The obligatory GRS Post

Typical me, writing about something nearly 4 months after it happened.

Well, I’ve done it. Or to be more precise, they did it to me. I had my GRS (genital reconstruction surgery) on the 26th of July 2017 performed by the wonderful Phil Thomas In the Nuffield Hospital in Brighton.

This post is where (if I were to follow tradition) I would be gushing about how I’m now complete, it’s the start of my new life or the nauseating “I’m a woman now” or “my birthday is now the date of my grs.” Don’t get me started about all that, particularly the latter 2.

Anyway, so how do I feel? I still feel amazed that it has happened, and it makes me smile every time I see the result. I now finally have the downstairs bits that I should have been born with, which is truly wonderful. Something that has been deformed for a very long time has finally been fixed.

Apart from that, I feel a sense of relief that I have finally jumped through all the GIC’s hoops and I’ve made it out the other side. As for feeling complete, I can’t say I do. My voice still sounds terrible as I have done nothing about it for ages. Also, if this was an ideal world, some working eyes would be lovely. However, even those things wouldn’t make me feel complete, simply because I believe that, as humans, I don’t think we ever are. That’s just how it is.

My GRS hasn’t changed me as a person; How could it? The surgeon was operating nowhere near my brain. I didn’t put off things that I wanted to do until I had my GRS, instead I just got on with them beforehand.

I’ve read a few posts over the years saying that people end up with post grs depression. I think this is because they had focused so much on the surgery as a destination, and having reached there, they hadn’t got a clue what to do next. Since I just treated it as something in my life I had to do, that hasn’t affected me.

I won’t bore you with everything that happened during my week in hospital, but here’s a quick summary.

all the staff are wonderful. Nothing is a problem to them, and they will do anything you ask, and constantly remind you of that. They treat you like human beings not pieces of meat.

They wheel you down to theatre and back to your room in your bed, which is brilliant. Trying to get off a trolley and back into bed having just come round is a nightmare.

I felt quite nervous as they wheeled me down to theatre then felt at piece with the world as they give you strong pain killers before putting you to sleep.

I woke up what felt like a couple of seconds later, feeling extremely groggy. I think all I did was ask if I could speak to my wife, and that I couldn’t believe it was all done.

I had to lie in bed until Saturday, which got very boring very quickly.I did have a few visitors though and that made it slightly easier, and of course my wife stayed in Brighton the whole week.

I had my first proper look at the result on the following Monday; words can’t accurately describe the feeling of being as anatomically correct as it’s possible for me to be.

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Bit of a self indulgent post

This is a slightly edited long tweet I posted to twitter earlier with bits added.

I don’t usually post things like this as it’s maddening to see post after post by people saying things like “look how wonderful my life is” when the rest don’t have it so good. But I was looking at Timehop at tweets I had posted this day in previous years, and it’s amazing how things have changed for me for the better. I’ve had some tough times in the past but I seem to have come out the other side pretty well, and it’s not over yet. So you could say I’m one of the lucky ones and I dearly wish everyone could be.
4 years ago I went to my counselling session looking like the woman that I am, and the 1st time that I had shown my true colours on my own in the small town where I lived. Thankfully nothing bad happened but I thought it’d be decades before I could transition.
3 years ago I was approaching my 1st anniversary of me signing my deed poll, which meant I dropped my bloke disguise on the floor – distroying it forever. I would also go to an actual trans support group held in that same small town. The trans woman who ran it also lived there, and until then I thought I was the only one who did. She turned out to be an utterly despicable person but that’s not the point; there were others there apart from me.
2 years ago I had been engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world since February. Someone who I met face to face for the 1st time at that trans group, and we had been living together since march. She is also trans, and we’re completely on the same wavelength. She is my soulmate and my everything. I would be going to look at wedding dresses (for me) for the first time in a few days and I couldn’t believe this was actually happening.
A year ago today it was just under a month to go until our wedding and my dress and everything else was hidden at my parent’s house, just in case someone stumbled across it before the big reveal on the day itself. I had also been swimming with cis people loads pre grs and nothing bad happened.
Today we’re nearing our 1st wedding anniversary, and a couple of weeks after that I’ll be having my grs; not that’s an end goal or anything. It’s just something I’ve wanted for years and thought would never happen like everything else in this rambling self-indulgent post. I don’t think I’ll properly fully believe that it’s happening until I’m on that trolley being wheeled down to theatre. Both my parents call me by my name, use correct pronouns and treat me as their daughter as naturally as though they had been doing it since I was born. At that counselling session (or one of them) I said that I was scared I’d be disowned if I transitioned as they were far from happy about it.

I only mentioned my GRS in passing, and many write reams and reams about it like it’s the end goal to completeness. There’s nothing wrong with that – everyone’s different. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no destination, just a journey. And as humans are we ever complete?

 

A well overdue update

It’s well over a year since I last wrote anything in here, and so much has happened. I just haven’t felt the need to sit down and write about it. After all, I’m not writing my life story, and I post inane spur of the moment drivel on Twitter anyway. If my life was in any way extraordinary, then of course I’d write about it. I’m just your average blind trans woman just living my life.

With that said, here’s just a quick update.

 

I am now a married woman. I married my beautiful wife Louise last year, on the 9th of July. It was the best day of my life.

I appreciate that I am extremely privileged to be living in a time and country where same sex marriages are legally recognised. Also, the fact that our closest family and friends were there was so special to us, and not everyone has that.

I could go on and on about it, describing the day in excruciating detail even though some of it is just a happy blur now. But that helps nobody.

I will just say that our dresses were stunning, the ceremony was wonderful and I will never forget it as long as I live. I also have an audio recording of the whole thing.

 

I have gotten back into music production in a big way. It’s something I’ve dabbled with on and off for many years, but I was never happy with the tools I was using or the results. I’m not the best keyboard player around, so consequently I’d be quick to beat myself up about that fact.

Recently however, I have started to sort myself out. A huge boost to my confidence was hearing people who I’d class to be amazing musicians claiming that they’re not.  This brought home the fact that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. I realised this before, but I’d think that my weaknesses were weaker than anyone else’s.

As for what I was using, I replaced my ancient pc with a brand new one, as that was one of the main sources of frustration for me. You’d only have to look at it funny to have it fall over backwards, and there was I, asking it to run software synths and the like.

With this new one, nothing I ask it to do is too much for it. It is also totally silent as it doesn’t have any fans in and uses solid state drives for storage. How they can keep a machine this powerful cool without using fans is completely beyond me.

Also, last year, something amazing happened that has in my opinion completely revolutionised how blind people gain access to music production software.

Native Instruments, the company behind Kontakt, Massive and several other fantastic products has added text-to-speech support to their Komplete Kontrol line of MIDI controllers.

In a nutshell, Komplete Kontrol ties all their products in their Komplete line together, and allows you to play and control it all as though they were all parts of a ridiculously powerful music workstation. Like a Korg Kronos on steroids if you had to use a computer to run it all on.

The upshot of NI adding speech to all this is that blind people are now able to use all these amazing software instruments in the same way as anyone who’s sighted.

There have been other attempts to make this all work in the past. As brilliant as these solutions are, it was all hacked together by 3rd parties as it seemed that none of the actual developers would ever be interested in making their software accessible.

Now that Native instruments have come on board, it is I think an absolute game changer.

It is by no means perfect. At the time of writing, we only have access to whichever parameters have been assigned to the knobs on the Komplete Kontrol Keyboard which isn’t everything. Also, None of the GUIs are accessible. But it’s a huge step in the right direction.

 

Armed with all this and my slowly improving confidence, I have started to post the random things I create to SoundCloud, one of which is embedded below.

 

 

I have gone on enough already, so until the next time I feel like posting anything, which could be in another couple of years, Take care.

Love the now Mrs Goldfinch

Hormonenniversary and Dresses.

Today is an important day for me as it’s my 1 year hormonenniversary. I’ve been on lovely oestrogen while keeping the dreaded testosterone at bay for a year. I can’t believe how fast it’s gone, and so much has changed.
Not much hrt wise has since my last hormone update, apart from that I went for a bra measurement the other month and found out that I’m a 36B. It’s amazing since this time last year I was a 36 nothing. I used Bras to give the illusion that I had actually had something there. Now, I use them for what they’re supposed to be used for.
5 years ago today, I moved out of my parents house into a flat that was my home until I moved in with Louise. Living there taught me so much, but I’ve written about that before. So on to something else.

A few months ago, I did something I thought I’d never do. I tried on a wedding dress. Well, technically, this would have been the second time I’ve worn one. The first time I was 6, it was my mum’s and I wanted to be a fairy. Amazingly my parents have no recollection of that event, or they made themselves forget.
Anyway, I was looking for a dress to wear for my actual wedding, to the most wonderful woman in the world.

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted my dress to be like, other than that it would be white and long. We’re keeping our dresses a secret from each other till the big day, so one of her sisters came with me.
There’s a shop not too far from where we live that sells discount dresses. They’re all ex-stock from bridal shops, so they could be last year’s or were worn by models. A wedding dress could be at least 2 grand, which is far more than what I want to pay. I could hire one but it wouldn’t feel right having to return it like a costume from a fancy dress shop. So the best thing for me is this shop, as they’d sell that 2 grand dress for 500 quid. Far more reasonable in the grand scheme of things.
It seemed pretty quiet as we entered. Just a few people pottering about, looking at the dresses which were all in huge polythene bags. A good sign showing that they care for their stock.
They allow you to take 4 dresses into the fitting room, and it wasn’t long before we had picked 4 for me to try on.

I’m not going to describe them in much detail as frankly I can’t remember everything about each dress, and one of them might be the one I ultimately buy.
The shop had quickly filled up by the time it came to queue up for the fitting room. I must have been waiting for 40 minutes before it was my turn as there were only 1 or 2 rooms. It soon arrived though, and I went behind the curtain with Louise’s sister and a member of staff who helped me into each dress.

The first was ivory, floor length and flared out at the bottom with a huge train. It also weighed a ton, in fact they all did. I don’t think my mum’s was all that heavy. It felt gorgeous as they all did. All silky and good stuff like that.
However, I quickly discovered that going for a long dress, at least one in that cut wasn’t for me. I kept walking all over it. It would be absolutely ruined by the time I had walked halfway down the aisle. Apparently I’m supposed to glide gracefully or something, but since I think I move as gracefully as a brick falling down a mineshaft, I don’t think that’s a possibility. Maybe I could get away with a straight one. And anyway, I didn’t think that “floor length” meant literally that. I thought it’d stop just short. Obviously I was wrong.
Then, a couple of dresses later, I tried on a tea length one that stopped somewhere near my calves, so no fear of treading all over it. Suddenly, that brick seemed to metamorphose into a feather and I felt like I could float out of that mineshaft into the sky.
One thing I’ve not mentioned yet is that part of trying the dresses on involved stepping out of the changing room in view of the queue of other women waiting for their turn. There was even a small box to stand on so you could have a better look at the dress. This didn’t bother me at all, although it felt a little bit embarrassing when I had a long one on.
However, as soon as I stepped on to the box in the tea length dress, I felt absolutely wonderful and started doing things like swishing about in it, or revolving slowly like a ballerina in a music box. It felt so magical. The icing on the cake was that everyone there thought it looked gorgeous on me.
I asked if I could try on a veil. The member of staff found one for me and fixed it in place. I’m not sure if I like them or not. It just seemed like an expensive net curtain to me which itched a bit round the back.

Weather that particular dress is the one I choose remains to be seen. Even if it was, I wouldn’t say on here yet, anyway.
I really can’t wait to go back again and try on some more and find the right one for me.

Nearly a year on hormones

I’ve been on hrt for nearly a year; there’s been a ton of changes,both to my appearance and mental stuff, so I’d thought I’d write an update of my experiences of it since I haven’t for a while.

I now have boobs. Proper boobs that look like they should do and are slowly getting bigger. It’s just so wonderful I have them and that they look nice.
My hips are a bit on the curvy side, although they could do to get a bit more. Fat’s going to where it should though now so that’s good.
My face is now more fuller, my hair’s gone quite a lot thicker and my skin is lovely and soft.
Emotional changes have carried on being interesting; throwing unexpected things at me whenever they feel like it.
E.G.. When I went to Marlin – a trans swimming group in Manchester a couple of months ago, I bumped into an old friend who I last saw a couple of years ago; maybe longer. Before HRT, upon seeing him again, I’d have probably just said something on the lines of “nice to see you again” and left it at that. Instead, my joy of seeing him again gushed out of me and I went “oh my god oh my god I’ve not seen you in years!” Then hugged him and was on the verge of tears. It really surprised me and my friend was I think not expecting so much of an overreaction. But that’s oestrogen for you and it’s lovely.
It doesn’t take a lot to set me crying. I’ve always been like that, but it’s increased. I can be lying in bed thinking about how special it feels to be loved by Louise, and the floodgates will open.
Depending on the situation, I can be a little bit more patient.

On the other side of the coin, if something winds me up, that feels different also. Instead of just shouting, tears will be involved somewhere too. They do like to make themselves known quite a lot, regardless don’t they.

Well, that about wraps it up for the hormone update for now, so be good and I’ll see you next time.
Byeeeee!

New start.

Here we are, almost a month later from my  last post.  I’m writing this in Louise’s house, which is where I now live.  I moved in on the 12th, and we’ve been spending the last week sorting the place out so it’s fit for 2 women, a Belgian Sheppard and a cat to live comfortably in. We’ve not quite finished yet but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I had lived in the same flat for the last 4 and a half years nearly. So it was with mixed emotions I said goodbye to the place.  On the one hand, it was freezing, had a poor excuse for a hot water heater, ridiculously expensive and frankly I couldn’t wait to see the back of the place. Also, it could be incredibly lonely.
On the other, it was the first place that I could call my own even though I was renting.  I could find myself, cook my own meals when I wanted, have friends over to stay, even have a bath at silly o’clock in the morning and it wouldn’t bother anyone.  There was no one I had to tell where I was going, so it wasn’t until I moved in there that I informed my gp that I am trans way back on remembrance day 2010.  I just got a taxi there and back with  no one else being any the wiser.

I had my first relationship outside of college in 2011. Even though I got burned, it taught me a few things which helped pave the way for bigger and better things.

Other highlights were having a friend to stay for a month or so while he was in between flats, and another coming all the way to see me from Australia for 10 days. she must have been mad. 🙂
Then of course there was all the wonderful times me and Louise had there.

I did a lot of growing up in that flat.  I was a prat when I went in, and I’m hopefully less of one now I came out of the other side.

Anyway, the past is in the past, we learn from it and move on.  Here I am now sat writing this in our office. The window’s open, the sun’s shining and I feel great.

Tweetup And Wonderful News

Wow 2 blog posts in a month from me. My 1.5 readers must feel privileged.

Anyway, I have some more things to tell you about, including something very, very special.

Some twitter friends of ours had been organising a “tweetup” in Leicester for a while, and it happened on the last day of January. We both had been looking forward to it for ages. I had met up with a few before who were going, so it was good to catch up with them again. Louise hadn’t met any of them before.

I really enjoyed it. Lots of food and alcohol were involved and lovely company. We had a meal in a An all you can eat buffet restaurant and a few drinks in a local gay friendly bar that one of the girls had found. I could have done with it to be a bit quieter though.

For me, there was something else that happened early next morning which I will never forget, something that I had been worrying and fretting about doing for quite a few weeks.
Me and Louise were snuggled up in bed together, and I said to her that there was something I wanted to ask her but… I dunno…
She said “go on?” Then I bit the bullet and said:
“Will you marry me?”
That was the last thing she had expected me to say so the first think she came out with was:
“Aren’t you going to go down on one knee and ask me?”
I was that close to getting out of bed to do just that, and then she said
“Yes I will.”

Well, I couldn’t believe it. I was floored. I was just so overcome with emotion that the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world had just said yes she will marry me I just held her and cried. All that worry. Was it too early? How would I best do it? Would she even want to? It just all came out. Above all, I was on cloud 9 – I felt and still feel so happy.

I had first realised that this is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with when we spent Christmas together, or maybe before. It’s hard to put my finger on a date.
Then when we went to London, every time I had a shower, my mind kept racing with all those worries and thoughts. I find showers or baths the best time to mull things over.
I even thought about dm-ing twitter friends to tell them what I was planning to do, but I thought what if Louise accidentally catches an interesting looking message on my phone.
So I told my dad the day before the tweetup. He just said do it when you feel the time is right, which is what I’m sure those twitter friends would have said anyway.

We were there in bed and I felt like it was now or never. I didn’t want to wake up on the Sunday morning without asking. So I just popped the question.

I didn’t give her a ring or go down on one knee. Those are hetro things to do I thought, and since we’re obviously both women, we’d both naturally want rings. I didn’t know the first thing about choosing one anyway, let alone what her ring size is.
I could have done it in the restaurant, but it was so loud she might have just said “yes I’ve got it. Do you want vinegar as well?”
I think it was special that by coincidence that I happened to ask her on the first of the month. New month,, new start, new life.

This Valentine’s Day was the first one where it felt like it had any meaning to me. Yes it’s commercialised stuff invented by the greeting’s card industry, but Louise had never had a proper one before, and the last time I had a card it was given to me by someone that I didn’t love anymore.
I will treasure Louise’s card as she wrote in it that she can’t wait for the day when she can call me her wife. It’s so lovely.
We also bought each other’s engagement rings, which just felt such a special thing to do.
We both have matching ones. A delicate white gold band that has a square thing on top with a single diamond in the centre. Sadly they didn’t have out sizes in stock, so they had to be resized.
I had my first laser session that day as well. Not the most romantic things to do on Valentine’s Day, but I was able to cope with it, and I can do it again. I was petrified that much beforehand I was physically shaking.

The day after, we went to look at wedding venues. There was one that we both liked, and I could imagine what it would be like for use to be married there.

Our rings were ready on the Friday just gone and neither of us could wait to wear them.
When Louise arrived at mine that night, she made a little speech about how much she loves me, and just because, she asked me the same thing I had asked her at the beginning of the month. I of course said yes, and she slipped my ring onto my finger.
I did the same to her return.

On that happy note, I’m going to wrap this entry up and post it.

Kara
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