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Kenna

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It’s about time I started my own Blog, in which I can post my own news without cluttering others’.

I guess I should begin with an introduction sharing of a bit about myself. The following is a slightly updated version of my original introductory post that has a little extra detail as well.

I'm a 65 year old transgender woman who has been oblivious to this for most of my life. It was only the summer before last (I'm in Australia, so think Christmas 2018), that I was idly "wasting" some time browsing through YouTube when I came across a video by Stef Sanjati; whom I’d previously seen describing her genetic condition which caused more widely separated eyes. I’d originally assumed she was male but she was now openly describing herself as a transgender woman. Surprised, I started following links originating on her page and within an hour or so it occurred to me that being transgender provided a better understanding of my own identity and consequent difficulties than anything I had come across before, and I’d explored many. More research quickly followed and then multiple sessions with a psychologist easily confirmed that I’d been experiencing gender dysphoria rather than the episodes of depression that I’d previously sought treatment for, and that I comfortably met the formal criteria as being transgender, leading to the commencement of hormones in June 2019.

My biggest question was: Why did it take me so long to realise my true gender?

While pregnant with me, my mother was emotionally and physically abused by my father until she managed to get away from him when 6 months pregnant. As I was growing up she was keen to ensure that I had adequate male influence and role models. It may have been a coincidence but prior to school all the friends I had were boys then I was sent to an all-boys school, boarding from grade 7. A consequence of this was that I had no significant contact with any girls of even remotely similar age to me until I reached university, so I had no real idea what any alternative gender might look like. Throughout school I never really fitted in, was bullied and near the bottom of the "pecking" order. By the time I got to university I had been so well indoctrinated into being male that I just kept trying to continue to play the role as well as I could. Being actively involved in a socially conservative evangelical group and similar local churches, may have further contributed to me not addressing my gender identity. I was then preoccupied with marriage, family, work, divorce and caring for my elderly mother, all of which took much of the focus of my thought; that is until the YouTube episode I mentioned above.

Also, until more recent times, there has been very little awareness of people being transgender, so even if I had recognised the cause of my dysphoria much earlier it’s unlikely that I could have done anything about it other than simply acknowledging it.

I am now quite confident in my identity and have begun my transition. Having "played" a man for so long I am sure that I could have just continued and done nothing about it, but I am now quite confident that transitioning is the right thing to do. It is not really feasible for me to come out at work as, while my government employer would be supportive, there are far too many diverse stake holders and vulnerable, challenging people in my work environment to do so safely. Earlier this year I reduced my workload to 4 days a week and am planning to retire, probably in the coming January, if don’t find a more appealing 3 day a week job first, in which I can comfortably express my feminine identity.

My 3 adult children, are uncomfortable with the idea of me transitioning, but have all expressed a commitment to our continuing relationships, regardless of what I do. There's still many more discussions to be had here!

I could easily ramble on for quite a bit more, but let's save that for later posts.

-Kenna
 

Kenna

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As many of you will know, I had a hair transplant on 12 May. There’s a thread about my experience here.

Then on 26 May, exactly 2 weeks later I had orthopedic surgery on my right foot primarily to realign my little toe, which poked up and ends up above the straps on most sandals that I’ve tried on as well as poking out of many shoes low cut shoes, such as ballet flats. I’m still recovering from that and have to keep my foot elevated as much as possible, ideally at least 23 hours a day. While initially quite painful I can now bear full weight on it for short periods and can sort of walk around the kitchen, keeping most of the weight on my heel. This is much better than Sunday when I was hopping around the kitchen and hopped up into the sharp corner of an open upper cupboard, giving myself a significant gash in the temple, right on some of the transplanted area. It oozed blood for a couple of hours but has settled well since then.

-Kenna
 

Kenna

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Well, to bring things to the present; over the last two days I’ve had a total of 8 hours of facial electrolysis; four each on Monday and Tuesday! The motivation for this marathon came about because before the lockdown I was getting 4 hours each Monday and while beauty therapists, including electrologists, were allowed to recommence work this Monday, next Monday is a public holiday here so as we were discussing alternative times, I realised that I was still on sick leave for my foot surgery this week and could come in any time. She had this afternoon free so I grabbed it!

For the first time in about 5 decades I’ve no facial hair without shaving! She is confident that I will now be moving into the “maintenance” phase and will be gradually be requiring less and less time and/or frequent sessions.

Cheers,
-Kenna
 

Katie

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I love Stef Sanjati and her journey played a role in helping me commit 100% to HRT. I was so afraid and went off HRT a few times in 2018, and I found her videos in early 2019. She hasn't been as active on YouTube since she got out of a treatment center for eating disorders, but she is still active on Twitter and does interviews. I found her interviews on her experiences with addiction and eating disorders very informative.
 

Katie

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Plus, Stef is in the short girl club like me. She's actually shorter than me by 2".
 

Maddie

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Shudder in horror reading about the bloody bump to the transplanted follicles on your forehead...hope that never happens again!

Kenna, thank you for starting this thread and sharing about your experiences in life.
Best to your electrolgist's continuing efforts.
It's so good to be smoother overall, yes?
 

Linde

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Kena, how can you stand 8 hours of electrolysis? I do not more than 1/2 hour every 4 weeks, if I do more, i have no skin left!

As always, I am ignorant and have no idea who Stef Sanjati is? I never had any example or any goal for me moving on with me becoming a woman. I just followed the lead my body gave me, and my mind was very eager to follow. I have never met any other intersex person (that I know of), and only very few trans persons, all of them after I lived my life as a woman for quite some while already. All my guidance came from my cis girlfriends, who are still my absolut best buddies.
For quite some time they told me that I should change for good, cause they were sick and tired to talk female stuff with me, while trying to look like a guy.
I am lucky that I had no work considerations because I retired at the age of 60.

Hugs
Linde
 

Donica

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Thank you for sharing your blog with us Kenna. It is amazing to learn just how many trans people there are once we connect with the community. It was like walking down a hallway of doors. Once I open the right one and stepped through, it was a bright new world of acceptance and belonging that I somehow always knew it was where I was supposed to be. We go through life not always knowing what it is we are looking for, but when we find it, we realize that somehow we've always known this is who we've been all our lives.

I'm glad you found us and that you have found your true self. It is wonderful to meet you Kenna. And please be careful not to bump your head any more hun. It looked like it really hurt. I hope it didn't damage anything?

Hugs!
 
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TonyaJanelle

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Hey Kenna,

Cool new blog you got here.

Hope the bump to the head didn't do any damage to the transplants.

4 hour sessions of electrolysis? Maybe when she gets to my neck, no way on my upper lip or chin even.

You're one tough lady
 
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NicoleT

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Kenna......wow..... I just started electrolysis. I literally can’t imagine a four hour session, unless of course I am completely tanked. Like off my ass drunk on whiskey. And I really drink. Very impressive.

On another note I’ve been reading your thread in your story very interesting. Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing just how many stories are different but in the end we all conclude the same thing.

Hugs
Nicole
 

Monica

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Glad to see you blogging Kenna. I have a few friends who figured things out later in life. That would have been better with better media coverage of trans people.
I used to routinely do 2 hours stints with elect. That was a lot towards the end of each session.
 

Kenna

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It's so good to be smoother overall, yes?
Maddie, unfortunately I can't claim smoothness as yet. Its pretty swollen and marked. It's also a bit less complete than I originally understood. Based on my past experience, things look their worst on the second day but rapidly recovers from there and visible evidence pretty much disappears during the third day, although some less noticeable swelling might remain for a few more days.

Yes, the upper lip is very sensitive, and while I've endured several long sessions on it in the past, this Monday I tried using numbing cream for the first time. It made a big difference for the first hour and then some difference for the second hour. By that time she'd finished my upper lip and, after a short lunch break, was onto my lower lip and down from the corners of my mouth for the remaining 2 hours. The next day each side of my face took about 30 minutes to clear and the remaining 3 hours was spent on my chin and spreading out a bit along my jaw line. My neck has been clear for some time, although a very occasional hair will still pop up and require treatment.
20200603_150027_cr2.jpg
-Kenna
 

Kenna

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And yesterday a friend from the support group my church has set up for me gave me some flowers on behalf of the group. It took me a little bit, but I've realised that that is the first time I've ever received flowers as a small gift! :D
20200602_125057_crR.jpg
-Kenna
 

OzGirl

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Wow Kenna, they are lovely!! I'm still waiting to get flowers, despite lots of hints!! I used to buy my ex wife flowers until she realised I enjoyed them more than she did. And I have almost that exact same vase, though, sadly empty atm....

Hugs,

Allie
 

Monica

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I didn't know they had flowers in Australia! Yes they are pretty. That is so nice, Kenna!

When one gets almost done with the electrologist, you still get some very fine hairs popping up. They drive me crazy because they are so hard to shave off. Better than the course stuff though.

Just noticed @OzGirl Allie, your avatar picture. I absolutely love it. Such a beautiful smile.
 

NicoleT

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Allie...I agree... That’s $1 million smile... what a great picture.
Kenna....I was just thinking about that the other day If I was ever going to be at a point.....that someone would actually give me flowers. I used to do it for my wife ....I figured beautiful needed beautiful. She love them put them in a vase and I really enjoyed having them around the house for a few days. I’m not so sure I’m gonna qualify for flowers anytime soon but I am so happy they did that for you that’s got to just make you feel special. Congratulations Kenna on your first ever bouquet of flowers😁

Hugs
 

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Wow, you all have so great smiles that I can't keep up with them. That is the reason that I am the masked woman now!

Kenna, pretty yellow roses, I love them. I have a pretty similar looking vase, too! One of my hobbies is making flower arrangement from silk flowers, because they simply last longer, but nothing is a s petty as real life flowers!

I wish all of you a wonderful day!


Hugs
Linde
 

OzGirl

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Nicole has such a beaming smile now, and Tonya, and even Moni now have smiling avatars, I thought I better get with the program ! Finally having my HRT working has made such a difference too!

My wife would sometimes get given flowers, and she would bring them home, hand them to me and ask me to arrange them for her “cos you’re better at that shit”.

Hugs,

Allie
 

Donica

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Lovely flowers Kenna. How wonderful of your support group friend to do this for you. I'm jealous, but in a happy way.

It looks like I need to update my avatar with a gigger smile too. I should practice what I preach.
 

Kenna

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I had the sutures out of my foot today and was told that I could have a shower without my foot in a plastic bag on Sunday. Wow, am looking forward to that! :D It's also much more comfortable without the bulky dressing. I'm still meant to wear my hard-soled "slipper" for another couple of weeks and keep it elevated as much as possible to control swelling, but as of yesterday I'm only using the crutches to go up and down the stairs or for longer walks. It's great to be able to carry a cup of coffee to the table! I confirmed that they effectively split the bone behind my little toe and reset it with something akin to what a carpenter might call a scarf joint and then held it in place with 2 pins, commenting that my toe had been seriously elevated. I'll also have to continue to tape my toe into it's lower position until I talk with the surgeon again in about 4 weeks.

I also had a video consult with my GP today and heard that my E level is 707 (int'l), which surprised me as this time it was a fasting blood test was that several hours longer after my previous dose than when I normally have my tests. I was getting ready to argue to increase my dose, given that my last level was only 530 and the breast-growth spurt I was feeling then only last a week or so. If pressed, my breasts are still a bit tender so something might be still be happening, albeit slowly. While my bust measurement hasn't changed from 115cm in many months, my breasts seem to be more obvious and with better shape than they used to be when I first reached this size. He assured me that 707 was ample to support growth and I wonder if I might be reaching my natural limit. We discussed the possibility of progesterone but I'm seeing a surgeon at the end of this to month to hopefully set a date for my orchiectomy not too long after. As I'd like to keep changes distinct from each other we agreed to put a hold on a progesterone trial until well after that.

Cheers,
-Kenna
 
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