7 months!

It has been a little over 7 months since my very first update. So far it has been an incredible journey for the most part, ups and downs but nothing huge.
I went to see my doctor last week, and she decided it is time for her to refer me to an endocrinologist. She decided to increase my Spriro from 100 to 200 mg a day, the patch and medorxy are still the same dosage.
On the physical aspect, so much going on. The most changes are happening on my face and breast area.  I am still losing lots of weight. I am at 174 lbs and started at 210 if I remember correctly.
Facial hair is for the most part all gone as well with 4 laser treatments, I still want to have two more just to make sure. There are grey hairs on my chin, I will have to find a way to deal with these guys!
I have been looking into the paperwork required to change legally change my name and gender on my IDs, it sounds like a fairly straight forward process, however, I have heard otherwise, so I should really get this going before it becomes to awkward to show my ID, though it is already very awkward.
Passing still seems to be more of an issue for others (about me) than it is for me. I was walking down the street not long ago with a (trans) friend, when a man said we looked really good, to which his friend replied, shut up, those are dudes! Immediately, my friend looked at me and said: “Ooh it’s because of you, not passable, don’t worry, you’ll be able to pass later”.
I don’t really give a damn if people can tell I am a trans woman or not, my goal is not to impress, please or to be worrying every single hour whether someone will clock me. If I do pass, great, if not, who cares as long as I feel happy and comfortable with who I am now. Of course, there are days where I feel like I nothing has changed, but this has nothing to do with people misgendering me or noticing me as a trans woman. I disagree with this same friend who claims you are not trans unless you had these feelings as a child or if you don’t go for SRS. I believe one’s transition is what and how you want it to be! I don’t think there is a standard for transitioning.
A few weeks ago I came out as trans to my Arab Language exchange partner, who is from Morocco. And I did that because we had been out a couple of times before for coffee and I had been called ma’am by the waiters, and he wondered why it was. He said he was ok with me being trans, however, we stopped seeing each other for about a month and a half, last weekend we got together and well, I had my hair straightened, was wearing a nice blouse a bit of make up, nothing crazy or flashy and my purse, our class was amazing as usual except that this time, as we were leaving he stopped me and said, I need to ask you something, would it be possible for you not to wear make up, nail polish or girl’s clothes when we get together, I know you told me this is who you are but you lied to me introducing yourself as a man and now you want to be a woman and I am not used to this.
A lot was going through my head as you can imagine. I am not sure whether these were the correct analogies but I said, imagine if I told you to stop being a Muslim or Moroccan when we get together? At this point I could tell that he wasn’t willing to listen or understand to anything I was saying to explain myself. He did apologize and begged me to reconsider my decision to not meet him any more based on our friendship. I said, a friendship where you half accept who I am, I don’t think I want to be part of this friendship and walked away.
I did also send him a message later because I resented the fact he called me a liar – as I have said before, I don’t expect the whole world to agree with who and how I am but saying you accept who I am but under certain conditions is just a no go for me!
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Update

It’s official now! So it has been a little over 5 months since I started HRT, it has an amazing journey for the most part, I am truly lucky to have such wonderful friends, husband, co-workers and family members.

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A couple of days ago I posted a little message on my Omar Facebook account to “come out” as trans. I use “” because even though I wasn’t really in the closet I hadn’t made it official.
The response was overwhelmingly nice! Pretty much all of those I expected would support me have. This is the message I posted:
“I am coming out as Transgender – I started HRT a few months ago. So far it has been an amazing journey and I am generally happier with myself! Though I wasn’t “in the closet” and some of my friends, co-workers and relatives already know, I just hadn’t made it official, so here it is!

Any support from friends and family is always welcome and a huge plus. I don’t expect the whole world to agree with who I am, all I ask for is respect.

If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask nicely, without judgement, I know what I am doing, and no this is not a phase, this is who I am, I know there may be risks associated with HRT and many other things.

I will be closing this account in a couple of months, but I have opened a new one (Sam Wadi), feel free (and it would be amazing) if you add me. I will be using the name Sam(ira) “unofficially”  – until I legally change it, which will hopefully be soon!

At the moment my preferred pronouns are:

They/Them/Theirs or She/Her/Hers

Much love,

Sam”

I decided to open a new Facebook account, to start with a fresh, a new chapter in my life.

Amazing how many changes can happen in a year! 😛

My family (mum, sisters and nieces) have been nothing but supportive as have ALL of my closest friends. My uncles of course have not said a word, but it is in situations such as this one, that you really realize who is a true friend or supporter. And even if someone does not agree with what you are doing, they still love you as a person, enough to encourage you and wish you the best on this amazing journey!

Also, this past weekend, I participated in the first ever Strut, walk a mile in high heels to raise funds and awareness for LGBT+ refugees in Vancouver. I know I wanted to do this, I just didn’t have the time to be as involved as I would have liked. I joined a team which one of my great friends organized along with 6 other participants. Well, it was better than I expected, we wore very colourful chiffon gowns which flew nicely on the seawall as we strutted along! Standing and walking around in 6 inch high heels was a bit of a challenge but well worth the effort!

The event got lots of attention and the total amount raised was almost 45k! I definitely want to participate next year and be better prepared! Below as some photos of the event.

 

Well, as far as physical changes, a lot has been going on. My face keeps changing a lot, I don’t have very delicate facial features (never did!) but that is slowly changing. Breasts are even bigger now and still very sore. In terms of gender dysphoria, some days are better than others but not too bad overall.

Looking forward to bikini season! 😛 Thanks for stopping by!

 

4 months!

It is officially 4 months and one day today since I started HRT. For the most part it has been a positive experience in general. Physical changes have been steady:

Breasts: Buds on both breasts now, very sore and uncomfortable at night, at the moment I can only sleep sideways or face up now!. I also had to start wearing trainer and sport bras, mostly because the movement while walking was uncomfortable and a bit painful at times, so wearing a bra helps keep everything in place!
Skin: Definitely more sensitive, I need to apply moisturizer in certain areas at least twice a day, especially my knuckles and legs, which become dry too fast! I am still using the Green Tea face moisturizer by the Green Beaver, but I have found that it makes me sweat, I will have to find something a bit lighter. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!
Face: It is now difficult to point out what has been changing on my face, all I can say is that it is definitely more feminine, nose bridge is way less fleshy and the area above my eye lids seems to be a bit more open or wider.
Mood: It sure has changed, for the better, at least for now, and I am hoping it won’t change in a negative way any time soon. I notice myself chatting to people more than I used to. I am happier in general, I would say that every once in a while I will feel that everything upsets me or makes me sad, but this only lasts for an hour or two and that is it!
Hair: Hair is growing like crazy, I finally decided to dye it, at home, and not because of my grey hair but just for a change and to see whether I would like it, and yes, I do! My hair is a mess and more of a curse sometimes, although a lot of people tell me I am lucky to have such thick hair and lots of it!
Sex drive: What’s that? 😛
Weight: I am at 175 lbs or 79 kg
Hips/Legs/Waist/Butt: Not as much happening here as I would like to, but these areas have changed, I would say more slowly than other areas. Butt is definitely rounder and hip area is more shaped.
Interesting note: I speak 4 languages fluently, and Spanish is my first language, but since I came to Canada, I very rarely use it, I have been trying voice feminization exercises and they seem to be working, but for some reason when I have to speak another language other than English, my voice just “reverts” and it sounds even deeper or raspier and if I try to use the same level of pitch as when I speak English, it just sounds too “fake” or forced. Anyway, nothing to worry about, just found this interesting.
Let’s see what changes we will see in the next few weeks!

Update

Where to start…it has been a little over a month since I started the new dosage of medoryprogesterone and the first few days were somewhat intense, my mood has been generally stable and happier.

I am happy to say that the acid reflux sensation I had been experiencing after the first week on the new dosage is gone, mind you, I have been avoiding lemons and having too much coffee.
Breast growth is steady and both are now sore pretty much every morning, I assume it’s because of the way I sleep. I have actually woken up in the middle of the night a couple of times because of the discomfort. I did end up getting a couple of trainer bras, which are ok actually, I guess I just have to get used to wearing them.
I really wish my hips and bum were getting a bit bigger, I did lose a lot of weight, but I am hopeful things will improve in that area. Although my friends say that skinny legs are good? 😛
Another thing which I am very happy to report, is that my laser treatment has really been working, and hair on my face is almost not coming out any more, except for a couple of stubborn patches on my neck and upper lip. It used to take me almost 15 minutes to shave before, now no more than 2 minutes and the bluish effect of the hair after shaving is almost gone as well! Yay!
Facial changes continue as well, which is nice. It is definitely more feminine, however, I did have a slightly embarrassing episode on Sunday. I went with my partner to Winners (Canadian version of Ross, for those in the States) and I chose two blouses to try on, I got in no problem, the blouses were L, women’s size, they fit ok, but a bit too tight for work, so I decided to go out return the large ones and go get XL, on my way out, this little older lady behind the counter, asks from across the store “Are these for you or for someone else? – I said, for me, to what she responded: “These are for girls, you know that right?” I said, yes, I realize they are and that is what I want. This is also the lady with an obsession of calling every single male looking person “Sir” like 10,000 times in the same conversation. Anyway, I went to get the XL tops and when we left the store my partner told me the lady had asked him if I was his son? Seriously?
The whole thing bothered me. Maybe not so much the fact that she identified me as a male (considering I am still in early stages of my transition), but that she would question my choice in clothing. Don’t do that, unless you’re my mum, my partner or my bestie.
The other thing that bothered me is that she asked my partner what his relation was to me? Why did she care? Was she going to give him a lecture on parenting if he had said yes, he’s my son?
My partner said to let it go, but when I spoke to my co-workers, they were shocked and a bit disturbed. They also said that if they were trying a “boyfriend shirt” and they were told this was for men, they would be annoyed.
Should I have bitched about it to the store or made a scene? No. But I do feel I should have mentioned it to them, as clearly this lady needs to take a sensitivity training.
Am I overreacting? Like my partner, I also don’t think she was doing this in a malicious way but I can only imagine if I were a major bitch or if I was super sensitive about being called “Sir” or being asked if I want women’s clothes when I am clearly already wearing women’s clothes, shoes, a bit of make up and a purse!
Sigh, luckily this is kind of the first time this has happened.

Salt and pepper.

Ok – I have had grey hair since I was 13 years old or so, as a teenager, I was teased by everyone for having a few grey hairs that young. Those bullying me were not only other students in high school but also close relatives.

This really never did affect me as much as other aspects of my physique for which I was also teased or bullied when younger or the fact that I was not happy with my hair in general, it was thick and out of control and it didn’t matter the kind of hair cut, it would still be a mess. When I turned 18, I decided to trim it all off and kept it that way pretty much until September 2014.
As soon as my hair started to grow back, those comments came back – “Oh wait, you have so much hair, and much of it is grey”
Not all of them were negative comments, I have to admit that for the most part they were compliments. Now, these compliments came before I started transitioning and it was all about the sexy “salt n’ pepper hair”.
When I started transitioning and became more feminine, two of the most common questions I started to get from people were:
– Will you let your hair grow longer?
– If you do, will you dye it and hide those grey hairs!?
I started to wonder why then it is ok for a man to have grey hair or salt and pepper hair but not for women?
This became more evident on Saturday when a friend and I went out and I decided not to wear my wig, I got compliments on my outfit however, my salt pepper hair all of a sudden was something “not cool” and it “ruined” the look and apparently now grey hair makes a person look tired and old regardless whether I am old and tired or not.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who dye their hair, and in fact I have considered dyeing mine but not to hide my grey hair but just for a change but I just haven’t had the “urge” or inspiration to have it done. This is interesting because if I didn’t have any grey hair, I would not consider dying it grey as a choice.
My other question is, why do I have to let my hair grow longer? I see plenty of (cis and trans) women walking around with super short hair and they look just as fabulous as women with long hair, I am really not sure what the obsession is that one as a male transitioning to female, has to have long hair.
I refuse to give in to social and peer pressure and what other people think one should and should not do. I will do whatever the heck I want with my hair, yes, perhaps people are entitled to their opinion but in my opinion, grey-hair shaming is just as bad as calling someone out on their weight.
I did a Google search on the subject and, yes apparently this is a thing. I wonder when we will stop judging each other for stupid minuscule things and focus on the real problem we face as a society today.
Having ranted about it, do I expect this to stop: It would be nice if it did but I have no expectations other than hopes it will. In the meantime, I guess the best thing is to keep letting people my salt and pepper hair does not bother me at all and it shouldn’t bother them either.

Update

Spring is definitely here – my partner and I went for a long walk to Stanley Park and Coal Harbour to see some of the Cherry trees in bloom – so amazing!
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17 days on the new dose of medroxyprogesterone, the first 4 days were uneventful, other than sore boobs and feeling more tired than usual, at times.

I was starting to feel worried, I have been taking weekly photos to document my progress and I felt that my face had started to go back to how it was, but after 7 days or so I started to see a few more changes.
On breasts:
A couple of days ago, I woke up with a very sharp pain on my left nipple, it was on and off and when I felt around my nipple I felt, I assume, what they call a bud. It is still painful but not as bad as in the beginning. I had been very pleased as I thought this had already happened, but no, clearly I was wrong and now my boobs have all of a sudden got bigger and they are super tender to the point where sometimes I feel discomfort if my shirt rubs against my nipples.
Possible side effects?:
One of the main things I have noticed, and I don’t know if a side effect of the medication or what, but I can no longer have lemon or coffee without having a horrible episode of heartburn after, even a sip of coffee will trigger it, this started a about 5 days after I started the new dose of medroxyprogesterone. I am careful to not have too many Tums to alleviate the heartburn and I am now cutting down on lemon and coffee but, ugh, it sucks, big time since I really enjoy my coffee black and with no cream or sugar.
On coming out:
I was having coffee with one of my friends, now, I haven’t told all of my friends that I am transitioning, except for the closest ones and some family members. I was thinking of doing a more official announcement when the time comes, however, I think more and more of my acquaintances and friends are starting to notice how much my face and body in general have changed that some have asked me what the heck is going on. Anyway, this friend kept talking about Transgender issues and rights and how hard it must be, so I took that as an opportunity to come out to her. She took it very well and we spent the rest of our coffee date talking about my transition and how I have been dealing with it.
On feeling “hormonal”:
Emotionally, to be honest, I had never felt this confident about my body and face (I know I still have a very long way to go) but even these small changes have had a huge impact on how I see myself, and I am not going to say that I have an amazing body or that I look like a Miss Universe, I think it has more to do with how my attitude changed to not give a fuck about what people think about me. I will do what makes me feel comfortable and makes me feel good and confident and it is working. There have been a couple of times again where small things really bother me and affect me but nothing major. I do find myself whining about silly things at work, more than I used to before, not good.
Update on Shaving and laser:
I went for my first laser treatment on Saturday, it went pretty well, the technician did warn me that being on medroxy makes my skin more sensitive and that the treatment would be more painful.My jawline and neck were ok, but when she got to my upper lip – I really wanted to scream. Super painful, luckily I didn’t have a bad reaction like I did when we did my test patch, where I had a lot of bumps for almost 10 hours.
I went to Electra Laser in Vancouver, after doing my research, I found them to be the best option for me for many reasons. The first full face treatment was $110.00 (Canadian Dollars) and then $220.00 for all other sessions. I know there are a lot of groupons out there where you pay $180 for unlimited laser treatments, but I have also heard horror stories where people have been burnt or the technicians just don’t know what they are doing, not willing to risk that, especially on my face. I am hoping I won’t have to do more than 4-5 sessions so we will see.
I got more razor blades, but I am hoping their use will diminish, I noticed that hair no longer grows in the test patch area we did a month ago, so I am hoping I will see the same results in the rest of my face soon! Shaved today for the first time after my laser, skin still very tender so shaving wasn’t as easy, let’s hope it will be better tomorrow!
Happy Monday and this video made me smile this morning!

Update

I had an appointment with my doctor on Friday and we decided it was time to increase dosage on one of my meds:

Medroxyprogesterone from 2.5mg to 5mg.
Not a big change, some may say, however, my doctor expressed it is still better to gradually increase dosage, to allow the body to adjust better, and yes, I will agree with her.

The spironolactone and the estrogen patch will remain the same. I won’t see her again for another 6 months, unless I don’t see any more changes in three months, she said I can go see her to change to a higher dosage.

In terms of physical changes, some of my friends have noticed how my breasts are bigger now, and some have not been shy to point that out. Is it time to buy a trainer bra? Nah – I like the sense of freedom! Also, I read and watched a video where (supposedly) push-up bras are the main cause for saggy boobs, true or not, for now I shall let the girls out! 😛
I seem to still be losing weight, which is nice in a way but I also worry because I have heard other girls say that after a few months the weight comes back and that is where the fat gets redistributed. Let’s hope it goes to the right places.
There were a couple of days, where I was aware that I was incredibly sensitive to things that would normally not upset me, I remember going through the same two days after I started HRT, so I am pretty sure the new dosage has to do with this. I also felt physically exhausted yesterday, which is very rare for me and again, looking back at my blog from December, same after HRT.
One day, I also felt that I have betrayed my (male) partner by transitioning, and I know I have had this discussion over and over with him and I know we are in this together  and that he supports me 100% until the end, but every once in a while I will think about it and feel terrible. 10 years ago, he married Omar not Samira. My fear at the moment is about the near future, after all I will look more like a woman and my partner is not physically attracted to women. Maybe I should just enjoy today and worry about the future in the future – does that make sense?
Last week, I got a few more nice women’s coats and cardigans, but I had not really felt comfortable wearing them to work, and I kept thinking to myself that I should give my co-workers time to adjust to me wearing more feminine clothes, when I finally figured out it was me, who was holding back. My co-workers have no issue with me transitioning or my clothes whatsoever. It was me who wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge. Well I wore my cardigan, skinny jeans and a fitted blouse on Wednesday and to be honest, I was anxious to see whether I would feel comfortable or not but I was totally fine. I never felt shy or awkward going out in drag to clubs, but this was something else, this was the real deal, daily life and a step closer to being Sam (short for Samira), and although all my co-workers and friends know that this is the name I will be using, I told them for now, I still want to use my male name and pronouns until I am ready.
I also went to one of the local trans gatherings on Friday, where we had an interesting discussion about what it is to be a “real trans” person, the debate and question is still out there, what does this really mean? It is almost as though someone out there thinks there is a standard as to how one should transition and what the end result should be?
The way I see this, is do it for yourself, not to please others or society. Fuck standards.
What’s your take on “real trans”?