I know it’s been a while, a month at least, since the last time I graced the web with my musings. Though I have to admit, I am delighted that people continue to read my posts. A couple things, actually several, intervened and it just got away from me. The truth mostly is that my past posts had a tone of either bitchiness or pity party attached to them; I really needed some time away. It’s also worth noting that in the mean time I started Finasteride for “male pattern baldness” (yes, really, but it’s also an anti-androgen) and I think the most redeeming side effect so far has been a decrease in my transgender frustration – that and the hair I shaved off just doesn’t seem to grow back as quick as it used to.

My return to my blog centers around “My Easter Dress Dilemma”, but really it’s not about an Easter dress it’s about a dress. A casual dress, but a dress no less. Like a perfect storm, two variables crossed paths and led me to reflect on my path thus far. Any store you go to has their spring and summer collections prominently displayed, front and center are the girl’s dresses. It got me thinking about a mother writing about her MtF child, who prior to a full social transition, insisted on wearing a beloved dress to a concert, or something of that nature, and questioning whether her “boy” would end up regretting the decision later in the day. As I recall, in the end it was a non-issue, but in my own transgender adventure I couldn’t help but think had I been that child, or any of the legion of six year olds it seems these days are “living authentically” (having already socially transitioned), would I have satisfied my transgenderism had I the freedom to dress as I chose as a child? The short answer is I don’t know.

I took a week off, as much out of curiosity, as I did out of necessity, of taking the Finasteride. I visited my parents this past week and it seemed like a good idea to test my theory about the Finasteride reducing my transgender angst. Following the dress dilemma, I would say I proved my theory. I’ve started taking the Finasteride again and I am less stressed about my gender issues.

While visiting my parents, I wore a pair of pajama bottoms they’d bought me at Christmas for the first time. At best they are genderless; though I find it somewhat ironic my parents gave them to me. They remind me of a pair of pajama bottoms I once owned during a deep period of cross-dressing. I love the way they fit my body, I love they feel, I hate the way my boxers ruin any sense of femaleness the pajama bottoms allow me. I continue to strongly dislike my body – hate is such a strong concept. I accept my male body, but as I drifted off to sleep last night I couldn’t help but think that I could possibly feel better about myself were my breasts bigger. Not bigger maybe, but more feminine, they are certainly female, but they only do so much to make me feel better about myself. I remind myself these aren’t the thoughts of someone who accepts being male. Well that and I wish my butt was bigger, I’m still apparently full figured, though I am working on it, it would be nice to have a bigger butt, one that matched the rest of my sense of myself. Again, not normal for your average male.

My therapist suggested I write down all the pros and cons of either staying male or transitioning to female. The hard reality is that I count a lot more negatives associated with me living my life as a female, then I do staying male. I am tall, not that there aren’t tall females, but I think maybe I can compensate for my height by being skinny and that alone is a dangerous thought. I don’t intend to have an eating disorder, but I still sense it is a slippery slope. I could lose my job, my family, my friends; the list goes on and on. I have one very big “pro” though, the chance to be happy, truly happy and not crippled by the never ending gender dysphoria I live with currently. And for me that’s enough to press forward.

I love to use the “Underpants Gnomes” analogy from South Park. If you’re not familiar with it, the gnomes have a three part plan that begins with stealing all the underwear in the world and ends with taking over the world. Cartman, I believe, points out they don’t have a “step B”, their answer “we haven’t figured that part out yet.” My life seems to be like that right now, I’m driven to fully express myself, to live authentically, I struggle with how to get there though.

Back to my six year old self living authentically, it’s no picnic for them either. The fear of discovery is very real for them, if anything access to transgender healthcare is even more limited for them. Their parents live in fear as well, aside from fearing for their children’s safety and sanity, it is an absolute maze of health care professionals, not to mention the fear that child services may hold their families under a microscope as well. In an ideal world, this would be any other birth defect and quickly and easily corrected but it’s not. I don’t fear myself now and I don’t fear myself “then” (before and after). I fear the in between the most. I want very much to continue HRT and incorporate estrogens, though I’m still struggling with my concept of my “in between self”. I’ve seen that person, and I’m afraid of them (me). No doubt it would be an easier life had I waded in to the gender pool early in my life, rather than having to jump in the deep end as I feel I am now.

Yet another issue I’ve struggled with lately has been the issue of disclosure, I mention it because knowing I was going to be seeing my parents, I’d let the hair on my legs grow out lately. It’s warm where my parents are and I knew I’d be wearing shorts. Not having shaved my arms, there is a difference in the hair on my legs and my arms. I was sure they would notice and say something. My mom’s reaction “How are you feeling?” (as in, is everything ok?) or something like that. As truthfully as I could, I told her everything was fine and she’s seemed to accept it. It’s not like they don’t know my history and had I might not be coming from the same place (disclosing without really disclosing) I might not understand it to be asking me without really asking me. Full disclosure is not a good planfor them right now, since I still don’t totally know what I’m going to say, but I would have said something had they asked me a direct question. They asked me an indirect question so I gave them an indirect answer.

In the end, my “Easter Dress Dilemma” is about doing the things I have to do in order to be happy with myself. I don’t know the extent to which I will have to modify my body in order to achieve happiness, or who needs to know what, but I don’t know any other way of living at this moment. I do know I won’t be wearing boxers with my pajama bottoms much longer and I couldn’t be happier.