Sunday, June 2, 2013

Straight Answers

I recently received an email from a fan, and thought I would share my answers.  The email has been slightly altered to maintain anonymity.

Hello Dori,

I came across your blog while google searching for information about straight guys dating transwomen. My GF, the love of my life, is a transsexual woman, who is still very much in the early phases of her transition, she hasn't taken any prescribed hormones (shes taking plant estrogen from GNC right now) and is just barely starting to wear her panties and sports bras out in public. I was hoping you could give me ANY advice as to what else I can do to support her other than just loving her and helping her along. She has been looking for advice on things like makeup, voice coaching and so on in preparation for her surgery, which we hope to have undertaken in a year or so. Any advice or information you could give would be fantastic, I want to do whatever I can to be there for her since I know what she is going through is hard.


[A Fan]

P.S. We live about 6 or so blocks away from hateful assholes at [Asshole] Church here in [Midwest City], another reason why she is so scared to go out in public as she is. Any advice you could also give in that realm would be equally helpful. Thank you so much!

Hi!  Sorry it's taken me a while to respond.  I've been working on some exciting new developments which I will hopefully be able to announce here very soon.  Just know that I'm busy working to bring even more Trans and Godless fun your way!

The first advice I always give to allies is to be a friend first.  That means being the same cool person that they became friends with in the first place.  If you used to play video games with her, keep playing video games.  When I first came out, a lot of friends weren't sure how to act around me when they should have just kept being who they were.  We're the ones transitioning, you don't have to bend over backwards to change.  Second, use her preferred name and pronouns as often as you can.  If she's still in the closet, you might have to use old names and pronouns from time to time, but whenever you are able make the effort.  It goes a long way.  Third, let her know that she's loved and supported and that you aren't interested in her because she's trans.  There's a lot of chasers out there, and as long as you two have had a serious conversation about what you are both okay with sexually, that should clear the air.

As for advice for her, I would start out by saying she needs to go through this the reputable way.  It will save a lot of headaches and money down the line.  That means finding a supportive therapist in her budget so that she can start down the road to real hormones.  Many of those plant substitutes don't really work, so the quicker she can start real HRT, the better.  DON'T use "street hormones", "online hormones" or go to "pumping parties" or any of that nonsense.  There are some serious and dangerous health concerns out there if you don't have medical assistance.  Take whatever dose your endocrinologist recommends.  More estrogen will not make them work faster.  If anything, taking too much estrogen will hurt your results.  

With therapy and hormones taken care of, she'll have time to figure out what makeup or clothes or whatever else works for her.  My advice would be for her to reach out to female friends who are understanding and patient.  When I came out, all my female friends threw me a "Transition Shower" where they brought me old clothes and whatnot in order to start out.  Then I went to a thrift shop and dropped some money for a cheap wardrobe and slowly added from there.  Perhaps her therapist can point her to a support group where she can meet other trans women further along their transition.  The only way to really figure out what style things work is through trial and error.

For voice therapy, I would steer her to YouTube videos before she pays for an expensive voice coach.  Once she feels like she's got a good handle on it, then maybe she could try a session or two if she feels she still needs it.  Keep in mind, everyone thinks their voice sounds weird when they hear it.  I've never received any comments about my voice, but still get weirded out whenever I hear myself.  It is what it is.  For surgery, I would point her to the fine ladies at TSRoadmap.  They've got a lot of information on surgeons from around the globe so she can compare and see what works best for her.

As for the crazy religious nuts, just remember that people like that hate everyone who isn't exactly like them. Haters are gonna hate, but you can't let them keep you down.  As long as she is not in physical danger, just help her to hold her head high and shrug them off.  Crazy people deserve to be ridiculed and made fun of for their hatred, so just try to have a sense of humor about it.

I hope this helps.  Best of luck to you and your girlfriend!