I've been thinking about this particular milestone for a while now, and the big announcement and everything that would come with it, but now here we are and I feel like half of it I've been leaking out for months already and I have no idea what to say about the other half.
But hey, the theme of today has been "HERE WE GO I GUESS" so what's one more thing for that pile?
I started using the name "Celine" experimentally sometime ago--just around one or two of my closest friends at first, to see how it felt and if I liked it and wanted to stick with it. Then a few more friends, then a chatroom or two, then I gave in and quietly changed my account display name on various sites. There was never an announcement; I just sort of did it. So, on one hand, I never really told anyone I'm Celine now. On the other, I told everyone that ages ago. Oh, well. May as well make it official while we're here anyway, I guess.
I'm thinking my full name will be Celine Kalante Love [RL last name]. It actually works on several personally meaningful levels for me at once:
I'm still keeping the Kjorteo username. It's too deeply ingrained. My website and email have been kjorteo.net for the better part of two decades, it's also my username/account name on everything, and it's unique enough that I never have to worry about it being taken. I see the username as different from my name, though, if that makes sense. Like, on Telegram I'm Celine Kalante (@kjorteo). Same setup on Twitter. That seems like a good way to handle it, and also like an appropriate symbol of how I see those names in my entire life at this point.
The other major development is that... well... today I just got back from filling my first prescription for estradiol. I'll take the first one tomorrow morning, and proceed regularly from there. That's why I actually wrote this entry; I always told myself that if I actually started on HRT, that would be my this is it, this is actually happening cue and I'd announce everything then. Now that we're here, it... actually doesn't feel all that different? I mean, I'm not a different person now than I was yesterday, nor will I be a different person tomorrow morning after I take my first dose. It feels like just another tiny step in the quintillion or so tiny steps that make up this process. Still, I did tell myself this would be the point I'd make the post, and if I don't do it now, then when will I? The alternative is to just show up at the next Furpocalypse completely unrecognizable and be like, "What, this? Oh, you know. *Shrug*"
That being said, there are some changes I've been warned about that are worth passing along as a warning to the rest of you as well: the unfortunate thing about starting HRT is you basically get to go through puberty all over again, with hormones developing in new and fascinating ways and your mind and body both changing to reflect that. In other words, there is a very strong possibility that sometime over the next 3-6 months I will turn into a moody teenage girl. I'm sorry in advance, I'll do my best, and for all I know I'll be fine and this could be a lot of worrying over nothing. However, I will be quite literally hormonal for a while, until the change levels off again and settles down on the other side, so, uh... we'll see how that part of it goes.
But hey, at least I'm more mature now! I'm better equipped to handle it, and that's the silver lining about getting as late a start as I did. If I'd done this ten years ago then maybe I'd have kept more of my hair and such, yeah, but what a fuckup I was back then + being hormonal all over again probably would have landed me somewhere on the news. Maybe it's better this way.
Tonight I took a bunch of "before" pictures and bought a new pill organizer with AM/PM boxes (that's how you know you're getting old,) and generally tried to make myself as ready as I could be for, uh, something for which you can never truly be ready. However, I've said this before and it's worth repeating: I am lucky to have the best and most wonderful friends in the world at my side, not just for this but for everything. I know I'll be fine, because I know I can survive anything with your help.
I love you all so much that that's one of my middle names now.