When to Start Body-Feminizing Hormones

On a forum, someone asked a question about the pros and cons of starting body-feminizing hormones before vs. after publicly coming out as a trans girl. Here’s what I replied … and some additional thoughts.

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I started on hormones maybe two or three years in, and I’m glad. The amount of Spironolactone I was on eventually ended up affecting my mental well-being because my blood electrolysis was way off before the routine lab tests caught that. Meanwhile I was putting on more weight than I wanted to, and I was feeling glum and non-sexy. I made some pretty bad decisions while in this mode. At the time I was looking fairly good, I’m told, even though mentally I felt bad. Normally I’m brave, energized, logical and highly sexual, so feeling mentally fragile, asexual and lacking energy … that was a starkly new unpleasant experience for me.

In retrospect, I’m glad it happened because I ended up with a lot more empathy with girls whose bad day begins even before, if ever, she gets out of bed, due to her mental state being “I feel icky.” Ironically by now I understand the mindset so well that someone new, lovely and wonderful ended up becoming a delightful romantic partner after I won the debate about whether or not she was at her core, unlovable due to her unusual brain — ironic since she is sweet, thoughtful, kind and giving. To some extent, I could relate to how she felt bad. I could accept her, and comfort her — and we could talk about how she felt in a way that ended up being a catalyst for her making several changes in her life, as a result of which she ended up much happier and healthier.

So, there was much silver lining to this cloud, but a huge and dark cloud it nevertheless was. Had I also looked awkwardly masculine at the time, it would have been much harder for me, I’m sure.

The Phrase “Genetically Integrated Girls” in 2017

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In this blog, in 2012, I discussed this phrase and why I coined it. I consider it to be a more-descriptive synonym of “cisgirls.”  But, two relevant events occurred within the last 24 hours so I figured I might as well update my blog as to this subject.

I’m basically shy so before I go to a party, I have to really get into the mindset for being optimized as to that sort of interaction. Once I do so, I tend to do well. By conscious design, I’m never the life of the party, but I try to be the sort of guest who would be likely to be re-invited. Also, I make a point of enjoying the event, mostly by finding and connecting intellectually with someone like-minded, ideally another cerebral shy girl.

As so often happens, there’s some initial frivolity and then the sun sets, the children go to bed, some of the people leave and whoever remains sits in a circle and discusses serious things that tie into their common values. The primal equivalent of this type of event probably had a crackling fire in the middle of the circle of people who were sitting down.  The event last night was more modern, but the feel was the same. This “serious conversation” mode is the part I value most.

The subject of sexual attraction and gender came up. This wasn’t completely surprising since this particular party was at the home of an exceptionally open-minded friend of mine, and the people sitting in the circle included two trans girls, including myself.

One of the gentlemen present was a little perplexed as to the delineation between gender and sexual attraction, and a generally enlightening and very positive conversation ensued. Even so, I noticed how he initially had seemed especially confused by the term “cis” as in “cisgirl.”  I suspect that if the term had been “genetically integrated girl” then it might have been less confusing.

Then, this morning, one of my other friends inquired via email as to how I’m doing. He’s a part-time rabbi in the sense that when the official rabbi isn’t available, then my friend temporarily officiates. One of the cerebral shy girls on whom I’m focusing my energy happens to be Jewish, and I’d mentioned that particular news item to him long ago, so he sometimes inquires about her. Today he asked me whether she was born female or trans.

That got me thinking. I don’t consider those two concepts to be mutually exclusive. So, the email conversation got more analytical, and in trying to explain how I understood things, I mentioned the phrase “genetically integrated girl,” for which he asked a definition. I love how precisely my friend thinks.

My reply is below. I then asked him if my reasoning made sense to him, and I gather it did.  So, that’s good.

* * *

As to “genetically integrated” — as I understand things, when a fetus is developing there is very little difference between typical boys and girls, with the two differences being:
1. the brain structure
2. the plumbing and reproductive organs
Normally, these match (both male, or both female) but not always. In my case, they didn’t. I was born with a female brain structure and male plumbing and male reproductive organs.
What does that make me? Which one is the more fundamental, and logically should be used to classify my gender?  The brain structure.  It’s where thought, values, emotions, judgement, personality and character reside.  It’s the basis of someone’s identity.  You could remove someone plumbing and reproductive organs and he or she would still basically be who they were before — but remove the brain and not just is the person’s personality and character gone, but the person is also immediately dead. My point is, the brain is vastly more important.

Too often, the brain structure is downplayed in conversations about the trans girl paradigm. Some conservatives completely dismiss it from consideration. They are strictly focused on the plumbing and reproductive organs as to classifying someone as male or female.  I consider their approach to be logically flawed since the brain is so important a factor.

Some people refer to trans girls as having been born a boy.  I’m aware of no scientific basis for concluding that girls like me were born with a male brain structure that then flipped to female.  So, everything I was born with, I still have, and so I’m no more or less boy or girl than when I was born. That includes having a female brain structure. That’s why I consider the “trans girls were born a boy” premise to be logically flawed, too.

Some people refer to trans girls as being biologically boys.  I think like a girl because of my female brain structure, and that is no less biological than my plumbing or my reproductive organs. My female-structured brain is what makes me a girl, and it is part of my biology. That’s why I consider the “trans girls are biologically boys” premise to be logically flawed, too.

My take on it is that, as to the born-with-it parts that can be male or female, i.e.,

1. the brain structure
2. the plumbing and reproductive organs

… as to gender, these either match or they don’t.
  • When they don’t match, the person is called “trans” and I’m fine with that terminology.
  • When they do match, the person is called “cisgender” though I consider the synonym “genetically integrated” to be more descriptive.

 

 

Me, Writing To The Nevada Legislature

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A friend of mine is a kick-ass trans girl who has asked me to write a letter in favor of an upcoming Bill that will ban so-called “conversion therapy” — which, when you strip away the thin layer of patronizing sugar-coating in the name of the relevant deity, essentially consists of pressuring trans people to pretend we’re not trans people. So, yes, I have a problem with so-called “conversion therapy.” My friend gave me some more reason to dislike it:

“SB 201 goes to Assembly Committee on Wednesday, April 19th

This bill intends to eliminate Conversion Therapy from being performed on LGBTQ children in Nevada. The bill has been slightly modified since the last committee hearing, simplifying some of the language, and clarifying who is banned from engaging in this practice.

We need your help in submitting your stories and/or support of this bill. Remember Leelah Alcorn, Leelah wrote that when she told her mom about being transgender, her mother “reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes.” Leelah wrote that she was subsequently taken to Christian therapists, who reinforced the notion that being transgender was “wrong.” In an interview with CNN, Leelah’s parents claim they were loving parents, and that they just wanted to do the best for their child. Her mother Carla said that she took Leelah, who she referred to as Josh, to a psychiatrist, who prescribed medication, and that her child was depressed but only talked to her once about being transgender.

Unable to endure the effects of social isolation and the stress of conversion therapy, Leelah stepped in front of a Semi-Truck on an interstate highway, on December 28, 2015. Conversion therapy is unconscionable. It should rightfully be called what it is: child abuse. It is banned in California, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., and legislation is pending in other states. It should be illegal in all states, and those who break the law should be locked up.”

* * *

I’m now sufficiently motivated, so here’s my letter:

April 15th, 2017

From: Tanya Charbury
Fallon, NV 89406

To: The Honorable Michael Sprinkle, Chair
Assembly Health and Human Services Committee
Nevada Assembly
401 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701

Dear Chairman Sprinkle:

I’ve lived in Nevada since the 1990s. I happen to be one of your trans girl constituents so I’m writing to provide some intellectual ammunition in favor of SB 201, currently under debate, on the subject of so-called “conversion therapy” so that this irrational activity might be declared illegal once and for all.

You have probably received many letters describing the negative effects on trans people who are subjected to this sort of abuse, but my approach is different.

I’m a free-market girl but even so I recognize that there are a great many consumer protection laws, and I can understand why these have been passed. If a restaurant kept selling food that poisons its customers, or a shoe store kept selling shoes that mangle the feet of its customers, there’s a problem. Similarly, since so-called “conversion therapy” causes significant and demonstrable harm, there’s similarly a problem – yet worse since depression and suicide are far more severe than throwing up, having the runs or having mangled feet. On the basis of consistency to that principle alone, under consumer protection laws, so-called “conversion therapy” should be made illegal.

However, there’s a more fundamental-yet problem with it, and a stronger argument yet, for making it illegal. Its basic premise has been scientifically invalidated. Autopsies have shown that trans girls have the essential brain structure of a genetically integrated girl. In other words, while they were alive, trans girls thought and felt and lived as girls because as per their brain structure, they WERE girls — is what the autopsies showed. Having a female brain structure is not a defect requiring fixing by so-called “conversion therapy.” It’s simply a biological mutation, and no amount of bullying or intimidation can undo that, nor should it try. You might as well start bullying people who are born unusually tall with “slouch therapy” and consider that legitimate.

Imagine that, for example, your mother were subjected to so-called “conversion therapy” on the notion that she should think and behave like a man, and this would be a way to get her to do so. It’d be fundamentally silly since she is a woman and should simply be left in peace to live her life as the women she is. I emphasize: having a female brain structure is not a defect.

Similarly, trans women are women. Most of us grew up with a regrettable abundance of testosterone, so most of us do not look or sound as feminine as if we’d gone through puberty on estrogen, but our brain structure is nevertheless female. That’s what makes us female – our brain structure, not our imagination or delusions, which is the basic (and fundamentally flawed) premise of so-called “conversion therapy.”

Many trans girls initially tried to fit into guy culture during our most formative decades, because as children we were told we were male, so we learned male mannerisms. For that reason, we might not move as gracefully as most genetically integrated girls do, but yet again that doesn’t detract from the point that our brain structure is fundamentally female.

When judging the gender of a barnyard animal, it’s probably fine to turn it upside down, look at its plumbing and decide. For humans, that’s a flawed approach because by now it’s a matter of scientifically proven fact that some humans are born with “outie” plumbing yet a female brain structure.

What most fundamentally defines the essence of a human? The ability to write one’s name in the snow, or one’s brain: the center of thought, speech, decision, emotion, personality, character? So if someone has, like I do, a female brain structure, isn’t she fundamentally female? Isn’t her shape “down there” immaterial, in light of the scientific evidence, interpreted in the context of common sense?

Sending a trans girl to so-called “conversion therapy” will do about as much good as sending a genetically integrated woman there. However, it can do much harm. A genetically integrated woman, presented with the notion that so-called “conversion therapy” will make her think like a man, would immediate dismiss the notion as the nonsense it is.

However, trans girls tend to be more fragile. We have typically been bullied and pressured for decades on this subject, so it is a sore point for us. For some of us, so-called “conversion therapy” might just be the last straw, especially when we’re young. So even though so-called “conversion therapy” is nonsense, it’s harmful nonsense.

So, that’s my second basis for objection to so-called “conversion therapy”. It is a fundamentally nonsensical approach. It’d be like someone claiming to serve hygienic restaurant food that consists of raw sewage, or someone who claims they can get one’s feet to be comfortable and healthy by forcing them into shoes three sizes too small. There’s simply no logical way it could ever work. It can, and does, however, do harm. The examples of the restaurant and the shoes seem silly today; no reasonable person would tolerate that for one instant. Perhaps, with your help, in the future we’ll be able to look back at so-called “conversion therapy” and classify it similarly.

The existence of trans girls is a matter of biological fact. Even so, I understand only too well that the existence of trans girls does make some people uncomfortable. By typical standards, some of us are a peculiar mix to behold in a social setting. I’m an example of that. By typical-girl standards, I’m too tall, I have a jaw line too much like Rambo and my voice is too deep. In decades past, trans girls have too often hidden that we’re trans even if that meant living a lie, and hiding our true nature as a shameful secret. However, it’s not reasonable that trans people should hide the fact that we’re trans just because someone else doesn’t like seeing trans people around. You might as well expect white people in downtown Oakland to smear on blackface grease because some black people don’t like to see white faces. It’s not reasonable. However we’re born, that’s the hand we were dealt. We get to play it as best we can, and so-called “conversion therapy” weighs in on the side that trans people should hide who we are, for example: trans girls should pretend to be men. Such a notion is unreasonable, harmful and fundamentally flawed.

I’ve focused on trans girls, but as I understand the issues, the same principles apply to trans men, too, with the genders simply being inverted. Due to their brain structure, trans men are simply guys, albeit guys who can’t write their names in the snow.

Sincerely,

Tanya Charbury

Art as Inspiration

A few years ago, I felt supremely awkward as to functioning socially. I already knew that I am a cerebral shy person with all of the social challenges that this implied, plus then I found out that I’m a trans girl too. It was good news to me that I wasn’t crazy and that there was a simple, genetic-mutation explanation for all the girlish feelings and thoughts I’ve had all my life, but the challenge of living as a girl openly was very intimidating.

To figure out what to do, and to keep going, I read a lot and looked at many websites, including those with art. I love the work of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, but the painting that most spoke to me was one of the trans girl paintings by the very talented Russian artist Dmitrys.

I haven’t been able to afford much facial surgery, obviously, but what little I had done was preceded by me emailing to the surgeon a picture of the main painting on the Dmitrys website. It’s of a lean, muscular, confident girl standing sexily and radiating femininity while wearing a combination of black boots with purple laces, and a combination of blue tights and torn blue-jeans, and a black t-shirt. Her hair is blonde in a feminine style, and she had the tips of her hair dyed pink. I love that picture. I’d love to show it here in full but it’d violate copyright and also get my blog reclassified as R-rated. So here’s a cropped version such as I’d sent to the surgeon:

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If you’re 18 or older then feel free to go look at the DmitrysFuta dot com website. I love his work, but it’s not for everyone. Be advised it’s intensely sexy and sexual imagery.

Thanks to hormones and careful eating, I’ve gradually been changing my shape to be more and more feminine and more slender, yet still muscular. My hair is (still) blonde though I’ve had it lightened to the same shade it was when I was 2 years old (with a lock of hair from way back when, to prove it).  My hair also has a feminine style.

Yesterday, I realized that I still have some pink hair paint left over from Halloween so just for fun, I painted the tips of my hair pink. It’s still like that today. Today, I was planning to work on removing the automatic transmission from an Audi A6 Quattro — and so, big, heavy metal parts or the entire 300 pound transmission could possibly have fallen on, and crushed, my feet, so I wore my steel-toed black work boots that I’ve adorned with sparkly pink laces so that they look nice.  I like to wear black t-shirts for heavy-duty automotive work: they’re hard to stain black with grease because, well, they’re already black. It was also chilly today so I wore tights.  I have various sets, and today’s set happens to be a style that simulates torn blue denim jeans.

It was a busy day. Several hours of work on the car and car parts (profession A) were followed by several hours of work making custom database software (profession B) .

Then, within the last hour, I realized that I must today look more like that painting than I ever have.  So I looked, and indeed it was so. That inspired a quick, fun, impromptu photo session. I’m posting one of the pictures here.

My progress felt so gradual I hardly noticed, and yet viewed across the span of years, it’s been dramatic. It’s very much not just about the aesthetics. I have learned so much, including how mutually supportive girls of all types, shapes, colors, ages and sizes tend to be for each other. I’ve always been a girl but I didn’t look like one.  So now that I basically look like one and show it, it’s all come together.

I feel confident and comfortable in my own skin, so to speak, and it’s a wonderful feeling.  My work is thriving as a result, too. I’m happier and vastly more productive even though my stress level is super-low.

Perhaps most importantly, I’m radiantly healthy nowadays whereas a few short years ago I was well one my way to an early grave — and didn’t much care.

I used to focus on cerebral things while neglecting my health and looks.  Nowadays, I take a much more balanced approach. I still like understanding things deeply: complex software, complex cars, complex computers, complex ideas and the most complex entity of all: complex girls  —  whether as friends or more. However, my focus on my mind does no longer mean that my body is being neglected.

So,  nowadays, life is good.

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Supercharged Femininity in Trans Girls

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I’ve just advised a nice (and genetically integrated) lady on a forum. She found out that her boyfriend is secretly fascinated by trans girl porn and now she’s concerned that he’s gay.

Really, they should be talking to each other instead, and maybe he’s “bi” not gay, and there are many other things one can say that might be helpful.

However, the main issue to her is: if a guy is fascinated by trans girls, then does that provide insight into his sexuality so that she (and whomever else) can conclude he’s actually attracted to guys to some extent, sexually?

Superficially, the answer is “of course” because what makes a trans girl a trans girl (as opposed to a genetically integrated girl) is her ability to write her name in the snow. Certainly that’s a useful skill to have. But also, what makes a trans girl a trans girl (as opposed to a guy) is her brain. Isn’t that by far the organ that overwhelmingly most defines who and what a person is? To many people, “outie” as opposed to “innie” plumbing is the defining characteristic of being male. For barnyard animals, that’s probably a good standard. However, since scientists have shown that it’s a matter of hard, validated fact that some humans are born with “outie” plumbing yet female brain structure, so we would be prudent to consider the brain the more fundamentally defining organ since that’s what most makes someone who he or she is.

When I was trying to figure myself out, I saw a really wonderful counselor. Very quickly, she’d helped me reach the point where I could objectively conclude that, wow, indeed, I’m a girl brain-wise. Even so, I wanted to be super-extra-sure so I insisted on more yet, so I did the Stanford BEM gender brain test, whose test results showed that I wasn’t just female but in the 85th percentile, as in: if you put me in a line-up with 19 other girls arranged left to right from least to most feminine, brain-wise, then I’d be third from the right.

Was that a nice bonus for me? No. I should not have been surprised. A trans girl, I am brain-wise so intensely female that I overcame all the “you’re a guy” messages from my parents, my friends, and the square-jawline image in the mirror. In spite of all that, I knew who I was. It just took me a long time to stop denying and evading it. My femininity rose as an unsuppressable force.

For that reason, I consider myself and many of the trans girls I’ve met as hyperfeminine. Our feminity is so strong that we overcame the barrage of opposition we’ve faced on the subject of what gender we are. From our most sensitive years, the most influential people in our lives sent us “you’re a guy” messages and even so we managed to finally rise about that.

In addition, we have typically been immersed in guy culture so that’s all we know, and our bodies are awash in testosterone – and even so, our feminity is so strong that it overcame all of that. We overcame violence, ridicule and risk of ostracism — bottom line, we overcame.

If she’s like me, then by the time a trans girl comes out, she’s typically feeling inadequate and inferior. She tries to compensate by outwardly also being hyperfeminine in how she dresses, what make-up she wears, how she moves, etc. For example, it’s 6 a.m. and I’ve just had to move my car from one parking spot to another, and yet here I sit dressed in sexy 4” heels, a tight-fitting pink top that shows off my boobs, and a cute short skirt. I wore that for the maybe 3 minutes I was outside. Did I hope anyone would see that? No. I would prefer nobody did since I’d rather not raise eyebrows so close to where I live. I dressed this way for myself, to celebrate my femininity.

As to why guys are fascinated by trans girls, here is my opinion after growing up in guy culture: Many guys are intrigued in secret by male-shaped plumbing and anal sensuality. If that makes a guy gay then pretty much every guy on the planet is gay so that’s not a good standard.  Let’s dig deeper.

For a guy to be fascinated by these body parts is culturally generally considered a no-no so the guy feels guilty. As a result, we have the necessary raw ingredients for this becoming an obsession. That does not automatically mean that the man is “bi” or gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with him being so, were that the case, but liking trans girls is NOT a way of so deciding.

Trans girls are not male. We’re hyperfeminine at our core. Even so, many guys who date trans girls are ashamed of us and hide us from their friends and family for fear of being branded as a gay guy. It’s all really ironic.

While trying to understand myself, I initially thought that I might be a gay guy so I went to gay male sex clubs to try to figure myself out. I observed that the sexuality between two men is so peculiar that it was completely alien to me. I could not relate at all. Then again, I’ve been in bed with another trans girl and even though we both had “outie” as opposed to “innie” plumbing, the dynamic was 100% feminine. I was simply a girl in bed with a girl.

If a guy were gay then he would have been looking at guy porn, not trans girl porn. Hairy backs and male-shaped bodies would have been his turn-ons, not the smooth skin and feminine shapes of the trans girls in porn.