ariana-tg:

Happy Re-Birthday to Me! – (NOTE: Re-blogging because tumblr was stripping away all of the 2018 images but I have corrected it -Ari)

Sorry this is a long post and you may have to manually load the later images due to post restrictions! I am adding onto the post I did last year at this time, describing how I have been doing as my transition and post-op life progress.

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Today is the 4-year mark of me being on HRT. Halloween is my hormone-iversary! It just happened to be the day that my HRT prescription was first filled and available to me.

I am also only 2 weeks from the 1st Anniversary of my Gender Confirmation Surgery. Holy cow, already a year post-op!

** DO NOT REBLOG TO FETISH AND PORN BLOGS *** Sorry, I hate having to add that, but such is life.

—–2018—– Current Year Recap Since 10/31/2017

The Good:
The end of 2017 was spent in full on recovery mode. My surgery that was performed on November 15th of last year caused me to celebrate Thanksgiving with just my Mom present while I laid and watched Harry Potter movies 🙂 There were many short posts with quick health updates along with pictures of me laying about and looking ahead to brighter days.

Other than a scare where I had to be rushed back to the ER due to an issue with stitching and bleeding that would not stop, my surgery and recovery went very well. Being all alone and unable to move about normally was something I had to get used to, there were many moments I had to just cry and relieve the stress my body was under. I have a healthy view of crying though.. it is like a release valve. Recovery was not easy by any means, but I did my best to keep my thoughts on where the pain and downtime were going to get me. It has been so worth it! Thank you “past Ari” 😉

I have had a fun saga of playing around with hair color and my colorist and I have determined that blonde suits me the most. That is probably going to always be my default, but I will occasionally shake things up. Over the past 18 months, I have been blonde, back to brunette, to auburn, to deep mulled wine, to red, to VERY blonde for the summer, to peachy pink, to pink, and back to blonde!
Have guts in regards to your hair, it is wonderful to try new things!

I have been dating, a lot.. well a lot for me anyway! As mentioned in the 2017 recap below, I had several dates sprinkled throughout 2017, but those did not really go anywhere. It had much more to do with me still feeling like I was a work in progress. It was hard to see myself in a relationship at the time because my focus had to be so laser tuned to making sure everything was in line to make my surgery happen. I let things go only as far as I felt comfortable, which was not very far at all. This year has been different, I am “all in” when it comes to dating and finding my person 🙂 To that end, even though I had a few dates without doing so, I finally bit the bullet and signed up on a couple of dating apps.
The response and level of interest on those dating apps frankly shocked me. There are far more people than I thought who really don’t care that a person is trans. As it should be!! I do not yet post a lot about the details of my dating life. I might someday soon, but for now I feel like it is enough to simply say that I am being treated well, with both respect and genuine interest. I have had some picture perfect dates with amazing goodnight kisses, some tender, some exciting, and some a little awkward but sweet 😉 I have had some moments where I was disappointed when a person chose someone else and went on their way, but that is okay. I want to be with someone who thinks I am the absolute bomb and I want to feel the same way about them. That takes time to find.

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* Soap Box Moment * – I am going to take this moment to mention that transgender people are not fetish material. We are to be treated as anyone else you would date and have an interest in. We are not meant to be anyone’s secret fling or fantasy. We are worth much more than that. I only date those who are clearly looking to treat me as I truly am, just a woman who took longer than most to be who she truly is.

I am currently very happy to report that I am seeing someone that I really click with and I am excited to see where it goes!

Work Life: Transitioning in place at work was a big concern for me in the past (see past year comments below). I fully came out at work in 2016. Since then I have been switched back to the team I was with before my transition began. That was a bit trippy 🙂 However, they are all wonderful people and I love my job and I am very happy where I am at.

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Friendships: I am so very grateful to have been able to build a group of friends that I can always be myself around. I had an amazing birthday celebration in June with a bunch of them showing up. Seeing as it was my first actual birthday since being post-op, it was incredibly special to celebrate it surrounded by friends who get me. Love you all!!

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Hobbies: Can you believe I actually have been able to get back into hobbies that I enjoy? That does not sound like much, but transition (especially the year of surgery) can consume every ounce of free time you have. I am once again enjoying several of my hobbies.

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My Kids: My children are amazing. They get me. They unfortunately at times have to walk a line with being in conservative circles with my ex, and yet my kids never hurt me and love me very deeply. Both of my kids are healthy and they are becoming incredible young adults. I relish spending time with them and even simple car rides can be laugh filled fests with them.

My Health: I have swam more and biked more this year and have stayed in the best shape of my life since the age of about 19, when I was playing soccer non-stop.

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Support from all of you who follow and encourage me: I am crying as I write this. THANK YOU. In 2017, when I was just nearly there in being able to plan for my surgery costs, I knew I was still going to fall short. I had expended every possible financial source I had to get there and it was not going to be enough. I put up a YouCaring page and YOU all did the rest by donating what you could. It was literally JUST BARELY enough to make it happen. I will NEVER forget that. I will NEVER just disappear and stop trying to be a positive, visible, out transgender woman. Hear this transition success deniers.. “I AM POST-OP AND INCREDIBLY HAPPY WITH ZERO REGRETS!!”

Stresses at this time – 2018:
One of my closest family members has still rejected me completely

Fighting repeated billing issues regarding my surgery well into 2018: Thankfully my HR department at work saved the day here, the VP of HR wrote a letter explicitly defining that our company plan covers transgender health care because the insurance company had a different story from every person I spoke to there. If HR had not stepped in on my behalf, I was looking at entering a useless appeal and fighting a legal battle and financial ruin as the hospital, various medical instituions, and my insurance company were all over the map on paying out for the surgery (which I had an insurance coverage PRE-APPROVAL letter for by the way!). It was a nightmare, and I just recently got ANOTHER bill for an insane amount of money from the hospital claiming they never got paid. That mistake is still being worked out as the insurance company has documents showing it was paid.

Societal and Political Nonsense Driven Stress: Being used as a policital pawn by the far right is getting very VERY old. But honey, I #WONTBEERASED.

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Financial Debt: Surgery, uncovered transition costs, divorce, bankruptcy, and the long road back just to financial equilibrium, have all defined a certain level of constant stress in my life. I am still here, I am still climbing out of that bad financial pit I was in. I watch my credit score like a hawk and have raise it 300 points since it first tanked after my divorce and subsequent court recommended bankruptcy. I am now in a situation where I am entering the first shades of light at the end of the tunnel. Assuming my health holds (and I do take very good care of myself), I will continue to get to a more stable financial place.

The future for Ari.. skies the limit baby!

Thank you for reading my 2018 recap, please continue below for a photo montage from 2018 and read on from previous year recaps if you wish to know more!
-Ariana

Late 2017, 2018 photo montage:

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Previous year recaps are below but in order starting with 2014:

—–2014—–

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The Good – 2014: 

Since February of 2014, I began to be much healthier after deciding to finally accept and address the fact that I was transgender and planned to share that with other people. I took it slow, but I immediately started to care about actually taking care of myself and my body once I had finally forgiven myself for being transgender (it sounds ridiculous I know). By the time the photos above were taken, I had already lost about 30 pounds and would eventually lose over 65 pounds.

By October 31st, I had visited the Howard Brown Center in Chicago multiple times and I got my first HRT prescription filled on Halloween (it just happened to be that day – easy to remember though!). My plan at that point was just to be on HRT and hope that it helped me with my dysphoria. It turns out it was a night and day difference and in a matter of weeks it was as if the lights were on for the first time in my life.

Major Stresses at the time – 2014:

  • Out to my spouse, only one friend, and one family member
  • When I come out to my spouse, she tells me she can’t be with a woman, so I do not view fully transitioning as being in my future
  • I had to go to Howard Brown and seek help on my own because I am desperate for the dysphoria to be addressed
  • I feel utterly alone in dealing with all of this and along with suffering massive guilt at the same time because I blame myself even though I should not

—–2015—–

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The Good – 2015:

I spend the first part of 2015 becoming more androgynous.

I am out to my children, but I switch back to guy mode whenever I am around them to give them time to adjust.

Being out and about finally as myself, I begin to make friendly acquaintances with some employees at grocery stores, salons, and clothing stores I frequent. 

My hair is slowly growing out but my signature curls are already in full effect.

Also – I finally like Halloween, now that I feel like myself under the costume! So, yay for costumes!

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Major Stresses at the time – October 2015:

  • Over 5 months of marriage counseling failed to do anything about the fact that I was and would always be transgender and my spouse did not want to be with a transgender woman. The decision had been made in September to get a divorce and knowing my marriage is over I decide to begin working towards fully transitioning.
  • Dealing with being surrounded by smoking neighbors in my little one bedroom apartment (YUCK!!).
  • Supporting two households on my one income.
  • Going through painful electrolysis on my facial hair.
  • Spending time still attempting ‘boy mode’ when with my kids and parents so they can have time to adjust.
  • Being gendered as male or female on any given day while out shopping, just living my life.
  • Being regularly misgendered by my parents and siblings during visits and one of my closest family members has rejected me completely

Moved to a new apartment all by myself with no help. 

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—–2016—–

I declare 2016 “The Year of Ari.” I was determined to allow myself to fully come out to the world.

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The Good – 2016

In March, my Kids tell me I can pick them up “As myself.” From that moment on.. no more boy mode! In May, I complete my official name change! I was also totally out at work by this point but I was working from home so I only see co-workers occasionally for major events or work trips. I have been out swimming again in both one and two piece (but still mid-riff covering) bathing suits. I published my first article as a contributor to The Huffington Post. I switched from electrolysis to laser hair removal on my face. By the start of summer, I have begun to see a therapist with the intention of meeting the WPATH guidelines for gender confirmation surgery. By focusing on being more social and going to meetups (thank you Meetup.com!) throughout 2016, I have built a network of friends in and around what I now consider my home town. 

In the fall, I began streaming on my Twitch gaming channel – but not at all on a regular schedule.

Major Stresses at the time – October 2016:

  • Divorce nearing the end phase and dealing with lawyers and legal speak is not something I handle well.
  • Under major financial distress
  • A shortage in Estradiol medication causes me to have to switch from injections to patches and my numbers drop severely low. Dysphoria hits me hard for a solid month.
  • Still being regularly misgendered by my parents and siblings during visits and one of my closest family members has still rejected me completely

—–2017—–

Ari is now officially single again

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The Good – 2017

My relationship with my kids is as amazing as ever and my teenage daughter and I connect in new ways and have lots more to discuss 😉 After all, we are both going through puberty at the same time! My son and I are also doing great and you can occasionally witness us playing games as a team on my Twitch channel (though he is off camera).

My divorce was finalized at the beginning of 2017.

I declared this the Decade of Ari, because one year was not enough 😉

I am once again working in the office two days a week (I am actually enjoying it!), though the rest of the week I work from home.

I am pretty much “there” as far as facial hair removal goes, but I still deal with some slow growing colorless hairs on my chinny chin chin (these hairs are by-products of earlier electrolysis that laser won’t help with). I want to have electrolysis on my face soon to finish off those little buggers.

I went mostly blonde! At least for a while 🙂

I have begun dating again!

I am streaming on Twitch on a regular basis.  

Thanks to donations from many of you, I received just barely enough assistance to make my surgery happen. My goal has not been met, and there is still a large financial burden I am having to meet. (if you want to help and can, here is the link: http://youcaring.com/helparianaout )

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Major Stresses at the time – 2017:

  • Preparing for Surgery (so anxiety inducing) – planning, calling, managing, attending appointments, more calling, more managing, and more calling, more appointments…
  • As a pre-surgical requirement, I had a mammogram and in doing so also had a breast cancer scare (it turned out to be nothing after a followup mammogram and an ultrasound, but for 9 days I suddenly began having to think that my surgery might never happen and I might have to instead begin to battle cancer).
  • Three long sessions of electrolysis performed on my crotch for surgery prep = enough said!

One of my closest family members has still rejected me completely

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Thank you for taking a look back with me. I am sorry for monopolizing your dash for this long post. I am very grateful to my tumblr community though and I wanted to celebrate this with you.

A hormone-iversary feels like a re-birthday to many of us who transition and it is special.

You may notice that I smile a lot and I try to maintain a positive attitude no matter what is happening in my life. It has been the central key to getting where I am now. It helps that through all of the trials, simply being able to be myself brought out so much happiness that I could always find that feeling again. 🙂

I am also grateful for every donation I have received. As I mentioned, there was just enough donated (by the slimmest of margins!) for me to be confident enough to move forward with this. 

On to surgery and on to seeing what 2018 will bring!

-Ari

For more about my story and for my transgender advocacy website: https://arianadanielle.com

For my Twitch channel: http://twitch.tv/maidenariana

I almost forgot!!

What would a Halloween Hormone-iversary be without Costumes! 

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Yay! I love dressing up for Halloween now that I can finally be me while doing it!

Happy Halloween everyone!

#RE-BLOGS OKAY ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT A PORN BLOG

Happy Re-Birthday to Me! 4 years HRT and Post-Op was originally published on Ariana Danielle

Reblogged as now all of the 2018 images are included and fixed/resized for quality. -Ariana

** Once again.. DO NOT RE-BLOG ON FETISH AND PORN BLOGS **

An Update About How Life is Going for Ariana (Including Dating) – June 13, 2018

This long post is a general update with many pictures spread throughout, because it has been too long since I did a proper write-up. I have not been streaming or writing longer blog posts much lately because I have been actively dating. By actively dating, I mean for nearly every free night I have lately, I have been scheduling a date.

It has been going very well. Both dating apps that I chose to install have served me well I think. Is there someone special yet? Not specifically, but there have been a couple of people that I have now seen more than once and others with whom I am planning a follow-up date. While I am certainly playing the field, I am not sleeping around or anything like that. I am the type of person that needs to feel connected to someone before I jump into that. So, if you are looking for details to that effect, there are none… yet.

I always disclose the fact that I am transgender within the initial several instant messages and most certainly before I meet someone for drinks or coffee. I am not interested in wasting my time or their time if they for some reason can’t see themselves with someone who has transitioned. There have been a few people that immediately disappeared and unmatched with me after I let them know I transitioned. It is important to just expect this and chalk it up to unfair stigma. That person is not necessarily even a bad person for doing it, they possibly just are dealing with a fear similar to the one that used to prevent me from transitioning when I was much more weak in my personal confidence and my outlook on life. I actually smile at times picturing a little person shaped hole in the virtual wall that is my dating app. They sometimes get out of there really fast!

Too bad for them! I know this is not the approach some transgender women take, but this is right for me. Being post-op, I could probably “get away” with not disclosing, but honestly I look at it as a good filtering mechanism. If someone is too wrapped up in what others may think, or they have their own “deeply held beliefs” a.k.a twisted ideas about transgender people, then buh-bye! Also, I am an OUT transgender woman. With my website, twitch channel, and social media activities doing my best to support others like me, there is no way I am going to go into hiding for someone.

Have there been some surprising moments and even some tender moments? Yes. I am very happy to say yes.

I am being treated well by those I have met in person. I would even go so far as to say that I have had one “perfect” first date experience. It was.. just amazing. Sadly, things are not moving along with that person like I had hoped. At least, not yet.

That is okay though. I have now repeatedly proven to myself that I can do this. There have been dates where I would even say I was the much more confident party in attendance and that just blows my mind 😉 I know this sounds like I am bragging, but my blog has always been about the highs and lows of my transition and my friends this is most definitely a high point!

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In addition to dating, I have had my first bikini wax and subsequently worn some fun one-piece swimsuits to different pool parties. I no longer feel the need to wear one of those one piece/short or skirt combo swimsuits. I am looking to buy a good two-piece bikini, but I have yet to find the right one.

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Does this all mean everything is wonderful all the time for me? Of course it does not. I am still to this day tracking down and dealing with making sure transition related bills get covered properly by my insurance and that the remainder gets paid out of my exploded budget. Financially, I have a killer job, but because of what has transpired the last few years I live like I just got out of school and have a mountain of student debt.

Also, I deal with the same horrible media representation of transgender people that we all do. I am regularly attacked by people online that hate me simply for being who I am. I have family members and former friends that don’t speak to me (though thankfully I also have a ton of both family and friends that are supportive and loving). There are days when it all gets to me and I just have to cry it all out.

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(I know it is weird to have a selfie of me crying, but I actually do this to help track when I feel this way) Once I do have a good cry and release all of that negativity, I pick myself up and I attack my life as best I can. I prefer to head off any crying spells with a good bike ride/workout, but sometimes they still happen. You know what, that’s okay, it’s healthy to cry away stress from time to time.

Today, I was able to get out there during my lunch hour and beat my personal best on one segment of a trail that I ride.

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This is a hard life. There are times when I look back on the past few years and I am just in awe that I have made it through all of that. If I can do it, believe me anyone can. Learn how to take care of yourself, your body, your heart, and your soul. Amazing things start to happen when you love yourself and believe you can constantly learn to do better in all things. When negativity strikes, do not let your thoughts trap you in the moment and in present circumstances. Instead, focus on the things you know you can improve and work on them. There is always something! You know how I mentioned feeling like I was just out of college and dealing with a mountain of debt? Well, thankfully I also feel like I am actually that age (despite the fact that I am about to turn 44). I am in the best shape of my life since my high school days when I played soccer. It has everything to do with actually being free to be myself and attempting to live my life to its fullest. The only fountain of youth I know about is all about just being you and living your best life. 

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Be strong!

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You got this!! Happy Pride Month!

-Ariana

Guess who went back to blonde yesterday! 😉

My colorist thought it was going to take even one more treatment to get to this point but my hair had other ideas yesterday and I am already VERY blonde for the warmer weather (which I hope is right around the corner). 

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I am so happy to have this color again. I liked trying out violet (mulled wine) and red as I stair-stepped back to blonde this winter, but my natural color or blonde are the colors I feel most at home in. The brighter blonde just makes me feel happy, an effect much like a sunny day. 

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I did not post on tumblr yesteday during #TransDayOfVisibility because I had to go from the salon and right out to a friends birthday celebration. I was subsequently hit on by a guy at the pizza place we went to. He somehow asked all of the “first date interview” questions in about a 4 minute conversation. I was not interested but hey it was flattering 🙂

I did have time to tweet as I was getting ready to go to the party. Here is the tweet I sent out for 

#TransDayOfVisibility:

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These were the full pics if you click on them:

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That is the first time I had shown the skin graft scar from my gender confirmation surgery. There is a matching one on the other side. 

To all trans people, many of us are choosing to stay visible even after surgery and after we are “passing.” Why do I do it? Simple. I am completely and totally unashamed to be trans. You should not be either. You do not have to be posting publicly to make an impact. Live your life, be open and make personal connections, and you will automatically be a part of changing this world and the harmful societal norms pushed on people. As more and more people come to know that transgender people are just people living their lives, views change. I mean we are definitely not like everyone else, most of us are exceptional people on many levels after during hardship and still being here. Put simply, we rock! 

Watch out oppressive societies everywhere! The visible trans brigade is here to stay!

-Ariana

http://maidenariana.com

https://arianadanielle.com

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