I bet you know the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Have I ever experienced that by transitioning!
Having always longed to be female, I thought I felt like a female. Certainly, I was less masculine than many men, but I was far from feminine.
Soon after beginning hormone replacement therapy (HRT), I felt physical changes. The raging conflict in my brain began to ease. Because I stopped and restarted HRT so many times, trying so hard not to transition, and my hormone levels greatly fluctuated, I did not find lasting peace until this past spring.
When I began going out in public as Gina, it was more that Greg was seeking to be Gina than Gina was being Gina. That sense passed pretty quickly last year. It was a key thing in gaining confidence that transitioning was proper treatment for me, that the desire I had to go out into the world as a female and be seen as one was not a whimsical dream.
Changing my name this past May 2 almost took me down, as I admitted at the time. It was, I believe, the final, huge hurdle for me and, as with every big step in transitioning, I subconsciously fought it. After the court approved my name change and then I got my driver’s license updated, I finally allowed myself to enjoy this.
That has been a hard thing for me because of how I had sensed so many were viewing my transitioning. If I were display too much that I am enjoying being a woman, I feared that I would be viewed as doing this for the fun of it. Since I asserted that my transitioning was the same as any person who makes use of modern medicine to treat a serious condition, then this had to be serious business.
As I have written and made videos, I have not kept all of the joy out of it, but it is true that I have downplayed that aspect, keeping more to educating than to talking about the cute shoes I just bought or how good it feels to make myself pretty.
As my sense of being Gina deepens, Greg is lessening.
I noticed this on a Sunday in August. Julie and I were in church, in the spot where we’ve sat each week. It was a Communion Sunday, so we would be sharing the peace greeting with those immediately around us. As the offering was being taken, I was pondering the peace greeting. This was the fifth month we had attended at Cornerstone, and outside of a couple of people looking at me a tad too long, every experience had been a good one, from shaking hands with greeters, to good mornings with ushers, to making small talk with those sitting next to us, to the nifty time the lady complimented me on my singing voice.
So, I was thinking, “Will this peace greeting go smoothly too, or will someone finally look at me funny when they turn to me and catch what I look like or hear my too-male voice?” There were a few older folks near us, a younger woman, and a young couple immediately behind us. I was considering them when it happened. When it FINALLY happened.
I pictured myself as Gina; as a woman sitting in church.
I lived as a male for fifty-eight years. The face I saw, the short hair, was etched in my mind. Despite that I’ve been growing my hair out for nearing two years (my last guy haircut was 10/2/14), despite how I got these chick glasses a year ago, despite how I’ve been seeing this way-more-female-looking person in the mirror for months, the person I automatically see in my mind has lagged behind.
No more. In my mind I now see myself as the woman whom I feel.
The physical changes continue. My estrogen and testosterone have stubbornly fluctuated, but of late have been where they should be. I am directly affected when estrogen is too low or testosterone is too high. I never return to gender dysphoria, but I do experience things that I don’t want.
Emotionally, the lows—which accompanied the many internal struggles and the delicate dealings with many people—have been virtually non-existent since Name Change Day. I cannot recall the last meltdown I had. I believe it was right before Name Change Day.
The other important change has been when I am jogging, mowing, and gardening. I often have felt like my old self when doing strenuous physical activity. I continue to have moments, but they are way less. Even better, when I do I no longer wish I could figure out how to capture those feelings and resume living as a male. Indeed, I am so content that thoughts of trying to be a male no longer ever enter my mind.
A very odd experience is that I view my former life as if looking at photo albums and home movies of another person, but I see everyone who has been in my life—my kids, former church members, friends—exactly the same as always. For example, I am Julie’s husband, and I feel like my kids’ dad. When, on Facebook, I interact with former church members, my affection is the same as when I was their pastor.
The highest hurdle for me in transitioning was me. Allowing myself to transition. Letting myself enjoy being the female I’ve always longed to be. And now letting me fully show that to the world.
You don’t what you don’t know, and I never knew I would feel as deeply female as I now do. And it is wonderful.
Will this sense deepen more? I don’t know, but I almost expect it to. I have some serious surgeries in my future, as soon as this autumn, which will conform my body more greatly to that of a female. I fully expect the surgeries to have a formidable impact on how I feel.
At last, I am enjoying this transition. I love being a woman! That my self-hatred over being a male is finally gone is no less miraculous to me, because of how impossible it seemed, than when the Lord made the blind to see and the lame to walk.
I rejoice in His gift of earthly healing so that I can enjoy my life, even as I never lose sight of the larger goal, the eternal healing He has provided with His cleansing blood, that I might walk with trust in Christ and to glorify Him as I have my eyes on His gift of Paradise.