Intro: Trans Girl From Seattle

stacysadistic

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Hi! My name is Stacy. As the title suggests, I'm a trans girl living in Seattle. A trans woman even! Well what am I doing here? Good question.

I make LGBT memes, and post them on instagram, and as part of that endeavor, I also follow a lot of different meme accounts. Some leftist ones, some SW pages, a lot of LGBT stuff. There's even things I don't really have any experience with or knowledge of, like memes from self proclaimed junkies or mid century modern furniture enthusiasts. If not relevant to my own personal interests, they're still pretty funny. I ran across a meme page about a topic I'd never really studied much, the exciting life of people who ride freight trains across state lines in a legally questionable fashion. The memes were great! Very funny, but what's an oogle? What does it mean to catch out? Does a homebum live at home? I was left with a wealth of questions that google alone was not able to adequately handle.

When google doesn't provide enough info, and/or the info provided is too curated by corporations, government censorship and ads, you can use a special little research trick: just google the same exact thing, but add "reddit" at the end. I ran across /vagabond and some other currently defunct communities. What an amazing time! Such a treasure trove of fascinating stories and advice. Gosh, that all sounded like such fun. I could really get on board with the sentiments of wanderlust and outlook on life these people were sharing. I'd always had a passion for adventure. I'd even got up to a little bit of shoestring budget travel all on my own, but never to this extent. My whole life, I'd had dreams of just saying fuck the system and running off doing my own thing, whether that meant going off grid living as a hermit in the woods, or hitting the road like Jack Kerouac.

With all the excitement for community and skill sharing though, I could see that there was some magic this group didn't want to be stolen, commodified, sold out, pasteurized and defanged. Who can blame them? I'd seen what 50 Shades of Black had done to the BDSM scene. I'd watch how onlyfans turned a tight knit community of SWrs into an every-girl-for-herself capitalism race for max ROI. Sometimes a little bit of gatekeeping is a good thing. After all, train hopping is not only dangerous but highly illegal and generally looked down upon by "respectable society." Patient and humble, I've decided to take my time, do my research, and start with a little test run hitchhiking as many have suggested.

I watched a lot of Stobe The Hobo videos. I read a book many talked about with high regard, Evasion. I read whatever I could find on the internet about tips and tricks for living the vagabond lifestyle. That's what led me here. Several places suggest I check it out, read the forums, and glean anything useful I could, to help myself prepare for my harrowing adventure.

My work is pretty flexible. I'm my own boss basically, and I've done a bit of the "digital nomad" life already, usually spending about 1/3 of each year on the road. So far adventures have ranged from missing my flight, arriving at hotels after the front desk had closed, buying fake weed from a Greyhound staff member and all sorts of surprises and colorful characters in between. But I aim to up the ante, to get a bit closer to danger and become more self reliant as I figure out new ways to travel. My plan is to hitchhike from Vancouver, BC to Tijuana this summer, couch surfing and staying at hostels along the way (maybe a it of camping too?). I want to do it as cheap as possible, but I'll still give myself some leniency, taking a bus or train if it ever gets a bit too dodgy. I love meeting new people and learning new things. Feel free to message me or give me advice in the replies here. I'll probably make another post looking for advice on my trip soon.
 

Canyon

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Omg please keep us updated on this! I'm also a trans woman (also living in Seattle, idk if that matters here, though), and I've always been wondering about the logistics surrounding HRT while traveling as trans.
I have some other trans friends who've done extensive traveling, but it's only been around the Salish sea area and they always stop back in Seattle before they're off again, so it hasn't seemed like too much of an issue. Aside from a few car and train rides here and there, I haven't done enough traveling since transitioning to give too much advice, but hopefully that can change in the future!
The rest of what you have said has also resonated highly with me, personally, and I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to hearing more about your travels! :)
 

stacysadistic

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Well as far as the HRT, I figured I'd leave after getting my Rx refilled, and try to make the whole trip in less than a month so that I wouldn't have to refill on the road. I take pills and not injections, so I suppose that makes it a bit easier. I suppose the vials are a bit more fragile but I dont think they need to be refrigerated, just somewhere cool and dark. I've done longer trips where I ran out of Rx before, and all you gotta do is go to a pharmacy and ask them to call your home pharmacy, and transfer the prescription to where you're staying. I think there can sometimes be an issue of insurance not covering it if you're on state medicare and you're out of state, but I don't remember it being too much of an issue. Estradiol/spiro isnt an expensive one, so they probably only charged me like $30. If its not covered by insurance, you can also usually find a coupon for it on the GoodRx app or similar apps and save a bunch of money.

Any tips for hitching around the Salish area could be useful! I was considering taking a ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, and then another ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles to work my way down the Washington coast. That book, Evasion, mentioned some sort of way scam a free ride onto a ferry from Seattle, but im not sure exactly how, or if it still works cuz that info is like 20 years old. I'm worried about taking the Washington coast route because its very rural, greyhound doesnt go out there, and I wouldn't want to get stranded. There are some cheap campsites at state parks all along the coast though though, so its pretty tempting.

I have a friend in Bellingham I can probably stay with though, so I think I'm gonna take that route, staying on the I-5 all the way to Portland at least.
 
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ali

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In my experience it is perfectly fine to ask your regular doctor for a long term prescription if you are going traveling. You can even get a note or medical certificate if it is 3+ months of supply which you can show to any cops or customs officers who might use your bag full of meds as an excuse to hassle you.

The bigger problem i found traveling with meds was more that their general inconvenience didn't fit nicely with a freewheeling on the road lifestyle. It's not just the space they take up in your bag, there are other aspects too. One weird little example is that pills make a cop-attracting sound when they are rattling around in your backpack, so you might want to carry some cotton wool or something to muffle that. If you are sleeping weird hours and eating inconsistently it can be hard to stick to the right schedule, which might increase your anxiety. Sometimes it's tough to stay clean and dry and if you need to keep everything super hygienic then that's yet another thing on the list of stuff to worry about. None of it on its own is deal-breaking, but added together with all the other minor hassles of traveling, you might make the assessment that overall certain meds are more trouble than they're worth.

Obviously a lot depends on your personal situation. I spent about 15 years taking HRT and various psychiatric meds fairly consistently until gradually dropping off. The last 6-7 years i've been living without prescriptions. For sure that comes with disadvantages and it's not suitable for everyone, but it's also really nice to not have to worry about carrying all that shit around, figuring out how to explain my medical history to a suspicious doctor in another language (i had to fucking drop trou more than once for shady doctors who refused to prescribe HRT unless they could "check" i was post-op (!!)), keeping everything dry and in order, bla bla bla.

On traveling while trans more broadly, i think your experiences will depend a lot on the people you meet and your willingness to appear as whatever they perceive you to be. Most people aren't assholes, even if they are inadvertent bigots. Sometimes it's easier to let ignorance, microaggressions and even hatred slide, simply because it's not worth fighting the battle with someone who you will never see again once you move on. It's useful to have a gender neutral name you can give if you're not sure where the other person is at. Being able to feel out when it's safe to be more open comes with experience, i suppose. I think this is true of any kind of solo traveling, whether trans or not.
 

stacysadistic

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Ya for sure. I've got a doctors to do that before. The docs up here in the PNW have been super cool and helpful. When I was moving from Portland to Seattle, I told the doc I wasnt sure when Id be able to find a new primary care physician and they gave me an Rx for a whole year to tide me over. When I went on a trip to Europe, I got a script for 3 months and I also had them write me a letter saying that I was their patient and listing all the medications I was taking. I was wary about customs in different countries and I wanted to be prepared in case they gave me a hard time.

Technically the TSA says you need original medication bottles labeled separately for each Rx, but that's just not convenient when you have 4 or 5. It takes up too much space. So I put all the pills for a month in one big bottle and carry that letter with me just in case. I've been stopped, searched and frisked by TSA for all sorts of things but not once have they asked me about my grab bag pill mix all in one bottle. Made me think, wow, I could probably bring all sorts of pills through that I dont even have an official Rx for lol. I'm sure the actual police could be a lot less permissive about the situation tho, and depending on the circumstance, might be more prone to wanna search.

I agree with you that most people aren't assholes, even if they are inadvertent bigots. I tend to look at their intent and let things slide that aren't that serious. People tend to do their best relating to LGBT people, and on the west coast I know I have it better than a lot of other places. Even the outright staunch transphobes that say the nastiest stuff online, when they're in person, they're much less likely to be confrontational. I'm planning to go "boy mode" for this trip, as it seems safer to be perceived that way. I'll still have black nail polish, still go by Stacy, and still have my tits, but most people are pretty clueless and just assume I'm a guy unless I'm wearing makeup. I've even heard, "Stacy is such a handsome name for a guy." eyeroll Its a bit of a middle ground, where people who are also queer and know what to look for will recognize what's up, but won't make me look like too much of a target otherwise. I'm 6'2" with muscles so people tend not to try and mess with me. I usually dress down when traveling anyway, so I don't think people assume I have anything worth stealing.

I'm registering for some couchsurfing websites and I'm thinking about putting myself as nonbinary on there. I have this worry that people will be upset if theyre expecting a woman and I look like a man, or vice versa. I think people would probably get the message that I'm not a cis male that way, and however I present, they'll be like "ok ya, that checks out." When I stay at hostels, I opt for a mixed dorm or a male dorm because I don't want people to freak out and cause a scene if they don't think I pass well enough. I have an Arizona driver's license that's not expired and says male. I also have an Oregon one that says female. I carry both with me so I'm ready for any situation.
 

Matt Derrick

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stacysadistic

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Oh ya for sure, I read it with a grain of salt. A lot of people mentioned it so I wanted to see what it was about. A lot of it I can get behind. The general anarchist mentality of not blindly becoming a wage slave, and scamming big corporations makes sense. But it seems like a lot of how he got by was using people without giving back anything in return, taking advantage of people's sympathies and even scamming smaller more local people on the food chain. He freely proclaims that he's just a kid that never grew up, and that really shows. Risking legal trouble is probably not the best idea unless you really don't have much options, and I'm surprised (at least by his narration) that he never got arrested. I think a lot of that has to do with him being a young white male living in a pre 9/11 world, before meth and opiod epidemics really soured people's view of the homeless and made police even shittier than before.

If somewhat unrealistic, I do like the continued optimism and outlook throughout the book and the message of freedom. It sounds like a completely different time for sure, so more of just something to appreciate on vibes, than as any sort of actual useful advice.

That's a good thread though! Lots of good reading recommendations there that I'll have to get into. I'm really enjoying the free books in the library too
 
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ali

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I think a lot about how many of us (cis and trans alike) travel in "boy mode". The sad thing is that often it can feel safer to present as an effeminate or "freaky" man than even an unremarkable woman, which perhaps speaks more to society's misogyny than its transphobia. On the flip side, at times when i have passed as a woman i find that "nice" people tend to get overly concerned: "oh, it's dangerous out there, you really shouldn't be going alone!" Which that attitude in itself just reinforces the patriarchy. Like, why shouldn't women be able to go out and travel alone? Why should it be that travelers who look burly and tough are not harassed but travelers who look dainty and attractive should expect it? Sigh.

I have experienced a similar thing when people online assume i am a straight cis woman and then they meet me and i present in perhaps a more masculine fashion than they expected, or they read me as trans, and then they don't want anything to do with me any more. To me i find that kinda creepy because either they were sexualizing me and now i turned them off or they weren't sexualizing me but are now worried that i am sexualizing them, when really i could not be any less interested in sex either way. So although it hurts to feel that kind of rejection based on an aspect of my physical appearance, it also means i dodged a bullet. People who are obsessed with sex are exhausting to me.

Agree that avoiding gender-segregated spaces is the best choice. Fortunately public toilets are the least of the hassle, because most people who go to them want to get in and out as quickly as possible and don't pay much attention to the other people who are in there. Sometimes i've gotten some weird looks and wondered if i might be challenged to pull out my ID, but the worst i've ever gotten is "this is the women's!" and then i reply, quizzically, "yes?" and it ends there. Most people aren't looking for conflict. That said, to this day post transition i have never stepped foot in an onsen or any other kind of long visit gender-segregated space that isn't explicitly trans inclusive. I don't want that hassle.

To me this is where being a traveler may lead you to different behaviors than you might have if you stay in the same community for longer periods. One of the privileges of being a traveler is if a place sucks you can just leave. When you're stuck in the same place for whatever reason, then there is a stronger motivation to try to challenge areas of social exclusion. Similarly when you travel i think it's easier to not have any attachments - steering clear of relationships avoids a lot of complications. But then i look at backpackers who hook up in every hostel across the continent and i realize perhaps i am just an outlier in this regard. For me it feels easier to travel as a ghost, to not make waves beyond "oh hey, there's a stranger passing through". Other people prefer to make more connections in the places they visit, and that introduces different risks and rewards.

As usual, it's hard to give advice about traveling because everyone's journey is different. I think it's great when people share their experiences, though, so i hope you don't mind a hijacked your intro thread to share some of mine 😅
 
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stacysadistic

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no worries, I dont consider it hijacking cuz someone might search "trans girl travelling" and this convo could be useful to them.

Agree that avoiding gender-segregated spaces is the best choice. Fortunately public toilets are the least of the hassle, because most people who go to them want to get in and out as quickly as possible and don't pay much attention to the other people who are in there. Sometimes i've gotten some weird looks and wondered if i might be challenged to pull out my ID, but the worst i've ever gotten is "this is the women's!" and then i reply, quizzically, "yes?" and it ends there. Most people aren't looking for conflict. That said, to this day post transition i have never stepped foot in an onsen or any other kind of long visit gender-segregated space that isn't explicitly trans inclusive. I don't want that hassle.

When I was first transitioning, one of my biggest fears was being confronted by someone for being "in the wrong bathroom." As time went on, it became much less of a concern. I saw that most people don't care, and they're just trying to do their business and leave. It seems like the conservative fearmongers who hate trans people so much, make it seem like a much bigger problem than it really is. So after about ten years since I came out of the closet, it wasn't something I had really thought twice about anymore, but I ran into my worst fear.

I was in NYC staying at this hotel called The Row. I was using their gym, so I wasn't wearing makeup, and I was dressed in workout clothes: pink sweatpants and a t-shirt. I had to use the bathroom and didn't want to take the elevator back up to my room, so I went to one in the lobby. I generally tend to use the men's restroom when I'm not dressed super feminine. In my opinion, guys actually care a lot less about trans ppl in the bathroom, and I'm a big muscular person so I don't tend to be targeted for violence. The worst I've ever got was a quick confused look. So I go to enter the men's bathroom, but it was locked.

"Fuck it," I thought, and walked into the women's. I quickly made a straight line to a stall and closed the door. Someone said "hey this is the women's!" I ignored them, hoping they'd mind their own business and go away. Another woman asked what was going on, and they said "there's a man in that stall!"

"What?!"
"Ya he just walked in here. I told him its the women's but he didn't leave."
"Well what's he doing in here?"
"I don't know."
"Hey you!" Bang, bang, bang! Slamming her fist against the stall door. "What are you doing in here?"
"Going to the bathroom."
"Do you know this is the women's?"
"Yes."
"I'm gonna go get the manager."

One of them stood up on the toilet next to me to look over the wall, and see down into my stall. They kept yelling at me and questioning me while I hurried up to leave. An employee came in and continued to question me (an actual male invading the women's bathroom). Other women were yelling at the same time. I got out of the stall and went to thoroughly wash my hands. I wanted to just run away and wash my hands in my hotel room but God knows they would have made some comment about trans women being gross and uncleanly.

So calmly, slowly, I finished up, then turned to the employee that was harassing me, looked them square in the eye and said "I need to talk to your manager right now." He said, "oh we're going to talk to the manager alright." We walked to the front lobby and when we got to the manager I pulled out my ID. I showed them my ID and pointed out where it said female, then said I wanted to make a complaint about the male employee that was harassing me in the women's bathroom. That is not how that employee thought the conversation was going to go. He thought he was going to get me in big trouble but instead he got his ass chewed out. They apologized profusely and gave me a voucher for a free breakfast LMAO! Thanks I guess??

This happened in New York City of all places. Maybe I would have been more careful if it was somewhere down south but I thought NYC had a reputation for being progressive, liberal and queer friendly. When it comes down to it, I wasn't bothering anyone. I just wanted to be in and out quickly and quietly with my head down. Instead, they were the one harassing a woman in the bathroom, banging on my door, peeping in on me, and screaming at me. It just gives me another reason to feel more comfortable using the men's I guess lol
 

ali

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OMG, that's the nightmare story! Peeping over the partition? Do these people have no self awareness? Holy moly. Glad it worked out okay in the end, though i imagine it must've felt a bit traumatic at the time. Thanks for sharing, i guess it's still worthwhile being on our guard just in case we get bad luck with a nutjob.
 

ViciousV

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Omg please keep us updated on this! I'm also a trans woman (also living in Seattle, idk if that matters here, though), and I've always been wondering about the logistics surrounding HRT while traveling as trans.
I have some other trans friends who've done extensive traveling, but it's only been around the Salish sea area and they always stop back in Seattle before they're off again, so it hasn't seemed like too much of an issue. Aside from a few car and train rides here and there, I haven't done enough traveling since transitioning to give too much advice, but hopefully that can change in the future!
The rest of what you have said has also resonated highly with me, personally, and I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to hearing more about your travels! :)

I personally buy hoards of hrt from overseas suppliers. You don't have to worry about running out, as long as you have an address to send it to.
DIY is very safe if you're using community-vetted sources, and getting walk-in, no insurance blood tests every 3 months is relatively cheap but nonetheless important (not that I get them lol).
 
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AyeAaron

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I personally buy hoards of hrt from overseas suppliers. You don't have to worry about running out, as long as you have an address to send it to.
DIY is very safe if you're using community-vetted sources, and getting walk-in, no insurance blood tests every 3 months is relatively cheap but nonetheless important (not that I get them lol).

If you're using testosterone, and not getting blood work, I'd recommend taking some beet extract as a precaution. Its a mild blood thinner

Just a thought from my lifting days

No idea about estrogen etc
 
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Canyon

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I personally buy hoards of hrt from overseas suppliers. You don't have to worry about running out, as long as you have an address to send it to.
DIY is very safe if you're using community-vetted sources, and getting walk-in, no insurance blood tests every 3 months is relatively cheap but nonetheless important (not that I get them lol).

Yeah I usually get mine through prescription, but I have tried DIY before (mostly hoarded some extra pills just to be safe).
I don't imagine it would be difficult to have a p.o. box if I'd be staying for an extended period in a place, or even just doing general delivery if I need to switch to DIY :3
 

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