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 2016 photoalbum/scrapbook.
11 January 2016. This day in the city of Dordrecht the Netherlands, my birth certificate was corrected. I am now... legally female, and have my new first and middle names. It took a little while to get there. Via Skype I had a consultation with a Dutch gender therapist to have my diagnosis and receive the required medical document. While residing in the USA, I also had to get legal documents in place, to have a friend in the Netherlands go to city hall, and apply for the birth certificate changes.
And that was only the beginning. Now I had to go after my American ID's. In the USA it almost seems like every state and federal agency has their own set of rules and guidelines. In all it took me close to 9 months to get anything legally changed.
Although my Dutch birth certificate is an international document in many languages, including English, some agencies didn't accept it, so to make things easier on me I just went to court for the name change and have my endocrinologist write a gender change letter. These not so official papers worked better than an international birth certificate. Only the US immigrations and Virginia DMV accepted the Dutch birth certificate.
After all the US official documents were taken care of, next came the bank and utilities accounts. Wells Fargo being the hardest one to take care of. But at the end, I am all female and Erin Paula with all my ID's and bill collectors. I even receive junk mail in my new name and gender.
First time visiting my mom as "me".
The previous year is when I came out to my mom and told her my decision to start my transitioning. I was still legally her son back then. But this year I visited my mom completely legal as her daughter.
In May, as is the tradition for many years since 1996, I visit my Mom in the Netherlands, to be with her for mother’s day and to celebrate my birthday together. So nice to be free in your legal status and accepted by so many. My Mom and I enjoyed this time together.
It took my mom some time to get used to her child transitioning to a female, mostly concerned what others might think and how to explain this. She talked to her church and found out that there are other trans woman in her church, so I think that helped her a lot.
We also talked about the DES medicine my mom was on for 6 months during her pregnancy with me, and we both agree that this might very well be the reason of me being trans.
Finished laser hair removal.
One of the first “medical/cosmetic” procedures I started came to a completion. From December 2014 till May 2016 I underwent laser facial hair removal, although it should be called hair reduction instead.
Laser is not truly permanent and in general works only on dark hair on light skin. The only true hair removal is electrolysis, which work with any hair and skin color. Real lasers are used, should be used, by professionals. I also have an IPL hair removal device at home, which is not a true laser but looks more like a photography flasher. I used this for my body hair.
Since a small part of my facial hair was gray I already knew it was not going to remove all of my hairs, but at least I had a great start. After the laser hair removal I think about 50% of my facial hair was removed.
In October of 2016 I started with electrolysis to remove the remaining hairs on my face, which as of this writing (August 2020) I am still doing on a bi-weekly schedule.
My friend T. with her significant other, and myself
with Equality Virginia.