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Month: June 2015

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal

So I was discussing my experience with laser hair removal with a few different people today and I thought I would share a couple pictures to show where I was and where I’m at currently.

2015.01.18 - Baseline
2015.01.18 – Day before first session.

I started trying to eradicate my facial hair officially on January 19th of this year. I originally purchased six prepaid sessions from a provider on GroupOn. The company, Medshare, had a number of favorable reviews on GroupOn and other sites. The price was extremely affordable.

However, I noticed from the very first session a couple of things. One, their “Laser” wasn’t actually really a laser, but IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. After the first session, I checked it out on Wikipedia. Per the wiki, I thought IPL might still work for me.

First session did very little that I could tell. I would stand in front of the mirror and try and see if I could find any little indication of a change. This behavior continued for all the sessions with Medshare. My second session was two weeks later and then subsequent sessions were 4 weeks out.

By the time May had arrived, I had booked my six session, which was the last of my prepaid GroupOn purchase. I was discouraged to say the least. I started looking at other options like Electrolysis. The idea of having to do my whole face one hair at a time with electrolysis seemed miserable at best and incredibly time consuming. I follow another trans woman on Instagram. She has been documenting her process which is 100% electrolysis. To say that it is slow moving and very painful looking is an understatement. The benefit is that electro is the only method that is 100% permanent. Laser on the hand is advertised as “permanent hair reduction.” As I’ve learned in life, verbiage is everything.

Of course, at this point, I remembered that a local trans friend, Sarah had mentioned the big difference for her between IPL and actual laser. So I did a little research on different providers and I emailed Premier Laser for a consult. At the consult, she gave me a quote for 8-12 sessions, with a 2 year guarantee on re-growth. The price was higher than even I expected, but I was so frustrated with Medshare, I said “TAKE MY MONEY.” It was like an impulsive car deal. Emotion creates motion.

I called MedShare and canceled my last appointment with them. I never told them why, just that I couldn’t make it and I would call to reschedule.  I don’t really have an opinion on the place. I’m more upset with the loss of time rather than the money I spent there. I don’t know if the GroupOn deal is a scam to get you in and lead you on for as long as possible before turning the power up and actually showing some progress. “Power Level: GroupOn” one of my friends joked. However, since the IPL machine had no skin pre-cool, I can’t imagine too much more power from a pain perspective.

2001.06.27 - Pre
2015.06.27 – 36 hours since last shave. Regrowth markedly reduced

My first appointment with Premier was on May 27th. Actually the same day I was supposed  to be going to Medshare. Their machine is a real candela system. They do a pre-cooling spray right before each pulse of the laser. I suspect it’s CO2. It smells like the CO2 I used to use in BB guns as a kid. Even with that, it still is more uncomfortable than the IPL. Which I think speaks to the amount of energy is being dispersed into your follicles. With the IPL, I’d be red for an hour or two after the treatment. For this, I held an icepack to my face for an hour and I still looked like I had a bad case of sunburn for the next two days. Nothing changed for about a week as far as hair growth. I exfoliated with a scrub and by the end of the second week, I was seeing considerable less regrowth. I basically have a really goofy looking patch on my chin and some spotty growth on my upper lip. The rest is just spotty hairs here and there. So in my opinion, the results were pretty dramatic.

I just had my second session with Premier today, so I’m hoping for even more clearage in the next two weeks or so.  I’ll post an update on that later next month.

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Deniers beware. 

Deniers beware. 

My therapist asked how I’m able to not let other people get to me when they don’t respect me. Specifically, my gender identity. The answer didn’t roll off my tongue. In fact, it didn’t even come that session. It came to me as I drove from her office to work. 

Sitting in my penis mobile of a pickup truck, I thought to myself. I thought that I’m not all that different from them. I’m not all that different than a religious zealot, the bigot on the bar stool down at the corner bar or the pastor preaching hell, damnation and brimstone. 
I know with every fiber in my body that I’m right. Nothing you say about my DNA, my chromosomes or anything else you might throw at me will change my mind. People have said to me that I’m not biologically female. That I am a man who wants to be a woman. I’m not even going to argue that position. I don’t have to, their opinions aren’t important to me. I know what I know about my own mind and my body. I know that 14 year old boys don’t sit in their rooms and try and figure out why they don’t have a vagina. 

I guess my point is, I am what I am. I refuse to argue about it. If you feel like you can’t accept that, that’s on you. You can keep it to yourself, you can tell me how you really feel. I’m surrounding myself with my true supporters. I don’t want fake people. To some people, I’ll always be viewed as a man. No matter how kind the hormones are to me, no matter what surgery I have, I’ll never be a real woman to those people. I can’t convince them, no more than people could once be convinced that the world was round. 

Likewise, I’ll always look in the mirror and wonder what could have been. A key hormone at a certain timing in the womb? Who knows. I do wish in somewhat equal parts that I could either be happy with the body I have or have been born with the correct body. It’s not as much about gender identity to me as much as being comfortable in my own skin. So despite the fact that I’ll always have shoulders that are a little too broad and hip bones that fused themselves long ago, I’m still very much a woman. No matter the irrevocable damage that years of testosterone poisoning has done, I will persevere. 

Now, it’s 6 o’ clock in the morning. I should be asleep. 

Hormones and dreams

Hormones and dreams

Since starting on hormones, I have had a number of odd dreams. I couple that I would never put to paper, a couple I’ve just forgotten… and then there’s a few that have stuck with me.  I had a dream this morning, it was very strange to me, and was pretty much a cartoon. I wasn’t even in the dream. 

The two players of the dream were a ghost (think pacmanish) and a roomba. Shit, this dream was pacman. I had a dream about pacman.  Any way, unlike pacman, as the ghost moved throughout the halls of this building, it would leave a trail of somethig behind… Oooze? I’m not sure, doesn’t matter. The roomba faithfully followed cleaning up after the ghost. Finally the ghost arrived upon a skeleton and disappeared. The roomba just sat that spot, like a dog waiting for an owner that never returns. Sad roomba. Then I woke up. 

So yeah. Sad roomba is in my dreams. Go figure.