Hi and welcome to I am Erin Paula,
My photoalbum/scrapbook series.
As I have documented my transition over the years, I created annual scrapbooks documenting my progress in pictures and copies of my official documents, medical referrals and letters. Please join me in watching me grow into womanhood. I do like to add that personal information and pictures, printed in my scrapbooks at home, have been removed on this website. Some things should remain private. Also note that the medical changes are detailed and could be sensitive to some, but I want to provide complete information for those who are thinking about transitioning.
Picture of my actual 2015 photoalbum/scrapbook.
my life I have tried to find myself many times, but with
no luck. I have had moments I thought I was gay, and
looked into that, but after a while I realized that was
not the case, until one day I came across the word
"transgender" (thanks to a roommate/friend who was a
mental health therapist , she watched my behavior) and
bingo, I found myself.
I actually came out of the closet at the end of 2014, I
do include my coming out in my first year's review.
On the other end, I did not came out to my mom until May
of 2015. So yes in 2015 I was completely out of the
Why this picture of me in my studio? Well before I was
going to come out I took a variety of pictures to see
how I look. Since I am a photographer, in business
professionally since 2008, I document anything with a
camera, so documenting my transition was expected.
Glad i did, because I can now share most of my
experiences with you. Hope you can learn something from
my struggles, and now, success in life.
Coming out was the hardest thing to, and yet the most
rewarding. No more secrets, no more double life's, just
being honest with yourself. Finally free.
My First PRIDE.
I enjoyed my first pride in
2015. I didn't really know the true meaning of a pride
fest than, but I was glad to be free and able to express
myself among other people. Other people like me.
For many year I have lived
my life in uncertainly and not knowing who I was. I
always felt something was not right with my feelings,
but growing up in the late 60's and early 70's of the
previous century, there was simply not much information
I could access.
After finding myself,
came self acceptance, and some serious thinking of who I
am going to proceed in life. I spend many hours, days,
weeks and months studying and doing research. Not only
on the medical aspect of transitioning, but more
important, the legal stuff.
You know, especially in the
USA, there are not that many protections a member of the
LGBTQ+ community has. Coming out could mean loosing
family and friends, your job, your home, your access to
healthcare. And lets not even talk violence and legal
protections. Thanks to President Obama, a lot of those
insecurities disappeared. President Obama was the first
US president to mention the word "transgender".
I initially started with
self medication. A no-no but I didn't had much choice,
since the US Military and in therefore my insurance, did
not accept anything related to gender dysphoria. I
bought a lot of pills online that turned out to be a
waste of money and with very little effect, if any. I
used this for nine months.
In May of 2015, after
I witnessed my co-worker getting killed by a locomotive
at my work, I started counseling with a gender
therapist, to work on getting the required referral
letter to start real hormones, and play it safe. Gender
dysphoriawas a second diagnosis, and as such accepted by
the milkitary and my insurance.
The WPATH, The World
Professional Association for Transgender Health, wrote
the standards of care, and is a requirement for anyone
wanting to undergo transition. It is a form of
gatekeeping, making sure the irreversible changes are
understood and wanted. One referral letter is needed for
hormone treatment, surgeries require two independent
mental health referral letters. These letters are
written by your mental health therapist and forwarded to
Once I had the referral
letter I needed to get a referral to the endocrinologist
from my general practiosner. It took nine months to
finally take my first testosterone blocker and estrogen
My friend D. and myself at pride.