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Thread: What's a reasonable timeline?

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    What's a reasonable timeline?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm just beginning the physical process of transition. (There are epic battles at home over this so things might change, but I need some information I can't seem to find.)

    My first hormone appointment is about a month from now (hard to get doctors where I live, so that's really soon). I am fortunate to have a job at which i can transition and be protected, though it's obviously going to be awkward. A test of my commitment I suppose.

    Assuming regular hormone doses and steady attention to hair removal and such, how long is it likely that I can hide this from my colleagues and observant (mostly female) students? When should I plan to go full time, based on starting HRT approximately June 1, 2018?

    i've seen all kinds of things posted here, and I realize there is some flexibility based on how much or how little work I want to do to hide things and how old I am (60), but i'm curious as to what people think and know -- how long after HRT did you transition socially? Does being on HRT just make you want to accelerate things or does it calm that down?

    thanks for any thoughts...

    elizabethamy
    Last edited by elizabethamy; 04-23-2018 at 09:43 AM. Reason: clarity

  2. #2
    Member Mirya's Avatar
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    I went full time after 4 months on HRT. I was consistently getting weird looks from other guys in the menís restroom at that point, even while presenting male. More importantly I simply couldnít stand to live as a man any longer. I think the HRT made me feel an increased urgency to transition.

    Iím a pretty rare case though, and I know that most donít transition nearly as fast as I do. Some people can be on HRT for years without going full time. But based on my experience it can and does happen very quickly sometimes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Vanessa Grandy's Avatar
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    Elizabeth,
    What I'd read here and in other websites is that is unpredictable to know the reaction of hormones in the body. I mean, boobies, hips, booty.
    For the grayish of the beard I'm clear that hormones don't help so laser or other treatments are needed if you really want to pass unnoticed for that.
    There are another male signs in the face that some people go for feminization surgeries.
    So the answer to your question as a timeline doesn't exist. If I were in your case and you're out in your job and family I would go in full time woman but I've been working by my own feminization for more than a year, Very few blueish for the beard in the face, I did my eyebrows, no hair in the body, etc.
    So my answer would be it is up to you.
    Last edited by Vanessa Grandy; 04-23-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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    Nasty Woman Melissa Rose's Avatar
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    Elizabeth, you may not like this answer, but I think it is a reflection of reality - both mine and others. A timeline could be a few months up to a few years before HRT is clearly noticeable by more than a few. There are so many variables based on the individual, and a number of these variables are not controllable by the individual. Big variable is how an individual responds to HRT. Some show significant physical changes and other very little. There is also the speed variable with some being fast changers and others much slower. Using myself as an example, I experienced significant breast growth by 6 months (B-cup), but skin softening and body hair thinning was not pronounced until about 2 years. I completed hair removal before HRT.

    A second twist on the issue is knowing when people start to notice. Unless someone says something to you or you overhear a comment, how do you know if someone notices? Most will not say anything out of politeness or feeling it is none of their business. Different people may notice at different times or come to different conclusions as to your subtle or modest change in appearance. My niece and her husband thought I was ill.

    If I was forced to make a prediction, it would be a guess of about 1 year with a big "your mileage may vary" caveat.

    I understand wanting a timeline (I am a planner and organizer type of person), but it needs to have a lot of room for unpredictability and "error", or contingencies in case things to do not go as planned.
    Last edited by Melissa Rose; 04-23-2018 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Inserted a few missed words

  5. #5
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    Hi Elizabeth,

    I started HRT last August, and I can pass as either gender if i so choose now, but the boobs are readily hidden if it were required. I'd say the thing is, "why would you want to continue 1 more second as a male" if you are committed?

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  6. #6
    MissSwissMiss LexiNexi's Avatar
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    Thats a question that you only know the answer to after it happens and only applies to you. For me it has been 2 months wit the dose raised 1 month ago. So far: B cups with very female nipples(nipples just changed suddenly I almost over looked them) Legs/feet look 100% girly body fat moving around face looks different all of my skin is softer hair growth is much much slower although I did get laser on my back and its really smooth. Got laser on my face so it takes a long time to grow back but still needs daily shaving and concealer to feel/look female. All of my muscle tone is different and lost alot in my arms.

    At some point you are just going to mentally want to present as female regardless of how you look; sounds backwards but the estrogen 100% changes your brain. Remember the feeling of "being a man in a dress" well you will get that wearing mens clothes only it won't be exciting it will feel wrong.

    My goal was this summer but that date is changing already I dress as female more then 1/2 the time. I wish my hair would grow out faster. You will just look at yourself in the mirror one day before make up and see a girl/the real you looking back at you.
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    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    I think the best advice to you is - your mileage may very.

    Different people react differently to the process. As well, different people have different goals.

    Personally I have been on E for 9 months or so. Are the changes so dramatic that I would have had to tell people at this point? No. But as well, appearing as female as possible is not a daily goal for me. Ultimately my goal was to feel better, mentally and physically.

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    Elizabeth, this is all good information (except maybe some a little bit airy), and the comment "your mileage may vary" is probably the most accurate. But I understand you'd like some ideas, as I did.

    After 18 months of weekly therapy I started HRT in May 2016. Three months on estradiol (there are several options), plus spironolactone. She then increased the dosage for the next six months. By then I needed a B cup bra, but I didn't fill them until about 12 months from the start. Another friend, a tall thin girl, had barely A cups, and after two years thats all she has. Mine are overflowing B cups, but I doubt if they will go to C.

    My endo said I'd likely be about one cup less than my mother or maternal grandmother - and thats about where I am. My mom and grandma did not have that Coke bottle shape belly and hips, and neither do I. No hour glass figure for me.

    It is said when you start HRT its hard to lose weight. It is for me, and I have put on 10#. I know its bad eating habits, but ...

    My nipples started itching within a week, and I swear I could feel breasts starting to grow at three weeks. Probably psychosomatic, though, but ???. My hair got finer. My skin got softer. My muscles got softer, too, and when biceps deflate the skin there becomes flab underneath your arm. it can flap around a little bit.

    My taste buds changed, too. I would never, ever eat Caesar salad, just the smell made me crinkle up my nose. About a few months, less than six, of HRT and i desired it. I rarely even ate salad (except what was inside a hamburger), but now I eat salad 2-3 times a week now, and about a third of the time its Caesar salad. Two weeks ago i started wanting an ice cream sandwich from DQ, but wasn't near one. Spent the last week traveling and never found one. Back home and this morning went and had one with a girlfriend. I am satisfied, and I do not crave another. I haven't had one of those in probably 20 years, but all of the sudden wanted one, and it lingered two weeks until I had one. And I'm 3 years into HRT now, so what's that all about?

    Several have noted they announced their changing sooner than later, and i did it at 7 months. Individual circumstances may affect what you do. In Oregon you just walk into the County Clerk and ask how to change your name, or you can do it on the internet. You can print the forms off the state web site, follow the instructions. In Oregon there are 8 steps. You don't need an attorney, though i know someone who had an attorney do it and paid $1,500 - and they got the same result as I did doing it myself for free. In Oregon you can change your gender designation at the same time. Thats my recommendation.

    There is a discussion going on about laser treatments on your face (or other parts, if you like), and i posted on that a few minutes ago. If you have more questions feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by Nancy Sue; 04-25-2018 at 05:48 PM. Reason: No doses in this forum, no exceptions

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member OCCarly's Avatar
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    Because I have a dangerous job (criminal defense attorney) and there was a LOT of legal stuff to handle, and I love my wife and wanted to stay married, I stayed in the closet at work and to some friends for almost two years. I am 55 and was not expecting much, but the hormones slowly but surely made over my face and body, to the point that my receptionist and some close friends figured it out after a year. Other friends at court whom I saw every few months didn’t figure it out until I walked into court with my hair down, wearing a mini skirt and heels.

    I would say that you can safely hide a transition for about a year before tongues start wagging, but YMMV.
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  10. #10
    Aspiring Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elizabethamy View Post
    i've seen all kinds of things posted here, and I realize there is some flexibility based on how much or how little work I want to do to hide things and how old I am (60), but i'm curious as to what people think and know -- how long after HRT did you transition socially? Does being on HRT just make you want to accelerate things or does it calm that down?elizabethamy
    Hey Elizabeth,

    Your comments puzzle me. If you have an overwhelming need to change your body, i.e. "transition" from male to female, why do you need to hide changes? I understand the possible risks with career, marriage, etc., but what is your goal? Six years ago your wife gave you an ultimatum, your "dressing" or continue the marriage. Hiding HRT within a marriage will be difficult. Are you ready to deal with that?

    You did mention social transition eventually but you have never described occasions where you have experienced life in the real world. In fact, you only mention the need to wear female apparel in your previous posts. There is way more to this than wearing clothes and, it is important to know what you will be facing if you do transition. If you don't know where you are going you will get there every time.

    And finally, HRT has some feminizing effects on a male body, more for some, less for others. Hormones will not turn you into a woman. They will also not accelerate or calm down transition. In fact, there is no clinical evidence that estrogen makes you feel any particular way. There is, however, a powerful placebo effect that some people experience. Maybe you will experience it also, maybe not. Long term HRT will flip flop your hormone profile. And, in time, HRT will affect the way the brain processes information.

    Please understand that I am not trying to criticize or discourage you, only help you. Please contact me if I can do anything for you.

    Jeri

  11. #11
    MissSwissMiss LexiNexi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirya View Post
    I went full time after 4 months on HRT. I was consistently getting weird looks from other guys in the men’s restroom at that point, even while presenting male. More importantly I simply couldn’t stand to live as a man any longer. I think the HRT made me feel an increased urgency to transition.

    I’m a pretty rare case though, and I know that most don’t transition nearly as fast as I do. Some people can be on HRT for years without going full time. But based on my experience it can and does happen very quickly sometimes.
    Thats awesome! Did you have long hair at the time? What gave you away?
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  12. #12
    Member Mirya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexiNexi View Post
    Thats awesome! Did you have long hair at the time? What gave you away?
    No, my hair was super short. I kept my hair very short until I started HRT. Although to be fair I also had 7 months of laser hair removal and a rhinoplasty by that point. As I said, I'm a pretty rare case... I don't know too many people who get a feminizing rhinoplasty before HRT and before deciding to transition, haha. But other than my nose I also had a somewhat feminine face to begin with. I'm Asian, and we tend to have more delicate facial features than others.

  13. #13
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    Jeri,

    I'm aware of the effects of HRT and have been doing some very hard work dealing with opposition at home. Wife is aware that I am soon starting hormones, that I am transitioning, and that we can either do it together or I will do it alone. I hope we can work it out but this time I am going to be in control of my own destiny. She knows that I deferred to her for her sake for 7-8 years and that I can't do that any more.

    My question about timelines has mostly to do with my job, which kind of goes by semesters since I am a college teacher. So there may be periods to "hide" the changes from HRT, etc, until a good time to transition full time. (probably ideally at the beginning of the academic year - if I'm Mirya II that would be August 2018, a slower response August 2019...What I gather from all these answers is that a timeline is largely unpredictable. I can go with that flow, and having talked to some other local trans folks (yes, I have begun to go out), it seems clear that it's really my decision to decide when my presentation is feminine enough to satisfy ... me. So a lot of information coming my way in the last few days, and not only from this thread. But it's all good and it's all helpful!

    e.a.

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    Elizabeth, and anyone else reading this who has not done so - let me recommend you read "She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders" by Jennifer Finney Boylan. It is the story of her coming out, how she and her wife and children dealt with it. And how her college dealt with it, as she was, and is, a college professor.

    They are still married, 25 years later. it is very much a love story, how her wife realized while she did not want to be married to a woman - she did want to continue to be married to Jim, now Jenny. But its more than a love story, because she talks of her lifelong struggles (which I, and I suspect many of you, can identify with), her feelings, her children, dealing with and being accepted at her college, and by her lifelong friends. She came out in 2000 and I think had surgery in 2001 or 2002. She talks about all the stuff she dealt with. i recommend your wife read it, too, and if she loves you she might decide she would rather live with you being a woman as opposed to leaving the person she is truly in love with. Transitioning does not have to end a marriage.

    She has written two more books, one about 6-7 years later, another about 10 years after the first. Both are excellent, and both deal with her life. Many of the things are flashbacks, and all are written in an easy to read manner. Both Nook and Kindle have them.

    I have another friend, also a teacher, who might chime in here once she sees the thread. Maybe she will respond, too.
    "If you are living the life you want to live you've successfully transitioned to being the person you want to be." - Eryn
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  15. #15
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    And I'm Nancy Sue's friend, chiming in!

    Transition at work was my scariest time. I'm a high school teacher. I was on HRT for over a year before I transitioned, and the timing was more governed by the school calendar than anything else.

    The obvious choice is the beginning of the school year. Incoming students don't know you well and can develop their relationships with your female presentation.

    The impact of transition varies widely depending upon where you are and the type of school. I'm in a public school in California, so I have strong protection codified in state law. Still, I kept a low profile because parents and/or anti-trans groups could have still caused a huge disturbance. I'm finishing my second school year since transition with no issues worth mentioning.

    One thing I resolved to do from the beginning is to avoid discussion of trans issues in my classes. I teach my subject, period. Save any activism for outside the school.

    I think my main mental breakthrough was when I realized that the idea of "passing" was unimportant. I'm going to be the person I want to be. Confidence in yourself will carry you through.
    Last edited by Eryn; 04-26-2018 at 09:46 AM.

  16. #16
    Aspiring Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elizabethamy View Post
    Jeri,

    I'm aware of the effects of HRT and have been doing some very hard work dealing with opposition at home. Wife is aware that I am soon starting hormones, that I am transitioning, and that we can either do it together or I will do it alone. I hope we can work it out but this time I am going to be in control of my own destiny. She knows that I deferred to her for her sake for 7-8 years and that I can't do that any more.

    My question about timelines has mostly to do with my job, which kind of goes by semesters since I am a college teacher. So there may be periods to "hide" the changes from HRT, etc, until a good time to transition full time. (probably ideally at the beginning of the academic year - if I'm Mirya II that would be August 2018, a slower response August 2019...What I gather from all these answers is that a timeline is largely unpredictable. I can go with that flow, and having talked to some other local trans folks (yes, I have begun to go out), it seems clear that it's really my decision to decide when my presentation is feminine enough to satisfy ... me. So a lot of information coming my way in the last few days, and not only from this thread. But it's all good and it's all helpful!

    e.a.
    Elizabeth,

    Thank you for responding directly to my concerns. I am relieved that your wife is aware. I am relieved that you do have a realistic idea of what to expect from HRT. And, I feel so much better knowing that you have started going out. I would like to add that, when you get to the point of completely accepting who and what you are, and commit to living authentically, the peace that you will experience will minimize your concerns about how feminine your presentation is.

    I also recommend Jenny Boylan's book. It was the most emotional book I have ever read. I had to stop every few pages and just have a good cry. The challenges she faced were so familiar and at the same time I longed to experience the love that her wife had for her. My wife chose her unaccepting friends and church over me. If your wife reads the book, she will be faced with a similar choice. Knowing that someone else chose to stay and love may make a difference.

    Incidentally, I was a teacher/administrator for 34 years in a totally unaccepting culture. I had to keep my secret and live the life that was expected of me until I retired.

    And a word about timelines. It is always good to have a plan. I used to tell my students (and teachers): Get a grip, get a plan, get going and get a life. However, sometimes the challenges of transition, relationships and career take longer to overcome than anticipated. An administrative friend of mine died of cancer on the last day of school eleven years ago. He left a legacy by way of an expression he always used; "Adjust and overcome."

    Hang in there. Let me know if I can help.

  17. #17
    Member Rachel292's Avatar
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    It's not all about HRT , yes that will change things like minor fat distribution, skin texture , and hopefully some boobs, (not guaranteed)

    I've been on HRT 2 years (started on low doses at age 60)
    I've now got B cup boobs, skin all over is softer, and body hair greatly reduced.
    We all react to HRT differently, so at best only use other folks experience as a guide.
    Also had Laser on beard , unfortunately there was a considerable amount of white, but i'm pleased with it.

    In my experience it also comes down to , visibility of any beard/beard shadow , lack of it making your face look and feel smoother. If it changes it may be noticed.
    Growing your hair , and it's cut/style and how you wear it. (unless you plan to wear a hairpiece or wig)
    Your mannerisms and body language, in essence the way you behave. Behave like a bloke , it's less likely to be noticed. Behave like yourself with feminine attributes, and it may be.
    Depending on what clothes you wear and how they fit.

    In essence it's the whole package , some folk will notice small changes , others won't especially if you see them often. The same applies to those that you don't see often. Some will remember how you were, other's will have forgotten details. Women will notice things more than men.

    Whatever you do - good luck.
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  18. #18
    Madam Ambassador Heidi Stevens's Avatar
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    Hi Elizabeth Amy. I hope you have begun HRT by now and are beginning to sort out your plan for proceeding. I am at the other end of a transition schedule. One that even bothers a few on this forum because of its unknown length.

    My wife and I are deeply in love and don’t want to end our current set up. I began transition steps back in 2014 by telling her how I felt. I also started some laser treatments for removal of facial hairs. Even with that I continued to present male 95% of the time to remain with her. After counseling sessions, I was put on HRT in March 2015. This had me experiencing the usual reactions. My wife agreed to the treatment after I explained I’d like 6 months to see if I became a better person. During the six month period we experienced conditions where my old self would have reacted in a negative manor. Instead I was calm and collected. She liked the changes and it has lead to us being in our current state.

    With that background story, you could say I am on “transition hold” until the current situation changes. I am at this point in my transition, not because I’m pussywhipped, but by my own accord. Yes I’ve developed over those 4 years, but I managed to maintain a presence in her world as a male. Those who have met Heidi know how strong willed I can be. The know I am my own person and handle myself as I wish to be. I chose to leave things as they are, but I’m ready to “jump the broom” should she leave my world. Above all, She and I are happy and see no need to upset the cart.

    Being happy, there is no rush on my part to fully transition. When the conditions are right, I will. Until then you could say So far I’ve taken at least four years and I see no end in sight right now. Plan your transition accordingly. Go at pace that is comfortable to you and your world. I wish you all the success needed to complete your journey.
    Last edited by Heidi Stevens; 06-19-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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  19. #19
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    It's funny to see this thread resurrected right now. My update: I made a plan with a timetable and told my employer and a few key friends, went to a support group, went out dressed when conditions permitted, always with total resistance at home. Finally I could not take the fighting 24-7 and said I would stop everything for a little while just to let our situation settle, to develop a plan on how to include our two adult sons (though one will live with us until mid-August), and to see if we could just calm things down a bit.

    So that's where we are right now -- talking to each other less angrily while I'm on hold, though I think at most it will be a two-month break, and every day feels like a week to me, so it will probably be less than that. But I hope we can come to some kind of understanding that will let me go forward. Couples therapists seem to make things worse, so we'll see if we can quietly work this out. In terms of my own timeline (though I'm still not providing a pic!), I'm told that I look sufficiently female when I try, and that once I get the beard layered mostly off, I can transition socially and vocationally, which I still intend d to do sometime this coming fall. My employer is fully on board. For me, the major challenges are at home, not at work.

    The question of how to compromise, and how much to compromise, on timetable and public presentation, is yet to be resolved, but at least my SO now acknowledges that this is really happening and that its' a question of whether she goes with me or not, and that is huge progress from my vantage point....

    thanks for all yr thoughts.

    e.

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