Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Tyrannosaurus rex

T Rex is rearing its ugly head

18 Comments

“One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” I’m going to rewrite this as, “A trans woman’s electrolysis is a trans man’s beard.”

I promised my wife I would stop transitioning physically after top surgery. Ha. Being unbalanced physically and mentally did not throw me as much while I was on the road to top surgery and while recovering afterwards. Now, almost a year after the operation, I am experiencing even more dysphoria, and reading about other trans guys learning to shave or growing beards, is not helping at all, to put it mildly. How I wish I could trade my baby-soft cheeks for the beard of a trans woman going through the pain of electrolysis…

Tyrannosaurus Rex has raised its ugly head and is staring at me with its beady eyes, softly growling, “Think about it, chum.”

And I am thinking about it. Daily. The scale is tipping heavily towards the physical. My desire to go on T is growing exponentially. If I had been single, I would most probably have already embarked on the journey, riding into the future on T Rex’s back. But I am not single, I have a partner to consider and B is not the emotionally strongest person around – on the contrary.

So I am finding myself balancing on a very sharp double-edged sword: my need and intense desire to continue physical transitioning by going on testosterone on one hand, and B’s fragile emotional state and fears on the other. She had given me her blessing to go through with top surgery, but a flat chest is not something for which people will stone you. They might wonder where the flower sacks have gone, but they will not query it. A beard is something totally different.

B had dragged along a cartful of baggage from childhood through our quarter of a century together and had discarded most of it in years of therapy. She has only recently come to terms with the concept of being in a “gay” relationship, and then I had to go and throw the whole transgender issue at her: mud, manure and all. She cannot fathom that I now, a stone-throw away from turning 60, would want to look like a man.  I, on the other hand, have to make the picture of the guy I am in my head, fit into a shell that screams, “Female!”

The partners of trans people are walking an uphill emotional road as well, feeling as alone and scared as us who are transitioning. Some relationships cannot withstand being emotionally torn apart and disintegrate. Friendships die a sudden death when friends hear about a person transitioning. Families turn their backs.

How can I now put B through the wringer again?

I do not think I have the emotional strength to ride into the sunset on T Rex’s back alone. I will just have to keep shooting at him.

Dinosaur cartoon

Note: While not a T Rex, Gertie the Dinosaur is a 1914 animated short film by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. It is the earliest animated film to feature a dinosaur.

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Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

18 thoughts on “T Rex is rearing its ugly head

  1. Drat, Kris. I’ so sorry you’re going through this. I wish I could say or do something – anything – to help you, but there’s nothing I can do, except to let you know that I care.
    And sorry I took so long. I read your post several days ago already, but never got around to leaving a comment. Crazy days at my place… :/

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    • No worries, Liam. The passing of your FIL and funeral are stressful times in a regular-flavoured family, not to mention any upside-down families such as yours and mine. I am the only one living in my skin and walking in my boots, but it does help a lot to know there are guys like me out there who care and understand. Thank you so much for making time to come back and comment and know it is appreciated deeply. Baie,baie dankie, maat!

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  2. Wow Kris. For a minute there I thought, “are you in my head?!” I want to be seen the way I see myself in the quiet places (few and far between) in my own mind. 6 Foot tall and muscular, narrow waist and hips and wide shoulders. As long as we’re there, nice 6-pack abs would be appreciated. But no amount of T is going to make that image appear. To anyone. And so I just sigh and wilt and and engage in the tail chasing.
    Thank you SO much for writing as you journey. It helps to know I’m not alone.

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  3. It’s difficult when partners are at different places along the acceptance spectrum. I’m ahead of sk in that department so I can empathize with you, Kris. You want to keep progressing yourself and as a couple but their level of acceptance is not helping, so you try to be supportive and encouraging without being too demanding. . . I get it.
    For beards, if it helps, I just read an article that warned against the bacteria stored in them. Apparently, they can horde as much bacteria as a dirty toilet seat. Think of that the next time you wish to have hair on your face. lol 🙂
    Cheers, dude.

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  4. Rock, meet hard place. 😦 … for all that we love, and how hard we love, it remains that only we live in our skin, no-one else. May you find your Path lit by the candles of those who have gone before.

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    • Thanks, Widder. I am looking out for those who have gone before’s candles. May they light this rock-hard path I find myself navigating.

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  5. It’s tough to navigate transition within a long-term relationship… I really want to be a supportive spouse to my partner, and even so there are times when I feel weird or uncomfortable with the changes taking place. I blame that primitive part of my brain that has evolved to respond so strongly to certain gender cues. I think it’s possible to adjust as a partner changes, but it takes time and effort.

    I’m sorry it seems like there are hard choices to make… I hope you and B will be able to move forward together in a way that you both feel happy with.

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    • Thank you so much for the empathy and the wishes. B’s aversion to my transitioning is linked to sociophobia as well as other issues – she finds it very difficult to deal with prejudices and society at large – but few of us cope with sticks and stones, even of the verbal kind.

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  6. I would say on average I convince myself to take T and unconvince myself of it once a week. Donna officially stepped out of the way a couple of weeks ago and told me “Do what you want, just don’t tell anyone that you are not doing it because I said no” and is no longer doing any gatekeeping for me. It is a long story, but it is because she went off her heart medication despite my requesting that she stay on it until she was done with cardio rehab – and when I noted the inconsistency in her policy she told me to do what I want.

    I’ve been looking at low dose T (Androgel) on and off. For me, at this point, it is most important how I feel inside to myself and how I see myself in the mirror, and not how I appear to other people. The problem I am struggling with is that unless I take T I won’t know the answer. And so I chase my tail.

    I know a couple of people on low dose, and the changes on the outside are slow and minimal. But they claim the “inner peace” thing, which is appealing.

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    • I wonder if Donna will stick to her line if you should start on T… I get what you say about the importance of how you feel inside and perceive yourself in the mirror. I am still avoiding looking at my body in mirrors, but I cannot always avoid my own eyes staring back at me from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and they are pleading. Sigh. Yeah, inner peace is appealing, but at what cost? I cannot embark on the T road in secret, would not want to, so for now, the choice is not mine. Take care, Jamie.

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  7. I honestly had no idea how torturous this phase of transitioning could be. My heart is with you and your T-Rex.

    sis

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  8. I feel your pain Kris. Even though I take T I struggle with what this is doing to my relationships, my partner and my professional life. I understand you might not want to dabble with a low dose in fear that it will just frustrate you or lead you to taking a heavier dose but you might find it helps take the edge off of your dysphoria and make you feel better. I’ve been taking T for 4 years now and still present as female most of the time, but I do still have those chesticles at this point too. And while I do shave every other day or so I am not sure if I could actually grow any kind of respectable beard at this point. Maybe since B struggles with being in a gay relationship she would actually feel more comfortable with your relationship if people saw you as a traditional straight couple? Could it possibly improve your lives in some ways? Just food for thought and throwing some ideas out there. I wish you happiness and peace Kris.

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    • Thanks so much for the wishes, Shawn. I know you battle with similar issues in your relationship and do really understand. We have been presenting as “gay” for so long now, chances that people would see as as straight, even if I should present with a beard, are slim to none. They would just see a more weird couple than before. I can almost guarantee you a low dose of T will freak B out even more – she already starts every other sentence with, “I am afraid…” and that refers to things not remotely trans. But T Rex will keep gnawing, I know. Who knows…

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      • I completely get that! We’re in a similar situation here and I often wonder if people will ever see me as who I really am. B’s fear…I don’t know what to tell you about that. My partner is scared too but it comes out as negativity and criticism and that hurts. It’s taken me quite a while to understand that underneath all of her negativity is fear. Hell, I’m scared too. Sometimes you just have to do it anyway but that’s something only you can decide.

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        • “I often wonder if people will ever see me as who I really am” – I think I will go to my grave in this husk, but there are still so many things to be thankful for. Take care, Shawn.

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