Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tucker and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coming Out Story

Okay, so a lot has happened. I'm sorry, I can only write about myself so much before I get tired. But I think this is important.

So when I was about a month on T, I realized I still hadn't come out at work. I work for a international, moderately large publishing company in Boston, so I fortunately wasn't too worried about discrimination from the company itself. They've received a number of commendations from HRC and others for their ethical and diverse workplace. (They also have a gender clause in their non-discrimination policy). I'm also fortunate enough to live and work in Boston, where gender expression is also protected by law.

So my concerns were, fortunately, pretty personal. I work very closely with one woman, let's call her S, who is my boss, as well as the VP of my department, let's call her L, who is the woman I initially interviewed with. I'm fairly close with both of them, and my department is also very female dominated. I was pretty sure they wouldn't say anything offensive, but I was worried about... I don't know, making them uncomfortable. Which is silly, I know, but I was worried.

Anyway, I talked to my girlfriend, friends and therapist about this and realized I really couldn't put it off any longer. I also was getting really uncomfortable still being called "Rosie" and using female pronouns at work.

So that Friday, I wrote an email to S. I had been writing and rewriting this email and tinkering it for awhile, and everything I tried just sounded really formal and stiff. S and I have a fairly close, casual, joking relationship so this tone just made it seem weird. I also felt that the tone I took would set the whole tone for the office, and if I was uncomfortable with it, others would be too. So what surprised me the most about that email I wrote on Friday is that I ignored everything else and literally just typed some casual stuff out and hit send.

Keep in mind, I then immediately shut down my computer and ran out of the office for the weekend.

When I next checked my email, S had wrote me a wonderfully supportive email, saying more than anything she was happy that I felt comfortable enough at work to come out and she would be happy to do anything I needed, even though this was kind of unfamiliar territory for her. I joked, saying it was unfamiliar territory to me as well!

So that was the biggest hurdle. I then wrote a similar email to L, who called me into her office to give me a hug, and then I spoke with HR later that day, after trying to get in touch with them for a couple days. Which is funny, because you think one of their employees coming out as transgender would be like an HR wet dream. But I guess it's kind of banal. HR was great, but very HR. They said I couldn't change my Outlook name, or the name on my cube, or the name on my badge until I got my name legally changed (which is something I am not planning on doing for a little bit). This kind of struck me as weird, since my badge and door both say "Rosie", which is no more my birthname than Tucker is.  But whatever. I was too happy that everyone was onboard.

After my meeting with HR, I wrote my email to my department. I received a number of extremely encouraging, adorable and supportive emails. Seriously. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Since then, everyone has been calling me "Tucker" very steadily, with only a few slipups here and there and they are almost always corrected. The pronouns are a little trickier, but now that I'm further into my hormonal transition (two months!) and my voice and face are changing to be more masculine, people are slipping up less.

My favorite moment was when both L and HR said, "I don't think you'll have any problems with anyone here, but if you do, let us know. And remember: it's not your problem, it's their problem. And they have to deal with it."

That and also one of my bosses got my door nametag reprinted for me on the sly. So now my door says Tucker.

Friday, September 2, 2011


For those of you wondering, here is a comparison of my face from Pre T vs. one month on T. Not a whole lot of changes, but my jawline and chin are becoming more defined. Also, you can't see it here, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: I swear to you my eyebrows are beasts.

taken from T is for Timeline

One month on T!

Well, today was my third t shot. I've been four weeks on T as of today. I got my dosage bumped up from 50mg (.25mL) to 100mg (.50mL). The doctor asked me what changes I had experienced and I said, "Well, nothing big so far..." and she said "Okay, so if all goes well, we'll bump up your dose! I mean, if you're comfortable with that. If you feel good about it..."

What was I going to say, no? 'Oh yeah I totally got on T to wait forever and no see any changes. I want to draw this process out for as long as possible.'

But in all seriousness, she said we'll bump up today and then probably to 150mg next month. I've done my own injections both times, and in true quick bandaid peel fashion, it's easy peasy if you don't think about it. It also doesn't hurt!

So that's awesome.

Like I said, changes haven't been huge. These are the things I've noticed--

- My skin, mostly on my face, feels a lot rougher.
- I was told my voice sounds a little deeper. I don't know if it does, but my general base pitch feels lower. It's a lot more in my chest than before.
- I'm hungry. I don't get hungry more often, but I now eat a lot more in a sitting.
- My hair (on my head) is drier. Which is odd.
- I'm way back on teenager sleep patterns.

Well. That's it so far. I'm eager to see what else happens and I'm doing my best to be patient.

Maybe I should cut off all my hair so I pass better.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

T is for Timeline

For those who are curious, here are some dates for you.

2001 -- Started learning about transgenderism.

Sept 2006 -- Started college, gained support system, learned a ton about being trans

April 2006 -- Started binding, started looking at names, started identifying as trans. Went back and forth for the next few years.

June 2009 -- Started seeing a gender therapist.

July 25, 2009 -- My dad passed away. Stopped seeing my gender therapist, stopped thinking about gender for awhile.

April 30, 2010 -- My mom passed away.

May 31, 2010 -- Graduated college.

March 2011 -- Went back to same gender therapist, started working on gender issues.

April 30, 2011 -- Started going by Tuck, using male pronouns full time.

Late June, 2011 -- Got my physical in preparation for starting T.

July 2, 2011 -- Told I would be getting my T letter, made first call to Fenway Health.

July 8, 2011 -- Got my T letter.

July 8, 2011 - July 15, 2011 -- Assorted bloodwork, faxing, phonecalls, emails with therapist and Fenway.

July 15, 2011 -- My case goes before Fenway Health Transgender board. Case is approved! Told to make an appointment for 4 weeks from that date for initial hormone evaluation.

July 30, 2011 -- Top surgery fundraising party.

August 5, 2011 -- First shot at Fenway Health.

August 15, 2011 -- Phone call with Dr. Garramone. Top Surgery Scheduled!

January 26, 2012 -- Top Surgery scheduled!

When things get started, they REALLY get started!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Second Shot!

So yesterday was my two week mark on T. I had just gotten fresh off a red eye from SFO, came home at 7am, slept til 10:30, woke up and went to Fenway to get my shot.

I'm also super sick, so I'm congested and my voice sounds like hell. I can't tell if my voice has changed or if this is just now what my voice sounds like.

Anyway, self-injection was way easier than I thought it would be. I assembled the needle, did all that stuff, and the nurse showed me where I should try to inject. I did it quick, like a bandaid peel. Even the nurse was impressed! She told me most people think about it a lot or it takes them longer. I just went for it. Like most things in life.

Other than that, I just came back from the west coast yesterday. I spent 10 days in Portland and San Fran, and it was pretty fun. It was the first time I had ever been on the west coast. I was pretty pleased.

Idk, I've taken a lot of sudafed, so I feel a little all over the place.

No interesting changes, still not passing, yadayada. Will keep you posted.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Alright, so I'm now three(?) days on T. Or post T shot, however you want to count it. Counting has been a big challenge for me, since I have never been in a math class that was not held in the back of a library.

Anyway, obviously I haven't noticed any huge changes, but today was the first day I could definitely pinpoint some things that were T related, as it were.

-- ENERGY. Holy mother of God. I'm bouncing off the walls. I haven't increased or decreased my caffeine, and it's not nervous / anxious energy. It's just pure and simple energy. I came home from work and HAD to work out to burn off some excess energy. It's an awesome feeling because normally I get tired very, very easily and I'm prone to napping and boredom.

-- I FEEL a lot bigger. My muscles feel stronger, my shoulders feel broader. I feel like my arms literally hang differently than they used to. I walk with my shoulders back now. This might be T swagger, but it feels good. I just did some weights at the gym and while I'm still a 98 pound weakling, it feels like I'm building muscle. I can't really put it into words, but it's just a feeling.

-- T RAGE. Okay, a lot of people don't believe in this. I'm not even sure I believe in it. But I have been so aggressive today it's off the wall. Not in a bad way, don't get me wrong. Not like in your face I'm gonna fight you. But just a lot more assertive and peeved at different things. I think I said HULK SMASHHH about an email chain at work like 5 times in various g-chat windows.

-- Alright, if you know me well, you might not want to read this. It's something we were all expecting. But last night, I was scrolling through Tumblr, like I do, when I came across some ladies doin' it, for lack of a better word. I actually stopped and looked at it. I actually liked it. It was very different than what I was used to. The porn phase begins.

Anyway, that's all the news so far. I leave to go to the west coast tomorrow evening, and then I come back next Thursday on a red eye and straight into my second shot. Onward and upward~~~

Friday, August 5, 2011



I obviously couldn't sleep. The woman and I drove to the doctor, I went over the basic forms with the doctor and she told me she didn't see any reason why I couldn't get my first shot that day.

I said yeah damn straight I'll get my first shot today. JK No but really I would have choked a bitch if that didn't happen.

So the second nurse came in, she showed me how to assemble the syringe, draw the testosterone into the needle and where to inject myself. She injected it today, but I will do it next week. I'm super eager to get started doing it on my own, because I'm so DIY and I do love accoutrements.

Anyway, she injected .25mL (50mL) of 200mg Testosterone Cypionate into my left thigh. She said next week we'll do it on my right thigh so I can use my dominant hand. It was a super bizarre sensation, I could truly feel it in my muscles. My quad is still a little sore.

BUT I DID IT. And it was awesome and here I am on the other side. I'm obviously super eager to start seeing changes, but I know I've got a long way to go. The only thing I've noticed so far is my throat feels funny, like I always have to clear it but I don't really. This might be totally psychosomatic.

I guess I feel like I have a little more energy. I feel like anything I say right now is going to be purely placebo effect, but who cares. That's part of it.

After the shot, I took a nap, ate some lunch and went to get a new tattoo. Ironically (or not ironically), I got 'ma'am'd and 'she'd multiple times at the tattoo parlor. I was all yeah yeah get your kicks now bros, you wait til I look like Taylor Hanson / Tom Felton / Ryan Gosling.

Which will obviously happen as early as tomorrow.

Here is a light photo journal of my day, since my lady friend was obviously like a proud parent during this whole thing.