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Posted by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

I started hormones today, somewhere around nine hours ago as I hit the "save your blog" button here and send this away to be forever etched into the colorful, soggy, tried-to-bleach-it-out-but-these-stains-aint-goin-nowhere history of the internet.

It's an interesting thing to change your life so completely, especially when change comes so quickly. I made the decision to transition on December 3, 2012 and now on September 3, 2013, I have finally begun the process of taking the medication I need to become somebody I can be happy with. I really only began the process of making it to this point on July 1, 2013. Two month is all it took to reach my goal. It seems silly that I stressed out about it for so long before deciding to take the plunge and see a therapist when I look back on it now but it's also a massive change. This is literally life changing, in a way that something big like finishing college or starting a new career can never be. I can go nowhere with one of those things, I can quit a job, but I will never be able to take back being a girly.

But a lot happened in those nine months. Tons of video games were released, many that I played, some that led to me making new friends or rekindling old friendships I thought were long over. I made new friends here on Giantbomb. New consoles were announced. I became so depressed over confusion and stress about my gender and the way I viewed myself and how everybody else treated me over it(they are finally starting to understand that I am serious, though!) that I felt the only option was to take my own life. I came reallll fuckin' close and the only thing that saved me was hesitation causing me to involuntarily stop what I was doing.

I wish I could say that I am genuinely happy now and it's all okay and my life is so much better, but really, not much has changed. Some of my friends are still toxic people that make me unhappy, a couple of people that I live with are still completely awful and seem to actively try to make me miserable... I wonder on a daily basis how many people give a shit about me and/or whether or not I'd REALLY be missed if I were gone. I am still very depressed, but I feel like that may not be the case for much longer. I've been completely over the moon all day. My life is changing. It's the first step on the road to something great. By the end of it I will have a new name, new gender, new sex, maybe a new home, maybe a new job, maybe new friends... I want my life to be something I can be happy with. And maybe, just hopefully, something I can be proud of.

So, uh... yeah. I kinda just wanted to tell the group of people that I've been sitting at the edges of trying to be a part of for years that I'm doing something huge! Follow your dreams or some shit!

#1 Edited by Milkman (17029 posts) -

Good for you, duder. I can tell you've been through a hell of a lot to get to this point. I'm sure it won't be easy but I'm confident you can do it. Even if it doesn't seem like much, if you need to talk or vent or whatever, us assholes are always here to listen.

Now, look the world square in the face and tell it to get fucked boi!

#2 Posted by StarvingGamer (8379 posts) -

:D:D:D

#3 Edited by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

That is fantastic to hear. Any change in life is hard to go through and something this big takes the cake. I have no idea what that would be like. I am glad it is going well and you feel charged that your situation can improve. I have felt like that fleetingly and it is a powerful feeling. I hope the best for you in the new stage in your life.

#4 Posted by Demoskinos (15019 posts) -

Hey awesome. Also ditch those "friends" of yours. You don't need people bringing you down anymore. I'm glad you finally took the first step to pursuing what you feel you really want. I hope change and a new life are on the horizon for you.

#5 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

Hey awesome. Also ditch those "friends" of yours. You don't need people bringing you down anymore. I'm glad you finally took the first step to pursuing what you feel you really want. I hope change and a new life are on the horizon for you.

Yeahhh, I am starting to realize I don't really need them and all they do is make me and other people unhappy. Sometimes intentionally. I don't want to be around people that only exist to be negative and drag everyone else down.

#6 Posted by Hunter5024 (5819 posts) -

I hope everything works out awesome for you! :D

#7 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

I can't imagine the difficulty in making this decision, but I hope it works out for you!

#8 Edited by Demoskinos (15019 posts) -

@artelinarose: At the risk of sounding uber cliche I'll break out this quote from Robin Williams:

#9 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I can't imagine the difficulty in making this decision, but I hope it works out for you!

It wasn't hard at all! I am who I am and I can't change that. But I can change myself to be more like who I am!

#10 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I can't imagine the difficulty in making this decision, but I hope it works out for you!

It wasn't hard at all! I am who I am and I can't change that. But I can change myself to be more like who I am!

Good to hear!

#11 Posted by cloudnineboya (831 posts) -

<>

#12 Posted by GnaTSoL (835 posts) -

You started taking hormones?..... Someone enlighten me. I know I'm stupid.

#13 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

@gnatsol said:

You started taking hormones?..... Someone enlighten me. I know I'm stupid.

I am a male-to-female transgender. I am taking medicine to raise my estrogen levels and lower my testosterone levels. Which are actually already in the toilet! Most males in my age range(18-25) have testosterone levels somewhere around 750-900. Mine are naturally down around 250. I'm totally broken!

#14 Posted by TruthTellah (9321 posts) -

Glad to hear it, @artelinarose. That's an important step to make, and while it will have its difficulties, it sounds like you'll be better from it.

This is definitely a moment for celebration, and nothing makes me happier than to see that you are devoting yourself to this. Yet, just as a note of caution from my time with others who have gone through this transition and others like it, one thing I've learned is that it is a rocky path with physical changes that won't necessarily fix the personal pain. It is the personal changes one makes through the transition that truly pull it all together.

You dedicating yourself to the process is one of the big parts of that personal growth, and as you face the next few years, you will face yourself like never before. Even if it's a struggle, I have a feeling you will pull through as you have in the past, and truly, this could indeed be the step that begins the rest of your life. Eventually, you will look at yourself and just see... yourself, and you'll have to decide each day if that's someone you're content to be.

I know you'll get there, and even before the outside matches the inside, you can be proud of the person you've become and the person you hope to be in the future. Even just as another stranger in the distance, I'm proud of you for making this decision and pursuing something well worth pursuing. I hope and pray you will find greater peace and enduring joy through everything in front of you. :)

#15 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

I think it's great that you are becoming the whole you. Toxic friends are nothing but that, toxic. I've had to let some friends go because of their propensity to make me as miserable as they are. The best of luck to you. Enjoy your life to the fullest. Sending all the good vibes I have your way.

#16 Edited by supamon (1333 posts) -

I don't interact with you much but I usually do read your blogs. I'm glad to read that you're taking steps to become the person you're happy and comfortable with. If your friends are toxic and make you feel awful, would you really consider them your friends? Just tough out what you can't change at the moment and look forward to the point when you can, remember, this too shall pass. All the best!

<>

#17 Posted by Aetheldod (3630 posts) -

@artelinarose: Well I´ll take the chance to apologize if I ever insulted you personally , I unfortunately have the "old view" of things :/ but even if I disagree with the whole thing , this is your life and not ours to do as we please (im talking about the people who thinks like me) so all I can say is I wish you luck and hope you find happiness after the whole deal :D and really wish for you to encounter 0 jerks like me in your life.

I wish tho that I had some of that bravery of yours within me ^^

#18 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3825 posts) -

@artelinarose said:

@gnatsol said:

You started taking hormones?..... Someone enlighten me. I know I'm stupid.

I am a male-to-female transgender. I am taking medicine to raise my estrogen levels and lower my testosterone levels. Which are actually already in the toilet! Most males in my age range(18-25) have testosterone levels somewhere around 750-900. Mine are naturally down around 250. I'm totally broken!

You said raise your estrogen levels. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying that males naturally have some small amount of estrogen that can be measured?

[edit] Just looked it up, and yes, males have estrogen levels. I guess I never knew that.

If it's not too personal of a question, what are yours levels and what is average?

Anyhow, I'm glad to hear that you're in a much better place lately, and I hope that your transition gives you even more comfort and happiness.

#19 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac said:

@artelinarose said:

@gnatsol said:

You started taking hormones?..... Someone enlighten me. I know I'm stupid.

I am a male-to-female transgender. I am taking medicine to raise my estrogen levels and lower my testosterone levels. Which are actually already in the toilet! Most males in my age range(18-25) have testosterone levels somewhere around 750-900. Mine are naturally down around 250. I'm totally broken!

You said raise your estrogen levels. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying that males naturally have some small amount of estrogen that can be measured?

[edit] Just looked it up, and yes, males have estrogen levels. I guess I never knew that.

If it's not too personal of a question, what are yours levels and what is average?

Anyhow, I'm glad to hear that you're in a much better place lately, and I hope that your transition gives you even more comfort and happiness.

Uhhh I don't know about estrogen, but I did just give the average testosterone levels for my age and my personal level above. They took blood from me to test my pituitary and adrenal glands and found nothing wrong, so I'm just naturally like that, I guess. Been operating on nearly a quarter of what I should have for years.

#20 Edited by TruthTellah (9321 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Yes, men have a natural, low level of estrogen which grows and fluctuates throughout their life. As you age, your estrogen is likely to go up, and men can have issues, such as problems with their liver, if their estrogen level gets too high.

Women also have a natural, low level of testosterone. And they can have issues if their testosterone level gets too high.

Someone transitioning is almost always(and should be) regularly monitored by a trained physician to make sure no unexpected ill reactions occur and any concerns are managed properly.

#21 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3825 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac said:

@artelinarose said:

@gnatsol said:

You started taking hormones?..... Someone enlighten me. I know I'm stupid.

I am a male-to-female transgender. I am taking medicine to raise my estrogen levels and lower my testosterone levels. Which are actually already in the toilet! Most males in my age range(18-25) have testosterone levels somewhere around 750-900. Mine are naturally down around 250. I'm totally broken!

You said raise your estrogen levels. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying that males naturally have some small amount of estrogen that can be measured?

[edit] Just looked it up, and yes, males have estrogen levels. I guess I never knew that.

If it's not too personal of a question, what are yours levels and what is average?

Anyhow, I'm glad to hear that you're in a much better place lately, and I hope that your transition gives you even more comfort and happiness.

Uhhh I don't know about estrogen, but I did just give the average testosterone levels for my age and my personal level above. They took blood from me to test my pituitary and adrenal glands and found nothing wrong, so I'm just naturally like that, I guess. Been operating on nearly a quarter of what I should have for years.

Yeah, that would likely explain a good part of why you might feel uncomfortable being a man.

Anyhow, this is a pretty interesting topic. If you care to keep us updated on your transition, I'll definitely be reading along, and probably learning a few things along the way.

#22 Posted by Itwongo (1217 posts) -

Good on ya, doing what you want with your life :) I hope it makes you happy.

Also, I'll join the chorus: you need better (read: actual) friends.

#23 Edited by Nev (556 posts) -

Right on, that's pretty amazing news. I can't even imagine how that first step to something so great feels.

#24 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5806 posts) -

That's great to hear duder! I wish you all the luck. Don't let anyone ever discourage you for being who you are! :D

#25 Posted by Do_The_Manta_Ray (696 posts) -

I'm genuinely impressed that you're willing to take this step, requires a very particular brand of courage. Best of luck in this and everything else, duder.

That said, I'd be a little bit more cautious when it comes to managing your expectations. I don't know you so I can only generalize, but it sounds to me like you're putting a lot of stock in a chance to reinvent yourself. As I'm sure you're only too aware, this will only change your gender, not who you are. I understand the urge to create a turning point around which you can build a new life, but you can only build a new life out of the pieces of your old one. If you mean to be happy, there's many, many small steps that you'll need to attempt to take alongside this large one. Don't wait until the surgery is complete to start changing the little things or I'm afraid you'll find yourself the same person in the same situation in a different body, and that could go either way.

Still, you got reason to celebrate and something to look forwards to. It sounds like you could use a bit of happiness, and I hope as hell that you manage to obtain that, duder, I genuinely do. Just don't keep your eyes too focused on the horizon.

#26 Posted by Dacnomaniac (442 posts) -

I read 'hormones' as 'homeless' at first, and then I had to read through it again for me to realise what a fucking idiot I am. But, for realz, congrats man, I hope you become the person you are happy to be.

#27 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Go Artelina go! Get out of that fucking house next!

p.s. what happened to Artemecia?

#28 Posted by Christoffer (1868 posts) -

Glad to hear you're taking steps to improve your life. It's always inspiring to hear about these things. Too many people, in my surroundings anyway, seem content to just suffer through the day claiming "it is what it is, nothing I can do about it" (and maybe I'm somewhat guilty of that aswell).

#29 Edited by development (2439 posts) -

Well contrary to what controversy would make people think, the (not-pre-teen) gaming community is incredibly supportive, so you're in good hands.

#30 Posted by Fattony12000 (7528 posts) -
#31 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Congrats! I wish you the best in your new life!

#32 Posted by SuperTess (142 posts) -

Congratulations on beginning your transition! And yes, toxic people pretty much live to make other people miserable. I hope you can get away from them. Be you and don't let them drag you down.

#33 Edited by thatdutchguy (1273 posts) -

Good luck.

#34 Posted by nsmb2_mario (72 posts) -

I don't really understand any of this... good luck, I guess.

#35 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4827 posts) -

Good luck and ditch your shitty friends.

#36 Posted by falserelic (5468 posts) -

Follow your heart and do what makes you happy. I know its alot easier said then done, but I'm sure things will come along eventually.

Anyway Good Luck and Congratz......

#37 Edited by chiablo (955 posts) -

Hell is other people. I think everyone, regardless of their background or what challenges they are facing, reach a point when they have to shrug off their past and transition to the future.

#38 Posted by leebmx (2247 posts) -

Good luck with everything - I hope you get to place where you feel happy and confident. One thing I would say is that it is better to be on your own than to spend time with people who don't understand you or make you unhappy.

Its funny you posted this, I am just reading a book about someone who undergoes a gender change, although it is the other way round. Its called Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and it is fantastic - pick it up if you want a funny, moving great story to read.

#39 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3577 posts) -

I'm glad to hear that you are in a better situation, cheers to the future.

#40 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -


They took blood from me to test my pituitary and adrenal glands

Sort of curious: How do they draw blood from your pituitary gland? That's, like, near your brain, right?

Regardless, I wish you nothing than the best health and happiness. Congrats on being you.

#41 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

Congratulations! I hope everything goes well.

...This was a good excuse to use this dumb gif.

#42 Edited by Bocam (3785 posts) -

@ravenlight said:
@artelinarose said:

They took blood from me to test my pituitary and adrenal glands

Sort of curious: How do they draw blood from your pituitary gland? That's, like, near your brain, right?

It's a normal blood test. They stick a needle in your arm.

#43 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

@artelinarose:

That's awesome! You know I would have said that no matter what you chose because, to me, what's awesome is that you made the decision yourself and that your taking steps to realize what you want. I'm really happy for you.

#44 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Good for you! Thats a big step, so good luck!

#45 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4235 posts) -

That's awesome news to hear! I hope you get to a better state of happiness, duder.

#46 Posted by OmegaPirate (5522 posts) -

Best of luck! take it easy and know that we are all here for you xx

#47 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

@bocam said:

@ravenlight said:
@artelinarose said:

They took blood from me to test my pituitary and adrenal glands

Sort of curious: How do they draw blood from your pituitary gland? That's, like, near your brain, right?

It's a normal blood test. They stick a needle in your arm.

Yeah, they can test lots and lots of things just from having a little bit of blood.

Actually, the first day I went in to the doctor's office they took eight vials of the stuff. I very very nearly passed out cause I was stupid and hadn't eaten a proper breakfast before going in so my blood sugar was nonexistent. I apparently lost all of my color and legitimately looked dead. Looking back, my nearly passing out, losing all color and my leg muscles spasming are all signs of going into shock hahaha


I'm genuinely impressed that you're willing to take this step, requires a very particular brand of courage. Best of luck in this and everything else, duder.

That said, I'd be a little bit more cautious when it comes to managing your expectations. I don't know you so I can only generalize, but it sounds to me like you're putting a lot of stock in a chance to reinvent yourself. As I'm sure you're only too aware, this will only change your gender, not who you are. I understand the urge to create a turning point around which you can build a new life, but you can only build a new life out of the pieces of your old one. If you mean to be happy, there's many, many small steps that you'll need to attempt to take alongside this large one. Don't wait until the surgery is complete to start changing the little things or I'm afraid you'll find yourself the same person in the same situation in a different body, and that could go either way.

Still, you got reason to celebrate and something to look forwards to. It sounds like you could use a bit of happiness, and I hope as hell that you manage to obtain that, duder, I genuinely do. Just don't keep your eyes too focused on the horizon.

Yeah, I know. I'm smart enough to realize that even if this goes as perfectly as I want it to and I'm purdier than I could have imagined and I'm treated the way I want to and all that other stuff, my life is in the exact same spot. I'm still in a house that makes me unhappy and I'm still only working fourteen hours a week at a job that doesn't satisfy me in enough ways. This isn't a cure all, but it is a step towards making my life better. I think that as soon as you start walking, the distance becomes easier to manage because it only seems so far in your head when you're not moving at all.

#48 Posted by BeachThunder (12094 posts) -

I'm genuinely happy to hear that :D

#49 Edited by ShaggE (6555 posts) -

Congrats!

And good on the rest of you, I cringed at the idea of reading the rest of this thread, but I needn't have worried.

#50 Posted by stonepawfox (236 posts) -

i'm really happy for you! good luck with everything. i hope even in the miserable times you remember that a bunch of us here on giantbomb think you are great!