Amazed and Bemused

I have met many of you in the chat room, and there are uncounted others here I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting. I’ve been at TGH for about a month now, and I am so glad I joined. Thank you all for the support and encouragement.

I began my transition slowly about 18 months ago, and have progressed well in the past few months. I am following all the medical protocols to make the change properly and safely, with a therapist, endocrinologist and a family doctor working together to assist me as needed. After sixty five years of dysphoria, I have made up my mind to be myself, and to date, I have been amazed and bemused.

I am amazed that my transition has been so positive, effortless and stress free. I am now living my true life all the time. I spent most of my life being paralyzed with fear at the prospect of making the change, even though I knew in my spirit that I was female. The social indoctrination from childhood was just too strong to overcome for a long, long time. As I finally made the decision to launch forward into a new and exciting world, I began to find that all those fears and worries were solely my own.


As I progressed from step one, I have never met with a negative reaction from anyone I have been in contact with. Admittedly, during the COVID crisis, those contacts are few and far between, but I am referring to my family and close friends. All of them accepted my changes with a grain of salt and thought nothing of it. My fears had no place to manifest! As I presented myself at my workplace (I am a professional psychologist), again no eyebrow was raised. And all those anxieties had no place to manifest! As I present myself in my small, conservative country town, my fears of being physically accosted have no place to manifest!

I returned from a long weekend vacation to Las Vegas earlier this week, and I was amazed to see that there was also no negative reaction from a soul from door step to door step. I held my head up, put my shoulders back, and walked confidently thru the terminal, TSA, boarding and the flight. Checking in at the hotel was completely normal. I enjoyed my vacation time with my family and friends in a way I have never enjoyed before. During the trip, many casual chats were completely unremarkable. I feel like I owned the pool area each day.

There was no anxiety, fear, trepidation or worry. How amazing is that!? All those years of hiding, secrecy, and shame seem to be a construct of my own mind, a construct that I inflicted on myself for false reasons. Girls, I have concluded that I really am normal, and that nobody out there really gives a hoot about how I look, dress, play or live. At least, with no more concern than is given to every average mister and miss that crosses their paths.

So, I bemuse: “What is wrong with me?” “It isn’t supposed to be this easy? So why is it?” “Is this the effect of the Pink Fog?” “Is my experience typical of other girls?” And I ask myself other questions that I can’t answer yet. Why did it not bother me that the males providing service along the way (TSA, waiters, cab drivers, hotel staff) invariably called me sir during my trip? On the other hand, the female staff everywhere called me miss or ma’am, and I was pleased with that, too. My thoughts are that it just doesn’t make a difference to me how they see me. I am not obliged to live my life in a manner that pleases “them.”

Could it really be that I simply wasted 50 or more years pretending to be something that I believed I could be? All because I handicapped myself with a set of false beliefs and attitudes? I’m not really sure what to make of my experience, but I like what is happening to me. I like it a lot!

Is making a successful and comfortable transition and change of lifestyle really just a matter of mindful confidence, attitude and self concept? It seems so to me. The farther I push my limits, the farther my limits seem to reach. I don’t object. Rather, I am thankful, thoughtful and delighted. Even though I ask myself questions I can’t really answer, I find the whole experience humorous. I think about what has happened this year, and I laugh, smile, and enjoy the adventure to the fullest. I also find that my happiness, contentment and satisfaction with life leads me to laughter.

So I have a learned some valuable lessons during the past few months, underlined and in bold letters during the past week. I really am me, and I am okay with that, and so is the world. All the fear and anxiety leading up to my transition was self created and self imposed. I belong here (not just at TGH, but in the world at large). And, as far as I can tell, the rest of us belong here too.

So, I scratch my head in wonderment at just how smoothly life is proceeding. I’m not going to knock on wood for good luck. I declare that my life will continue to change without difficulties out of the ordinary (a flat tire, leaky faucet, burnt toast). I won’t give myself the option of having a difficult time, and the world doesn’t have what it takes to slow me down. I have a life to live, and will live it to the best of my ability. I will enjoy what each day brings my way, and be thankful for each day. And I know that I will be successful and contented, because of the main lesson I’ve learned….I am a strong woman.

Love you all.

Carly Holloway



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TIME TO UPDATE MY PROFILE: It's hard to believe I've been onsite for 2 years. And 3 years since I began my transition. I freely admit that transitioning turned my world all helter-skelter, but it has been more than worth it. I've made some amazing friends, and had adventures that still blow my mind. Above all, it is the best decision I have ever made. I feel very confident, strong and content. All those old fears about "What if..." have proven to be illusion, creations of my own imagination and insecurities. The process has been amazingly easy to manage. Now, I live as my true self. TGH, as well as my treatment team and family, have been instrumental in allowing me to get this far. I may not be eligible for many surgical procedures due to health issues, but that will not stop me from enjoying life to the fullest. I wish the best to each and every person that begins this marvelous is more than worth it. You can find me in the chat room most mornings and oftennduring the day. My goals are to be a support to others in their journey, and to be a proud representative for all of us. So, ladies and gents. I encourage you..."dare to dream...dare to make your dreams a are stronger than you know." Peace and love. Carly

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Bobbie Scott
Bobbie Scott(@bobbietampa)
3 years ago

Thank you Carly, I’m just 3 months into transition. 62 soon to be 63. Thing I have going against me is being 6’2″. So I’m sweating when I have start socially transitioning. Your an inspiration.

Honii Des Lysses
Honii Des Lysses(@honore303)
3 years ago

What a beautiful story. I’m glad that your transition is moving along more smoothly than expected. I, too am in the opening stages of transitioning and very lost in the Pink Fog at the moment, but when you finally like the face looking back at you in the mirror it makes the change all the more welcome and relevant. I also live in a conservative town and my family is not too keen on the idea but at age 50 they really don’t have a say. I’m weary of having to mansquerade as someone I’m not which could be attributed… Read more »

Dennis Herdina
Dennis Herdina(@jinianvictoria2)
3 years ago

i am glad to read of your experiences thus far. I AM MOSTLY JUST QUIET OBSERVOR. i am in process of becoming trans woman . Most notably for me i am engaged to a trans man and we are being married 3 Dec. I t is to say the least been a wonderful journey for me. I have yet to meet with any real negative response and have been quietly accepted as a woman. WETHER my response was seen thru *PINK FOG* or not hard to say. But as i said this has been a wonderful, well thought out series… Read more »

Reiht Aug
Reiht Aug(@reiht)
3 years ago

Thank you Carly, you have inspired me with your article. Strangely (or not so strangely) I have not had any bad experiences since I transitioned. It’s only been 2 months since I found myself. I lived a life of shame and self deceit, never happy of thinking myself as a freak. Since I found myself, I have been happy and coquettish. Definitely flirty and chatty. I am finely me and I love myself. Could never say that before my transition.
I hope to see more articles from you. Love and hugs

Jaiylyn Lawley
Jaiylyn Lawley(@jaiymelynne)
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. So very inspiring. I always know that so much of my fear of change in life, in any area, comes from self doubt and thinking too much. So glad you were able to share this. I am grateful for your wise words; I’ve always left the chatroom feeling better after having visited with you. Standing tall and being confident seems to be one of the most important things we can do/be.
Thanks again,

3 years ago

Love, love, love this!!! Thank you so much for sharing and spreading happiness!!!

3 years ago

Hello Carly,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I frequently have a lot of anxiety about my future so to read a positive story like yours renews my faith in who I am and what I am doing. Best wishes for your future.


Samantha Moore
Samantha Moore(@tallsam)
3 years ago

Beautiful and inspiring story

3 years ago

Carly, What an absoultely lovely article. I congratulate you on your achievement and article. You have written a truly sensitive and meaningful piece, which demonstrates to me where you have reached in your life and mind. I am not sure you understood what you were opening up in your life when you brought about those things, but you are certainly seeing the benefits now! You have begun a journey of discovery that will continue to improve as you grow into your new life and awarenss of exactly who you are, something that nobody can take away from you either. What… Read more »

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