Steps in My Transition

Seeing as I’m working part time and attend a college where hormone therapy is going to be covered under my student health care per new trans* inclusive healthcare initiatives, I can begin transitioning as soon as I feel ready. I have bad anxiety with calling and answering calls, so I haven’t been to Howard Brown in a while. However, I’m going to go back next week to continue therapy, but my approach to my transition has altered.

I initially planned to be approved for hormones (or begin taking hormones) and focus on getting top or bottom surgery as time progressed and I saved money. Regardless as to how plans change, this general outline will remain in tact. However, I didn’t think living at home would be a problem. Despite having to be a commuter student, I was still planning to transition this year. But my mom seems to be still trying to grasp that I want to transition and I’m not her little girl anymore. Aside this,  I live with my grandmother as we lost our house to foreclosure and my grandmother doesn’t know. I don’t know how she would react, and to begin hormones, I’d have to come out to not only her, but my sister and great-aunt that lives with us. I’m bad enough with confrontations, but having to do something this big that I know will hurt my mom and make my sister possibly feel weird around me is too much to handle.

I plan to focus on trying to save money to move out before I start hormones. I probably won’t transfer schools, so maybe my current school will get a cluster or floor for the LGBT community where I can stay. I’m too uncomfortable staying in dorms because I’ll have to be roomed with a female roommate. If this doesn’t come to fruition, I’ll work on getting an apartment somewhere near my school. I’d be able to control who I room with and I’d feel much more comfortable that way. After I’ve gotten enough money saved up to actually afford rent (and utilities) on a monthly basis, I’ll start hormones at Howard Brown, then go over to my school’s healthcare system.

As much as I want all this to happen before the end of 2nd semester, I don’t think this is plausible. I barely make $500 a month part time and with the holidays and then the start of second semester, I wont’ have any money going into the new year. I just want to be able to begin transitioning, but I refuse to make my family uncomfortable. If I’m living alone, then I can gradually come out and leave my family room to adjust and try and understand what is happening. Telling them, then transitioning right there may be harder. It’s possible my plans will change again, but right now, I’m going to just focus on possibly moving out.

 

Has anyone dealt with this? Have advice? Comment below.

Need to contact me? Email: JCollins1594@gmail.com

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Of Hormones and Friends

I currently am in therapy at Howard Brown Medical Center in Chicago, IL. I’ve been going for about 4 sessions and yesterday, we began reading blog posts that I post on my Tumblr (only original content). She read the first entry I copied into a Word file and we began discussing the content of it. She asked what really got me started at Howard Brown and I mentioned my school therapist saying that a year of therapy was required before I could begin hormone treatment (which is generally the standard). That’s when she said “Your therapist was wrong”. 

In general, there are some organizations that advise a year of therapy before being able to get on hormones. However, Howard Brown takes the approach of Informed Consent, where if the person is 18 and older, they can consent to begin hormones after a physical, blood work and a few appointments to evaluate whether the person is able to give informed consent to begin hormone treatment. 

This truly made my day and I don’t think i truly realized until then just how much hinged on my getting hormones. I instantly felt that there was something tangible to work for, whereas a year of therapy felt like forever and a day. I feel like working out more now, getting myself in shape, doing well in classes (not that I’m doing horrendous) and just looking forward to my future. A part of me is slightly nervous at what happens when I’m done transitioning (far in the future), but I’ll post on that later. As ideal as it would be for me to begin hormones as soon as possible, I’m actually going to keep seeing my therapist and just working within myself to truly see if this is something I need and not something I think I need because I don’t fit social norms. (I’ll post something on my experience with dysphoria a little later). 

With that said, I texted my mom about what was discovered because I’m too much of a pussy to actually tell her face to face. She asked if that’s what I truly wanted and I explained that I was almost 99% sure. I feel like she will support me, but it’ll upset her..Which is normal. I hate having to do this and I honestly think I’ll move out shortly after starting hormones as I know it’ll bring some type of tension between me and my immediate family. But again, that’s not something that’s in my immediate future so I’ll try to focus on finishing this semester before stressing about this. 

I told someone I’m close to about this news and he was just curious as to when/if I’d told my parents and when I would start, then we just chatted. He’s pretty supportive and someone I go to when i wish to talk about my LGBT issues as he is a member of the LGBT community also. However, I then posed the question of my transitioning to my best friend. I expected to not transition until he was in college (he’s a senior in high school), but with this new information, it’s more likely than not that I’ll start before then. We ride the train together to get to school, thus the reason I asked him. He tried to act nonchalant about it, saying it was my life, not his, but I sensed not necessarily hesitation, but awkwardness on his part. i voiced it and he said that it’s not his life so he has no say so or feelings. I know how he feels about this whole thing (He believes God created us the way we were for a reason and we shouldn’t change that) and I just asked him if he would still be able to be friends with me. He said he wouldn’t stop talking to me, but in the back of my mind, I know that we’ll probably fall off when I start transitioning. 

Honestly, he’s like my only close friend. My other best friend’s at college out of state and we haven’t talked for months and he’s the only one I talk to on an almost daily basis. The thought of us becoming strangers hurts, but at this point in my life, I can’t afford to let anyone drag me down or allow myself to drag anyone else down. Life is about living and enjoying what time we have here and if that means having to walk alone for some time, that’s what I’ll do. I already get a slightly judgmental feel from him when it comes to academics and if this is compounded by strong discomfort toward my transition, I would rather us part ways. He’ll be successful and I’d hope we’d encounter each other somehow in the future. 

At this point, i feel not many people take me seriously about this and when I start to transition and they see it’s real, I’ll have to let many go. I’m already in the state of mind to just…live and let go. It’s not worth my stress and sadness to keep people who don’t love me unconditionally around.