January 28, 2010 dstevens11
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You know I’ve been racking my brain this week over my last post and this past weekend. Not sure if I took on too much, and maybe pushed the envelope too far with Jamie on one side, and Drew on the other. Jamie when she is home is smiling ear to ear; she loves the ability to express herself around the house. As others have been warning, don’t be shocked when the feminine personality she has been establishing bleeds over to school and her “male” presentation. I know it’s been aching to come out for a long time, and she has had her “alone” time to express but I used the term Pandora ’s Box a few weeks ago, and it’s opened for sure. It is definitely been bleeding into her home life. She is in full girl mode.
Reality TV is big in our house. I know I know I know – my ex used to call it mindless dribble. I get that, but I actually like it for that reason. It’s an escape. So American Idol, Dancing with Stars, So you think you can dance, Biggest Loser, Amazing Race, the Batchelor, yup you guessed it – it’s on in my house. I’m guilty, I have my tissue boxes and get enlightened. As well as Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, plus I TiVO Days of our lives everyday, and have been following the town of Salem for like the last 30 years.
So typically Jamie and Aly are camped out every night watching our shows. Now what’s been different this week is Jamie is getting comfy with her new PJ’s and the three of us are all huddled together on the couch. Drew (like his Dad) thinks all of those shows are also mindless dribble, and we have now almost eliminated him from the main TV room and couch. Weekends are generally his with sports or movies. But I hate it for him, especially under the circumstances relegated or isolated to his room. But that’s how it’s been. He really wants no part of us or the TV, but he has been witnessing and interacting with Jamie now in her girly pj’s now. He seems ok, but doesn’t hang with us. I am trying to stop on top of it, and concerned for his well being. He’s been more quieter then normal.
As I stated in one of my early blogs, Aly and Jamie have been commenting on the teen idol “boys” and using the word “cute” this or “cute” that, harmless stuff. Now Jamie is 15, soon to be 16, so I know her interest would be and really should be more “interesting” I guess to say then Aly’s. But Jamie as of recent has been real vocal and upfront about her interest in the male species, which you know; I’m like good for her. I kind of figured that, and I am not sure if that will make things easier or harder for her as she gets older. Who knows? But what’s interesting to me, again gets back to that nature and nurture – up until a couple of weeks ago, she really has had no introduction to a sex hormone to spur interest, right? So where does it come from? I kind of figured she kind of went with the program, as Aly has been saying stuff. But no, she is into “guys.” It’s real.
Getting back to the shows and particularly the bachelor. Well, I got my first introduction this week to the word “hot” from Jamie. “Oh my god that Jake (the bachelor this season) is sooo “HOT!” Kind of took me off guard a little. “Hot” to me is a little different word then “cute.” It prompted me to follow-up with the next question? “What makes him hot to you?”
“Oh his smile, face, his arms, his whole body, I love his muscles” she replied.
I am like, oh really. Aly didn’t even add her perspective, THANK GOD!
Jamie really gets into the show. When one of the ladies gets to make out with him or interacts with him she responds “I’m so jealous”. So the engine is starting, but the gas is not really in the engine yet. Wait until that kicks in. I can’t compare a guy’s experiences to a woman’s, or the difference between testosterone and estrogen. Obviously the experiences are different, for a million reasons.
But I am not sure if Jamie is ready for the “emotional” experience of estrogen, especially around the topic of love. I’m sure guys experience “love”, women “FEEEEEEL” love. It can be overwhelming; I remember my days of a teenager. She thinks she has crushes now? My concern is the time prior to her eventual surgery, (I know it is way early to start thinking about that), but that will be pretty confusing times, especially with the anatomy confusion.
Speaking of the anatomy confusion. This may be a delicate topic, I’m not sure. But again I’m speaking to my sounding board J Please I apologize upfront if I use or get the terminology incorrect. But I have been observing that when Jamie has been presenting herself, especially in the pajama bottoms or the skirt she wore this weekend, she has a “flush” appearance. I asked Jamie in one of our nightly talks how she achieves that, and she responded she just “tucks” (it) back. My first reaction is (OUCH!), I was like “OH? Does that hurt or is it painful?” She’s like “No mom, not at all.” She wasn’t like embarrassed or anything; she has told me how much she hates her privates, but I don’t want her to hurt herself in any way, or cause any damage. I never really thought about that, I am sure it is common “problem”, but did not know if anyone had any thoughts on that or anything? I can ask her doctor, but I do not want her to have any future physical problems. I know that may be TMI. Her general rule she said simply “if I am wearing girl underpants I tuck, if I am not, I don’t.”
I know the school thing for her has been painful this week, but she said she simply “I look at it in time. I have 8 hours I have to go thru before I come home. But Mom I hate it, but I’m dealing.” She did say that she is almost passed the point where she has to take phys ed, she has a health class instead for the rest of the year. So the uncomfortably of having to enter the boy’s locker room, which has to be traumatic for her, is almost over. Which will be especially good if any physical changes start to occur.
Time is a good way of looking at it.
I talked to my ex this week, and told him about the weekend. He responded “I figured that was coming. Drew texted me all about it.” I was like “Really? What did he say?” he responded “mostly with details, but nothing really more.” (YOU DIDN”T ASK HIM HOW HE FELT ABOUT IT????) He said, “He seems to be ok with it, I guess.” So I said it would be great if you asked how he felt explore a little more, because he is not opening up to me. He said he would.
I asked him when he though he is ready to see “Jamie”. He honestly said “Not sure, but not yet.” I respect that. He is scheduled to have all three kids super bowl weekend. He wants Jamie to come as a “boy” because his dad and brothers may come to his place, or they may all go to theirs to watch the game. I have not talked to Jamie about that, she will not be happy. He did volunteer he did talk about all of this for the first time with his girlfriend, which she told my ex “Come on you had to know something was going on with Jimmy?” So she kind of knew something was going on, and was not taken back by it. Which is cool! He said she kind of opened his eyes to some things. She may actually be a support for Jamie. That may be a good sign. I said I would be totally open to include her in the family therapy if she is open to it. He said he would think about it. He is pretty serious about this woman (god bless her), so I am open to it. I have met her a few times at Drew’s games and she seems real nice, even though she is only 31J She isn’t the woman we broke up over. Anything to get my ex through this for Jamie’s sake, I will take the high road.
The next kind of family hurdle we have to get over is the kids are off for a week of school in mid-Feb. Jamie is really excited about it, and has already mentioned it, because she gets to spend the whole week of school as Jamie. We do not have anything planned; we usually like to go away to somewhere warm. This year I can’t swing it. So we’ll see how that week plays out.
I have the kids all weekend this weekend; don’t have anything planned there either. But after last weekend, just looking for a laid back lazy one.
Hope all is well. Love, Dana

Entry Filed under: gender identity,gender variance,hormones,trans youth,transgender,transgendered,transition,transsexual

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stacey in DC  |  January 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hey Dana:

    I wouldn’t be too worried about the tucking, especially if she isn’t feeling pain… It’s a pretty sensitive area and anything that would cause problems would be painful. Trans-women have been “tucking” it since… well, since Steve became Eve. 😉 jk

    As for Drew, just keep checking in with him. What he (and your ex) is going through is the natural process of grieving (i.e. Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance). It happened with my (20-something) sisters and dad. It was always two steps forward a a step back with them, and manifested is interesting ways. With me living 2000 miles away, when I home little things would set them off (i.e. having a glass of wine at my at my maternal grandmothers funeral… my immediate family and paternal family is Mormon). Each family has to go through the process of re-balancing roles and relationships. It’s going to be thought, but you’ll come through the other side a stronger and healthier family.

    I highly recommend the documentary “Red Without Blue”, which follows a family with identical twins. One of the twins is transitioning, and it shows the obstetrical that families negotiate as a child/sibling transitions. And in the end the family is a much stronger unit.

    Also, Philly host a Trans Health Conference every year in early June. Many trans-kids and their families attend, and many of the surgeons and medical practitioners put on workshops and have info tables for consultations. It’s a great way to get a lot of info in one location, and also tap into support systems of families in similar situations. Anyway, I highly recommed it.

    I hope you’ll be able to get some much deserved rest

    • 2. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:24 am

      Hi Stacey – Thanks for your comments and concern. I hit your red without blue website, fascinating story. I will have to check out the movie, I saw it is available on netflix. I will get Jamie to watch it with me. Thanks for the information on the health conference, we just may check it out. I am wondering if our therapist is attending. Thanks for your support. Love, Dana

  • 3. Sherry Ann  |  January 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Dana,

    I am not surprised by your latest blog. I could have guessed that some of this would be next.

    About Jamie’s interest in boys. It is so normal for her to have the interest and like gender orientation, sexual orientation has been perculating for a long time. If she was interested in girls that would be o.k. too but might cause others some issues. It is probably a little easier for you and the fam to deal with Jamie as her heterosexual self. Yes, the physiology may be an issue and Jamie at some point may be faced with the problem to tell a boy whom she becomes involved with. This could be one of the most difficult issues of her transition she will have to come to terms with. Let it evolve and cross the bridge if you come to it.

    Oh, about the “flush’ appearance as you put it. It is so common for M2F trans people to want to hide, mask, eliminate the external genitals. She really can not do any damage. Usually, the testes can be pushed back up into the cavity safely, especially for someone who has not yet developed (as a male) and who is also on hormones. Then the penis easly tucks down for a pretty realistic look when wearning something tight. It not only looks correct but feels so much better.

    Think about how much you have accomplished in January. It has been really positive in most respects and your family is doing so well. The next hurdles will be more external to you, Jamie, Drew and Aly. The schoold issue is out there; a command performance for Jamie (in boy mode) is looming for the Super Bowl; there is family and friends that will have suspicions and some probably already have. Your next challenge is having enough fingers to plug all the holes in the dyke, or facing them strategically.

    Transitioning from one gender to the other is no picnic. For all the joys and relief there are difficult and scary moments. Your ex really is the major obsticle now to moving on in a more open transition. I fully get that he has reservations and isn’t ready. But I hope you think through asking Jamie to go as a boy to the Super Bowl weekend with dad. He has to ready to give a little and if the issue is that his brothers will be there and he isn’t ready to have that discussion with them than Jamie needs not go. Dad has to do some of the work here; support his daughter and sit down with his family, before the social function begins, and have that tough conversation. If he can’t do that then Jamie has a decision to make, and you will have to support her not going.

    I know it is easy for me to give advice. I don’t have to do any of it. But I did go through all of the issues of facing doubt and hate; but also discovered how powerful being open can be in the face of people who just couldn’t or wouldn’t get it.

    I know you have the courage. And you are not alone.


    • 4. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:32 am

      Thanks Sherry – Love your advice, and appreciate your comments. I think your right, I just may have to support her not going. But that will have to be agreed upon from my ex, as a part of custody arrangement. I think he would respect her wishes, I just do not want to set the precedent to avoid problems. But I agree will be a tough day for her. Thanks for your support. Love, Dana

  • 5. Jamiegottagun  |  January 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Tucking doesn’t hurt anything. But I can see how it might look painful to someone without that “equipment.” It’s not even uncomfortable, surprisingly.

    Been doing it for 30-years and everything still works fine.

    It’s one of the first things we figure out when we start wearing our other “gender” underwear. Probably the “T” equivalent of a young girl “stuffing” her bra.

    Boys “feel” love too. The feelings are no less intense. The difference is that boys are going to be much less likely to talk about it, and even more prone to deny it, especially to a mother, so that’s probably what makes it seem like guys don’t feel it as intensely.

    I remember myself at that age (hooked on girls/not guys) literally walking into walls over being smitten with someone, yet never EVER willing to admit I was so, except maybe to a super-trusted guy friend who wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag.

    For a guy, admitting love at that age is a weakness. Some guys never grow out of that. Hopefully, Jamie won’t suffer from that, and can enjoy feelings of love in a healthy, open manner, instead of having to “play” the “manly” emotional zombie act that most of us guys get stuck with growing up.

    • 6. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:34 am

      Thanks for the information Jamie. Appreciate it. Love, Dana

  • 7. Sarah Jane  |  January 29, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Sheri and Jamie has given you some good advice and explanations of using the ‘tuck’ method, we all do it.

    I’m not sure if the emotional cost for Jamie going in boy mode for the Super Bowl with her father would be too great for her to bear. Her father should realize that as she changes her interests will also morph.

    I realize that he has come to expect spending time with his “two” boys doing manly things is what fathers are suppose to do for their children, but he has to realize that Jamie is not that person any more and he does not have to make up excuses to his brother if she declines the invitation for the weekend; nor should he expect Jamie to just show up in boy mode to maintain the charade of his ‘two’ sons.

    • 8. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:36 am

      Hi Sarah – I know it’s complicated. Aly will be there as well, so she will have company if she feels uncomfortable. I haven’t even talked to her about it yet, but I think she will just not want to go. We’ll see how it goes. Love, Dana

  • 9. Jerica  |  January 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Hi Dana

    As the other ladies have said, tucking will not damage anything although I have heard it will possibly make you sterile over time…something she doesn’t have to worry about at a young age anyway, I think. I have only figured out how to do it right only recently…the testicles have to be pushed up into the cavity they came from and then the skin and shaft can be tucked back to hold them up there. It is much more comfortable and allows you to cross your legs too. I’ve had trouble with it staying in place though so I often wear control top pantyhose and that helps.

    Amazing how different “cute” and “hot” can register eh? hehe. I am still curious whether I was attracted to guys from the getgo or if it really was the estrogen or some mix of the two. I suppose I’ll never know.

    Glad things are going well…I’m guessing that the superbowl will not go over well =(

    • 10. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:48 am

      Hi Jerica – Thanks for your comments and info. Great suggestions. Your right the word “hot” threw me off, and your right it probably will not go over well. Not sure where we stand with that yet. Thanks for your support. Love, Dana

  • 11. Anne  |  January 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    It’s interesting what is considered “mindless drivel”, lol. All the soaps and romance movies are “stupid” to boys and all the battle, monsters and wrestling stuff is “stupid” to girls. It’s a funny contrast. I used to watch soaps with my mum and wrestling and sci-fi with my dad. I remember the soaps more than the stuff I watched with my dad. And I always cried when watching sad and happy(!) movies. We had
    a chronic kleenex and TP shortage so I would end up using paper towels a lot. I was always into romance novels as well. Has Jamie discovered romances yet?

    I feel that it is better for Drew to deal with this now instead of later. He’s likely going to take a good long while to digest all this before deciding one way or the other. Guys often take a long time to decide such things. They aren’t really putting it off, but it’s just the way guy’s brains work. It’s kind of like a slow cooker while women’s brains are like microwaves. And he’s not likely to just come out and announce his decision. You’ll likely have to drag it out of him. At this point, Dad’s influence is crucial and that influence has to be constant. If Dad wavers, goes back and forth, et cetera, it’s going to make it that much more difficult for Drew. I have a feeling that his father is heartbroken over losing a son and likely feeling some inexpressible sense of shame, failure and blame deep inside, as though this is all his fault somehow and he will be held accountable for it. It’s might be impossible for him to simply accept the situation and that it’s not his fault–that’s just the way men are. And there may be a part of him that is delighted to have another daughter that is overshadowed and overwhelmed by the feelings of failure. It’s hard to tell how his father will finally decide, since the feelings of failure for a man are very powerful. For him this may never be fully settled and he may just passively “go with the flow” instead. Somehow it seems that men are not able to be completely in touch with their feelings. It seems as if this is a real, physical limitation that can’t be overcome. But since I don’t really think a whole lot like a man, I don’t really understand them, try as I might, so this is pretty much just speculation.

    Aren’t girls already given the talk about feelings, boys, sex and all before age 16? But I wonder if it might be too much information right now. Maybe Jamie knows whether she’s ready for the talk yet? Would it hurt to ask?

    I started “tucking” while I was in high school. I hated the bulge. Still do. It would be far more obvious now so I always “tuck”. Always. Even if it weren’t obvious it would be so in the way and very, very uncomfortable. It’s never been painful or caused injury or serious problems. The testes can be pushed back up under the thick skin and fat that covers the pubis where they will be completely out of the way and fairly well protected, and they won’t pop out if it’s done right, which is pretty easy to figure out so there’s no worries about accidentally sitting on them or anything. Jamie can be really active and probably even swim like that, provided that there is some kind of support, such as nylon panties or a suit that does not have a stretchy crotch. Cotton just doesn’t work when it’s wet, and if spandex works, it won’t for very long, especially when wet. Doing that also gives the pubis a more female appearance. It’s really a lot more comfortable like that. It is fortunate that Jamie doesn’t have to endure male puberty and later teenage male experiences right now because that would be a real nuisance while “it” is tucked and would be extremly frustrating for her. The only real problem I can imagine for now though is hygiene. I don’t know if Jamie will be perspiring much (she certainly won’t be perspiring as much as a male would be) but it would be a good idea to keep the whole area as clean and as dry as practically possible. It might become a little smelly and any dampness might show, depending on what she wears, which would be awfully embarrassing. I’ve had to use some nonwoven wipes cut and folded to fit to absorb the perspiration and they would become totally soaked in warm and especially hot weather but eventually I went for more drastic and likely much more risky measures.

    Also, a practical, although somewhat gross suggestion: I’m sure that Jamie hates having to handle “it” (I certainly do) but it would be a good idea to make sure that all the urine is completely out. It has to be squeezed out all the way from the base, unfortunately, because some always remains behind and it inevitably leaks. It can sometimes get a little messy to do. But maybe Jamie has already figured that out as well.

    Some of the things that you see as remarkable about Jamie, I kind of take as a given and not so unusual, so I’m sorry if I seem to ignore some things and not others.

    I confess that I am at once jealous of and rooting for Jamie. More rooting for than jealous of, though. Lots more. 🙂 I hope that everything works out well.

    ::hugz:: Anne

    • 12. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 7:08 am

      Hi Anne – Thanks for your lengthy response and you concerns. To be very upfront, I know Jamie has had the “conversation” at school, but beyond that we haven’t talked about yet between her and I. At least to not any great detail. I know she has during therapy, but I have not discussed any of those details. Not sure how I would handle them. As I have been saying in my blog, she has been real comfortable and upfront with her feelings about boys, so the opportunity is there for me to interject it into a conversation. But with the whole TG thing, not sure about how to handle those details. But your right, I should be open to it with her at her age. Thanks for your suggestions, I didn’t even think about the swimsuit issue, we are going to have to cross that bridge this summer. Do you ladies feel comfortable in swimsuits with that tucking process? I am sure she will ask me about. We spend a lot of time at the jersey shore in the summer. We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it as well. Thanks for your support. Love, Dana

      • 13. Cj Maciejeski  |  February 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

        I tuck and wear a smaller-than-i-would-normally-wear thong and a pair of good, tight bikini style panties under suit..just to guarantee that much more stability and hold. Taping is, after all, not an option when swimming. Of course, with the huge variety of suit style out there, these days, i’m sure you’ll find something appropriate. Think about the fun of you two getting to go shoppin for the first swimsuit! You’re really lucky that you get to have these mother-daughter moments with her. So is she. So many of us never get to do that kind of fun stuff with our moms…


  • 14. tengrosita  |  January 29, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you very much for this post. A good read indeed.

  • 15. Christine Elaine  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I was wondering if you caught the Tyra Banks show on young TG people the other day. If you didn’t it is available on line as well as comments on the shows highs and lows. The show might help you to hear other familes take on how they handle their situations. Christine Elaine

    • 16. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:26 am

      Hi Christine – My girlfriend Patty mentioned it to me. Where can I find it on-line? I would love to check it out. Thanks for thinking of us. Really appreciate it. Love, Dana

  • 17. F. Lloyd  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Hi Dana,
    I just got caught up on the last weeks posts- WOW! You and your family have been quite busy. It makes my heart happy to hear about Jamie discovering her true self,and how excited she gets when shopping for and wearing her new outfits.
    I think your talk with Drew went very well, you should be proud of him for behaving in such a mature manner. I truly believe that he and your ex are going to be OK with Jamie’s transition- not thrilled, but OK.
    Once again, I have to say that you are an amazing woman and mother. You are so brave, and I really admire you for doing all that you do for your family. I really look forward to reading your blog- keep on doing what you do! Fred.

    • 18. dstevens11  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:40 am

      Thanks Fred, as always really appreciate your support. Your probably exactly right, I could live with “OK” if that’s where it ends up. Love, Dana

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