‘Ready, Set, Go!’

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(20 Dec 16)

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‘Ready, Set, Go!’

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People have raised many issues at support group meetings; I wanted to get to anyone else whom this can help.

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You are never too old to start.

I know at least two people among my trans support groups who started in their late-60s; one is currently pre-op, the other had her GCS / SRS at age 70.  I have come to personally befriend through my trans support groups at least another dozen people all in their 50s or 60s who are currently transitioning or completed their GCS / SRS within the past few years.  Their outlook is quite positive with no regrets for changing this late in life.  I correspond via e-mail with another handfull who live across the Earth also who are in their 50s or 60s and glad they waited.

Certainly youth has its benefits – ‘T’ has less time to do its destruction.

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Know that your path will be on your timeline – please take a moment to think through where you fit and go with the flow.

There are numerous Internet message boards, web-sites, threads to help you with all the processes and timelines – therapy, hormone ‘cocktail’, electrolysis, laser, RLE to female full-time.

Laser was actually kinda fun.  One post-op friend recently lured me to her salon for a touch-up.  Two or three more visits and I shall be done forever.  It did not hurt one bit; the smell of burnt hair has quite a lasting aroma.  Now I have that experience to comment on it.

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There are issues about the cost of drugs.  The major national chain store here in the USA where I buy my prescriptions charges $10 for a three months supply each of estrogen and progesterone; I am on MediCare, so my final bill is less than $3 each for 90 days.  Enquire at your national chain drug stores where you reside and enquire if they offer such programs.

As for ‘pills pills pills’ – more is NOT better.  Your endocrinologist will review your medical circumstance and match your dose to achieve the correct hormone level as determined by blood tests.

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Locate and participate in trans support groups where you reside.  Likely most larger communities have at least one, maybe more groups with different formats and member activities.  They are good places to share experiences.  They will provide reliable referrals to physicians and counsellors.  Someone at group may be able to provide well-needed hand-holding as you wind your way through all that is new and unknown to you.  Friends at my group take up my offer of companionship; recently, one friend chose me to help her obtain her passport.

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Many government, government-sponsored, and grant-financed medical services in the USA provide alternate fee scales based upon income; enquire if there are any where you reside.  I did sessions last year with two counsellors for $16 per session.  Maybe if your university or college where you reside includes a medical school, they may provide such sliding scale services.

If you are a student, seek aid from their medical services department.

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Consider attending college courses in either human anatomy and physiology or comparative anatomy.  These classes will help you understand the biological processes in a way that you seem to be yearning to know.  If you can’t afford that extra cost, then take an hour or two each week reading medical textbooks, befriend medical students, or maybe you can get a student job at a school laboratory.  No one says that you must go to med school.  It will do you well to learn what you will need to know when you correspond with your physicians and surgeons.

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If your ultimate plan is GCS / SRS, then it will do you well to begin enquiries at your earliest opportunity. There are many surgeons around the world.  There are several surgeons throughout the USA and Canada.  I think there is a surgeon in the UK and one at Netherlands.  Of course there are the ‘Big Three’ of Thailand (Dr. Chettawut, Dr. Suporn, and PAI).  There is nothing lost by researching them; they have web-sites.  Perhaps begin a correspondence with them to determine who meets your needs.  Some surgeons have waiting lists that are years long.

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You must do nothing to damage your anatomy!!!  Surgeons will use what you have to re-form you.  Do you want to know exactly?  There are several web-sites, YouTube videos, message boards, and threads that describe the surgery.  Briefly, the male penis is the homologue to the female labia minora and clitoris; the scrotal sac will line your neo-vagina.  Repeat, you must NOT damage your anatomy!!!  Ask your prospective surgeon about all the details.

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Many who opt for VFS go to Ye-son (South Korea).  Singing can help prevent a male voice from over-masculinising.  I was a singer who kept my female range; whether that helpt or not, my voice did not masculinise.

Not everyone requires or requests either thyroid cartilage shave or FFS.  Hormones can help in those departments – again, especially while you are young.

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Sometimes our parents, siblings, family do not perceive the persistence of our commitment.

  • My mother refused to take my transition seriously, she told me that she thought my pills were candy imitation; seeing me as female did not convince her to the day she died.
  • My dad knew it was real, but could not accept it.
  • My sister still seems to not grasp the reality; she thinks I am a balding, beer-bellied man who wears dresses.

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Speaking for myself, I went through years of transition questioning my appearance – all for nothing.  In the midst of thinking I appeared too male, strangers were calling me ‘Miss’ and clocking me as female without me trying.  It was my ‘male fail’ period.  Present yourself as female and people will accept you as female.  Yes, it IS that simple.

You express bitterness or frustration at your current appearance.  Most of us started quite awkward and proceeded to pretty good results.  It did not occur over-night – it took time.  See examples how we all started compared to now.  Check out a ‘Susan’s Place’ thread (‘The All New ‘Before & After Topic v 3.0’); you can find me at ‘Reply #1632’ (Thank you, Mariah).  BTW, do I appear like a bald, fat man in a dress?(https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,168444.1620.html’).

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I frequently explain to people that I have no regrets other than not doing my transition better.  There is nothing wrong with the ‘go slow’ approach.  Look at my timeline – my adult transition took 11 years; that does not count the 18 years of childhood and teens.  I have no regrets about that duration.  I would have kept at it if it took 50 years.  Perhaps for me, five years could have been too quick.  You will determine your own timeline to meet your needs.  You will do well as you make carefull decisions.

You will overcome much; so you will in your own way as we all do.  Your life is not your transition but what you do with your life before, during, and after you complete transition at whatever extent satisfies you.  Browse ‘Susan’s Place’ for an idea about what transition means for different people (‘When does transition end?’) (‘https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,215699.0.html‘).

Take good care of your self and your self will take good care of you.2016-12-24-spectrum-potluck

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If you are in the area, why not come to our Spectrum pot-luck meal and social this weekend.

We expect our gathering to have plenty of fun for all.

Make new friends; maybe see old friends if you have been absent for too long.

 

 

 

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