[personal profile] the_fantastic_ms_fox
It's been too long without a gender update.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I hope I can someday put "changed sex" on my resume. It's a job in itself; one involving a lot of research.

I am taking significant doses of novo-spironoactalone (commonly known as "Spiro," but which I prefer to call "my daily appointment with Mr. Agnew"). It's a testosterone blocker. This means that it puts the kibosh on the activity on boy-hormones. It's also a potassium-sparing diuretic. This means that I have to pee a lot, and drink a lot of water. Everytime I increase my dose, I feel the need to lie down and not move for the next three days. It's not a bad feeling, jsut a very lethargic one.

Last Tuesday, I added Estradiol patches. If these remind you of birth control patches, they should - they're the same thing, just in a different dose and with no break once a month. They're safer than pills, as pills (especially in the doses that I'm looking at) can cause blood to clot when it shouldn't, meaning that if you're injured, being operated on, or just because, clots may form, break off, and clog vessels that are better left open - such as those in your brain (it's called "a stroke"). There's still a risk, but it's slight.

That's a tall order, but the effects are worth it. (see below)

Skin and Sex
May you live in interesting times... in bed.

My genitals were and are sensitive, but often not in a way that I like(d).  My partner might caress my chest, or nipples, or here and there on my leg, and I would feel the sensation of contact, but little more - it was a dead feeling, much like what one feels through a bad burn where the dermis has died and turned leathery before sloughing off. This body-failure angered me, although I did not at the time understand exactly why. But there was a hint of envy, which is not a good thing to feel in bed.

Last weekend though, the touch was there. My partner put her hand to me and I'd be pleasantly distracted; unable to contine speaking coherently.
This is good: "Good;" as in "balanced;" as in, "what is, is in order." My body is responding like I sort-of-knew it should.

I had not expected this, certainly not so soon. It's joyous and I'm grateful.

This is doubtlessly an effect of the estrogen.

Emotional State
I remember thinking, I'm tense and stressed, but much less so than I might expect. I think that there was something to this: now that the elections are over, I feel really... good? Not exilirated - in fact, I feel pretty tired, but not burnt out so much as fatigued. I need more rest now, but I'm sleeping a lot better. This may have something to do with basically going through the homonal side of puberty a second time.

Other than that.... I'm less irritable. I feel more centred and, at times, unusually aware of my environment.

Three things I have to keep in mind:
- many things contribute to this: having a job that I like and will keep for at least another year; awesome co-workers; the chance to educate myself; finally dealing with some buried emotional shit; as well as hormones
- the obsession with body image - watch it!
- gratitude

Self and Society
I hear "he" used to describe me. This does not offend me, but it does bring on a momentary brain hiccup
    Who is this man named "Sasha" that everyone keeps talking about around me? He's like the fucking Polkaroo.

And if you got that reference, you're my kind of people.

    I still feel like I am imposing, but I also need to realize that not only is it okay to impose occasionally (if not good for it's own sake perhaps?) but also that others want to help me with this; they know it is difficult and, from the tone of voice they use when they ask me gender questions, I think that they feel better when they know they can do something. So, at the office, which consumes much of my time, it is "she" "her" and "miss."

I am indeed fortunate not only that I can be out at work (and re-elected) but that my co-workers are so cool with all this.

Somewhere a year or more down the road, there lies a second issue of names. At some point, I may go over to "Amy" as I did a while back, but which even gender studies students would not call me. I think they were afraid of insulting or endangering me.

Grr... all this relying on others grates on my rugged pioneer spirit.
I'm going to go chop down a tree.

I should point out that I am fortunate to have a good job and some savings. Otherwise the medication would be a serious financial strain, and the hair removal would be an idle wish.

While I'm lengthening the hair on my cranium, I'm removing it elsewhere. I'm thinning my eyebrows, especially their lower half (women's eyebrows tend to be not just thinner, but higher than men's). I think it looks nice - when I do it right. I also concentrate on getting a close shave.

And I've also gone in for laser hair removal. This is some cool shit. It also hurts a lot, but less than an epilator. I've been over this before. But the last two times' I've had it done not in patches but all over my face and chest. I am pleased with the results (at least after the smell of burning hair went away... and after my shirveled chest hair stopped acting like velcro on my shirts). The spiro will probably help with this.

This is ultimately part of what should be a program to combine two methods of hair removal for rapid and cost-effective results.

On my head though, except for a quick and misguided bang-trimming, I've not cut my hair since October. It's longer than it's ever been. I like it  (and how it obfuscates a receding hairline.). I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it (and your input is welcome), although I think that I may grow a ponytail and comb the front into long bangs on either side - to this will be added some unnatual streaks of vibrant colour.

I also have the option of invoking crazy medical shit on my hair. I'm not in a rush.

I can use medications to grow vellous hairs where there are none - thing is that it's expensive, inconvenient, "vellous" means "thin," and if you stop taking it, you lose all that you've gained. It's called Rogaine - it was an (oral?) blood pressure treatment that had the side-effect of causing hirsuitness - now it's a topical hair thingy that also happens to lower your blood pressure (and my BP is already low enough to make me see blue spots now and then). Screw that.

Venturing into more invasive ground, it is possible to stretch my scalp so that it covers more of the head. This is more important as a measure of passing than one of vanity - discounting any kind of balding, women tend to have lower hairlines than men, and women's hairstyles, and popular facial pattern recognition, takes this into account. Problem is that this involves a forehead scar. Bigger and more ironic problem is that this lift & stretch involves prying the scalp away from nice tasty blood vessels, which... can cause hair loss in the area in question. Huh.

I am learning from this that the entire cosmetics industry is dodgy.

Ah, yes. This is where some of you may come in.

1.    I am interested in a digital photo project. We set a scene in a location where we can control the lighting specifically, and to which we will be able to return in the future. Having done this, I sit at a table and play chess or cards, or share wine with... no one. Someone takes photos. Six months, or a year, or two later, we return to this. I sit somewhere else, and we repeat the exercise. Repeat, edit and combine.

I suggest doing this with several people who are going through significant physical changes. Children. Adolescants. The sick. The healing. The dieting. The fattening.

2.    I also have a skit from gender studies which my classmates tell me is good. So I may want to do something with it ('cause I'm going into science and business). I'll put the final up here when I'm done.

3    Face work
I have another project in mind - possibly a ground-breaking one.
    I am interested in a branch of facial osteo-surgery called "facial feminization surgery." I've mentioned this before - it's a method whereby one uses cosmetic/reconstructive techniques to change the shape of key areas of the skull, especially the jaw and the eyebrow ridge. The results can be impressive. It's fucking cool.
    Problem is that there are only a few "transgender specialists" in this field. "Transgender specialist" is often (or in this case, "usually") another term for "someone who does what other medical types already know how to do, but has less competition and higher prices because trans stuff makes some doctors worried that they don't know what they're doing when it's actually the same damn thing whether someone's cisgender or transgender, with only a few exceptions" (and this is not such an exception).
    I shit you not. You know genital reassignment surgery? It was actually invented to re-construct genitals following accidents, fires and so on. It got used for trans folk later.

    So, what am I proposing and how might you fit into it? A Dremel tool and a bottle of scotch? (WHIRRRRRRRRR!) Uh, no.

A    I want to create a 3D model of my face.
B    I want to combine this with X-Rays or other medical imaging of my skull.
C    I then want to make alterations to the model of the skull, precisely record them, and see the projected results.
D    I then want to take these to a good facial osteo-surgeon and say "I need you to do this, this, this and this - see the blueprints."
E    Then I want to publish on the process, because no-one has done this for transgender face work

A and B  -  will need someone who does either Computer Graphics and/or Medical Imaging (and/or Forensic Archaeology?)
C  -  will need someone who knows about facial surgery (and maybe an esthetician?)
D  -  will need whichever surgeon will take it.
(which should be a considerable improvement for reasons I can explain in person)
E  -  will need some advice from the Health Sciences department

On A thru C, when I say "will need," I mean "if they can contribute, I will pay them."

Anyone want in on this?
From: [identity profile] donnaidh-sidhe.livejournal.com
A good deal of that is because of (you guessed it) the sculpting you're engaging in right now. Though granted, you don't usually get those thumb-thick dark bushy brows on women nearly as often as on men (though it may happen some times).
From: (Anonymous)
Some of it also has to do with the growth of the brow during puberty, which is more pronounced in men.



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