Last summer I wrote a series about my first steps in the wider world as a trans woman. To judge by the viewer stats, they were hugely popular posts. Links here:
This all happened in the space of about a month, leaving me far more confident and certain that living visibly as a trans woman was not only possible but was the fulfilment of lifelong dreams. I was very happy. From then on I went out as and when and where I wanted.
It also left me to contemplate the long-term future, and consider the sort of things that most trans women think about: should I live full-time female? should I transition? should I 'come out', and to whom? do I need more involvement in and support from the trans community?
In my concluding post above I mentioned that as the summer and autumn of 2010 progressed I suddenly developed gynecomastia, when breasts grow. This is very common indeed, especially in puberty or in later life when testosterone drops, and is not confirmation of someone being trans. However, I was surprised by it, and the ache in my breasts as they grew was unpleasant. Female friends told me that that is what it's like being a girl at puberty. I did wonder when my breasts would stop growing, what sort of bra size I would need. Despite the pain, I was delighted! As it happened, my breast growth lasted only a few months, so I still feel the need for breast forms.
I also wondered if this was a psychosomatic response to my sudden transformation from closet TGirl to woman about town, or whether in fact the need I had felt to push myself to live my trans life openly was a subconscious response to hormonal changes. There may be no connection between the two events, but I suspect my body and hormones were calling the shots.
We don't know what causes people to be trans. There are a few scientific studies on unhelpfully small samples of trans people that provide some tantalising evidence but no hard conclusions. Genes, hormones, natural environment... it's not culture, that's for sure, and certainly not any kind of lifestyle or other social choice. Given the vast cultural, social, class, wealth, family and other differences between one trans person and the next, as I can see in the extraordinary social mix of trans people I have met that I would never normally have encountered in the course of my life, I suspect that there is a biological basis to it; otherwise you would have expected to find transness in a particular demographic only, rather than its cutting across all social, economic and geographic boundaries. Given several other less than masculine features of my body, I have always wanted to find out.
This left me feeling that maybe transition was inevitable. But I am a cautious person and try not to jump into things whatever my hormones might be demanding or my desires or enthusiasms might be. My visits to the gender clinic are the subject of the next post in this series.
LGBT History Month
Among various things happening this month, trans novelist Roz White has been reading from her books. Here's a link to her YouTube channel:
A dip in the archives
I have recently been corresponding with my friend Petra who reminded me of lunch at Melanie's restaurant in London when KD and her wife came to stay. You can read all about it here:
Cari lettori italiani
Oggi parlo di come ho continuato il mio sviluppo. Comincio a scrivere una serie sulla vita che ho fatto prima di creare questo blog. Oggi, la ginecomastia e altre caratteristiche fisiche che ho che mi hanno fatto considerare come vivere, se andare dal dottore e come affrontare una vita più pubblica.