Since coming out as a trans girl, my life has been more weird and wonderful than I could ever have imagined — and I have a pretty darn vivid imagination.
I’ll begin this article by describing how miserable my life used to be, health-wise.
I had cataract surgery several years ago. Many people get that in their 70s or beyond. A friend of mine is 79 years old, and her eye doctor keeps telling her “you’re fine; maybe in a few years time you might need cataract surgery; but for now, honestly, you just don’t need it yet.” Good for her.
Using that as a basis for comparison, you might conclude that I must be in my 80s or beyond. There’s some truth to that. When anyone informally ask my age then I like to answer that, where it counts (cynicism), I’m more than 1,000 years old.
However, there is a condition called “young person’s cataracts.” I was born with that. Maybe I should take it as a compliment that for me, this condition required surgery only a few years ago. When my software business was doing well, I cheerfully funded eye surgery for two of my older friends, but ironically, when it came time for me to have the surgery, I was broke. I kept postponing the surgery. Eventually, it became pretty darn bad. My mom finally lent me the money and said “go,” and for that I’m eternally grateful.
During that time, I was a not-yet-out trans girl. I was overweight by more than 30 pounds, my blood pressure and cholesterol counts were abysmal, I had a bulging apple-shaped tummy, and I’d hurt my back, so I had to limit what I did. Plus, I was having trouble seeing. All in all that made for a very sad person. I felt decrepit.
Even so, then and now, I like girls, and I befriended a tall, blonde girl who, then and now, is in her 20s and is drop-dead gorgeous by my standards. Not just does she have a model’s facial features, but her physique is also lovely, and her shoulder-length, straight, shiny blonde hair only helped the situation along. On top of that, she was, and is, a really nice person. She wasn’t exactly shy and when she came to visit me for a few days, her dress code didn’t leave much to the imagination. She was, and is, simply lovely. I considered it almost superfluous to say so, since at the time I considered this to be so self-evident, but to my credit I said so anyway.
I was surprised by how strongly she disagreed with me. She was convinced that she was unattractively overweight. Wait, what?!
We discussed it. She pinched some of her midriff, as proof. I struggled with how to respond. Fine, yes, I conceded, she could lose maybe five or ten pounds and still look gorgeous, but she could also gain that much or more, and also still look gorgeous. To my amazement, she strongly disagreed. We finally agreed to disagree and simply enjoyed each others’ company. We are still friends, even now — though it’s a long-distance friendship.
I would think of her fondly every now and then, and I’d also think wistfully that if I’d grown up as a genetically integrated girl, I would have hoped to look like her. It seemed so futile a thought.
Finally, with much help from some extra-wonderful people in my life, I realized that I’m a trans girl, and I came out as such. Slowly but surely, this inspired me to want to still be around. I became more and more healthy. I started to look better and better.
As to my natural hair color, nowadays it’s relatively dark, but when when I was two years old, my hair happened to be the same color as my friend’s hair was, and is. So nowadays I have it colored to look like I used to look. Gradually, it grew longer. Eventually, it was as long as hers is. I like the straight-hair look on me, so I have my hair straightened, and one day I idly noticed that, wow, my hair looks a lot like hers does.
By not being glum all the time, and by losing a few pounds, and having some affordable corrective surgical procedures performed on me, my face looks OK to me now. I’m never going to win a Miss Nevada contest, but at least it’s not a saddening experience for me any more, to look in the mirror. (It very much used to be).
As to my physique, I started eating better and exercising more, and I took care of my body. Plus, I went on corrective hormones.
One day, a year or so ago, it occurred to me that, with supreme irony, I now look like my pretty, tall, blonde friend and I could have been sisters. At the time, I was already giddily happy with my weight and shape.
Then, my weight slowly came down a little more yet. As my belly fat became less, some hint of the underlying muscles appeared. And that’s how I look, today. The above picture wasn’t taken today, but not that long ago either – this past summer.
As to my boobs, they are smaller than in the above picture, because I stuff “outplants” into my bra or bikini top, to enhance the look. My natural size isn’t exactly flat-chested but my boobs are not going to help me win any wet-white- t-shirt competitions. Still, there’s something to be said for the shape I’m in now. I’m satisfied. If it gets better, then: great! … but it doesn’t have to.
With my shape generally under control, I’m working on my posture. Many years of living with a poor self-image made “slouching” my natural posture, and it’s a hard habit to break. Finally, I lost patience with myself. I went to Wal-Mart and bought half a dozen of their long, thin $5 mirrors, and I placed them all over my apartment. So now, I can’t avoid seeing my reflection in the typical places where I stand. I have much opportunity to admonish myself “you’re slouching, straighten up.” I don’t have to see my face in the mirror; it’s about my posture. So most of the mirrors show me only from the neck or shoulders on down. There’s a mirror like that right next to me when I stand at my computer workstation. It helps my posture a lot, since that’s where I spend much of my time.
My friend now and then shares with me pictures of how she looks (and yes, she’s still gorgeous) but today she shared with me a picture of a similar-looking tall, blonde, straight-haired girl … yet slightly more slender. Her reason for doing so was to show the physique that she wanted to have. I stared at that picture. It looked oddly familiar. Then I looked to my right. I compared the physique in the picture to the reflection in the mirror. They were a close match.
… and that is such an ironic event that it inspired today’s article.