Howdy, cutie!

The following are journal entries I wrote a year ago, between the dates of 5/27/2018 and 8/1/18, starting three-ish weeks after my gender thoughts and confusion and doubts and fears and desires were roused from their final hibernation by a chance encounter with a Contrapoints video.

It feels like the dominant narrative of the trans woman is of a person who knows, and has always known. They’ve always felt like a woman inside, or a woman trapped in a man’s body, or whatever. That was not my experience. I had no idea what the fuck I was or wanted, despite some rather compelling evidence (at least in retrospect). I went back and forth a million times over the years, not just on whether to transition, but on whether I was trans at all.

I wanted to publish these in case they are helpful for any other people out there struggling to figure out who they are and what they want, and who feel less legitimate or authentic because their desires aren’t clear to them or longstanding.

For reference, I am now very much full time and out everywhere. I’m in a cliche transbian relationship. I have no more doubts. I am, for the most part, happy! I do not regret transition even a teeny tiny bit! Also, it should be on record that my entire family has been nothing short of incredible. They were, of course, surprised at first, but quickly got on board and have shown nothing but love and support, because they are wonderful and I am incredibly lucky.

I did condense these entries, removing stuff that wasn’t interesting or relevant, but I didn’t add anything. The only changes I made were to remove identifying details about friends and such.

I’m afraid this is mostly a self indulgent project, but I hope it’s at least somewhat interesting or useful!

**Oh, also, cw: There’s some fairly dark and transphobic things in here as I try to parse through my fear and doubt and anxiety. I didn’t want to cut it from the piece because it was my real experience. I’m sure other people who are trying to figure themselves out also think some dark and transphobic things. Wanted to make sure they knew they weren’t alone in that.**

Love,

Sara (6/13/19)

5/27/18

I’ve decided to try yet again to start a regular journaling process. I know I’ve tried a bunch of times in the past, but this time I think it’s actually important to do it so that I can have a more accurate chronicle of my experience going forward. It would be really valuable right now to be able to go back and read journal entries from the past, but alas, I don’t really have any.

So. What am I up to on this Sunday, 5/27/2018? Well, I’m currently lying on the couch in a dress, the white and black striped dress that I recently bought as part of my first foray into female clothing. It’s got horizontal stripes and some knots or something at the end of the sleeves. I read after purchasing it that people with broad shoulders, which I guess I have, should avoid horizontal stripes up top as they only make you look even broader. But it’s not like anybody is gonna see me in it and it’s comfortable.

I feel… like I have a huge mental block preventing me from verbalizing how I feel… I think that I am trans. I think that I want to transition. That’s how I currently feel. And that was hard for me to type out. The past few weeks, or month, or however long it’s been since Jason Pargin tweeted out that Contrapoints video and I started really thinking about all this gender stuff again, I’ve vacillated, but I’d say on the whole my thinking has been fairly consistent that I am trans. Sometimes I’ve been scared, and sometimes I’ve doubted, but while there have been many times where I was confident that I am trans and many times where I was not confident that I am trans, there weren’t any times where I was confident that I am not trans.

I’ve been thinking back over my life, and I feel pretty dumb for waiting this long to start taking any kind of actual action. I mean, the summer after college, this was on my mind a ton. I wrote a song with the chorus “I wish that I could be the man for you,” and the subtext was definitely “but I can’t cause I don’t make a great man.” I remember doing a lot of reading on r/mtf and r/asktransgender at that time too. And when we were in Cambodia that fall (2015), I remember so desperately wanting to buy one of the cheap dresses that were omnipresent in the markets, but I didn’t because I was with my family.

Then at some point it faded, and I was fine for like a year or so, but it definitely was back by spring 2017. I remember again being obsessed with reading transition stories on the various trans subs, and texting with E about it. I definitely thought it was an important issue because my own gender confusion was the main thing preventing me from being open to a relationship, and that night in the spring of 2017 when K and I confessed our feelings to each other (before I slid into a brief flirtation with madness) I straight up told her that I wanted to figure out my gender shit before anything else. Then it faded again and I mostly ignored it (though with the occasional pang of jealousy when I saw a woman wearing something I wanted to wear or acting in a way I wanted to act) until like a month ago. I know it wasn’t totally gone from my mental picture, because I told R about it when we broke up in November 2017, but I wasn’t giving it much leash.

Well, now it seems I’ve fully let it off the leash, and here I am, smooth legs, in a bra and a dress. I’ve slept in a bra more nights than not the past week, bought more women’s clothing, tried makeup a few more times, and read a lot more on the trans subs and watched, god, just so many contra videos. I love the thought of having breasts and a more feminine figure and face and getting to wear women’s clothing in public and having long hair again etc etc… but it’s still so hard for me to admit even to myself in the privacy of my own head that I am trans. But I think it’s time.

At least right now, at this moment, I am trans. I want to transition.

Maybe that will change again — I’m sure it will change a hundred times in the next week. But I’m pretty sure that’s mostly fear. Fear of taking a step down from my position of extreme privilege into a “lesser state.” Fear that I will look silly or look ugly, fear that I will look like a man in a dress. God, if I could just know that I would make a pretty woman, it would be so much easier. I’m apparently shallow as fuck. But it’s true.

But yeah. Future me, if you’re reading, as of 5/27/2018, I am fairly confident that I am trans and that I want to transition. I really hope you’re reading this from further on in the process, smiling at how far you’ve come, rather than after falling right back to the same point after ignoring it for another two years.

Oh, yeah, and did you ever end up making art for the show? Did you do anything with that computer? Did you end up making more youtube videos? Or writing a musical? Or that trans superhero thing I just came up with while on my hike today? Not that I’m trying to make you feel shitty if you didn’t, but like… if you didn’t transition and you didn’t do any of that shit, what have you been doing? We can’t keep wasting our time.

Love,

Charlie (Sarah?)

5/30/18

Doubts creep and crawl like millipedes squirming atop an overturned stone. I’m in my head. Is it a phase? Am I caught in some obsessive loop? I know that I’ve been crossdressing since I hit puberty — not often, not well, but still. I know I’ve been imagining myself with a female anatomy since the earliest days of genital awakening, straining every ounce of my imaginative muscle to invert the sensation of my penis grinding against a pillow into one of a vagina being penetrated, or to tell myself as I masturbated in the shower that it was not my penis in my hand, but that of a man who was standing behind me and sticking his dick through my legs.

I know I’ve spent years sporadically pretending to be a girl on omegle — I remember the excitement I felt the first few times, the rush of thinking about a stranger thinking I was a girl, talking to me like I was a girl, and roleplaying with me like I was a girl. It got to a point where I didn’t even know how to be on omegle as a man. Charlie was too hard a character to play. Charlie was awkward, unsure, graceless. Sarah, though, knew who she was and what she wanted. She was confident. She was sexy. She was also the pursued and not the pursuer, which felt nice. She was, in the warped genderspace of an online anonymous chat site, the one with the power. Guys liked Sarah. They wanted Sarah’s kik or email address or phone number, though of course that was all impossible.

But Sarah wasn’t a woman. Of course, in the sense that I wasn’t a woman, Sarah wasn’t a woman, but even in terms of Sarah the character, she wasn’t a woman. Not really. She was a sexual being, first and foremost. The invention of a teenage male mind, the fantasy of what a woman ought to be or could be or should be. She existed to give pleasure to her partner, almost exclusively. So what is Sarah evidence for, really? That I am sexually into the idea of being a woman, of pleasuring a man as a woman, or being penetrated as a woman, of being objectified and desired as a woman. But that’s such a male-gaze blow-up-doll understanding of what it means to be a woman. And that’s what worries me. What do I want? Do I want to be able to go into a store and look at pretty dresses and wear long flowy flowery things as I skip through the meadow sticking daffodils into my basket? Yes. I do. But that’s still this Girl-By-Men vision. I need to read Butler.

Today, 5/30/18, how confident am I feeling in a transition? 6/10. I still think I want to do it. But I’m scared of a few things — scared that it will be hard. scared that I will regret it. scared that I will look like a man in a dress. scared that I will become an object of pity. scared that my current desire is born of a fascination and obsession with the topic broadly and, let’s be real, Natalie (contrapoints) specifically. But I know it goes back. I know the tendrils are so clearly wrapped around my past. I know the doubt is likely just fear masquerading as reason, as it usually is in my Rational Male Brain. But still, I am afraid and uncertain.

My life is good. I am handsome enough. I am respected enough in the communities I care about. I’m tall, I’m fit, I’m talented, and above all I’m so goddamn humble. I have a job I like and friends I like and hobbies I like and a family I like and a life I really do like. Why risk all that? Why flip the stone? Probably the fact that I still feel like I want to make such a drastic change should be reassuring to me — this isn’t a desire born of desperation or sadness. But damn it, I really could have been a good man. I had all the tools I required. Just… I guess not the man part. It’s a shame. I would make a much better man than I will a woman. A waste, truly.

And yet… I’ve never been able to imagine a future in any level of detail. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Most people have some kind of answer, but I never did. I, as is my wont, tended to chalk that up to my superior philosophical awareness, my keen understanding of impermanence and the absurd and non-attachment and blah blah blah. But maybe it was just that I couldn’t imagine the future for Charlie the Man because there wasn’t a future for Charlie the Man? Obviously, this gender fuckery is something I’ve known about myself for a long time. I wasn’t asking M. how she would react if we woke up one day and I had a female body just because I thought it was an interesting thought experiment — that was a serious question, and her obvious and visceral discomfort left its mark on me. I knew that, whenever I was asked what superpower I wanted and I answered with transformation, I always made the conscious mental addendum ‘as long as that includes sex.’ I’ve known. I’ve known this for a long time. But somehow, despite knowing, I’ve let myself not know. Or at least pretend I didn’t know.

I am a coward. I am filled with a fear of failure the permeates my every unact of nondoing. And worst of all, I’m smart. There’s never been a mental or personal hurdle that I couldn’t dress up in seven layers of abstraction and thought until it passed for a perfectly reasonable and carefully thought-through position, rather than a psychoemotional disturbance. And even though I think I do a better job of recognizing when my brain tries to pull that shit these days, it’s still the same damn brain and it still tries its old tricks. So this morning, as I sat here doubting my transgenderism, as my brain began creating reason after reason to undermine the conclusions of a hard month of active contemplation and reflection, as it began its hypnotizing dance of “then agains” and “what ifs” and “when you really think about its” that always look so seductively reasonable and yet always seem to lead me back down the path of inaction, no matter what decision is at hand — this morning it was important to remind myself that my brain has not always been my friend, nor has it always had my best interests at heart.

So I have to not listen to my brain. I have to plug my ears when it calls out my history of moving from passion to disinterest (bread making, screenwriting, book writing, learning japanese, painting, coding, woodworking — the list of my once-passions goes on and on) and suggests that this desire, too, will soon fade. I have to do my loudest mental lalalas as it wonders if, just perhaps, this trans thing may have been born out of a desire to abandon the boring cis white male and put on a fashionable, more interesting identity that could give my empty and meandering life a clear directionality and purpose, for a time. I definitely have to put on my headphones and start blasting eighties club jams when it asks if transitioning isn’t a bit of an extreme response to what is quite possibly just a ‘sex thing’.

I have to try to ignore my brain when it does this, because I know that if I try to respond, then I’ll have lost. I can’t outreason my brain. We are, shockingly, quite evenly matched in that arena, and we could Reason Through the issue until I die. But my brain doesn’t need to win the argument to win the war — my brain’s pursuit is not truth, but inaction, and so an endless debate suits it fine. I, however, if I am ever to escape eternal stasis, cannot afford to wait until I am Certain, because I never will be. And I fucking hate that. I just want to Know. But there is no Knowing, no Certainty, no Truth.

But, then again, I can’t just not think about it. Feelings can’t be trusted either. Feelings lie, and feelings are shortsighted and selfish, and feelings often turn out to be other more insidious feelings in disguise. So some level of analysis is necessary. But when I analyze, I overthink. I twist and scrunch and scrutinize. Do I like wearing the dress or do I just like the idea that I would like wearing a dress? Do I actually wish my shoulders and rib cage weren’t so damn broad, or is it my active search for dysphoric attitudes that generates this awareness of my masculine form? Do I want to be a woman or do I want to want to be a woman?

Stop.

You’re letting the cyclone pull you in again. Don’t. You know the trend of your life. You know the thoughts and desires you’ve been hiding for the last thirteen years. You know. So just stop.

Ok.

But…

6/1/18 (Friday)

When I think about transitioning, or my future, or this whole process, it seems so disconnected from me. Like, I want to do it. I originally typed “I think I want to do it” but I don’t know why I’m couching this. I do want to. I think…

But yeah, it seems disconnected. Like I’m making a decision about a character in a story I’m writing — which I suppose in a sense I am. I guess this isn’t weird. I’ve always tended to respond to my own anxiety with distance, disconnection, and derealization. But it fucks with my head. It makes me feel less sure. Makes me feel like I’m just, I dunno, broken or something. Like it would be a mistake. But I’m not sure why. Because I don’t think it would be. It’s probably mostly fear talking.

God, to have been born a girl…

I’m not going to say that would have made my life easier. Girls have to put up with a whole bunch of bullshit that I didn’t have to. And while I had my own bullshit, obviously, mine was of an internal suffering sort that, while distressing and, at times, very distressing, was never really dangerous. I have so many female friends who have been assaulted, sexually, physically, emotionally. They’ve been biased against and limited in ways I never was.

I made a great boy. Though looking back on it, I think it was the very fact that I wasn’t exactly like all the other boys that allowed me to succeed the way I did. While I certainly wasn’t a girl in a boys body — I never thought of myself as such and did not behave as such — I do think I had a certain, maybe, gentleness in my approach to the world. A timidness, for sure, but also a sensitivity. I think I was kind, and generally soft, or at least as soft as my testosterone fueled puberty let me be. I’ve always been friends with girls, and I think this is part of why. I think I never felt the Boyness as much as my male friends or my brothers. I didn’t really get the sex thing — rating girls, talking about who was hot, what we’d do to them. Not that I wasn’t a sexual being myself, because I was. My sexuality, though, was less aggressive. And I think girls sensed that too.

I was well liked. I wasn’t popular in the sense of a high school movie — I didn’t go to parties or whatever — but I at least always felt respected by my peers. I think part of that maybe stemmed from an illusion of calm, mature, emotional stability that came of not being such a boy-y boy. And also I had the good fortune of going to a school where people respected intelligence, and the further good fortune of being intelligent.

I was not a girl trapped in a boy’s body. I was just a boy who was different from the other boys and every now and again pretended to be a girl online or stood in front of the mirror with his boxers rolled into some horrible approximation of female underwear and his shirt twisted into a pathetic parody of a bra. Once, while “crossdressing” in this way, I went on chat roulette, or omegle, one of those. I was in my dark room, and only my midsection was visible as I tried my best to lie sexily and femininely on my bed. Very first person I was matched with opened up the conversation with “You’re a man.” That was a bitter jolt to the system, and I closed my laptop in shame, unrolled my boxers and untwisted my shirt, and never tried that again.

Right now, I can feel myself filled with a nervous, uncomfortable, tense energy. My chest hurts, and I don’t think it’s because the new black lace bralette I bought is a size too small, though that might be part of it. I think I just want to be out. I want to be transitioning. Well, more accurately, I just want to be transitioned. God fuck, why did I cut my hair? I had a good 8 months of growth going for me, it would be almost long by now, but instead I got it cut, possibly in some final effort at asserting my manhood…

God, to have been born a girl…

I plaid my ukulele today for first time in a long time. My ukulele serves as an interesting sort of mental barometer for me, because I usually only play it when I am feeling particularly down or stressed. So I suppose that’s how I’m feeling. I’m certainly feeling… hmmm… something. I guess depressed. Not sad per se, but down. Withdrawn. Unmotivated. Melancholic. I wish I had a show tonight, but I don’t. I wish I had anywhere to be tonight, but I don’t. At least I have a show tomorrow night.

I think I’m lonely. I’ve been spending a long time swiping on tinder and bumble, which is usually a pretty good indication that I’m lonely. I thought about texting S today, the person I went out with in February, and whose skirt I came very close to putting on while over at their apartment. I texted them last Saturday and asked them how they would have felt if I’d actually put it on. They told me they’d have been into it. I told them I would have been as well, and to let me know if they ever want to dress a guy up. They never responded to that one.

I want to take a warm bath and listen to music and shave my legs and my chest and maybe even my arms. But I’m hesitant. First of all, because I still haven’t completely gotten over the razor burn from the last time I did that, but mostly because I know that I leave for Japan in two weeks to meet my family. I’m not sure I want to have shaved legs when I’m in Japan with my family. And I definitely won’t shave my arms regardless, because that’s too visible a step when it’s summer in LA.

I want to come out to my parents. Or at least I think I’ve convinced myself that that might help alleviate some of the pressure building in my chest. But I think it would be better to wait until the end of the Japan trip. I don’t want them to spend the whole trip analyzing me. And I don’t want to spend the whole trip analyzing them. So end of trip seems best. But who knows how I’ll feel when I’m with them. Maybe the pressure will be too much and I’ll let it slip earlier. Maybe the fear will be too much and I won’t say anything at all.

It’s almost 8pm. I need to get out of bed. Eat some dinner. Move into the living room for a while at the very least. Maybe I’ll even leave this top on. Maybe tonight will be the night I come out to my roommates.

Will Charlie keep his top on? Will he come out to his roommates? Tune in next time to find out!

6/2/18, 12:20pm

What the fuck am I doing

Become a woman? Am I kidding me? Jesus…

Just show up to Thanksgiving in a dress? Wear make up to work? Put on a fem voice and expect anybody I know to be able to take me seriously?

What the fuck am I doing

Take hormones? Try to change my body? Hope for breasts that will probably never come?

What the fuck am I doing

What do I think is going to happen?

Do I think I’ll be happy? Happy looking like a man in a dress? A tranny? Happy throwing away my life? Happy becoming one of the most oppressed groups in America? Happy being stopped every time I go through a security check at the airport? Happy always being afraid that some transphobic psycho might be just around the corner? Happy limiting the number of countries I can visit? Happy disappointing my family? Happy worrying every time I get into an Uber? Happy subjecting myself to scorn and pity and hate and mockery?

What the fuck am I doing

Have I really thought this through? Is this really what I want? Why can’t I just keep going through life as guy, as a good enough looking guy, a smart guy, a likable, promising guy? Why do I feel the need to ruin this? What is wrong with me?

What the fuck am I doing

And if I don’t do this… will it go away? Will I get over it? Get through it? Learn to live with it? God… when will I learn? Why can’t I see? My life is good now. My friends are good, my job is good, my everything is good… And still… still I seem so intent on ruining my good guy life and turning it into a maybe good but maybe shit trans life. Isn’t that enough proof? Isn’t that enough of a sign?

What the fuck am I doing

Doubting. Why? You know the truth. You know what this is. You know that your life will never be so good that you won’t want this, because right now your life is better than it’s ever been, and you still want to risk it all. Maybe you still won’t be happy. Maybe you still won’t be satisfied or comfortable. Maybe that’s your lot in life. But maybe you will be.

God… what the fuck am I doing

6/4/18 (monday) 1:54pm

I just got back from a run/walk. I’ve been trying to be more active. Got to maintain my girlish figure. I’ve made that joke a bunch of times over the past few weeks with friends as I order a fruit cup instead of a big pancake breakfast when we go out for a post-show meal or when I get a salad instead of a burger etc etc. But it’s not a joke. I can feel the first larvae of an eating disorder wriggling within me. Something to keep an eye on.

On my run, I wore the new girl shorts that just came in from Amazon yesterday. Basic black short shorts with a draw string. My legs are still mostly shaved from Saturday. I actually think from say the waist down, I could pass as female — a tall, razor burned, veiny female with big feet accentuated by my neon orange Asics. I am wearing a shirt that is a unisex (read: male) cut, but is a very bright pink. When I roll up the sleeves, I almost look female? I mean, my short hair and backwards baseball hat and $5 rayban knock offs and broad shoulders and hairy arms and stubbly face (despite shaving just before going out), probably preclude me from looking female. I probably look like a very femme gay man. Plus, when I was running, which I did for the first half as I went downhill towards Riverside, these short shorts probably didn’t look particularly feminine, as male runners wear short shorts all the time. So maybe it’s just wishful thinking. I will say that I was hyper aware of any attention paid me, real or, more likely, imagined. Some high school girls walking down the sidewalk ahead of me seemed to do a few double takes back towards me as I approached, but who knows what they were seeing. Coulda been flirting with the high school guy behind me. Coulda been looking at anything really.

A few yard worker guys seemed to look at me as I passed, but maybe they do that anytime I pass no matter what I’m wearing, as they generally have to stop weed whacking or leaf blowing until I am out of range.

I began to get worried about what people in the cars driving past thought. I wasn’t consciously worried about it exactly, but I was aware there were people in cars driving past, and I found that I began trying to keep visual impediments (trees, bushes, mailboxes, etc) between me and the driver as long as I could.

This was really my first foray into the world with any sort of feminine presentation, and this was barely feminine. I guess the radiant pink made it more feminine despite being a mens shirt. But still. Sheesh, as NBA twitter would say (unless that trend is over already). Can’t imagine being out in a dress.

I will say, though, that in the privacy of my own bathroom and the vanity of my own mind, I think I look pretty promising. I think my legs look pretty good in these shorts, and I think I am maybe slenderer than I give myself credit for. Sure, I likely won’t develop much in the way of breasts, but maybe I won’t have to. A bit of fat on the hips, a bit of muscle loss from the shoulders and arms — hey, maybe I won’t look half bad. And I do think my face might, if I’m lucky, lend itself well to feminization. And I have this godforsaken deep conviction that I will be lucky. Because when haven’t I been? I have the great fortune of having been at least pretty good at whatever I wanted to do, and even though I know that that is not a law of the universe and has no bearing on the transition process, I just can’t shake the feeling that my good fortune will accompany me even there. Guess it’s better to be positive!

I think I can finally admit this to myself — I am excited. I am excited to begin the transition process. If it were just me, if I were some lone wolf with a shitty family I didn’t care about, I think I’d be very excited. My family is, really, I think, the main mental obstacle for me to overcome, and again, my good fortune is such that I really think they’ll handle it fine. As fine as it goes, at least. They won’t disown me or hate me or stop talking to me. They might not understand me, and they will almost certainly mess up in speech and thought along the way, but I know it won’t be from lack of love. It’s a bold, uncharted, new territory for all of us. Them, me, society at large.

My ancestors were all pioneers in their way. My mother’s family has been in America since the second wave to Jamestown in 1637, and then were among the early settlers to move out west to Texas in 1853. My father’s family, old world Jews from Poland and Russia and Belarus, had all come to America by 1907 seeking a better life for themselves and their families. My ancestors all shared a certain trait — a willingness to push themselves and their loved ones into unknown new lands in pursuit of a better, happier life. While some were seeking riches and others were fleeing unfriendly societies, they all, at some point, had to refuse to submit themselves to the hand they were dealt, and had to make the choice to risk it all and try to change it.

I’ve often wondered whether I would have that courage. If a Moon or Martian colony were successfully established, would I be brave enough to leave behind this world, stride boldly into the unknown, and occupy the edge of tomorrow as my ancestors had done? Usually, I’ve concluded that I am not that brave. I wouldn’t abandon the life I have, because my life is good. I have too many people here on Earth that I love to want to leave. But maybe this is my Mars. To leave my comfortable enough life in the world of Man, and embark on a journey through the roiling seas of transition for a continent yet wild and untamed. Of course, this is where my metaphor falls apart — am I suggesting trans people are conquistadors? That’s… that’s no bueno. But still, you get the point, right? That maybe I can hope some shred of the pioneering spirit that bore my ancestors to new shores will help me in my own journey into the unknown? I hope so, at least…

6/5/18 (tuesday) 9:04 am

I had a dream last night where I was in a restaurant restroom trying on various outfits. I ultimately settled on a denim skirt and a jean jacket over a blue shirt. Looked good in my dream. Probably not the best combo in real life. At first, my mom was helping me pick stuff out, but she left. Then a guy came into what was now the men’s room and didn’t really say anything but I could tell he was judging me.

S texted me back last night. We talked a bit and ultimately settled on a plan: I am to go over to their place next Tuesday night and bring a selection of my femme clothing. They will help me get ready, then we will head out into the world.

It’s exciting. Terrifying, but exciting. Not at all what I was expecting, but exciting.

To think, in a week, I will be going out to a restaurant or a bar en femme. I can’t say that I ever thought I would take a step like that so soon. Of course, it’s helpful not to do it alone. It’s especially helpful to do it with someone I don’t really know that well, so I’m not locked into any personality quite yet. It’s further especially helpful that it’s all kinda wrapped up in a sex thing. Or at least that seems to be the case. I’m not entirely sure what they get out of it, but I guess they find the idea hot. For me, I find it more exciting than arousing, but maybe the fact that it’s got the veneer of a sex thing helps make it more palatable? Maybe not. Maybe I’m beyond that. But whatever, wearing a dress is good and having sex is good so fuck it, not gonna overthink this one.

Any other updates since last I wrote… Guess not. Been wearing these short girl shorts around the house with my shaved legs. It’s getting easier. That’s about it.

6–5–18, Tuesday, 10:28pm

I just went outside in my new black skirt and my white floral top. It was just down to my car to grab my phone, but still that’s something.

I think it might be smart to try to keep some tabs on dysphoria — my instinct is that if I go through with the transition, when I go through the transition, it will get worse. As I start to actually make a concerted effort to pass, all that is not passable will become that much more distressing. For now, I take some solace in the fact that I can look like an attractive enough man in women’s clothing. But when I look at myself as woman, it doesn’t quite live up to my standards.

I spent a long time today when I should have been working looking at r/transtimelines, which, for the sake of my future self, is a subreddit where trans people post pictures of themselves at various points in the transition process, like “25 MtF, 3 months before HRT and 12 months after HRT!” And the picture is supposed to illustrate their magical transformation from man to woman. For some, it’s actually impressive and inspiring. Mostly though…

I’ve started noticing things in me that will be tough — eg, I have a fairly pronounced brow, which can look distinguished or masculine on a guy, but which will not work very well on a woman, I fear. And HRT doesn’t really do much for that as far as I know.

Turns out, I don’t want to just pass, I want to be goddamn attractive. But maybe that’s too much to hope for. Too much pressure. Unrealistic. Maybe just passing would be hard enough.

And don’t even get me started on the whole voice thing… I have no fucking clue what I’m gonna do about that situation.

Anyway…

All those women on r/transtimelines are brave, many of them much braver than I am, seeing as they come from much worse family situations — parents who openly mock and distain them, siblings who cut off contact, friends who disappear. Many accept themselves much younger than I could, and many who are older risk losing lives they’ve spent decades assembling.

Me? I have it fucking easy. Not so old as to have any real commitments or obligations. Not so young as to be at the mercy of my parents or at risk of school bullying. Enough family money where the question of how to pay for HRT isn’t even part of the equation. A hyper liberal surrounding with hyper liberal friends. A boss at a fucking welding shop who is sensitive to nonbinary pronouns. God. Could it be any easier? Oh wait, I’ve also got friends who are supportive and accepting and offering help, and I’ve just found myself a girl who’s willing — and more than that, excited — to take me out on a date en femme. Fuck me. Seriously. Fuck me. What did I do to deserve this? I’m goddamn motherfucking lucky, that’s what I am. I’m really lucky. And I am very grateful.

I think the best way for me to prove my appreciation for my endless good fortune is to actually go through with the damn thing. So, here, in this journal entry, I declare: I will transition. I know I’ve kind of been talking as though that were the case for a while, but I don’t know that I ever made it explicit. I am going to transition. Probably as soon as I can. Go to Japan, come out to the family, come home, finally have my appointment at the LGBT center, hopefully parlay that into an appointment with their medical staff, and then boom, I’m on hormones before the end of the summer! I hope.

6/7/18 (Thursday, 6:09pm)

Yesterday, as I sat in my car before getting out to go into work, I called the LGBT center to ask about an appointment with their Transgender Health Center. I really was just interested in getting a sense of how long the waitlist was, but the receptionist was very efficient, and I soon had an appointment for July 5, two days after I get back from Japan. So. That’s a development. A much faster development than anticipated.

I don’t know if I’ve just been far too subsumed in gender shit for the past month, maybe I’m getting exhausted of it. But then again, it’s really all I can think about. I should do something else for a while, try to get out of my head. I guess that’s one benefit of improv, but there hasn’t been much improv recently. There was the practice on Tuesday night with the new group, the Boston people. That was fun, but I definitely was not on my game. Plus, I couldn’t help but think about how it would just be another group of people I’d have to come out to.

I seem to be working on the assumption that I am going to transition. I mean, fuck, I’ve got an appointment at the Transgender Health Center for cryin out loud!

I wish I’d done it earlier, even though I’m only 25. Now I’ll have, what, maybe a year or two before I’m old and useless, and then I’m just stuck as an old wrinkly tranny for the rest of my life. Of course, that’s hyperbolically sexist and ageist. 28 is not old. Plus, old women have value too, and the fact I seem to feel so much worse about being an old woman rather than an old man is misogynistic. Or maybe… well I can’t help but wonder if it means maybe I’m not trans after all. But… I don’t know. I think it’s mostly the misogyny and vanity thing. I mean, if my thought process is, shit I’m doing it too late, then it’s like, “well don’t wait longer you stupid asshole.”

I want to be a woman. I do. I’m just torturing myself by leaving this space for doubt. All of these “probablys” do nothing. They aren’t the nuanced, careful, couched “probablys” of a philosopher. They’re the scared, quivering “probablys” of a coward. I am trans. I am trans. I am trans.

Probably.

The mind is a cruel and clever mistress. I mantrate my “I am trans”es as a declaration of truth and a rejection of unhelpful, self-undermining needling. But Mistress Mind sees this and wonders aloud, oh, so aloud, whether this doesn’t look more like the desperate wishful repetitions of a person trying to convince themselves of something untrue? Do you just want to be trans, perhaps? Or do you maybe just want an easy answer, an easy out, an easy explanation, an easy release from arduous self analysis? Do you want, perhaps, sympathy? Do you want to be special? Do you want to be Natalie [Contrapoints]? You obsessive, cycling, whirlpool of a little boy — how can you trust a single thing you think? You, who were desperately in love with K on a Monday and then cursing your own, embarrassing foolishness for ever having thought you could be in love with her by Saturday. Your thoughts and feelings betray you left and right, and yet you think it wise to change the entire hormonal makeup of your body? After one month? One month of a creepy, unhealthy obsession with a YouTuber you’d never heard of five weeks ago? Sad, pathetic, desperate, sick, and lonely little boy.

Mistress Mind, of course, is right. I am obsessive. I am sad and lonely and pathetic. I am desperate for meaning and sense, desperate for purpose and cause, desperate for direction and order. And I am sick — so anxious, I have to take pills each morning, lest I have a panic attack. Not to mention the assortment of cancers that likely plague my body.

But it’s not just been a month — it’s been a month this time. But, as I keep having to remind myself, this month didn’t arise out of nothing. I’ve been convinced I was trans, at times, since long before I had heard of or seen a Contrapoints video, since long before I had met K. I’ve been fascinated by crossdressing, fantasizing about having a female body, and playing a girl on the internet since long before I knew what transgender even was.

I am probably trans. I am probably going to transition. No, fuck you. I am trans. I am going to transition. I am going to get HRT. I am going to lose muscle mass and strength and body hair. My skin will get softer, my hair fuller, my face more rounded, my fat distribution more feminine. My testicles will shrink and stop producing semen. Good, fuck my testicles. They’ve only ever caused me trouble. Plus maybe when they’re shrunk they’ll go back in their goddamn home so I can start tucking. My dick will likely not get as hard, and may cease functioning altogether. And I’m ok with that. I’ll have an increased risk of osteoporosis, but not of breast cancer. Oh yeah, I might get fucking breasts. How many times have I fantasized about having breasts? How many times when I was younger, before I learned not to, did I twist my tshirt and stuff it with socks, and admire my lumpy sockbreasts in the mirror? How many times did I feel out of place among the boys? How many times did I wish for a button that could make it all better? Fuck probably. Fuck my mind.

I am trans.

I am trans.

I am trans.

6/8/18 (well technically it’s 6/9 because it’s 12:04am)

Just watched the finale of Sense8 with my roommate. Actually very satisfied with the ending, which I’m usually not. Fantastic final shot of a wet, rainbow strap on. Literally the closing shot of the show. Awesome.

I think I’m depressed. I don’t feel sad, but I spent all day in bed today. I woke up at 5am or so, was up for a few hours, went back to sleep for a while, stayed in bed until 2pm or so, made and ate lunch, took a bath, watched some interviews with the Wachowskis, including Lana’s speech at the HRC, tried to watch Matrix Reloaded but kept falling asleep, went back to bed and watched hours of Sykoh’s Pokemon Crystal playthrough, got an hour or so of disorienting, fitful sleep, got out of bed to eat dinner and watch Sense8, and now I’m back in bed.

Been having lots of doubts. Just, you know, doubts. Not really anything specific. Maybe I should start thinking of them as fears. Just the same ol same ol, do I really want to do this to myself, is this really what I want, maybe I should wait, am I crazy, am I obsessed, will I be pretty.

Getting breakfast with N tomorrow. Planning to come out to her. Then I’m meeting up with K at some point later tomorrow. She wants to write a musical together. I might ask her tomorrow about makeup, haven’t decided. I would like to maybe have some makeup before Tuesday night.

It’s a long path ahead of me, if I choose to walk it. Or when I choose. Or when I walk it. I want this. Right? Fuck me…

Do Cis people spend so much time in anguish over whether or not to transition? Plus, come on — it’s really not a question anymore. Just fear masquerading as doubts and doubts and doubts. Just bite the bullet. Or… maybe that’s not the best idiom to use with this particular issue. When you come across a fork in the road, inject yourself with estrogen. Much better.

I felt very derealized and disconnected today. I’m sure the long ass time in bed didn’t help. I also think maybe the hair growing back on my legs didn’t help. And the boy clothing. I missed my girl shorts.

Doubts and doubts and doubts…

6/9/18, Saturday, 6:55pm

I got breakfast with N this morning, told her about the trans thing. We talked about it for a bit. She’s very progressive and accepting. She gave me the phone number of her friend T, who is FtM. I just texted T to introduce myself.

After I got back home, K came over to start work on her musical. We got some ice cream at Jeni’s, did some musical brainstorming, and then I took her to CVS so she could help me buy make up. She picked out some essentials for me (which ended up costing $70!) and then showed me how to use them. Foundation first — bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce. Then concealer. Then blush. Then eye shadow. Then mascara. Then lip balm. She also tweezed my eyebrows. It was tough to let myself drop my guard during this process. She told me a few times that I looked beautiful, which I just laughed off, and I don’t know how serious she was being, but it did, I’ll admit to myself now, feel nice. Of course, I didn’t look like her, but I also never will.

I’m still wearing the make up. I guess I like it. Something to me looks off about my eyelashes. Probably because I didn’t do them well, I would suppose.

I wish my hair were long. But not much I can do about that beyond wait. Should be longish by the end of the year…

I wish my eyes were further apart. And bigger. I wish my nose were smaller.

I wish I were a woman.

I’m excited to transition. I am. I want to do it. I do.

July 5th, appointment with the doctor at the LGBT center.

I matched with a transwoman on Tinder. I told her I was trans and had my appointment in a month. She told me that in four months I would be gorgeous. I know that’s not based on anything, but it was very nice to hear. I’ve thought about that a lot. God, I hope she’s right. I asked her if she wanted to grab a meal or a drink, but she didn’t respond. I don’t blame her — she is on Tinder to get a date with a man, not to find a young transfemme n00b to talk to.

K is a good friend.

6/11/18, Monday, 11:49am

I think I’m depressed. I spent Thursday through Saturday mostly in bed watching Scykoh play Pokemon Crystal. I did finally go to work yesterday, and though I did get almost everything I needed to get done done, I could feel myself at times on the verge of tears. At times, of course, I was up. I think my actual natural state is pretty up.

I came out to V via text. She just happened to text me to ask about J and F’s wedding, and I had been thinking about talking to her anyway, so I went for it. She knew all the right things to say. That’s not meant to be pejorative, she actually handled it well. It’s just some people are clearly versed in the matter and others are not, and she was of the former.

Company barbecue was last night. It was pretty fun. Once H and M (two members) left and it was just guys, or “guys,” the conversation became very masculine very quick. Shit stories and WWII guns. And some commentary on how stereotypical it was that once the girls left, this is what we talked about. I mostly observed. I don’t have any good shit stories, and I don’t know anything about WWII guns.

Got home around 8, got into bed, and watched Scykoh play Pokemon Crystal until I fell asleep maybe around 11 or 12. Woke up at 5, was up for an hour or two watching Scykoh play Pokemon Crystal, then fell back asleep until 10, at which point I trolled twitter and reddit and then watched Scykoh play Pokemon Crystal until getting out of bed at 11:30.

I had a lot of dreams about Lola [my childhood dog] last night. I dream about her often, actually, but last night she was very present. Just petting her and cuddling with her, helping her into my bed, sleeping next to her. Ah, Lola… I miss you… But it’s good to see you in my dreams now and again.

I’ve been feeling depressed. I’ve been feeling dysphoric, I think. But it’s so hard to know how much of the dysphoria is there because I’m looking for it. Like… I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I have pretty good facial hair, and yet now it’s starting to bother me. I’ve always enjoyed being able to do pull ups and having pretty good muscle definition, and now it’s starting to bother me. Why? Am I crafting this transness out of nothing? Or am I just now open to thoughts I’d repressed? I know when I had longer hair, I always felt the need to have facial hair because I was so sensitive to the idea of looking feminine — but when I did occasionally shave clean, it was more exciting for me than not. I remember one day after a nice clean shave, I told R somewhat gleefully that we looked like a Lesbian couple. Maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part. I probably just looked like a clean shaven man. But in my head, without a beard, I looked like a woman.

I really need to stop doing this to myself. I’m not crafting it out of nothing. How many times do I have to go over the signs and the patterns and the history before I will stop looking for outs?

The dysphoria is real. It may not be as intense as it is for others, but it’s real. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to get worse before it gets better. You don’t notice how broad and muscly you are until you put on a woman’s top. You don’t notice how masculine your face is until you’ve put on make up. I shouldn’t be saying “you” here — I didn’t notice. I probably won’t really notice how tall I am, how hairy my arms are, how big my feet, how deep my voice, until I go out in public in a dress. Actually, I have been very conscious of my voice lately. It’s annoying. The consciousness, not the voice. Though sometimes my voice is too.

6/12/18, Tuesday, 3:02pm

At work, though not working.

Learned some interesting stuff last night about trans people and depersonalization/derealization. Turns out derealization is a common manifestation of dysphoria, and HRT has been shown to be very beneficial for its alleviation. Things starting to come together.

Natalie is currently in the midst of a long tweet thread about FFS and philosophically what transition means to her. I tend to vibe pretty well with her positions.

I have my date tonight with S. I’m going to bring my two dresses. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to do makeup. I probably will at least do my eyes. Eh guess I may as well go for it all the way, why not. Need to leave work today early to go home and shave my legs and face and all that. My boss, though, hasn’t gotten to work yet today and we need to glue up some things for his class tonight. I’m hoping that doesn’t require me to stay later than I’d like…

I had a long conversation with F and C last night via messenger where I came out to them as trans and talked about my plans for transition. They were supportive, and predictably had a lot of questions, but they handled it well.

I’ve found myself growing jealous of women. Guess I should say cis women. Jealous of their bodies, their faces, etc. Fuck me… Goddamn Dysphoria is here…

I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m depressed. I can’t sleep through the night. I don’t know the last time I got a good night’s sleep. It’s been a while.

I haven’t been working well. I’m depressed. I can’t work through the day. I don’t know the last time I put in a good day’s work. It’s been a while.

But after Japan, I’m going to start working closer to full time. Taking on a couple Open Shop shifts as well as the Oxy class. I’m excited for the class, and also for the extra money, though not for the extra hours themselves really.

I wish I were a girl.

I wish I didn’t wish I were a girl.

I wish, if I had to wish I were girl, that I’d known this much earlier and acted on it years ago.

But alas, all impossible.

At least I’m still pretty young as far as it goes.

I’m terrified. Of being alone, of being ugly, of being a joke.

God damn it…

Do I want to be a girl because that’s the only way to be attractive while presenting femme? If society accepted male bodies in femme presentations as traditionally attractive, would I be less dysphoric about my frame and face? Food for thought…

6/13/18, Wednesday, 9:39am

So. Last night. Interesting.

Ended up having to stay later at work than I wanted. Luckily, S also got held up. I got home, shaved my face, drew a bath, shaved my legs and torso, stuffed my makeup and my dresses into my backpack, and drove out to her area. I got to her apartment at 7:40.

There was a bit of initial awkwardness, not surprisingly, but then they asked to see the clothes I’d brought. I showed them my two dresses, they picked the black and white striped one. I put it on. We both put on mascara. They loaned me a belt, though we did have to cut a new hole in it for it to fit me. Grey faux leather with white rhinestones. It actually did help the dress a lot. I need to get a thin black belt.

And then… we just went. Went out their door, went out of their building, went onto the street. With me in a dress and flip flops and mascara, and them in white jeans and a top I can hardly remember (maybe it was pink and purple stripes?). We walked past people, mostly families sitting on the front porches of their neighborhood. I got looks, but not really any blatant staring, and no comments. Really, nobody cared. We got to the main strip, which was full of people. It was totally fine. Again, nobody cared. We got to the bar and took a seat. Being in the bar, interacting with the bartenders, knowing I would be sitting in one place for a while — that definitely gave me a little burst of anxiety, but it was fine. We sat at a table near the door. S went to the bar to order our drinks and a small plate of brussell sprouts.

We talked about their queer friends and their queer history. They’re still new to the identity, though not to the practice. We talked a bit about my trans history. We talked about their job, and how much men suck, and crafting. They brought up lots of details from our first date three months ago. They have a really good memory. We talked about walls in China and cats in Morocco. We talked about their new stick-and-poke tattoo they’d gotten the night before. They told me my mascara looked amazing.

A jazz band started to set up in the back of the bar. A bass player warmed up with a few licks, a drummer tested his kit. S doesn’t like jazz. Or at least, they’ve had so many men mansplain jazz to her, that they can’t bring themself to give it a shot. We talked and drank and finished our tiny dish of brussel sprouts and joked and laughed.

And then, my roommate O walks into the bar. Seriously. He and a friend were just all of a sudden there. I hid my face as soon as I saw him. I started laughing. I said to S, somewhat quietly, “So… that’s my fuckin roommate…” He didn’t seem to have seen me. I guess I could have been mortified or had a panic attack, but mostly I thought it was funny. We laughed. He and his friend had walked right past us to go order a drink and watch the jazz. I realized he’d been going to a bar on Tuesday nights to watch Jazz pretty regularly, but I had no idea it was this fuckin bar. How random… of all the places in LA. But anyway. It was fine. I had already finished my drink by the time he got there. S quickly finished theirs. We vamosed.

We walked back to their place. It was now around 9pm. It wasn’t dark yet, though I don’t know if that was because of street lights or just the longer summer days. I didn’t think to look up. We walked past groups of men just loitering beside the road, but it was fine.

We sat on their couch, them in her white pants and top, me in my white and black striped dress. We talked about shaving legs. They placed their hand on my thigh and started gently stroking it, feeling the smooth skin. God, I really loved that. I placed my hand on their thigh, feeling the denim. It was an interesting moment. We both knew we were going to kiss, but neither of us knew exactly what the right course of action was. How to think of me? Man or woman? I didn’t really want to be the initiator. Of course, I never do. In the end, though, we both kind of looked at each other and went for it. I liked the idea of looking up at them with my mascaraed eyes, I liked the idea of them liking seeing me looking up at them with my mascaraed eyes.

Afterwards, we lay in their bed cuddling for a long while, just talking. Family, coming out, queer friends, and other random topics that surfaced and sank in the aimless sea of post coital conversation. Soon, it was 11:30, and they were tired and had work in the morning, and it was time for me to go. They told me that the next time we saw each other (in three months probably), they wanted lipstick to be involved. Fine by me.

I changed back into my black shirt and black girl shorts, still with my bra on underneath, and headed home. It was a dark, easy drive down the Arroyo Seco Parkway. I got home, somewhat hoping my roommate was already back, somewhat hoping he’d say something about having seen me, somewhat hoping we could just have that conversation and be done with it. But he wasn’t home. I went to bed, still in my bra, though I did change from the somewhat restrictive boyshorts I’d had on to a loser pair of boxers. I watched Scykoh play Pokemon Crystal until I fell asleep, somewhere just after midnight.

I woke up, as I always seem to now, earlier than I wanted. Around 6am. I trolled reddit in bed for a while until I heard O moving around. I went into the kitchen, made a bowl of cereal, and sat on the couch. When he came into the living room, I told him I’d seen him at the bar. He asked why I didn’t say hi. I told him I’d been on a date and wearing a dress and didn’t feel like it. He laughed and said ok, then went out to buy groceries.

I ate my cereal and watched The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

6/14/18, Thursday, 10:49pm

Today was a good day. I went on a hike in Griffith, got home, made a shrimp curry which was pretty good.

I have therapy with L tomorrow. Trying to decide whether or not to wear a dress. Maybe I will. I don’t know exactly what the benefit would be, really, but just to push myself I guess? Kind of a fuck it sort of thing. I wonder how she would react. I really don’t know. I kind of want to. But I’m kind of scared to. But maybe that’s why I should? I dunno. Maybe I’ll go for it.

6/21/18, Thursday, 7:11am, (Kyoto, Japan)

I really love Japan so far. The food is phenomenal, the language is fun to try to speak (at least what little I know), the aesthetic is beautiful, the people are very helpful and respectful. It’s been grey and rainy mostly, but I don’t mind that at all. I love a good rain.

Other Feelingswise… well, the trans thing has definitely been weighing on my mind a bit. First night here, J [my younger brother] saw that I’d bought Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl: A Transexual Woman’s Take on Sexism and Something Or Other (I don’t remember the actual subtitle). He called me out as having been particularly interested in gender and sexuality. I corrected him and said just gender really. He put on a weird british accent and asked something like “You think you might be a woman?” I don’t know how serious he was being or not. I answered very ironically, but said yeah. He said something about “having titties” and I said “I wish.” That was the end of that conversation.

Last night, we were sitting around the house, and J pointed out that Dad had very little leg hair. He asked him if he shaved his legs. He doesn’t. He just doesn’t have much leg hair. I think I maybe said there was nothing wrong with smooth legs. He asked me if I shave my legs. I said that I do. He wanted to see them but I didn’t respond. Mom and Dad asked why I shave my legs. I said I like having smooth legs. They asked why. I asked why they like ice cream. Feels good. That was the end of that conversation.

I guess I could have taken either opportunity to come out, but it was earlier than I wanted. Plus, I didn’t like having not having control over the timing and context of the conversation. If I were they, I would definitely have my suspicions now. But then again, C and F seemed totally blindsided after knowing that I’d been wearing women’s clothing and buying make up so who knows how cis people think. Might just not be on their radar.

As far as my own personal feelings about myself and shit, well, I’ve been… not really doubting so much as fearing. You know? Like… doubting not that I’m trans but that I’ll be a pretty woman, a passable woman, a confident woman, a good woman. I have been leaning in the SRS direction more lately.

I really love r/traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaans. The meme game is legit strong. I’m fuckin here for the catgirls and the transbian culture. I know I’m gonna be into men, but I’m really hoping I stay into the women. Want to go to the femme date night at Cuties. Want to find some nice cute transbians to hang out with. And of course some cis femmes as well. I wish I had long hair. And breasts. And a vagina. And two X chromosomes. Or at least that I were further along in the transition process.

Been texting S while here. I can feel myself wanting to be in love. I really do love being in a relationship. But I can also feel my cling acreepin. And I can feel my jealousy acomin when I even contemplate the poly thing. But at least I am aware of that shit I guess. And we aren’t even close to being in a relationship.

Anyway. Guess I’mma go off and explore Kyoto now. Sayonara!!!!

7/16/18, Monday, 8:19pm [Back in LA]

Oh god. I let this drop for far too long. Ma b.

So quick recaps: Japan, excellent. Food, delicious. Onsen at Fuji-san, wonderful. Koya-san, beautiful. Robot Restaurant, incredible.

I came out to my family on July 1 at a place in Piss Alley. It was late, like 10:30pm. We were eating bar food and celebrating our late Father’s Day after an afternoon watching the Tokyo Yakult Swallows lose an extremely close 7–6 ballgame.

I believe I said something along the lines of, “So, not to distract from Father’s Day, but… *long pause* I’m probably transgender.” Long discussion, lots of questions. H and J supportive. H was much better than I expected actually. Mom and Dad, though, were much more upset than I’d anticipated. The restaurant closed and kicked us out, we walked back to the hotel, where we sat in a hotel bar and continued talking til 12:30am or so. My parents were clearly confused. Dad tripped up over the difference between transgender and pansexual for a while. Mom was confused about the difference between transwomen and transvestites and drag queens.

Next morning we went on a tour of the Nishiki Fish market, which was disappointing. Went back to hotel. I slept for a while. Henry and I then had a long conversation about how to handle mom and dad, and what they wanted, etc, which mostly boiled down to giving them time to adjust. But… yeah.

We were almost too late to make our reservations at the Miyazaki museum. The museum was great. Lots of cool zootropes and original drawings and plates from his films. Watched a short film about a caterpillar. Grabbed dinner at a ramen place. Ippuddo I think. Went to Robot Restaurant, which was just indescribably cool. The others were all pretty drunk. I was sober.

Went back to hotel. Sat in mom and dads room for a bit. Went to sleep.

Next day was time to head back to the states. Mom and Dad and I talked for the 2 hour bus ride to the airport. They were clearly unconvinced and concerned. Dad said something about me having phases. Mom said I’d thought I would be vegetarian my whole life. So… yeah. I told them stuff I’d rather not really have talked to them about, about sexual fantasies, etc, but yeah.

8/1/18, 8:55am, at home in bed

I start HRT in like 3 minutes. Spiro 25mg and Estradiol 1mg.

I am excited but mostly I’ve been feeling nervous. The scope of what I’m about to start has really hit me the past few days/weeks. Permanent changes. Some welcome (gimme breasts plz) and some less (impotence, infertility). I’ve deposited 10 vials of semen at the California Cryobank, so the infertility is ideally not a major issue.

What am I afraid of? Afraid I’m wrong? Of course. The doubts have been circling for days, ready to gnash and tear at the first hint of blood. All the same fucking doubts and what ifs and am I sures that have been lurking all along. The same ones that have kept me from taking this step for years. No, they don’t leave you. I’m hoping that after some time on HRT, it’ll be clear it’s what I want and the doubts will finally shrivel and die. But for now they have ample sustenance, sucking at the fertile teat of my anxiety. The biggest one of them all being: What if it doesn’t make things better? But… let’s not think about that one today.

This is by all accounts a happy moment. Pills number 1. The first day of my gradual rebirth. Here goes nothing.

It is done.

I’ve taken the pills but so far no — what’s this? My god! Boobs! Sprouting out of nowhere! And my hair, oh, long shimmering tresses have come rolling down my shoulders! And my facial hair, it’s… it’s… it’s gone! My legs as smooth and soft as a puppy’s tongue! My figure curvy as the rolling hills! I’ve shrunk 4 inches! My voice as sweet and light as a nightingale! My eyes so big and glittery they belong on a crown!

But no, of course nothing has happened. Except that I left the pills on my tongue for too long trying to take a picture and now I have a rather unpleasantly sweet aftertaste in my mouth. But that’s it. It’ll take time, I know. I can be patient. I kinda have to be.

But this is the day, 8/1/18, that I started HRT. I hope I look back on this day fondly…