Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Transition Thoughts & Reflections - Alex

Today, we begin the first of several guest posts on T-Central. The subject is thoughts and reflections on transition. The series will feature a number of posts from those who have completed their transition, those in transition, and those who consider themselves non-transitioners. We will also have other related posts including one from the well-known wife of someone who is in transition.

I want to thank my on-line friend, Alex, for agreeing to do the first post in the series. Alex is a very special person in my life. She is the first person I revealed my true self to. She helped me through some bad times and I will never forget her and her caring responses to the emails I sent her a few years ago. [If you wish to contact Alex, her email address is on her blog.]

Alex has completed her transition and she has summed it up for us in this essay.

Transition Success?

My good on-line friend Calie had asked me to compile a guest blog for T-Central. She intends on publishing a few guest blogs covering different aspects, view points, perspectives, and outcomes, of people who have gender issues and how they dealt with the problem of Gender Identity Disorder. When I asked her for a rough guide to what area she wished me to cover, her thoughts were as follows:

I'm not sure I want to put words in your mouth. I just want a perspective from someone who did it right and has no regrets. Perhaps some background information (if you wish) and how you planned out your transition and surgeries. If it was me, I would do FFS, BA, and all external "female attributes" before SRS, which I think is what you did. Maybe how you worked this out with your employer. Why you are happy you made the change and why (assuming) you have no regrets.

I am also trying to find someone who does have regrets. I know they're out there but most will not likely come forth.

Just my thoughts but you are welcome to make suggestions.”

I could actually write thousands of words trying to cover these areas in detail, and you can see from the many blogs I’ve done over the years during my transitional process

that I think it would become too long winded a blog if I tried. So instead I will try to keep this basic and to the point, but at the same time do the requested main headers some justice by writing in my usual ‘saying it how it is’ manner.

Background Intro:

I’m now a fully transitioned woman at the age of 43 living in my birth country of Scotland UK. Physically I had been born as any other ‘normal’ boy would be in life, with no physical gender abnormalities, and with the normal XY chromosome markers for a male. From the age of 4 years old when the furthest back my memories can go, I knew I was different to most boys. I felt I should have been a girl, and something had gone very wrong with me before birth. Life for me had not been easy trying to fit in as my birth gender, and it took me a very long time to master the male façade I built up over the years to make it in life as a male.

I ventured down the typical male based route in life by furthering my education and career, to getting married and having two lovely and well adjusted children. This façade stood reasonably firm right up until my early 30’s, with my suppressed female side only subdued by the occasional cross dressing in secret.
I don’t know exactly what made the ‘switch flick’ for me in my mid 30’s to seriously look into and address my gender issues, whether it be a natural drop in testosterone levels, or the information explosion of trans issues on the Net, or a combination of both? Whatever, my interest took hold, and I had to find out who I really was, and find answers to try and deal with my continual internal gender struggles that were becoming increasingly more difficult to control and hide from society.

The Process:
The mid 90’s seen me starting to show up on the Net as a closet Crossdresser (CD) getting involved in Transgender (TG) groups. Time passed until I eventually ventured out in public as the feminine dressed Alex, in September 2003, and the then known Alex T’girl ego took hold on the transgender scene.

The more I experienced the part time femme living, and the more people I met involved to the scene ranging from CD’s to Transsexuals (TS’s), I began to realise who I really was, and I could not keep a lid on the female that had been suppressed all those years.

My wife at the time found out about my CD side by accident, and that caused major eruptions in our relationship. She had hoped by allowing me to do my CD thing in private, with her turning a blind eye, it would address the problem. It didn’t work that way though because, the more I experienced, the more I realised just how much my male based life had been a lie.

Both I and my wife went to see specialists, with me dealing with a gender consultant. Eventually after many hard times and soul searching on both our parts, we decided to split and lead our own lives. Believe me when I say we tried every avenue open to us to try and get round splitting up the family unit, but nothing worked if I were to go down the transition route. Sadly, I had gotten to a point where not going down the transition route would have lead to more depression on my part, and a slow down hill path to ill health. In other words, I had taken myself to the point of no return by opening up ‘Pandora’s Box’, with the lid no longer fitting.

With medical help, I started my physical transition on November 2004 by going on monitored low levels of female hormones. My physical and mental changes took effect very quickly, and I could see marked changes happening after a 3 month period. This had been on very low levels of hormones initially (2mg of Estrogen). This had been increased to 4mg after 6 months, and then to 6mg after I decided to go full time living and working as a female.

I had consulted with my specialist, and agreed with him that I wanted to look as feminine as possible before taking that step to full time living as a female. I just did not want to look like a ‘bloke in a frock’ to the rest of society. Laser Facial Hair Removal took place over a few years to help this process, by getting rid of the dark hair in the beard. The female receptors in my body must have been in abundance, because my male shape changed very well into a feminine form, and I lost most of the muscle I had built up all those years going to the gym and pumping iron. My mental state changed as well, for I became much happier with my self image, and my emotions kicked in as they never had as a male. In other words, my whole mental outlook and feelings in life changed as much as my physical shape.

Time passed, and it got to a stage where I just had not been able to pass as a male any longer. I had an hour glass figure hidden under hugely oversized male clothes, soft skin, and much longer blonde hair tied back in a pony tail not to show the female cut as much as I could. People had been starting to notice, and I regularly heard comments along the lines of “Do you think that is a woman”?

I knew I had to be at least 1 year living as a female before I could go for full Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS or SRS), and I also felt I may require some tweaking of my looks before then as well in the form of Facial Feminising Surgery (FFS). I therefore decided to go full time in July 2007, and inform my employer. I had been living all the rest of the time as a female in my private life, but the final step of telling your employer, who is the hand that feeds you, is a very difficult one to take indeed.

Thankfully all went well though, as my boss had suspected something along the lines of gender issues anyway. My Employer is also a very forward thinking company, who employ people from all walks of life with different nationalities and sexual preferences, so bigotry had not been likely to occur. Legislation within the UK is also very strong in protecting transgender people within the workplace, so the whole matter had to be handled in a professional and fair manner.

The years of changes on hormones paid off, for my new female persona had easily been accepted by the people in my workplace who could only see a female in front of them, despite knowing about my male background. All my fears about how badly coming out at work might go had thankfully been unfounded. It actually had been a much easier process than I had expected

Eventually my GRS and BA (Breast Augmentation) had been scheduled for November 2008, and even having two large operation procedures done at the same time, I still recovered from the surgery quite quickly. I had 3 months leave from work to fully recover from these procedures. I decided to get some FFS done in-between/before that date. It didn’t quite work out managing to have all the FFS done before then, but I did fit in a brow reduction and lift, hair transplantation on my temples, and laser eye correction (not part of FFS though). The minor works I had done on the outer edge of my jaw line took place in the later part of 2009 to finish off all my surgeries. The only ongoing process I’m doing at the moment is Electrolysis facial hair removal to remove the blonde or light coloured hairs that my earlier laser hair removal didn’t address at the time. I’m a maximum of a couple of months away from being near enough 100% facial hairs free for the first time in my whole adult life.


Was it all worth it, and do I have any regrets?

Transition for me personally had been a must from a health point of view, because I really would have become at the least a very unhappy and depressed male who would have become a bad husband and father as a result. The worst case situation would have been me eventually taking my own life, as I do believe I could not have sustained living the life of a lie. I basically needed to be my true self to progress through life.

I lost a hell of a lot as a result of going through the transition route. I had a family unit I loved, and I had a circle of friends whose company I enjoyed. I had a good standard of life, with a big house, two sports cars, etc. All of that I lost, and I had to start all over again with a basic two bedroom flat, no friends locally, and hoping it would not affect the income that kept even that much reduced lifestyle funded.

Years have passed, and I’ve settled into a life that is allowing me to keep my head above water, and above all I’m living a true life as the real me, with new people in that life who accept me for who I am.

I do not have any regrets about taking the decision to transition, for I know in my heart, mind, and soul that it had been the right choice for me to take. If there are any regrets, it is the fact that I had to lose so much to get there, and cause so much hurt to the very people I loved so much in life. I miss having my children in my day to day life more than anything, and that is my only major regret.

Basically you can’t have your cake and eat it in life, and you have to accept the downsides as well as the plusses. Everything about being the female Alex I am, now on a physical and mental wellbeing factor, is fantastic and feels 100% right. The results of getting there though, have been far from fantastic because of the damage I’ve caused along the way.

So in my case it has been worth it in the long run, but I am without doubt one of the lucky transitioning women who look very feminine, and fit into the female role very easily as well. If I had not been so lucky that way, and I had lost my job and income………maybe my summation would be very different.

Alexandra Young.


  1. This was very touching for me. Reading Alex's story (even though I've read most of her blog) brought back my own memories and made me ponder what I love about transitioning along with the regrets. I hope others read this and take the time to share what this blog meant to others. Thanks for posting this series!

    Lori D

  2. Thanks Alex for your honesty in this blog. I have followed you for a long time and know what youw ent through but it is good to hear your perspective looking back.

  3. I'm sure many sucessfully transitioned women will be able to relate to much of what I've stated within my blog, with individual lifestyle and location differences being the factors that change circumstances slightly. We all face similar hurdles on this transitional path, but sadly some of us have to deal with more narrow minded bigots than others which can make it more difficult.
    Calie has opened up a fantastic series of blogs which will come from people who are facing their own type of experiences. This will result in differing view points, and different paths taken in life to suit personal circumstances.
    I can fully relate to those like myself who have faced transition, and can also relate to varying degrees with those people who have opted not to transition to retain their present lifestyles and loved ones. I can also partially relate to those who do decide to transition, and then decide later to stop along the way due to the presures placed upon them by society.....because it is very tough indeed to take this path.
    The areas I'm very much indeed looking forward to reading are the perspectives from a wife of a transition/ed/ing person, and from a transperson who regrets taking such a path. My heart goes out to those who are the loved ones of transpeople, and indeed to those who regret taking the transitioning path. It has to be a nightmare at times dealing with that side of the fence issues, which is something we on the other side don't fully take in at times due to the extent of our own issues.
    One thing I'm sure will come out strongly in these blogs is that regardless of our personal experiences, none of us will or ever would judge another for their chosen path in life. We all have to live our own lives and face the results of our actions, but none of us deserve to be judged for it by others who make different other words, there is no right or wrong answer to transgender issues......we just make the best of a bad situation.
    Alex. x

  4. hi well i hope you had some help through your transition it has amazed me that trans organisations are there to just exist an don,t help in the uk. they seem to want to gain position regardeless who they are supposed to help. i consider trans groups i have been involved with criminal, as in they behave like small criminal gangs who in no way advance trans issues.
    hope you are well and are happy.


The People - Personal Thoughts

Cobweb Corner - Older Blogs, Not Recently Updated