I’m very edgy. I told Chuck that I wouldn’t mess up anything with my wife until we had talked some more, so here I am biding my time. This whole vacation is like the devil and angel sitting on my shoulders — all the reasons I should just shelve this crazy notion of mine — don’t want to be the black sheep, all my dead kinfolk and their struggle for respectability, etc, etc. And on my other shoulder is this very loud voice saying I really must do this.

What would be a terrific start would be to meet with Chuck and Mary Jo and figure out that at the very least, I really must listen to my feminine side and do whatever easy, non-disruptive thing that I need to do. I’d like shave my beard and start electrolysis — again, nothing disruptive and nothing I haven’t done before. Wax my body and work on my femininity underneath my clothes. Start with Propecia as both a testosterone blocker (to bring me down to non-T levels and to start growing my head hair to see whether I can grow it back. Start with Estradiol as a way of feminizing my mind and body, gently, with 6 month reviews. And then while we’re working on all this, there is time for a) talking with my wife, b) feeling my new feelings without burning any bridges, c) making progress with Chuck.

And maybe after 6 or 12 months, I am very happy where I am — no beard, redistributing fat, no bridges burned, family together, and me very pleased with my androgyny.

I think my fear is that if this direction makes me happier, then I’m almost destined to want to go further. If these steps move me in a direction where I’m happier, then logically wouldn’t a completely feminized body and mind make me happier? Wouldn’t my logical mind want to push further?

From this realization a few weeks ago, I have been quite frightened by this prospect. I don’t want to have to tell my friends and family that I’m going to transition. I don’t want to lose Mary Jo and family. I don’t want to have to do speech therapy and to have countless surgeries. I have studied transition stories online, and as much as they feared the outcomes, I think they are happier. Their stories sound a lot like mine, and that scares me, too. This possible future will start innocently enough, with hormones that lead to feminization of my body and mind. But it will progress — once I’ve gotten rid of my beard, my body hair, once I’ve fixed my head hair, once I feel more womanly, I am almost certainly going to want to be more womanly. Won’t I also be disillusioned with my A-cup breasts and seek modest breast augmentation, something like a better-rounded C cup? Won’t that make it harder to be androgynous? Even if I’m still working as a man in the university, behaving as a dad and a husband at home, won’t that be harder to maintain? I’ll want to pluck my eyebrows, wear makeup, wear softer clothing. That’s what I did before, and I don’t see any reason I won’t want to again.

I’ll want to feel like a woman, and won’t that cause all sorts of harm to my relationship with my wife? Maybe she’ll say it’s OK, but I have a terrible fear that she will disapprove, and her approval is important to me (maybe that’s one of my biggest issues, the need for the approval of others). Assuming she approves, won’t I want to appear feminine whenever I get a chance? If not in this town, then elsewhere — travel as a woman, vacation as a woman? Will she want to do that with me? I doubt it.

And looking further, once I’m feeling feminine, what’s to stop me from pursuing a more feminine appearance, like with facial feminization surgery? At that point, won’t I be living as a woman, working as a woman, with no more male aspects to me?

I don’t know if this slippery slope is necessarily my future, but I’m quite afraid. The TG resources center in Florida mentions that there are many options and that their first step is to figure out what people want. Full feminization is usually sought, but I’m wondering what else they do.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I need to be living in this world, today, with this body, this set of issues. No need to be impatient because a) you make mistakes when you’re impatient and b) I’m afraid of this slippery slope.