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4 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

Would be an interesting read to see if the case studies and explanations of the features of the illness resonate with you.

I might read it, although what I see in the book's description doesn't resonate and is nothing like the article I read last year that resonated. I think I saved a link to that article. In any case, worth discussing with my therapist. 

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20 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

@Vidanjali Ouch! That sounds quite a bit more volatile than what I have to deal with.  I am at least consistently able to count on the aspect of "I'm cute and helpless so you don't want to be too rough.". But it seems like that's not an option for you.  When he is in that attack mode, is there any way of defusing the situation?

 

Yes, it is unusual behavior. It's part of what makes talking about it with others challenging. Many well meaning people console by saying things like "we all have our moods" or "all couples have their difficulties". But this is more extreme.

 

It's not really intuitive to me to use cuteness as a tool, as you put it. When my husband tells me how cute I am, frankly, I am always surprised, like - who, me?  I tend to be more like a Vulcan when faced with confrontation - I rely on logic and avoid emotional reactions as I acknowledge emotional content in as dispassionate a manner as I can muster. I think of all the years of effort that went into performing female in romantic situations, which entailed demuring & that never felt natural to me. 

 

I'm grateful this recent episode was resolved so swiftly. It gives me hope that we're on the right path, individually and as partners. The best I can do when it happens is to not add any fuel to the fire, take care of myself, and learn how to assert my need for his contrition once it's blown over. Hopefully I'll get some good advice as I continue to read the book. 

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3 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

Its not really intuitive to me to use cuteness as a tool, as you put it. When my husband tells me how cute I am, frankly, I am always surprised, like - who, me?  I tend to be more like a Vulcan when faced with confrontation - I rely on logic and avoid emotional reactions as I acknowledge emotional content in as dispassionate a manner as I can muster. I think of all the years of effort that went into performing female in romantic situations, which entailed demuring & that never felt natural to me. 

 

It's not really intuitive to me either, as I don't think I'm all that cute.  But my partners do...and their reactions are fairly obvious.  GF's pupils get ridiculously wide, for example.  

 

I tend to be more emotional than logical, so I pay attention to their subtle signals.  I make sure that the signals I'm sending are submissive...and for some reason my natural clingy/needy personality brings out others' protective instincts.  Nobody would mistake me for being independent or self-sufficient 😆  

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Was talking with my friend who has been on T for almost 2 years now. He’s a singer, so he knows a lot about the techniques behind his own voice. It’s super cool stuff to hear someone talk about. As someone who previously used a really high range for singing, he said switching to “chest voice” was a bit of a struggle.(Just for the record, I know terms like head and chest voice aren’t scientific, and most people in voice training typically don’t use them due to ambiguity, but I’m just speaking colloquially here.)

 

In any case, I got a bit of confidence from this due to the fact I usually struggle when going the other way, switching to “head voice.” Since I know I used to have a pretty high and light tone, it kinda shows that I’ve been unconsciously lowering my voice and getting used to lower ranges.

 

Voice training is insanely difficult for me, but I go through cycles where I absolutely love how I sound and other times can’t stand to hear myself speak. Since I’m not in any position to start looking for T right now, I keep trying to push myself to train. It’s just always a bit frustrating knowing it feels like so much effort for me to sound how I want.

 

Well, this was a bit of an off topic ramble, feel free to continue your various conversations! Just wanted somewhere to write down some things.

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@RoachI'm glad you posted about this. I would like my voice to change, also not on T, and also feeling that training is a lot of effort. I took two classes given by a trans friend who is a speech pathologist and loved them, but mostly because my friend is so cool. I'm sure it's worth the work, but for me, not right now. My friend said ten minutes every day without skipping is more effective than an hour here and there. That makes it sound like less work. Maybe some day. I don't read as masc visually, but it would be great to change what I can. 

 

No conclusion here. Just sharing where I'm at currently.

 

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3 hours ago, Dillon said:

My friend said ten minutes every day without skipping is more effective than an hour here and there

Really! Thanks for sharing this, it gives me hope. 

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On 4/14/2023 at 9:50 AM, Roach said:

Was talking with my friend who has been on T for almost 2 years now. He’s a singer, so he knows a lot about the techniques behind his own voice. It’s super cool stuff to hear someone talk about. As someone who previously used a really high range for singing, he said switching to “chest voice” was a bit of a struggle.(Just for the record, I know terms like head and chest voice aren’t scientific, and most people in voice training typically don’t use them due to ambiguity, but I’m just speaking colloquially here.)

 

In any case, I got a bit of confidence from this due to the fact I usually struggle when going the other way, switching to “head voice.” Since I know I used to have a pretty high and light tone, it kinda shows that I’ve been unconsciously lowering my voice and getting used to lower ranges.

 

Voice training is insanely difficult for me, but I go through cycles where I absolutely love how I sound and other times can’t stand to hear myself speak. Since I’m not in any position to start looking for T right now, I keep trying to push myself to train. It’s just always a bit frustrating knowing it feels like so much effort for me to sound how I want.

 

Well, this was a bit of an off topic ramble, feel free to continue your various conversations! Just wanted somewhere to write down some things.

 

On 4/14/2023 at 3:36 PM, Dillon said:

@RoachI'm glad you posted about this. I would like my voice to change, also not on T, and also feeling that training is a lot of effort. I took two classes given by a trans friend who is a speech pathologist and loved them, but mostly because my friend is so cool. I'm sure it's worth the work, but for me, not right now. My friend said ten minutes every day without skipping is more effective than an hour here and there. That makes it sound like less work. Maybe some day. I don't read as masc visually, but it would be great to change what I can. 

 

No conclusion here. Just sharing where I'm at currently.

 

 

Speaking as a singer, myself, I suggest that chest voice training, especially shorter more regular sessions as Dillon suggests, is also good for the mind. Any practiced discipline has the added benefit of training the mind to be one-pointed and focused. But, vocal training entails mind-body awareness and therefore mindfulness. I am also an aspiring yogi, and I've found a natural synergy between vocal training and chakra meditation. I find it allows for deeper impression of the location and sensation of vocal resonance in the body. You'll find your chest voice somewhere about the heart chakra, supported by your diaphragm in the area of your solar plexus chakra. All the while you also focus on relaxing the throat and feeling the vocal resonance rise from the belly. The deep breathing entailed in vocal training will also relax the mind. Note, it can also allow emotions to be released, as deep breathing and exploration of body awareness requires vulnerability. This is natural - if it happens, don't judge, breathe through it knowing it'll pass like clouds in the sky. 

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In other news. I GOT A BINDER! I didn't think I could wear one - I really do not like constriction about my chest bc it's induces a panicky feeling & because of my connective tissue disorder - some of my ribs partially dislocate. But, I've had a prolonged bout of intense chest dysphoria for almost a year. When this bout first came on, I committed to loosing some weight I'd gained due to a longer bout of immobility (also due to my disability). I lost the weight and was back to an ideal weight. But, boobs were still huge. I've been trying to loose extra weight so they'd shrink. Not so healthy to be underweight, also not fun to maintain, and boobs still huge. So, I splurged on a $49 binder from Transguy Supply called NYTC long binder. Considering how much $ I've spent in my life prior trying to find a brasserie that wouldn't cause me a total meltdown, the price seemed relatively reasonable & it stood to reason that one gets what one pays for with such things - I didn't want to try a cheap binder for my 1st time and risk having made a negative impression. It looks like an undershirt and had great reviews. Figured if I put it on and hated it, I could just return it. When it arrived, I put it on...and did not hate it. Actually, I was surprised that it was neither uncomfortable nor too tight. Then, I put a tee-shirt on over it. Joy! Was this me? I could hardly believe it - I'd never seen myself like this. I wore it out to lunch with a friend last week. I felt some shortness of breath, but I reasoned with myself - I was actually able to take a deep breath - I was just not used to the garment yet. I wore it the 2nd time today for several hours. And it was quite hot out. No problems. No discomfort. Hooray! I need my husband to take it off for me as trying to do so myself, I will sublax my shoulder. My husband says he's happy for me that I feel so good wearing it. I feel this is a new chapter in my life. I love how I look with this binder and feel extra confident. I am truly amazed that I could enjoy a chest undergarment at all. Here's hoping I am able to keep enjoying wearing it. I've been run down and in pain for several days, so if this binder is increasing my pain, I cannot tell yet. I hope it is not. 

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@VidanjaliThanks so much for your insight on voice training! Also, it's so exciting that you got a binder. I know it's not for everyone, but they really help so much. Glad to hear yours fits well and doesn't feel too tight. Just remember that if you're feeling any pain or stiffness at all, it's time to take it off (and try to take a break for a few days whenever possible). But it sounds like you're being very safe anyway. Reading this really made me smile, I'm glad you're able to feel more confident. One of the best things about binders is they let me wear fewer layers, which is great in the summer. It's so freeing to be able to just walk around in a t-shirt.

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@VidanjaliGlad to hear this worked out for you.  Of course I come at it from the opposite perspective, but I know how good it feels when you see yourself in some way more congruent with the way you feel.

I lurk on this thread just to keep up with you guys.  It would be nice if we could just swap off some things, but alas.

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Thanks, @Roach & @Ivy 😁☺️🤗

 

Roach, isn't it remarkable how one person's euphoria makes others feel happy too? A beautiful thing. 

 

Ivy, lurk away! Always glad to see & hear from you. And yeah, the swap thing - like those leave a penny take a penny trays you see at gas station markets 😭

 

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Some more good news! Got a temporary job. I applied under my legal name, and sent a message after the interview asking about preferred names (along with other general questions about the position.) When they called back, it was clear that the person I'm working under has never had a trans employee, but reassured me that they would try their best. They did mention some different departments had trans people working there. Maybe they were trying to put me at ease by saying that trans people are welcome, but it seemed a bit unnecessary lol.

 

However, they did assure me they will not share my deadname with other employees and are willing to work with me on other concerns. They also said there's no policy on trans employees but they're looking into it, which is hopefully a good sign. Maybe this will help those in the future that end up in my position? I'm just glad I wasn't met with any kind of aggression and they are still willing to hire me. I'm usually not extremely bothered by misgendering so I think even with slip-ups the environment will be alright, but I'll see what I can do so that it doesn't become normalized for anyone in the future. Idk, just considering how extreme current events have been, it kinda shows me that there's people out there who aren't actively aggressive--just lacking information. 

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On 4/22/2023 at 4:51 PM, Roach said:

it kinda shows me that there's people out there who aren't actively aggressive--just lacking information.

We need more of these kind of people.

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On 4/23/2023 at 4:30 PM, Ivy said:

We need more of these kind of people.

Indeed.  It is nice to find folks who are friendly and haven't yet been indoctrinated.

 

@Roach I hope things go well for you at this new job.  Maybe a temporary job can become permanent in the future if it is a good fit?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

been playing the waiting game the last (almost) 2 weeks between insurance, the pharmacy, and my doctor. got my script for t gel, but am waiting for the prior authorization to go through, which sucks. it's been about 8 days since the pharmacy sent the pa to my insurance, and idk if it was approved or not. i was told it could take between 1 week and 3 weeks for it to even go through, which doesn't really ease my anxiety. probably going to call the pharmacy tomorrow to see if there are any updates. i go to fenway health, so i trust they know what they're doing, just frustrated over the long wait.

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@Spencer Phoenix may consider calling your insurance too. That way if there's any issue you can ask them all the questions you need until you thoroughly understand the process & you can better advocate for yourself. Good luck! 

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This sort of thing must really vary by insurance company, plan type, and location.  I got a low-dose topical T, and had no wait or authorization issues.  Same day.  Not sure if dosage or purpose of the prescription makes a difference?

 

Of course, my GF handles my medical insurance and bills.  She's fierce, and sometimes I think folks are willing to just pay her to go away.  When in doubt, call and pester someone until you get what you want.  😉

 

 

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thanks folks. ended up calling the pharmacy the other day & they said that insurance hadn't looked at it yet. was considering calling insurance, but it's always such a hassle since their phone system sucks and that's the only way i can personally contact them, as i'm still on my dad's insurance. at this point, i'm just hoping to hear back from the pharmacy soon...

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6 hours ago, Spencer Phoenix said:

thanks folks. ended up calling the pharmacy the other day & they said that insurance hadn't looked at it yet. was considering calling insurance, but it's always such a hassle since their phone system sucks and that's the only way i can personally contact them, as i'm still on my dad's insurance. at this point, i'm just hoping to hear back from the pharmacy soon...

The phone system sucks everywhere.  I think it is part of a giant conspiracy to keep people from actually talking to a human.  You may as well keep calling and see if you can get through.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease. 

 

I'm fortunate (or my insurance company is unfortunate 😉) that my insurance company has an office in the city near me.  The only time my expenses have ever been questioned, my GF showed up on their doorstep and wouldn't leave until she got satisfaction.  Sometimes it pays to be as annoying as you can possibly be. 

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  • 2 months later...

Feeling pretty positive recently. I have been working with a lot of younger cis guys, and though I suspect that some of them don't particularly see me as male, it's been normalized among the majority of them to refer to me that way. While with customers it's more hit-and-miss, I still get the occasional "Thank you sir" despite my voice not passing at all. I suppose I'm being read as a young kid, but I'll take it.

 

I was having coffee with someone I'd never met before, and towards the end she asked me what my pronouns were and admitted it was because "I looked pretty masculine." I think this kinda confirms that I look pretty unconventional for a cis woman... maybe horribly generic clothing style contributes to this, because a lot of women have short hair. In any case, I wasn't going to bring it up myself, so it was a pleasant surprise.

 

My strategy is just "pretend I am whatever people think I am." Someone thinks I'm a 14-y/o boy? I guess I'm still in high school. Someone thinks I'm a masculine woman? I guess I can talk about my university experience. I know I usually say I have ambiguous passing ability, but I'm finding it harder and harder to remember when people explicitly refer to me as female. Since HRT seems completely out of reach, this is making it bearable. This just leaves my immediate family, who act as if I've not come out to them several times. I'm not gonna pressure them about it, but I'll just keep living my life and referring to myself the way I want, maybe they'll start to pick up on it.

 

How was everyone's weekend? Hope it's not too warm for anyone on the northern hemisphere right now.

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31 minutes ago, Roach said:

I'll just keep living my life and referring to myself the way I want, maybe they'll start to pick up on it.

It's also okay to remind them every few times they slip up! (That's if you feel safe and comfortable doing so.) Keep going and take care of yourself! Sounds like you are in a good place overall, glad to hear from you.

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34 minutes ago, Roach said:

My strategy is just "pretend I am whatever people think I am." Someone thinks I'm a 14-y/o boy? I guess I'm still in high school. Someone thinks I'm a masculine woman? I guess I can talk about my university experience. I know I usually say I have ambiguous passing ability, but I'm finding it harder and harder to remember when people explicitly refer to me as female.

 

I do pretty much the same thing.  I'm mostly comfortable with my body and appearance, and my look is young and androgynous.  So I'm frequently understood as a teenage boy.  It makes it amusingly awkward watching people try to figure out what I am, and how I relate to my partners.  Am I the little brother?  Little sister?  Boyfriend maybe? 

For people I don't see much (if ever again), I don't care what they think so there's no reason for me to put in effort changing it. 

 

 

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