Year One, Complete!

CW: Surgical Stuff

This post is a couple days late but…. I made it through my first Year since I came out as a Trans Woman! It’s been a hell of an interesting journey and I figured a bit of reflection was in order as well as ruminating a bit on what the second year of transition will entail.

So the big deal initially was coming out a year ago on this blog(which I knew family would read) and Facebook and Instagram where I had been hinting as much for a good while. This became common knowledge where I work and fortunately I had and still have an extremely supportive work environment. This has been a huge factor in building my confidence to move forward with my transition to female. That’s not to say there haven’t been some exceptions but finding the confidence to be out at work and be secure enough to express my identity has spilled over nicely into the rest of my life and dealing with friends, associates, and family members. My friends were the least surprised of anyone when I came out and have been awesome across the board. My family has been really amazing. There have been some very awkward and tense moments but there’s also been some pretty superb comedy and for the most part everyone has been really cool. My Dad was less than thrilled when I came out to him in the form of a letter. Things are pretty tense and I’m doing my best. Coming out to him was a more recent hurdle I had to clear. It was in December, under the advice of my Gender Therapist. It was right around the time I started Hormone Therapy, representing one of the first really major steps I’ve taken in my transition. Also, my big Sister doubled down on her support by asking me to be one of her Bridesmaids so major love to her!

That was a bit of a time jump there, but this post is going to be a bit disjointed so bear with me please. Most of the first year I just slowly accumulated clothing and makeup and went to see my two therapists. The process of transitioning seems to vary greatly by state but I saw a gender therapist for a few sessions and he referred me to the Endocrinologist who prescribes my HRT.

Having a supportive partner has been immeasurably valuable to me and I love Shannon beyond words. When I first began to find myself he made damn sure I knew he would love me no matter what and he has been true to his word. I fully realize how fortunate I am for having him in my life.

So I’m creeping up on three months on HRT. So far I think it’s working pretty well. I’ve already seen a decent amount of softening in my general features and quite a bit of breast development as well. So as you can imagine, I’ve been pretty sore. Totally worth it 😎

I stepped down as the Administrator of the Transgender Metal Group I founded on Facebook. I really like the group, I just wasn’t comfortable with the role I put myself in with where I’m at with my mental issues and my transition and felt that my Moderator and Metal Sister Larissa Glasser was the logical choice of who to hand it over to. I have immense respect for her as a Woman and a Metalhead and am really excited about reading her book ‘F4’ which just arrived in the mail.

So as for future goals…. The legal name change as well as the gender marker are the next things in my crosshairs. I want to do surgery too, eventually. But not getting constantly deadnamed is currently a HIGH priority for me.

As for surgery, I’ve looked into the options and with my health issues I don’t think I could handle a full Vaginoplasty. The aftercare is really intense for one but… Since I have issues with healing and fighting infections I’m pretty sure I’d be happy with a Vulvoplasty without needing to construct a vaginal canal. As long as I looked anatomically accurate externally I really see no reason to put myself through all that dilation and aftercare. It’s mostly that I don’t think bowel complications and the like are worth constructing a vaginal canal I don’t feel I need that could cause a lot of problems with my health issues and the meds I take. Plus recovery time with a Vulvoplasty is usually much quicker.

So, not that anyone asked… But yeah. I want Gender Confirmation Surgery eventually. Hopefully in the next year or two. But the legal name change is currently my top priority.

I’m doing my best and I’m grateful for everyone who’s been looking out for me. In my personal, working and online life I have a small army of people who go to great lengths to build me the Hell up and help me believe in myself.

Thanks so much 💋 It’s been an absolutely amazing year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds🌷

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

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Ms. Lily Jane’s Most Amazing Journey

I just quietly realized as I was sitting on my couch thinking about what to say that…..

I have been transitioning for nearly a full year since I came out in February of 2018. It’s been both immensely satisfying and highly challenging. Today is day 52 on hormone therapy and I’m already seeing a decent amount of softening in the face as well as breast development. In the last year I’ve made some really cool new friends, started a discussion group on Facebook for Transgender Metalheads, and been fairly diligent about keeping up with my usual therapist as well as my gender therapist. Generally speaking it’s been a great last year but not without a few complications and whatnot. I have a great supportive family and group of local friends. My dear online family between facebook and Instagram is pretty extensive and I have a lot of people I chat/text with fairly on the regular. These people are AMAZING. That said… I have become somewhat more isolated in the last year.

Some of this was inevitable. A lot of my friends have kids now or live farther away. We all have work schedules that get in the way too. I have a lot of people who check up on me (or whom I try to look out for as well as I can) but I still find so very much of my life to be a solo mission.

Don’t get me wrong, my darling is amazing. But it has been a rough last several weeks for me with my work life drying up and him being so busy with theatre. Both He and my Job have always done so much to fill that social void. I’ve determined that I need to get myself reinvolved at least with my backstage life. I don’t know when I’ll be comfortable enough to be a performer again but I hope someday that I will because theatre did so much in the past to build my confidence and I really miss all my playhouse people.

I just hope I can be on point and reliable. I’ve got a bit of social anxiety issues I’m grappling with lately and being a Transgender Bipolar Lady with ADHD and Rheumatoid Arthritis… Well…. I feel like I rarely get a break. I’m losing physical strength from the hormones(plus my Boobs hurt like HELL) and I’m trying to find something new to break into for work.

At the very least…. I need to get out more. I didn’t start transitioning so I could become a damned hermit!

So time to get the hell back into the arts. I NEED IT.

Hope you all have a splendid Sunday!

-Lily Jane 🌷

The Chronicles of Lily Jane Part Two

Sometimes it’s so freaking astonishing to me how far I’ve actually come. For many years I was way too terrified to go out in public presenting as female. It’s coming up on Halloween and one year since I finally began to force myself to deal with my inner turmoil. I still struggle with RA and Bipolar Disorder. Sometimes immensely. But ever since I realized that I had been absolutely suffocating my inner self and just let go… Things have been gradually improving. So allow me to bring you up to speed on the latest happenings:

I have one more session with the nice Gender Therapist I’ve been seeing in Pinellas Park and I’ll have a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis letter to take to the Endocrinologist I’m scheduled to see in early December. I really like this therapist and may continue to see him after I’ve gotten my hormones started and whatnot. For some reason we’ve just really clicked right from the start and believe me, good therapists are worth hanging on to.

I’m doing alright healthwise. Still having breakthrough flares since quitting Sulfasalazine. That stuff just made me too damned ill. I’ve been on Plaquenil for about a week but my Rheumatologist told me it’ll take a couple months to start working. Kevzara injections are pretty effective but they weren’t quite covering me for the full two weeks so hopefully Plaquenil will help me get slightly better mileage than I was.

I should have said my PHYSICAL health has been decent. In the magickal Bipolarcoaster of my head things frankly haven’t been so cheerful. I woke up a couple days ago to a New York Times article saying that the current administration is trying to legally erase transgender rights and protections and define us into nothingness. I’ve been hysterical for days. I feel sick and absolutely demoralized. I’m getting by on little snippets and scraps of absurd laughter and it’s somehow sustained me this far.

It freaking figures. Barely make it through my twenties and early thirties and when I finally find the courage to assert my femininity the federal government decides to wage war on LGBT people. I’m still living and breathing and existing. I’m just terrified by hearing our President openly call himself a Nationalist and calling people like me an angry mob as they begin to systematically strip us of our rights and protections and civil Liberty. Everything might seem normal to you, but in the queer Community the fear is very real and tangible. I carry pepper spray and a knife whenever able, I don’t go out after dark alone, I’m afraid to lock eyes with strangers, I don’t go off the main roads and by all rights I guess I got my transitioning wish. Living as a woman and everything that comes with it. That includes mortal terror.

Still, things could be far worse. I’m becoming more politically active (mostly out of a sense of survival imperative) and I have a fuckton of support in my life. My amazing friends as well as my family have been as supportive as humanly possible. Except for my Dad. I’m scared of that conversation. But I won’t stop living my truth. I just have to hope for the best. I fucking refuse to go back. The psyche of Lily has become like a hospital for the tortured wreckage of Thomas. A name and an identity I never had a say in. I still have many elements of my old life or precious memories or whatever that I carry in my heart. As profoundly difficult as it’s been, since I began living as Lily I’ve been doing my best to heal my being, to let go of Thom without resentment or shame. To forgive him for being so miserable all the time he was hiding out not being able to comprehend what was happening to him. I’ll never forget the time a few days after coming out where I had a moment of reflection. As I grappled for the words tears began streaming down my face and all I could manage to say to myself was ‘Thank you so much for letting me out of my cage’.

I don’t intend to stop now or in the near future 🤘

The Chronicles of Lily Jane Part I

Things have been more than a bit perplexing of late. I’m moving forward with my transition as well as I’m able to currently and despite the passage of time seemingly coming to a crawl…. Stuff IS happening. I’m not sure what I should go into first here so bear with me as I struggle to articulate my thoughts.

I’ve been socially transitioning since I came out as Transgender in March so about five months now plus some change. I’m building up a new collection of clothing, working on makeup skills and doing my best to alleviate my sometimes crushing dysphoria. I have been seeing my longtime therapist again since coming out and he’s been really great and supportive. He is not a gender Therapist though so I referred him to one that I’ve been in contact with about figuring out what the standards/criteria for the gender dysphoria diagnosis letter. After that I’ll go to an Endocrinologist and hopefully begin hormones soon though I think Florida may require a year of social transition first.

Not crazy about living in Florida. Many of the people are mean and paranoid and I feel like I have a target on my back here, even in my most confident state. I’m working on facing my fears and doing my best to be strong. People I know tell me they think I’m brave or something and while I appreciate the sentiment I feel compelled to confess that I am frequently overwhelmed and absolutely crippled by fear and anxiety. I’m okay for the most part being out in public but strangers and crowds are really starting to freak me out sometimes. I’m usually okay at a concert or something but I’m finding myself getting really perturbed when I go pretty much anywhere. I know it’s not fair on my part because most people are totally cool but I’m seriously developing a bit of a social phobia and it’s been making me really have more of a sense of urgency about keeping myself together.

While I’m much happier day to day since coming out as trans, I’m also finding myself having to handle far more anxiety and apprehension than I have ever had to shoulder. The Rheumatoid Arthritis has been it’s usual capricious self so I’ve been riding my bike obsessively recently. I’m usually okay as long as I keep myself steadily burning all this bipolar energy. But sooner or later I have to slow down or stop. That’s where things get challenging for me to deal with.

I get into a lot of awkward situations and look for unisex bathrooms wherever. Not that feminine looking so no matter where I pee I’m gonna get dirty looks and perhaps worse but… Whatever. Hopefully things improve for future generations.

I miss the outlet that I used to have in Theatre. But I feel like all I could do at this stage is help behind the curtain. I don’t want to play male roles and I’m not confident in myself enough to seek out female ones yet. I’m not saying that I never will be, just that I’m not there and it distresses me. I’m hoping I face this soon as I feel like this part of my soul is withering.

Really doing the best I can to be a good Lily. I’m plagued by self doubt and this ugly part of Thom’s emotional baggage that refuses to let myself take credit or pride in anything. I know I’m a fairly decent person but I constantly juggle bipolar disorder with an autoimmune disease (RA) and the stress of transitioning and….. I can’t properly put into words how exhausting it sometimes is being Me… I keep pushing forward because at ever so slight a pacing…. Things are improving. I don’t hate the sight of myself any more. There are things I can and will change but…. I’m mostly okay with my meat skeleton.

I still have flashes of absolute spiritual agony from time to time. Believe me, those abrupt shifts can make you completely mad. But I’m learning that somehow I still have a friend in myself. We’re even closer than ever since I allowed her to reveal herself 😹

I still haven’t come out to my Dad. I’m afraid of how he will react. I know he doesn’t have a particularly high opinion of trans people and I’m afraid but…. I know I’ll have to deal with it eventually. Just not today.

I keep moving through the various systems like I have some idea of what I’m doing. Sometimes I’m not even faking. The closer I’ve become with my inner self the more determined I am to never retreat. Lily has a name, a close confidante in herself, and amazing support network. The thing I’m becoming super adamant about is not letting my emotional or physical pain turn me into a jerk. I know who the fuck I am and who I want to be and….

I’m here for the Long haul 😘

It feels Lovely to spill my guts in the form of a Planet Berserk Post. Swear I’m going to try to be more prolific.

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

Second Awkward Teenage Blues

This is something that keeps occurring to me lately, that I’m basically going through a more appropriate form of learning to be yet again. I try to not look goofy but sometimes I like to have a bit of fun with my outfits. I’m 35 going on 36 and I’m just now finally letting my guard down enough to let myself just be a girl. I spent my teenage feeling repulsive and hating most of the available clothes. I wasn’t even close to having myself figured out in those days but it was certainly in the works. So now I find myself out as transgender with most of my friends, family and work people. It’s been a little scary at times but largely a really good experience. A lot of really awesome people have revealed themselves as allies and my existing friends have been really incredible and supportive. My Mom too, bless her heart. Even though my Death Metal style kind of irks her 😛

So now where I find myself is….looking for an Endocrinologist and inquiring about beginning HRT. Building up a wardrobe and working on makeup skills which are still honestly pretty modest. Managing the RA as well as I can and getting lots of time on the bicycle because it helps me maintain a nice figure.

Aside from that, seeing my therapist, going to work, and immersing myself in music I’ve been rather laid back lately. Perhaps content is a better word. I had a neat experience getting ready for work yesterday. Got kind of zoned out while looking in the mirror while thinking of doing my makeup and hair. Looked myself over and had a few brief words with myself. As joyful tears began to drip all I could manage to say was ‘Thank you for letting me out of my cage’. I tear up just remembering it. It was one of the most unbelievably happy moments of my life. I’m still afraid. It just isn’t enough to stop me anymore. I’m coming into my own, I know who I am and I wouldn’t trade it for anything under the Sun.

All across the board people are astounding me with how cool they’re actually willing to be. There was a drunk couple at my work last night that I thought were making fun of me at first but wasn’t sure, turns out they were totally cool. Had a nice chat with me as they left and ran into me after I got off work and bought me a beer. I get nervous and apprehensive at times but…

The world is changing for the better. It may be hard to see at times, but I feel it in my heart and it’s beautiful and liberating and exciting all at once. That’s food enough for Me.

The future is so bright I need shades 😘

Love-

Lily Jane 💜

Full Speed Ahead!!!!

Things are gradually getting back to being a thrashing good time. The Beach is picking up and my income is better than it’s been in a long while now. Planning to buy some pretty clothes and makeup soon. Nothing too major, I want to spoil myself a little for being a good Lily. I got a raise at work! I caught my section up long enough yesterday to escape to the office with a plate of fish and veggies and beans and rice. My boss was typing something up at the desk and I managed to get a word in as I feasted. I was just like ‘This is the two year mark here for me, I’ve been doing my best and I’d like to ask you for a bit more money.’ He was pretty easy to sell on the idea. So that made an already pretty good day all the better.

I still have RA of course. I’m a bit concerned because I’m out of xeljanz and my insurance company wants new prior auth paperwork on it so I may need some samples. Over due for sppointments with my internist and my rheumatologist. Still doing the methotrexate injections weekly. Not crazy about it but those are the breaks. Back to the time of year when I pack prednisone and ibuprofen in my backpack for work. Luckily my boss is being cool about scheduling and giving me a few upstairs shifts (easier of the two floors) to relax a little and still make money. I can work on injection hangover day, I just can’t do a crazy hard day but upstairs I can handle on that particular day.

A bit of dysphoria of late. I’ve always kind of hated body hair on myself. Luckily I don’t get much facial or body hair to speak of. What I get I maintain carefully. I know it’s stupid but one of the reasons I’ve never really felt like a Man is that I’m mostly smooth as a baby and can’t grow a beard at all. I know it sounds goofy but it’s true. I’ve never liked body hair on myself. I just find it icky. A lot of the reasons I feel more female than male are more emotional than physical but there’s quite a bit of both. Dysphoria aside, I’m really enjoying my Instagram lately. I follow so many beautiful and inspiring trans people and some of them are just so sweet and amusing as all hell. I like it better than Facebook these days. My Facebook is in some sort of strange limbo from a ‘security issue’ that they won’t tell me anything about and I’m locked out of my account. I’m really puzzled by this but we’ll see I guess. I haven’t changed, really. I’ve just largely stopped censoring myself to make other people comfortable. I’m being open finally about this shit because the weight of my silence was suffocating me. I’ve worn panties or booty shorts under my boy clothes almost every day for years. I have a manic obsession with tights and thigh highs and over the last year or so I’ve just ever so gently been letting my guard down. It doesn’t mean I’m not frightened. It just means I’d rather be who I am and take whatever comes with it. I do have a lot to learn though. Particularly about makeup and hair care. I’m not totally clueless, just vastly inexperienced. Growing my hair out too so it’s gonna look like hell for quite a while. I’m excited and scared. I don’t know how people will react as I slowly find myself. I worry about what transitioning will mean for job prospects. I’m afraid of getting jumped and beaten. But I have to do it. I’ve never wanted anything more deeply. I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t. Having said that, I’ll be back with more soon 😘 Love, Lily

I’m still here and stuff is happening!

It’s been a rough few months and I’ve been kind of in the weeds mentally. I’m doing my best to keep my moods in check and deescalate them when necessary. So then, I have a lot to tell you about which I will attempt to keep as concise as possible.

My RA is under control and I’m doing fairly well in the that regard. Relatively low pain and inflammation as well as minimum fatigue. Xeljanz plus the weekly methotrexate injections seems to be the magic bullet. I still have some troublesome days but overall doing quite well.

Shannon’s Mother just left town after staying with us for about a month. She would have been on her way sooner but her health issues complicated her plans and she stayed a little longer. It was a pleasure to have her and she helped us fix up many things around the house. That said we’re happy to have our privacy and whatnot back.

I’m hopefully scraping enough $ together soon for a trip to Alaska in the summer. Shannon is directing a Shakespeare show and wants me to join the fun. I’m really nervous about acting and he’s pushing me because he knows that I kind of have a complex I need to break. Should be good fun.

Aside from that I’ve been doing some really heavy duty introspection lately. Halloween, as much fun as it was brought some things to the front of my mind that I have repressed the hell out of since… Honestly since I was a kid but very much so in the last twelve years or so of my life. I’ve honestly never been particularly comfortable with being male. I know this may come as a shock to some but it’s honestly how I’ve felt most of my life. When I present as a woman I feel at peace and whole. I feel comfortable in my own skin and right.

Some folks seem puzzled by this, but I’m not particularly masculine. I was the sensitive scrawny kid who always got picked on. I never told anyone until years later, but when I was a kid going into my teens I used to try on my mom’s clothes when she was shopping or at work. I wasn’t sure why, I just knew it made me feel nice and pretty. I didn’t think much of it initially but when I had my first girlfriend (before I figured out i was more into Men) she used to get so pissed at me for stretching out her Clothes. Anyway, being Harley Quinn for a day brought all this stuff back to the surface and well, I don’t think I’m a drag queen and i don’t think it’s a phase or fetish. I think I’m transgender and after first realizing at the age of twenty two I’ve finally admitted it to myself nearly thirteen years later. Just every time I’ve dressed like a girl I’ve quietly wished I could do it full time. I mean, If its a phase its a pretty freaking long one 😂

It was no surprise to my best friends. Many friends and my boyfriend have told me I have a feminine brain and they totally saw this coming. Mind you, I realize there’s a whole lot more to being a woman than just dressing like one.

I’m not sure about many things right now but I’m just carefully feeling the situation out. I don’t know to what degree I intend to transition and anything I do will be in baby steps. I know people will bring my mental health into the discussion. I am not delusional or confused. That’s what people said all those years ago…. That i was just being manic. But I’m not manic now and i still feel this way now. I just don’t want to constantly live in a state of hiding out. It’s robbed me of enough of my life force as is.

People who think I’m such an average guy, acting like one has always been a matter of survival. I’m a stage actor. I fake things well, even convincingly at times. But that’s all I feel like I’m doing as a ‘Man’. I’ve always found subtle ways to feminize myself somehow. The world may not see it, but I know 😇

I’m not going to pick apart all the reasons I don’t feel comfortable being a dude. But believe me, there are a great many. I’ve spent a great many nights crying myself to sleep trying to figure out which end is up. I cry a lot sometimes when I look at my body. I hate how muscular I am and how the veins in my arms are all prominent. I have some gender/body dysphoria and I’m tired of having to act like this isn’t happening to me. I know I’m not unattractive, I just don’t enjoy or identify with being a dude. It just hasn’t ever felt like anything but a role I’ve been trapped in.

I feel much lighter already having said what I have. I’ve already hinted at this enough over social media that one night my mom asked me ‘Who’s Lily? (My Tgirl name is Lily Jane, partial homage to Lilith as well as deliberate flower symbolism)’ and I told her. It was really awkward and I don’t even want to think of having this talk with my Dad. But my Mom was awesome in her way. My Boyfriend was the one who first asked me if I was having a trans issue. I totally denied it at the time but a few weeks later I said ‘Yeah, I may have lied about that…’. I was scared. I still am. But my Boyfriend and friends have been so amazing and supportive.

So that’s what I’ve been dealing with. If nothing else I hope it makes for a decent read.

Love,

Lily 💜