Life in Transition: 18 Months

August 24th, 2013 marked the first day I went to work fully and wholly as myself. It has been 18 months since that fateful day. That day also marked the last time my parents saw me in person. 

To say the last 18 months have been up and down is an understatement. I haven’t seen my parents in those 18 months partly because of their beliefs about my life but mostly do to scheduling conflicts, real or imagined. My anxiety over them visiting is always fucking high.

My parents are coming next week. My dad is the only parent to see pictures of me actually being me and the last picture he saw was from right before they visited in August. One such picture featured me in a dress, so it’s the closest thing he had seen of his daughter. Their last visit was marked by me dressing in black tee shirts and jeans, trying to make them comfortable with me being who I was. That did not go over well and my mom insisted that she never wanted to see me as me. She soon will not have a choice.

A picture of a smiling individual taking a selfie.
A photo of me which closest resembles what my parents think of. This picture was taken prior to HRT and transition.
A picture of a woman standing in a shoe aisle surrounded by shoes
This is one of the pictures of myself I sent to my father after coming out to him.

I mark 18 months as full time, though Hormone Replacement Therapy will be two years on April 1. I cannot hide the truth from my mother anymore. I figured if I didn’t push her and gave her time she would come around. I thought she would ask me questions or want to know more about her daughter.

Instead, it has turned into a don’t ask, don’t tell game with some built-in microaggressions. She uses my dead name a lot more in conversation than she did before, starting almost every text message that way. When talking on the phone, she says it three or four times. I know I shouldn’t put up with this, but it’s hard because its my mother.

The best part about the radio silence with my mom is that I have grown immensely as a person. Transition has proved to absolutely be the best treatment for my dysphoria. I have grown into one awesome queer woman. I have been able to explore my new body in so many ways. I have discovered I love piercings.

A woman looks into the camera as she shows off her nostril piercing
Me smiling after getting my nostril pierced.

I celebrated six months of full time getting my nose pierced. A year later, it still makes me smile!

Watching the woman in the mirror become who I had always seen inside has been indescribable. Feeling the love of Carolina as she has watched me make this journey has been the most amazing feeling.

Two women smile at the camera
Carolina and I recently during our trip to Albuquerque

The low points have been the last few weeks. Knowing the impending trip of my parents to see their “son,” my anxiety and dysphoria have shot back through the roof. It has been two weeks of hell, to be honest. I have had some unsavory thoughts. I am holding on mostly because I know the people who love me for me will be there to pick up the pieces from the visit.

I really hope my parents can love their daughter. Eighteen months in, and I have begun to love myself for the first time.

A woman smiles into the camera during a selfie at a hair salon
I am mugging for the camera after my new hair style a few weeks back

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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