Transition Update 2021

Folks I've never met in person send me messages asking me personal questions about my life and more specifically about my "transition."  I believe they do this because they themselves are either considering transitioning or they hope, wish and pray that one day they will wake up in the body of the opposite sex.  In other words, chances are they are unhappy about their life circumstances and may be considering making a change.  So, it is in this light that I will share with you answers to some of the questions you may have regarding my "transition."

When did you start your transition? 
- I guess you can say I’ve been transitioning my whole life. It wasn’t until 2017 at age 37 that I decided to take steps to present more feminine in my day-to-day life. 

What steps have you taken to transition? 
 - I have grown my natural hair, pierced my ears, gotten electrolysis treatments to remove my facial hair, and started taking hormones. 

What has been the biggest challenge? 
- I think the biggest challenge has been trusting myself to know that showing my full self-expression is enough in the world, even if it means feeling very vulnerable at times . 

What do you like the most about transitioning? 
- What I like the most about transitioning is the human connections I have been able to make on a deeper and authentic level, and how much more comfortable I feel in my own skin expressing the full range of emotions free from what society may expect of me. 

What do you dislike the most about transitioning? 
- What I dislike most about transitioning is how biological men perceive and address me in public and online. Some men may think that I ought to be flattered to be "hit-on" on a daily basis but it gets to be a bit creepy.  We'll see how that changes as I get old.

How do people treat you now? 
- I have been fortunate enough that folks treat me, for the most part, with respect.  Some folks have even asked what pronouns I prefer. Clearly a sign of the times. Also, I think it helps that I don't go around telling people I'm a woman (because I'm "not")

When did you start HRT? 
- September 19, 2018 

When did you start growing out your hair? 
- January 2017 

How have hormones affected you? 
- I have to say that I believe hormones are NOT a miracle drug. They won’t instantly turn you into the sex you desire to be. That being said, I feel hormones have opened me to be a fuller expression of myself. I used to receive information on a more intellectual level, but since taking hormones I receive information on a more "emotional" level. I guess you can say they have made me more human. I am grateful for that as challenging as it can be at times.  

Are you now full-time? 
- I am full-time myself. I don’t think of myself as a woman. I think of myself as an emotional creature who tends to have more of a “feminine expression” and I share that expression every day.  

Have you lost friends, family, and/or employment because of your transition? 
- I don’t think that I have lost friends, family and I have definitely not lost employment because of my transition. My interpersonal relationships have changed though. I am more cognizant of my boundaries. I now have a better understanding, emotionally speaking, of what doesn’t feel right and what I am not willing to tolerate any more from people’s reactions towards me. Setting boundaries with my friends, family, and employment has been a conscious effort on my part. It has caused some tension but for the most part has been smooth.  I didn't realize before taking hormones how much people who say that they love me tell me what to say, what not to say, how to behave and sometimes they even create alternate narratives and even gaslight.  I've had to put my foot down on several occasions.  

Are you happier now that you have transitioned? 
- I am 100% happy with my transition so far.  It’s a hard thing to describe. I still know that I am the person that I used to be, yet I’m not. It feels like I’ve gained more than I have lost. Do I have days where I hate the world? Of course, I still have my bad days like anyone else.

Do you ever question why you felt the need to transition? 
- Sometimes. But for the most part I feel like I was born into a gender binary that never worked for me. This idea that men should be one way and women should be another never really resonated with me. It just felt limiting and sexist frankly.  I didn’t want to live in that world anymore. So I believe that if you want to change the world you must start with changing how you show up in the world.  Also, on a biological level, I'm fascinated by the psychological effects hormones have had on me.  Makes me question if my hormone levels were out of wack prior to starting hormone treatment.  

Do you feel you have betrayed your gender? 
- Absolutely not. I still have masculine traits that I embrace. I feel way freer in my current state than I ever felt playing along with the established gender roles.  Listen, I didn't come up with this ridiculous notion that men ought to be masculine and women ought to be feminine, I never voted for that archaic mentality to be the norm.  If you want to limit people's self-expression base on the genitals they were born with then you have the right to be as sexist as you want to be.   I rather not be that way.

How does it feel like looking back at the previous version of yourself? 
- Looking back at the previous version of myself feels weird. I know that we all change as we get older, but I never expected this feeling.  If anything, there are times when I look back to when I was a young man in my early 20s and think "how did I not die during those years?"  I feel so lucky to have made it to my 40s. 

Do you have any regrets? 
- No, I don’t have any regrets, not when it comes to my "transition." 

Do you still struggle with your gender identity? 
- I don’t think I struggle with my gender identity like I used to when I was younger. I think I’ve come to a place where I understand the sexist couture and society I am a part of. I do have days though where I have to prepare myself mentally before heading out in public.  I know that my presence in public can be one where I can either educate folks about the diversity there is in this world or I can be a bitch about it.  I try to choose the former...most days. 

Will you be getting SRS or other surgeries? 
- I'm not currently planning on getting bottom surgery.  
As for other surgeries, although I'm not planning on getting facial feminization surgery I am pondering how to find the time and finance to get it done.  However, it's not on the top of my priority list.

Does your "transition" mean your drag persona Amnesia Sparkles won't surface ever again? 
- I’ve always thought of Amnesia as a state of mind. A messenger with a particular voice that I trust to deliver a certain message. Even though she served her purpose, I plan on keeping my public and stage persona Amnesia Sparkles alive in some way, shape or form.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to transition? 
- My advice if you want to transition is to take your time. There is no rush. When you alter your appearance, it may conflict with other people’s reality. Allow them to get used to the “new” you.

Answers to the following questions:  

Which restroom do you use? 
What pronoun do you prefer? 
Have your breasts grown? 
Are you planning on getting implants? 
How do the hormones affect your libido? 
Do you date straight guys? 
What is your type? 
How often do you get electrolysis? How many more treatments do you need?  

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