I know everyone’s probably thinking: what’s Tyler been up to and where’s his update to the AMA for TDOV? Ok – no one’s been thinking any of that. So part of my new year’s resolution this year was to find more ways to be more visible and to help my community and as part of doing so, I’ve been a little less present here. I’ve joined the board of directors for Point of Pride, which as been everything I hoped for and more.
But I did want to circle back to some of the questions I got on TDOV, my answers and whatnot, some of which produced some interesting and thought-provoking chatter on my Facebook and gave me a bit to continue to think about in the future.
So today marks my 10 month anniversary on T. It’s been a lot of the same changes. My voice is getting slowly deeper, which is nice. My muscles are still growing, which is nice and my body hair keeps darkening. My facial hair is finally starting to grow in something that resembles an normal pattern, which is super exciting because it had been patchy at best, especially on the left side. The acne on my face seems to be finally calming down some, but that may just as easily be my body adjusting to the change in the seasons as the testosterone – I tend to break out less in the winter.
I feel like I have so many major changes (not all transition-related, so feel free to tune out if you’re not interested in hearing about my day-to-day life) that I haven’t managed to get to yet. I’m not even sure where or how to start.
Well, first – two weeks til the wedding!
It’s all coming together so fast now… it’s just a lot of tying together loose ends at this point and paying off the vendors. Then, we’re off to Alaska for a few days to relax and drink beer! The wedding has, naturally, not been totally free of wedding-related family drama, which I may get into in detail one day on here, but today is not that day.
Melissa and I have found our own place – a small apartment not far from where we’re currently living. Our roommates have recently announced that they’re pregnant and have asked us to be out by the end of October so they can start setting up for the baby. They gave us plenty of notice – we were told way before the public announcement, but have been keeping it a secret because that’s not our business to talk about. But we’ve found an apartment for cheap that’ll give us time to save up for the end goal: a house of our own.
My therapist has decided that I don’t really need therapy anymore. I guess she’s now satisfied that I have myself and my life figured out and know how to get where I’m going. It’s bizarre and refreshing to have someone else’s validation that I’m not crazy for going down this path.
The real highlight of this post is probably my return to my hometown for my 10 year high school reunion. Now to be fair, I go back to my hometown fairly frequently – my brother and sister in law and my grandmother live there and my dad’s only about 15 minutes away. But this is the first time since probably 2008 or so that I’ve intentionally seen anyone from high school. With only a few exception, I’ve had very little interaction with my high school friends since high school graduation, and even fewer since college graduation and all of us starting real lives. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. We’ve all grown up and are living lives. Many of us are married, or close to it. Several of us have kids or step kids and so many of us have moved a long way away. One or two people reached out to me after I came out on Facebook to support me, but mostly no one has said anything. I didn’t really expect them to; I was always kind of a self-imposed loner in high school. I hung out with lot of people, got along peripherally in a lot of groups, but I never felt really attached to any one person or group of people. Looking back now as an adult, I was depressed, but it didn’t seem like it at the time – I was just another teenager and the growing pains were manageable for the most part. But anyhow, I digress – the reunion. It ended up being about 30-40 of us total and, wouldn’t you know, we all sat in the same groups that we did in high school. The popular kids tables, the burn outs, the band/honors kids. There we were, sitting around listening to too-loud music trying to make small talk and drinking Miller Lite (ick….who even thinks of that as beer?). It got less awkward after time, but I’m a pretty terrible small talker. The DJ was playing all of the songs that were popular in the late 90’s-early 2000’s. Then, toward the end of the night, Melissa and I were talking about heading out and I see someone approaching me out of the corner of my eye. I was bullied enough in high school that I never really let my guard down. It’s one of the popular kids. You have to understand that in my tiny, population 6000 people, back woods small town, the popular kids are also usually your stereotypical rednecks.
But anyhow, I digress again. This guy walks up to me and he seemed pretty drunk. I just kind of braced myself physically and emotionally for the worst – he and his friends weren’t always the kindest to me in high school. He slaps me on the shoulder and says loudly and awkwardly “Hey man…look I know I knew you as Christina…” then he looks at Melissa and slurs out “I’ve known him a long time…” and looks back at me and says “but I have to say, I’m happy for you. You seem happy and, ya know man, you gotta do you” He continued to say similar things for another minute or two, always using the correct pronouns, before wandering back off to hang out with his friends. He was the only one of that crowd to talk to me all night. Mind=blown. Afterwards, one of my friends and I joked that we didn’t think that was going to end nearly that well and we were pleasantly surprised to see that some people do change.
In other news, I had recently posted about a family friend whose 4 year old is doing the gender-questioning thing. This kid has more empathy and compassion in her tiny 4-year-old toe than most adults have all together. Apparently, while in the bathroom the other day, she encountered her first transwoman (until then, her only exposure to trans people was me) and, after getting permission to talk to a stranger, decided to tell the lady she was “very pretty”. She started crying and told Melissa that she had just begun using the women’s bathrooms and it was the first time she’d ever been made to feel safe and welcome there and that she was happy to see some love and acceptance from the younger generation. Melissa, of course, told her about me.
I’m really struggling to find decent, in depth, topics to write about. So if you have ideas or suggestions, feel free to throw them this way.
I really feel like I need to get into a better blogging schedule. I’m not seeing my therapist as often and this usually serves as some pretty good “therapy” for me…that and the gym. I think I need to schedule myself some blog time every week just to get thoughts out of my head and down on paper (or cyberspace, as it were).
So first thing’s first – I just passed the 6 month mark on T! In that time, I’ve lost 2 pounds and about 2.5″ off my waist and added 1.75″ to my biceps. This is exciting for me because it’s a lot of progress in the direction that I want to go. The hardest part of this for me has been accepting that I won’t lose weight weight as long as I’m bulking up. It’s a tough mentality change from wanting to see the number on the scale going down, to being ok with it staying the same or even fluctuating up. I’m finally starting to see the body in the mirror that I’ve always imagined when I thought of myself. You have to understand that I’ve been over 200lbs since I was 16 and topped out at 265lbs right before my last knee surgery. I knew then that if I didn’t loose weight I was going to be rolling on teflon and titanium before long (that’s full knee replacement, FYI) and I wasn’t ready for that. Continue reading Six Months(!) Update and Ten Tips for Switching Locker Rooms
I feel like the last week or so has been a whole handful of bizarre updates, so I apologize if this post seems like a lot of skipping around. I’ve been kind of in a funk lately and I think a lot of it has to do with not giving myself therapy time. I haven’t been seeing my therapist as frequently and I, obviously, haven’t been writing as much and that’s caused a lot of internal tension for me. Continue reading And Now for a Total Change of Topic…
So Caitlyn Jenner finally came out. Ok, yeah, she technically came out a few weeks ago, but until the last few days, she hadn’t revealed a name or a pronoun preference. Now she has. As a result, a lot of people are calling her a hero, applauding her bravery. Melissa commented that it must feel nice to have such a big name “on our side”. So now Caitlyn Jenner is the face of transgender people everywhere. Continue reading A Little Trans Soap Boxing