams’s Apple!

 

Fourth, I have also visited an electrologist every week for the past year. I REALLY want the facial hair gone. That bothers me!

 

Fifth, I am taking singing lessons from a transgender teacher who also helps with female pitch, range and vocalizing. I am slowly incorporating minute changes every day, changing the shape of my mouth and vocal tract to get changes in pitch and tone and bringing the resonance forward in my face. The changes are gradual and natural. I don’t want to sound like I’m impersonating someone. It has to be my authentic voice.

 

Unlike you however, I delayed taking action till a couple of years after I retired. I was far too timid and intimidated to undertake it while I was still working for similar reasons—fear it would jeopardize my career. I really shouldn’t have worried about it. Looking back in hindsight at how I have been accepted by friends and acquaintances since starting my transition I believe I would have been even more successful than I was. I can claim to be friends with people from all sides of the aisle and I find easier now to create new friendships. I really can’t think of a time in my life when I was much happier than I am now. 
 

I’m finally free to be me!

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