Saturday, December 29, 2007
The only weird thing with buying my new car was dealing with the credit check. When they pulled it up on the screen, my former name was listed in the "previous names" section. I am so lucky my former first name was so feminine and that they didn't list my middle name along with it. The guy scanning through my credit history even noticed the former name thing but didn't ask any questions about it.
Anyway, I bought a chick car. It's very similar to what I already had but it's slightly upgraded and in a different set of colors. And, yes, I got a little ribbing for owning a chick car when I lived as a guy.
The downside to buying a car, of course, is the payment side of things. I still have a few months to go on paying off FFS, so the car payment and FFS payment will overlap a bit. My old car made it to 171,000 miles, which is pretty good, and through transition without too much extra cost. I thought I would cry when I said good-bye to it, but I didn't. It got me through a lot of life, but it was falling apart and I was starting to worry if everytime I drove more than 10 miles it would leave me stranded somewhere. It got me to California, and that's how I'll remember it.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The main issue over the past two weeks is the "tightness" along the incision area. I thought it was due to the remaining "dissolvable" sutures beneath the skin, but Dr. O says it's the scar tissue. I've been moving my lips and jaw to try to stretch it out.
Oh yeah, I visited Dr. O on Monday for my check-up. It could be the last time I see him since I'm not planning on any more bone work. To inspect my jaw, he just ran his finger along the area he cut out. He said it was still swollen. I already knew that, of course, and plan on waiting another 2-3 months to see the final result. He also said he cut out about 3mm along that portion. That's about 1/8" for those still not using the metric system. (I visited with a few friends at Cocoon before heading back to work.)
My relationship is kinda unique right now. About 1.5 months ago, she called to say she was too busy to date, and didn't think it was fair that I was only able to see her once a week. She called again about two weeks ago to say she was less busy...and thus, we've gone out twice since then. She is still very busy, but since she's still interested, I'm seeing where our relationship will go. She's a very attractive woman and we share a similar interest in athletics. She, like me, though, also has a competitive side...which I like. Did I mention she's hot, too? We've chatted here and there about the T-stuff, but it hasn't been a huge issue. I think it allows for that common bond to form...where we both have dealt with coming out and accepting who we are.
OK, well, I'm still trying to decide on a new car. I think I have it picked out, I just have to find time to sit down and buy it. It's still hard saying good-bye to something that, if you added up over 170,000 miles, I've spent 4 months in over the past 13 years. Unfortunately, my car is dying. I was hoping to get 200,000 miles out of it, but it would take a lot of money to keep it functioning. I still have about $6,000 left on my FFS loan, so the car got me into a nice position to have everything paid off soon.
Unlike them, I have mainly talked at schools and universities. To me, it seems like the workplace would be a tougher place to speak to individuals...although, I'm betting the two are totally separate forums and topics that are really hard to compare to one another.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
He's building my parents house, so my family sees him quite often. We popped in to see how construction was going yesterday before I flew back from the Thanksgiving vacation.
"It's been a while, Mike."
"Yeah, I guess it has."
Previously, I'd asked my dad if Mike knew. He said that most people seemed to already know...probably from me posting my name on our alumni website.
Anyway, I received a few emails this morning about our upcoming 20 Year High School Reunion. My dad previously asked me if I was going.
We'll see how it goes next summer. I'll have to see if one of my old dates pops in or not. I hope she does.
Monday, November 26, 2007
It's been two weeks since surgery. Things have gone relatively smooth and the pain hasn't been that bad. Even flying didn't seem to be an issue, as some people seem to have more swelling after a flight.
Most people haven't noticed the minor swelling along my jaw...it's only when I point it out that they can see the swelling. I actually played some minor sports about a week after surgery, but I limited my running, though, in order to keep my heart rate down. I probably shouldn't have played, but I told my teammates that I would not be running.
I'm still taking pain killers at night and trying to sleeping with an incline. I'm taking half a Vicodin and half a Valium just to get to sleep. Actually, last night I stopped the Valium. I hope to stop the Vicodin soon, too, so my digestive system can get back on track. Although I finished the antibiotics a week ago, my system has still been a little screwy, probably since I didn't eat as much yogurt as I should have....but that happens when there is yummy turkey and mashed potatoes on the table.
Monday, November 19, 2007
My new driver's license ID arrived today. It turned out better than I thought it would, and also arrived in a fairly timely manner. The old one was about a month after FFS, and I was kinda hesitant about showing it to anyone that didn't know my past. I look swollen and I have my hair pulled back in a ponytail. The new one looks really really nice for a driver's license, and I doubt I will have any issues showing it to anyone.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Yesterday, I woke up before my alarm went off. It was set for 5am. It's weird how that works sometimes. I usually get up sometime after 7am, but if I set my alarm earlier, many times I wake up right before my alarm is going to go off.
Anyway, I caught the taxi over to the hospital, took care of admission stuff, and they got the IV going after I told them of the bad times being stuck my last two surgeries. She was good, though, nailing the vein on the first try. After that, I just had to wait. The sun hadn't risen yet, so I stood at the window watching the glow slowly encompass the portion of San Francisco that my hospital room afforded. It's funny, of the handful of times I have seen the sun rise over the past few years, many times I was or had recently had surgery. I guess I'm usually just not up and outside that early. So, I guess it makes those rare occasions feel a little more special.
Trisha stopped by first to wish me well, then Dr. O came in to say hi. He asked me if there were any questions, but I didn't have any. He didn't think I did since this was so minor compared to what had already been done.
OK, I'm gonna be a tard. I picked two names that I thought would be the people that wheeled me around. Brian and Marcus. My first driver: Anna. Well, I though, that's kinda close to Brian...sorta like Brianna. I sat in the prep room for a few minutes, and since they didn't give me any Valium, I stayed awake. The nurses made sure I was warm and the anesthesiologist stopped by to confirm everything. My next driver: Mark. Woot. I hit one almost on the nail. I asked him if his middle name was Brian. He said it was Chester, but that only his mother knew it.
Because I was awake, I was able to scoot myself onto the operating table. I heard them mention that both of Dr. O's main men were in there with him. I guess they must be similar to Michael, Dr. Meltzer's operating assistant. They are often the people that none of us see since they don't go to the office nor do they perform rounds. My anesthesiologist had things hooked up without me even noticing, so the last thing I really remember was correcting Dr. O that it would be my right jaw instead of the left.
I woke up in recovery. It's actually a weird feeling waking up after being under anesthesia. My eyes are usually so heavy that I can't keep them open, and my body feels so limp. What's the first thing I do? I touch my jaw where they cut, knowing that the swelling will soon take over and I'll have no idea how things will look for another few months. What I felt seemed really really good. Gradually, I became alert enough to keep my eyes open, and the swelling started to begin. I was soon able to obtain a Percocet before they returned me to my initial room, and I put my rather comfortable clothes back on. Mira drove me back to the Cocoon house where I climbed into bed and slept. I think.
I stayed awake more than I thought, and I also had a small appetite. I think I ate some applesauce, pudding, and yogurt to go along with the antibiotics I started yesterday afternoon. I popped the Valium and Vicodin before bed and got about 5 hours of sleep before waking up again. I took another Vicodin and got a few more hours of sleep. From what I remember, the second night is the worst, though, because that's when the swelling is likely at it's peak. Fun stuff for tonight.
I had scrambled eggs this morning, and you know, I think I'm already tired of them after eating them only once. I had a pasta frozen dinner for lunch which went down fairly easy. I waited a few hours to be sure I was off the pain killers before driving home. Of course, once I made it home, it was time for another pain killer. They seem to knock me out for at least an hour.
Anyway, the swelling is there...I just have a few months to wait to see how things will look.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Watching the movie, I sat there wanting to tell the people to do something...anything. It's the reason we watch movies twice or more, right...we somehow think the ending will change. I don't know how many times I have watched Back to the Future wondering if Marty will indeed make it back to his future.
Anyway, I'll admit, watching the movie definitely put me on edge as I relived some of the events from over 6 years ago....events that likely helped shove this little bird out of the nest.
Unfortunately, watching this movie the afternoon before I am to have surgery was probably not the best thing to do. At least I had a little time to calm down here at Cocoon and settle into place. There are two other women here, one who had surgery well over a week ago and another that had surgery just a few days ago. I was originally only going to be here tonight, but due to cancellations and such, I'll be staying here again tomorrow after surgery. I'll be catching a cab to the hospital bright and early in the morning, then Mira will be dropping me off at Cocoon after I'm out of recovery...assuming Dr. O doesn't put me in the hospital for the night. He seems to think I will be in and out, so that's very promising.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
A few weeks ago, I decided to get a new picture taken before my upcoming jaw revision, which would again leave me with a very swollen jaw. I made the appointment and popped in this afternoon for a quick picture at the DMV, otherwise known as Hell to many. Luckily, I was in and out fairly fast with the scheduled appointment.
The only sticky issue was I had to list any other names I'd used in the past. While my previous first name is quite girlish, my prior middle name is not....which kinda looks weird. Of course, they are the DMV, though, so I'm sure they have seen about everything.
After the picture, I headed to Dr. O's office for my pre-op visit. Dr. O and I briefly went over the portion of jaw to work on, I handed him photos, and we went over post-surgical duties. I was to be on a soft food diet for a while or eat on my left side of my mouth, trying to keep food away from the incision area. He suggested no physical activity for at least 2 weeks, and that I should gradually increase physical activity to see how things went in terms of pain and swelling.
I already had my prescriptions taken care of, so after chatting a little with Mira about life and everything, (and, of course, paying my $1,800 for the hospital and accommodations), I was off to play some sports.
Here are the photos to show exactly what I am having cut out. I have a small indentation on my right jaw which is right next to a bump. If there was only one of the deformities, I probably wouldn't be having this operation, but because they are both right next to one another, it doesn't look that well. In comparison, my left side looks pretty decent...good enough that it doesn't warrant any cutting.
A lot of people say they couldn't see it, but if one ran their finger along the jaw bone, it was definitely noticeable. Even Dr. O agreed that there was something there upon inspection, and thus, agreed to operate.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I feel like I failed....like I didn't do enough...like I didn't extend my hand far enough.
I blogged about a coworker last year that set off my T-dar. He showed a few indications that, to me, seemed like possible markers that he was transgender. To be honest, I don't know if he was or not. It might have just been things that I saw....things I wanted to see. Most likely, I will never know.
I found out this afternoon that he committed suicide last week. He never showed any signs at work that he had something troubling him so much that he would kill himself.
When I read the news, I went to a cubicle of a nearby programmer. We chatted. He said there must have been something bothering him so much...that he decided to kill himself over it. That was what got to my coworker...that he never showed any indications. I told him that no one ever saw any indication in me, either.
I don't know if I saw anything in him or not, but there's something about some of today's programmers that lends itself to escaping from society...escaping from something. Not all, mind you, but the profession or hobby lends itself to "hiding".
I wish I had chatted with him more. Sure, we conversed about some geeky stuff here and there, and we both shared iTunes music via our internal network, but I never reached out to him like I feel I could have. I won't blame myself, but I wonder...wonder how things would be if I had said hi a little more often.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sex is so overrated...well, at least to me it is. Sure, sex is nice, but lying there in someone's arms, or them in yours...it's like one of those priceless commercials.
I think putting the sex in transSEXual, though, is one of those things that adds to the stereotype of transsexualism. I've seen prior mention of trying to use transgender instead of transsexual, but the term transgender was soon grabbed by the community as a whole. Now, there really isn't anything left to use. (It's still interesting that the intersex community moved away from hermaphrodite to intersex.)
Anyway, yes, I'm still a transsexual...I just like to cuddle more than have sex. :)
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
This is where the support starts to divide. Many LGBT groups have stood by their transgender allies and said they want both sexual orientation and gender identity on the bill, or they won't support it. I'm all for that. There are also groups that say "let's get the bill passed without the gender identity on there so that we have the basic protection in place on a federal level." Many in the transgender world feel this second approach is a slap in the face. Perhaps they are right.
I understand where they are coming from, but I'm also looking at the grander scheme of things. If a bill were passed giving federal protection for everyone based on their sexual orientation, it would be a huge step for the United States. A lot of LGBT organizations exist in blue states or larger cities, but if anyone has looked at the map lately, there is a large portion of the US that is red...not blue or purple, but red. Also, many states first passed their laws associated with sexual orientation before moving on to cover gender identity.
A lot of people may think that because we're being excluded, that we are "less worthy than gay people...considered second class citizens...and that we don't deserve protections." The truth of the matter is, not many people really understand or are aware of us...or the issues we deal with. There are many people and organizations out there, though, that are trying to make a difference. They will, with time, be able to add gender identity to the federal bill. And to be honest, it's quite easy to find protection for transgender people under the LGB banner. Perception. That's all it takes. If someone perceives you to be gay or lesbian, you have that protection. It doesn't matter if you are or not, but if you were discriminated against based on that perception, there is the potential that you can be protected.
Anyway, what I am trying to say here is...removing the transgender clause from ENDA may be the best option for the long run. I am probably a minority voice in the transgender world and I'll probably take criticism for it, but I think it's the best current option. Yes, I realize it may have been a big bargaining chip that the Democrats used in getting this passed, but, if you look at the benefits for the whole LGBT world, it may be worth it. If we step aside for the short-term, hopefully the transgender option can be added down the road once ENDA is implemented. (Unfortunately, with Bush still in the White House, the bill is likely to be vetoed no matter which version makes it though.)
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take two steps forward.
Monday, October 08, 2007
As I was driving her back to her car, I came out to her.
Her eyes sparkled. Her jaw slightly dropped. Her response indicated that she had no idea.
I told her that, although there was an age difference, I liked her a lot and would like to see where things go. I also told her that because we were growing closer, I wanted her to know about my situation...that I wanted to be honest with things. (Of course, not telling her does not necessarily indicate I was being dishonest.)
She seemed to take it OK and we chatted for a little longer. I told her if she ever had any questions, she should just ask me. I don't think she's a lesbian, but I do believe she prefers women...which could kinda be in my favor.
So, I helped her out of the car and got her on her crutches before each of us went our separate ways. We'll see how the whole thing pans out this week.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Well, I did it again. The pitch was low and inside...again...and well, it was yelling at me to hit it really hard. And I did. And it flew really far. And the bases were loaded. Yup, grand slam.
"Kara, did you know it was gone right away?"
"Yeah, I could just feel it off of the bat."
"I knew it was gone as soon as you hit it."
In all of my days of playing baseball and softball, I never hit it over the fence until last year. I never had that exciting feeling of watching the ball sail out of the park. Every time I hit a home run in the past, I had to work for it...by running really fast around the base paths. And then, usually, if I did get a "home run", there was usually some type of error associated with it...so, I guess some of them weren't real home runs.
A friend of mine recently pointed me to the video of a college professor with terminal pancreatic cancer. The video is of his last lecture, in which he talks for about an hour and a half about childhood dreams. I realize it's a long video to watch, but if you have time, I really recommend it.
Anyway, hitting the home run made me realize one of my childhood dreams...I always wanted to hit the ball over the fence for a grand slam. Here's the list of childhood dreams I can remember:
...to be Princess Leia.
...to be a professional baseball player.
...to hit a homerun.
...to hit a game winning grand slam.
...to be pregnant and have a child.
...to have a really cool car.
...to be a rock star.
...to be Robin from Batman and Robin.
...to be a track star.
...to run in the Olympics.
Some might say there are a lot of dreams that are opposite one another. Perhaps there are. I guess Princess Leia would never be able to be a professional baseball player...but I bet she could shoot a mean phase pistol.
In the video, the professor mentions brick walls, and how to get around them. One thing he never really mentioned completely, though, was adjustment of those dreams to better suit the current situation. Adaptation.
I was never Princess Leia, but I have dressed up as the 90's version as Lara Croft. I also feel like I'm a fairly strong woman like Princess Leia. We'll mark this one checked off.
I'll never be a professional baseball player. I realized this in my youth when I never got that big. My dad used to try keeping my dream alive by telling me of a 5'5" second baseman that played for the Kansas City Royals back in the 70's, I believe. In my case, though, I knew it was never going to happen and I simply dropped this dream.
Up until I hit the home run last year, I'd never really been close. It felt really awesome to do it then, although I still tried to maintain a low profile about it.
Grand slam. Done.
I'm never going to be pregnant, but I can still have a child. We'll see how this dream progresses over the next 5-10 years.
Cool car. Check, it's cool enough.
Rock star. Umm...no, but I still like singing in the shower and in my car on occasion. Oh, and I got to perform on stage during both Ms. TGSF pageants. Hmm...well, let's just leave this one open...even though I can't sing that well.
Robin. Hmm...well, I dressed up as him one Halloween when I was a kid. The female version of Robin in the 1986 graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, added to the dream. I suppose, in a way, just being a good person is the best any of us can do to be our own superhero.
Track star. Ehh...close enough.
Olympic competitor. I wish I would have been good enough, but reaching that goal would have been incredible.
To fly? Well, I realized early on that flying around like Supergirl just wasn't going to happen. I have flown on plenty of airplanes...both large and small, and rode co-pilot on a very small plane once...such that, I was almost scared out of my pants as we blindly descended though a sea of clouds. One day, I think I would like to try free fall parachuting...but I'm still not sure I could make it past the airplane door.
There are a few other dreams that I haven't mentioned here...like saving the world, or going into outer space, or writing a book or a screenplay, or scoring the winning touchdown...but there are some dreams that are meant to stay dreams and others we possibly work on down the road. (I have to have something I do while sleeping, right?)
I guess one of my most important dreams, though, was to be myself. That has probably been the dream I'm most proud of, and yes, it's checked off.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I suppose coming out to a good friend that I have known for the past 2 years was a little harder than I thought it would be. She's never indicated that she knew, and for the most part, I thought she would handle it OK. Unfortunately, since she is dating the friend of the girl I am seeing, I felt it was time to inform her...mainly in case word leaked after I came out to the girl I am starting to date.
"Hey Leia, I have something important to tell you and I'm not exactly sure how to say it."
"Hmm...ok. Just say it."
"Well.......I was born with both male and female parts." (Some people might consider this lying, but it's an easier way of breaking someone in to the whole transgender thing. And, yes, in this case, I am considering my mind/brain to be the female part.)
"Yeah. And I lived as a guy for quite a while."
We chatted longer about some of the details...including how recently I transitioned (over 3.5 years ago). She seemed to do OK with it. In the past, she's mentioned some transgender topics, and although she didn't seem to have any issues with transgender people, she had perspectives on some aspects that weren't totally favorable...although, not really negative, either. It's OK, though, because I've known some T's with the same perspectives. And, really, you can't get the T perspective until you are really aware of the full situation. She did tell me, though, that she is helping a young FTM pay for hormones...which made me think some of her views might have been more for FTM's than MTF's.
Anyway, things went well...and I explained to her why I came out...because she knows the girl I am starting to date. I also explained why I was taking things a little slow with her...so she could get to know me first. She asked when I was going to tell her, and I said it would likely be sometime late this week or into the weekend. We'll see how it goes.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The good news definitely helped brighten my day...especially since we've all been waiting to hear the "make or break" call on the status of her cancer.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Anyway, so I've been catching up on movies and met some friends that enjoy movies as well. A few of them are into the extravagant films here and there. One of them mentioned the movie Zerophilia about people that switch genders when they have sex with another zerophiliac. Interesting.
I won't ruin the movie, but one of the characters is a zerophiliac who switches genders whenever he/she has sex...which includes with oneself. The first time it happens, the person is very awkward, but soon grows into this other part of who they are. As love would have it, this zerophiliac meets another zerophiliac, hereupon known as zeros. Once a zero has sex with another zero, they can't switch genders when having sex unless it is with another zero. Interesting concept. Could you imagine switching genders each time you had sex? Would you develop different "personalities" each time you switched? Would you use a different name for each sex?
It would be awesome if this were possible...especially if MTF's and FTM's could simply have sex with one another to move into the physical gender they feel more aligned with. Obviously, though, this is simply a fantasy at this point. Sure, I read one story of a Chinese girl spontaneously becoming a boy, but, I dunno, that sounds very far fetched.
At the end of the movie, one zero tells the other that they need to have sex so she can get back to work as a he....which kinda defeats what I was hoping would be some type of moral to the story...but I guess not.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
So, anyway, there was myself and two other transgender people as panelists...one MTF and one FTM. What's really nice about the panelists I have always been there with is we provide such a vast perspective on the topic...which, in actuality, is really even more diverse than 3 people can do...but we manage.
We told our personal stories of awareness and transition, chatted about family, surgery, hormones, and then we touched briefly on relationships.
"If your best friend was a fully transitioned transsexual....would you want to know?"
In last semester's class, it was split on whether or not they wanted to know. Some said it would help them in being more aware of their friend's life and what they had gone or are going through. Others said they didn't want to know because they either didn't want it to affect their current relationship or they were just interested in knowing the person now...who they truly were. In either case, it seemed that there was a lot of compassion for this hypothetical friend.
This semester's class answered quite differently. Almost all of them said they would want to know....for basically the same reason as last semester.
"If you started dating a person, and they told you they were a fully transitioned transsexual, would it stop you from dating them?"
One woman said "yes", it would stop her. A handful of women said it wouldn't, and the remainder weren't sure...saying it would depend on who the person was and how their relationship was proceeding.
They became curious, and asked if I had gone through this. I told them I was starting to see a woman and that I had not told her. I can't read minds, though, so I couldn't tell if she knew or not. I told them I didn't want to get too close to make her feel uncomfortable when I did disclose to her, yet, I wanted to get close enough so that she could get to know me. Although we might think that a transsexual woman disclosing to a woman might be different than a transsexual woman disclosing to a man, some women might feel very uncomfortable dating or kissing someone who used to live as a man. I realize there is a lot of stigma behind men being gay, but a lesbian woman might feel just as bad in the same situation.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time as we were really starting to delve into this subject, and I wish we had about 30 more minutes to really ponder some of the intricate details. Bottom line, though, more people than not preferred knowing. Unfortunately, "knowing" sometimes changes the way the transgender person is perceived.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I wish I had started all of this sooner. But if we’re making wishes, I wish I didn’t have to go through it.
I wish energy in equaled energy out. I wish more people could see it that way. I wish we weren’t so reliant on cars.I wish I could gain the insight into what I have seen without having gone through it. I wish everyone could…the world would be a better place.
I wish I could have kids. I wish they didn’t have to be babies first.
I wish my mom could get through this cancer.
I wish I was slightly taller.
I wish I had my own business. I wish I knew how to run a small business. I wish I knew what type of business it was that I would want to have. I wish I knew what my passion was.
I wish everyone was beautiful. I wish inner beauty was a lot easier to see.
I wish my hair didn’t have to take after my sexuality.
I wish people weren’t so freaked out by transsexuals, especially in romantic situations.
I wish all gay Republicans would get it over with and just come out. (Why is it male Republicans seem to cheat on their wives with men, but Democrats cheat on their wives with women?)
I wish vegetables tasted a lot better.
I wish we knew the answers to questions we will never know the answers to.
I wish the Packers win the Super Bowl this year. I wish people would stop reminding me how old Brett Favre is.
I wish I could sing….well. I wish I could dance…well. I wish I knew how to read music. I wish I could play an instrument.
I wish men were allowed to cry more. I wish women were allowed to be tougher. I wish my muscles weren’t so big.
I wish I felt more confident to date.
I wish I had a deeper vagina. I wish I had more sensation where it matters instead of where it doesn’t. I wish I wasn’t the only one that knew where to touch.
I wish wishes were more than wishes. I wish surgery didn’t cost so much.
I wish the weekend was longer. I wish the work week was shorter. I wish I could work less and get paid the same.
I wish I could read minds when I wanted to.
I wish life wasn’t so short. I wish we all had a mulligan.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The reason I mention this is because 3 months ago, I separated my shoulder. It took me well over a month before I could rotate my arm without any pain, and it is just now reaching a point where I can throw normally. Yes, it has affected my softball playing time. I've actually played catcher and first base a bunch lately, because, while I can catch, I can't throw the ball. I started back at softball by rolling the ball back to the pitcher or heaving it underhand (which didn't hurt), and then moved to first base where I often had to pretend I was able to throw the ball.
When it first happened, people asked me if I injured it playing sports since I play a lot of them. I kinda smiled and hesitantly said "nope". Although I do play some rough sports here and there, I hurt my arm in a manner that is quite laughable. I had just wrapped up meeting a potential supplier on my work campus and was carrying some stuff back to my desk. As I stepped over a curb, my heal caught the edge of it and I fell...onto the pavement. I put my arm out to break the fall, but since I was carrying some stuff, I kinda landed awkward. As I tried to get up, I realized my shoulder was out of its socket. Luckily, as I began to sit up, it went back into the socket. Yeah, I know....eeewwwwww!
I walked back to my desk and basically went back to work. My arm didn't hurt that bad as long as I didn't move it....and even if I went to the hospital, there really wasn't much they could do. I just kept it immobilized and watched for any type of swelling. When I raised (or tried to raise) my arm above my head, it hurt...but that was about it.
I was lucky my shoulder went back into the socket, though. If it hadn't, I'm sure the extent of the injury would have been much worse. It's considered a mild separation, so I'm fortunate. I also wonder if the injury was lessened since I still have a lot of muscle in my shoulders. Perhaps having a little bit of the boy muscle around helped to ease the severity of the possible injury.
Either way, though, I still wonder how Eli is going to play less than a week after the same type of separation. If he's on some major drugs, he could be ruining his arm by continuing to play with the injury.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I didn't make it to the party until about 7pm, but supposedly I had just missed Mayor Gavin Newsom stopping by to show his support for the transgender community. It's pretty cool that he gets around to the different LGBT groups in the city...even though not all of them like him for some reason.
A number of my friends picked up awards, including TGSF, an organization I used to be deeply involved with. It takes a lot of hard work to manage through all of the dynamics in the transgender world, as well as dealing with the rest of the world from a transgender perspective, so they deserve all the attention they can get. Good job!!!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Because some alumni activities were being held this coming weekend as well, I decided to fly home and help take care of my mom during her session.
My mom and I were able to chat quite a bit this morning while she sat in her chair as the IV dripped into her port. She told me about her doctor, the facility, the whole gist of her bone marrow procedure...I told her I was asked out.
“Man or woman?”
“Woman. And she’s really cute, Mom. We’re supposed to set something up when I get back to town.”
After eating lunch with my dad, I helped my mom arrange her medical information similar to how I arranged all of my surgical information during my surgeries. I told her it was easier to keep it all arranged and in order so if she or anyone else had questions about her procedures, it was all right there...especially since she is going between facilities. Of course, my parents tend to forget more stuff now, so it’s best to have all of it neatly organized so that when they do forget, it is easily accessible.
My mom drifted off to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. I checked in on her once in a while. Chemotherapy is such a silent beast. As my mom lay there in the chair, her hair cropped short as it begins to fall out again, she looked so peaceful. Yet, there in that bag of clear liquid that slowly dripped into her chest port were strong chemicals attempting to bring her body
so close to death to kill the cancer, but far enough away to allow her to survive. And the pain she endures is only visible in her hair as it falls out. Sure, she becomes tired. She loses her appetite. She feels like butt.
Even going through all of that, she keeps her chin up. She's stared straight into the eyes of cancer and hasn't backed down...but it's such a huge creature to defeat. It comes at you from all sides...and the worst part, it comes at you from inside. It's your own body harboring the evil beast.
All I can do now is just try to be there when I can...maintain contact, and be a voice of positive support.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I suppose that’s why I was relatively curious when a friend recently told me that someone she knew who I had met previously found me interesting (she’s my friend’s roommate’s co-worker if that last part was a little confusing). I met her via my two friends at one of their parties, and arranged it so that both of us were at another recent party. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to chat much then.
Via connections, two friends asked if it was OK for them to give my phone number to her.
When she called yesterday to ask me out, wow, what can I say. I don’t think I’ve ever had a girl actually ask me out before. I’ve had a few guys kinda ask for my number or ask if I would go on a date with them, but this was definitely different. I’d always asked girls out previously, so this was kinda nice, and because I remember the courage it takes to ask someone out, I took it easy on her. I said “yes,” of course, but we won’t set anything up until I get back from visiting the Midwest.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I called again in July in almost a panic hoping they hadn’t “trashed” “the boys.” They said a renewal letter had never been sent since there had been some type of glitch in the system. I was ensured that my deposits were still safely stored and that a renewal letter was on the way. I finally got it and mailed everything back in. I’m now good for another 5 years. They even let me know that sperm has reportedly been stored indefinitely, which is way longer than I will likely need.
I’ll admit, I’ve actually pondered the whole foster child thing lately...mainly when I saw a need for foster parents of LGBT youth. I need to get my own finances in order first, though, before I consider finding a place on my own where I could have room for a kid. Even with the nice raise and bonus I recently received, I still won’t pay off FFS until sometime next year.
Speaking of FFS, I’ve scheduled a little work with Dr. O for later this year. It’s just to iron out a little section of my jaw. I’m hoping it won’t knock me out too bad, nor create too much swelling. It’s just on one side, too, which may leave me looking a little lopsided for a while.
Friday, August 31, 2007
They had the T character in the first season, but never had her appear this past season. This time, Mac is dating her again...but he doesn't want anyone to find out. This leads to a little suspicion as to what he is doing. The gang then thinks, of course, that he is the serial killer running around loose in Philadelphia...which leads to a number of funny situations.
Unfortunately, they are still emphasizing she is T by having a huge bulge in her pants which Mac obviously sees every time her groin is viewable. The T situation isn't too far from real life though...in that there is a huge stigma around dating a T...especially one that is pre-op.
Besides the bulging pants, it's nice to see this situation where a main character is interested in dating a T. Of course, the T is played, again, by a hot genetic female. It would be nice to see them develop her into a fairly regular character on the show, but only time and their writing skills will determine that.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I opened the letter and found a cover letter, along with all of the paperwork I sent them. They'd also made copies of everything and included them as well.
The cover letter did not make my day. I don't have it on me to quote, but it basically said, "We haven't heard from you, so here is all of your stuff back."
WTF? Haven't heard from me? They never contacted me once. Sigh.
When life throws you lemons, make lemonade, right? What happens when life throws you poo? I say throw it back. I called Lamda Legal and got some referrals for LGBT-friendly attorneys in Louisiana. I also looked around online and found some limited information. Now it's just down to finding a lawyer willing to take my case.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
"Guess who is here with me?"
I could only think of one person who would prompt her to ask such a question.
"Yup, she's up here for a few days."
Claire was our social butterfly while she lived her in San Francisco. She was the backbone of our group of GPers that got together fairly regularly.
Most of us went full time, then Claire moved to Southern California. I won't say we lost touch with one another, but we all started to settle back into life. While she was here, though, she managed to get all of us back together again. It was nice seeing everyone again...all together.
With a new friend also about to go through FFS, she was able to join us for dinner and see four faces changed by Dr. O. I think it eased her mind being able to see how we all slipped back into life.
A month or two ago, someone prodded me about Amber’s site. Supposedly it was down. After spotting Amber online around that time, I sent her an IM. It appeared Sianna ran into financial strain hosting hers, anothers, and Amber’s site. Amber said her’s would likely stay off line, but also mentioned that it might return in the future even bigger and brighter than the past.
I have to admit, I haven’t touched my site in over a year...which is quite obvious since the last update was around February 2006. I should update it a little so it’s a little more current. I’ve thought about switching it away from AOL to it’s own URL, but we’ll see...too much other stuff to do.
After running into Amber, she said she had her's up and running again, and was in the process of revamping it again. So, her link is now updated at www.amberspace.net. Enjoy.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I've mentioned this before, but it looks like Rhiannon is finally suing the IRS over their disallowing SRS costs to be deducted from her taxes (also here). I think she has a strong case, but the problem is, too many people have a hangup over transgender stuff. The poll shows 63% of people don't think it should be allowed as a tax deduction, 29% do, 8% don't know. Of course, I have a vested interest in the topic since I claimed my SRS costs as a tax deduction last year.
I've met Rhiannon at least twice now. Perhaps one of the issues she is dealing with is what I will term Societal Passability Discrimination. It basically comes down to the theory that the prettier and more passable you are, the better society will treat you. Rhiannon is up there in age, and I'll admit, she isn't a supermodel, but she does OK.
Some in society will say, when they see a pretty transsexual, that it was a good move for them. When the same person sees someone who doesn't pass very well, they may not have the same opinions. To me though, both can have the same reasons, desires, and pain associated with GID. There is no reason to deny one person the same opportunities of another simply based on looks.
If the IRS decides to decline my SRS costs as a tax deduction, I plan to defend my actions as well. Sure, I could pay the bill...but it's not the money...it's the philosophy of the policy.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I’m going to be fairly honest here. The Transgender March is a great idea. The people putting it together do a fantastic job. They are out there making it happen for the rest of us that don’t. One of the problems I see, however, is there is a totally different tone between the Dyke March (which I will chat about later) and the Transgender March.
The Dyke March is a celebration. The Transgender March might be, but it seems more like a child barely staying afloat in a pool...grasping for air...fighting to simply keep her head above water. It feels like the organizers are fighting...fighting for their survival...fighting to be heard. It doesn’t feel like they are celebrating...they are out to say, we’re here...fuck you.
They also made political statements. I don’t know...perhaps the Dyke March was once like that, but it no longer is.
The Dyke March was the following night. I hung out with friends and teammates, and just had a good time. The march was slightly longer, and there was way more nudity, but there was far less in the way of feeling like an oppressed group.
For Pride, I helped work a margarita booth, then volunteered at the TGSF booth since they didn’t have enough people to staff both the float, margarita booth, and the TGSF booth. I spent a few hours hanging out there, saying hello to other people related to the transgender world, and handing out flyers I helped put together a few years ago. It was actually pretty cool, and some of the music from the Transgender Stage wasn’t too bad, either.
This is where things get interesting.
I was standing there when a young woman walks up to me. I look at her for a second until I realize she’s the daughter of one of my teammates...teammates that I have never told.
Her mom’s are standing a few steps away.
We say our hello’s.
One of them looks at the Transgender San Francisco sign in the booth I am standing in front of.
They don’t say anything. Neither do I.
We say our good-byes, and they head to watch the Transgender stage. I stay there.
Honestly, I have no idea if they know or not, or if this will make them ask questions. I can only be me.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Anyway, good luck to her and her new hubby. I hear they’re even talking about adopting kids.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Recently, I came out of the bathroom stall and went to wash my hands. She was at the sink as well, but wasn’t wearing her cover since there were no men in there. It felt kinda weird seeing her like that...as though I was intruding on her in some way...like I was glimpsing into a different world. It almost felt like I was seeing her naked, but, yet, she was wearing everything except her head cover while she readjusted her hair.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
It’s been 28 months since I had SRS, which at $500 per month, left me with about a $2600 bill. I figured I’d go ahead and pay all of it off since I had a little extra in the bank account.
Ahhhh...it’s nice to finally pay off one of them. I still have FFS to go, but it’s down under $10,000 now. Since I’ll now have $500 a month extra to work with, I can try to get it paid off soon, too.
So, yes, I’ve been on a spending crunch the past few years...trying to get through the financial hardships of transition. Going all the way back to January 2002 with my first electrolysis, I’ve spent over $100,000 on all of it...spread out over the past 5 and a half years. I’ve paid all but about $10,000 of it. That’s a lot of money...considering it could have gone toward a house or something, but, oh well, that’s transition.
Of course, I’m still looking at a few procedures. I figure to hit Dr. O later this year for a little jaw touch up on one side. After recovering from that, it should be on for some type of face lift dealing with the extra skin around the chin, capped off with hair implants along the front portion. I’m still up in the air about who to see for the facelift, but do have a couple of leads for the hair transplants.
There’s also a few items I’d like to buy that don’t deal with transition. My car is now over 12 years old. I could use new living room furniture and entertainment system. A new computer is also on the horizon...but, I’m just now coming out of debt...it would be nice to breathe some fresh air for a while before tunneling back down.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The documentary film is about a pair of twin boys...one of which grew up to be a girl (Claire). The other turned out to be a gay boy (Mark).
The film shows a few old clips of the young boys growing up, followed by recent shots of the two of them in different situations...one male, the other female. The film doesn’t dwell on transition, but more on the people and their lives...where they have been, what they have been through, and where they are trying to go in life....which, honestly, I found very refreshing.
The film does show some of the stuff Claire has had to go through, including a very bizarre trip to an electrologist, but transition was more of a side story. It also showed the lives of their entire family...including their separated parents. Their mom appears to be a repressed lesbian...living with her female friend in a very close relationship...yet, she blatantly states she isn’t gay. Seeing their mom progress with time is actually a very interesting character development. Their father, unique in his own way, is highly supportive of Claire...which almost makes you want to give him a big hug right there.
Overall, I would say it was an excellent film. It is due to run on the Sundance channel...and would definitely be a film to catch...if you can.
Since both Claire and her brother now reside in San Francisco, they, along with the film makers, were present at the film showing. Beth and I introduced ourselves afterward before heading off to grab dinner. She seems like a really nice person, but wow, I’m not sure I would like that much of my life up on screen. Sure, I post stuff in here, but it’s not living breathing full technicolor...it’s just silent black and white.
Friday, June 08, 2007
When I was in Cub Scouts and Webelos, I had a lot of fun. I'm not sure if it was because we were younger and I had fun with the other kids, or because I did a lot of stuff with my dad. When I joined Boy Scouts, I really didn't like it. Half the time, the scout meeting was spent playing video games (yes, they had them back in the 80's).
My father was an Eagle Scout. It's one of the highest ranks you can obtain in the Boy Scouts. In scouting, you go from the Cub Scouts, to Webelos, to the Boy Scouts....or, well, that's the way it flowed back then. You go from Webelo to Tenderfoot when you join Boy Scouts. I think I made it to the next level of Second Class or something before I cautiously and very frighteningly told my dad that I no longer wanted to be in scouts. In a response that caught me off guard, my parents, even my dad, expressed no disappointment in my decision.
Now that I look back, though, I realize the only time I had fun in Boy Scouts was when my dad was around. He made the whole experience fun. I enjoyed spending time with him on the different activities.
I was never much of a fisherman. I don't know what it is, but touching a fish is just kinda yucky for me. I could put a worm on a hook, but any time I caught a yucky fish, my dad was there to take it off the line.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Anyway, there are a ton of LGBT activities later in the month. There is, of course, San Francisco Pride on June 23-24, with the Transgender March on June 22nd. 'Transgender Week' is the week before SF Pride.
Frameline also has their LGBT movies running from June 14-24.
I'm probably missing a bunch of items, but those are the ones I'm looking forward to now.
...hmmm...I wonder if they would rename the June Bug to Gay Bug, as well.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
When I first went in women's bathrooms, I thought they were so much cleaner. No more urinals with pee, and boogers, and hair all over them. And even if I had to go #2 in a public place, most guys knew to lift the lid.
The women's bathrooms smelled good, too....well, most of them did. After a while, I started noticing seats that had pee all over them. WTF? Then I realized there is a group of women out there that hover. Yeah, you know...they squat but never touch the seat. The rest of us either wipe down the seat or put the sanitary paper down, but there is one group that hovers.
I'm OK with women that want to hover. It's cool. I realize restroom toilet seats can be kinda gross. What's not cool, though, is when they don't lift the damn seat, thus peeing all over it. Come on ladies, lift the damn seat if you're gonna pull a Harrier on me. The guys can do it, you can, too!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Anyway, I got an email about tonight's ET (check local listings) with Alexis Arquette and four other transwomen in some sort of transgender summit. It led me to the ET website, where I saw Donna Rose was participating. She seems to be the only one on there that I know, but now I am only 2 degrees of separation away from Courtney Cox....and 3 from the rest of Hollywood!!!! Muahahahaha!!!!
Well, with any media-focused report, it will be interesting to see how the 4 parter is played out. It starts tonight and run through Wednesday of next week. I should send a note to Donna to see who the chick in yellow is.
On my first side note, and again, information from a friend's email, it appears there is a site called Prosper where people can borrow money from other people. I don't know how the T stuff might fair, but one never knows. If there are no other options, one might look at it for surgical payment options.
OK, this dude at work...(I know, I know...I shouldn't talk about work stuff in here)...basically rejected my draft request to his department due to a lack of information on the submitted item. This information happened to be the only supplier-supplied specifications I could find on the internet. I notify the rest of the team about the lack of into but also send out the information I collected. Two weeks later, another person submits virtually the same specification. During project communications, I see that his draft requests are going through with information I had previously supplied. WTF? I email the dude and tell him that my requests were rejected but this new one is going through...both with almost the same information attached.
I get an email back from him saying he now believes both submissions lack the detailed information, at which time I tell him we are working to acquire it. I stayed professional...but, uuggghhhhh....I was very annoyed for a number of minutes. This guy has given me problems in the past. He's usually a stickler on my submissions...I just thought that's how he always was. If he's less of a stickler to others (perhaps other men)....I dunno, I'm going to be pissed.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
It was a gender studies class dealing with the varied influences in our world's history and current issues. They seemed unfazed and quite literate in many of their questions.
Unbeknown to me at the time, there was a transgender student in class. There were small hints that she was T, but I guess I just wasn't really focused on spotting anyone.
She looked decent. Afterward, she asked about electrolysis, but she had no facial hair. From my best guess, she was on hormones, but that was about it. Her voice sounded fairly decent. In our brief conversation, though, it sounded like she was having issues with financing her transition as well as being slightly harassed at school. (I think anyone that is different in high school seems to get harassed.)
Recently, I visited a T forum that many of my previous acquaintances moved to after the fall of GP. I looked through some of the pictures...including before and after shots...and I have to say, the power of youth is just amazing. There are a lot of girls out there that just make incredible transitions in their late teens and early twenties simply by the use of hormones. Some may 'need' FFS later in life as that youthful facial fat gives way to the male boney structure, but they will hopefully have been living very fulfilling lives as women by then.
The power of youth can also be seen this coming Friday on ABC's 20/20 when Barbara Walters interviews 3 very young transitioners. As someone recently mentioned, the older transitioner will likely become more and more rare as the conditions surrounding transsexuals are understood, tolerated, and eventually treated.
Monday, April 23, 2007
In a unique set of circumstances, her friend is dating my friend, so we're now related via friends and friends of friends, even though her friend was my friend before my friend met her friend. Got it? Good.
So, anyway, one of the friends has a birthday dinner and both of us are invited. Some in the group have never been told about either of our situations, and there is really no need to disclose. Thus, we went the entire 3 course meal without talking about anything T related....
...well, except for the conversation started by someone else in the dinner party who was going to AsiaSF for a get together. We briefly talked about T stuff then (they wondered how some of the dancers were able to tuck it so well), but it was more from of a different perspective there.
JoanB and I sat at one table with two other women. I think the fact that they were dating one another didn't come up I had disclosed that I was queer in some manner. It's funny how secrets don't really come out until one person discloses something that gives the disclosure it's own sense of security.
Anyway, one of the women seemed really nice. She was sporty and seemed fairly level headed. The other, ehhh...she kinda rubbed me the wrong way. She wasn't that hard to deal with, though.
OK, follow with me here. I'm riding along a few weeks later with my friend who had the birthday party. It's a 3 hour drive to our sporting event. We chat off and on the entire way. One of the conversations leads to the birthday dinner we had, and how the one woman had kinda annoyed me a little. My friend says that isn't uncommon, and that she herself hasn't seen eye-to-eye on some things. She says her and her friend disagree on stuff...like transgender surgery.
Whoa...did you see that coming? Me neither.
My friend says she doesn't believe in transgender surgery, but the annoying one does. Wow, I'd have never thought that. She also isn't into plastic surgery...even though she knows I had a boob job.
To my knowledge, my friend does not know I am a transsexual. I don't think she would have said what she said had she known. I also think her opinion would change if I were to talk to her about what I have gone through. It's very hard to form an opinion about transgender stuff until you actually know someone who is transgender and has gone through transition.
I did let her know that not all transgender people have surgery, and that most insurances do not cover it...so it is being paid for by the transgender individual...but I doubt that changed her mind.
Friday, April 06, 2007
The problem now stems from the fact the father wants custody. In the area they live, being able to get custody because the mother lets his son wear a dress is almost a slam dunk. From reading over the article, too many personal opinions were thrown into the judgement.
It's too bad, really. Shouldn't the child get a chance to be part of the decision...more so than some close minded judge who doesn't understand GID?
So, I feel good about playing sports now. Hmmmm.....what do ya think, bobsled or speed skating?
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I realized a while back that I have now been a woman longer in my current job than I was a man. Three years and one month versus three years and two months. It's still a pain when someone uses the wrong pronoun, but the people that knew me before grow smaller and smaller with time. Most simply have always known me as Kara...and most people seem to have down fairly well with now calling me Kara and 'she'.
So, now over three years later, I find I like people not really knowing my past. OK, it's not the people who know who are OK with things, it's dealing with the people who somehow have an issue with it. It's only a certain few who are the real troublemakers.
Most of my good friends at work know my situation. They seem cool with it, especially since most of them never knew me as a guy. It's the ones that either knew before and haven't fully adjusted yet, or the ones who never knew me before, who find out, and then start using the wrong pronouns or have an issue with it that bother me.
And, thus, I have found that a lot of people really don't want to know. Sure, there are some people that do want to know, but they are typically very positive about it. So, I guess, it's better to be safe, than to be sorry. If I came out to a large group, sure, I'd get the supporters, but I'd also get the haters or people who have an issue with it.
I recently received a note from one of my teammates. She's set up one of our practices to have a local newspaper come out to interview us and take pictures. Initially, I didn't respond, and then got an email from her saying I was the only one that hadn't responded. She asked if I would be OK with all of it. I told her it was OK, but I'm still cautious. I don't really want my picture plastered all over the local area. I guess I'd just like to have my teammates continue to see and hear me as female...and not as a transsexual (assuming they don't already know). I know, it's bad, but it really does suck when one person has trouble seeing you as female after knowing, even if they never would have known if you hadn't told them. It just takes one to ruin it for all of the rest.
And, surprising as it may seem, sometimes people may suspect the T stuff, but never really care that much to bother asking about it or inquiring if it is true. They'd just rather not know, and, you know, I think I rather not tell unless they ask about it.
Monday, April 02, 2007
This time, though, there was no local hotel we were staying in after the game (we flew into a city a few hours away from the game), and we would not be heading home until the following day. After the game, we were also eating out with the other team and the game officials, so I really didn't want to be smelly.
As it turned out, the locker room was just as big an issue for me as it was for some of my own teammates...if not worse. About half the team had no apparent issues, with about 30-40% of the team having such an issue with it that they decided not to shower at all (just washing off with a cloth or something). I fell into the remaining percentage that wanted to shower, but still had some apprehension about being naked in front of others. One woman wanted to shower by herself, so, since I was one of the last in from the field, I let her go alone after the rest had showered. I then went after her. Both of us were still visible to others as we went in and out of the showering area, but it was a little limited.
Was I scared? Hmm...a little, yes. Frightened...well, not really, but I was definitely self conscious about it. As I was showering, I tried to keep my side to the area where anyone could see me...as seeing me from the side doesn't show off my lack of hips as much. I just didn't want too many of my "flaws" showing through.
In the end, though, nothing really happened. I definitely felt like I walked away from the situation feeling a lot better, but I also wasn't under the close scrutiny of anyone's eyes. Seriously, there is enough about me to start to question things...my lack of hips, my small nipples/areolas, the larger frame for my size, etc. Sure, there's no penis dangling around, and I'm actually similar in size to one of my teammates who has larger arms and legs than me. Of course, she was called 'he' by one of our waitresses the night before. I told her about the pronoun issue later on, and she said she used to get that a lot...so much that she started using the guys bathroom more than the women's bathroom.
Anyway, I got a passing grade on the locker room. Let's just hope I don't have to retake the test.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
As I was walking across the street, I noticed a few people walking toward me from the other side. One was a taller white dude, an Asian dude, and an Asian woman. I glanced at all of them briefly. It wasn't until all of us reached one another midway through the crosswalk that I realized the Asian woman was Amber.
I didn't recognize her until I was about an arms reach away, so I bumped her arm as we walked by. She didn't recognize me until I did so. We said our hello's and hugged in the middle of the crosswalk, until I walked back to the side with her. We chatted briefly about the same lunch spot and caught up briefly on how things are going.
It was also interesting that neither of us recognized the other until we were so close. I mean, my T-dar is pretty decent...but it was cool that neither of us set off the other's radar. Either I'm losing it, or she's just got it going on.
OK, she has it going on...but I wonder if it isn't pinging that much anymore.
On a different note, I was eating with two coworkers, when I noticed a long haired woman at a another table facing away from me. The group she was with looked like a bunch of programmers, or similar. After a few minutes, the woman stood up and I realized she was actually a he. Ding ding ding. He totally pinged the radar...and even my coworkers thought he was a she from the side.
The world is filled with such different people, though, I guess we really never know if someone is T or not...we simply respect one another as people. Most people really don't care since we all have our own issues to deal with in life.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The initial part of the survey was pretty routine. I answered the usual questions and wrote in 'queer' in the Other (specify): line that allowed an answer other than Hetero, Homo/Les, and Bi. It wasn't until the back page that it asked me at what age I had my first menstrual period. Hmmm. Well, I marked 'Never had a mentrual period'.
The next question asked if I had a menstrual period in the past year. I answered No, but they wanted a reason. Here were my options:
-Hysterectomy (Age: )
The first three really didn't apply, and I know why I haven't had a menstrual cycle in the past year, so I decided to fill in 'medical treatment'. What else was I supposed to say...there was no 'I'm a transsexual' circle to mark and there was not line for 'Other:' If they really want to know, they can contact me and I'll tell them.
It does show, however, one of the bad sides to medical treatment specific to a gender. For instance, FTM's have to worry about their insurance covering hysterectomies for men, and MTF's have to worry about care in case the prostate causes issues later in life. I guess that's one of the things I currently treasure with my doctor...he's cool with the whole transgender thing and I feel he takes excellent care of me. I guess I'm lucky in that regard.
Monday, March 19, 2007
After a short cordial conversation, we talked about the revision. Due to the tools, he'd basically have to have a large incision to get the saw back in there and try to guide it along the bone. He'd have to go by feel and not be able to line it up exactly. He also said that the grinder would not work there. I also have a small recession near the area where he put my chin back together. Again, this falls on my right side and not on my left.
In the end, he wondered if I needed it. I'm not sure either. The reason I went to see him is that I'm looking at a lower face lift. When the skin is pulled tighter, will the jaw deformation be more noticeable? If it were only one deformation, they wouldn't be as noticeable, but since they kinda flow into one another, they make that jawline look worse.
After discussing this issue with him further, he said the extra portion sticking out would be much easier than filling in the small area, and that he would likely not be able to do both at the same time. The best option, it appears, is have him attempt to take off the extra bone.
OK, so, yes, I'm looking at the lower facelift. I'm considering it because of the initial FFS three years ago. With so much bone taken out of the jaw and chin, I have extra skin that had nowhere to go. I'd just like to pull that portion tighter to make up for the bone that was taken away.
The other issue here is that I'd also like to get hair transplants along my frontal FFS incision and the temple recessions. After discussing the facelift with Dr. Meltzer, he prefers the hair transplants be done after a facelift.
So, the order that is preferred: Jaw bone work --> Facelift --> Hair transplants.
The jaw work isn't too expensive since it is a revision, but the other two will probably be between $6-8,000 each. Ouch. And while I'd mainly like the hair transplants, it looks like for best success, they should be last on the list.
I'll likely ponder the jaw work a little longer before trying to schedule the face lift. I'm still debating whether or not to consult with another plastic surgeon, or go with Dr. Meltzer since he is pretty decent at them, has worked on a number of post-Dr. O patients, and is very T friendly.
Decisions, decisions...but, of course, the monetary constrictions will probably limit me the most on having them done.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Anyway, the film is a look at the aftermath of the Gwen Araujo murder. It covers the funeral and court cases from the eyes of Shelly Prevost. She also becomes very close with Gwen's mom, Sylvia Guerrero. Shelly is able to obtain interviews with both prosecuting and defense lawyers in the Gwen Araujo case, as well as discuss a similar topic with counterparts in another transgender murder case.
By far one of the most interesting aspects of the film is the personal interviews with people on the street. The classic question of 'Are you a man or a woman?' followed by 'How do you know?' left a lot of people stumped...including high powered defense lawyers. How do you know you are a man or a woman? Do you just know?
Some people were totally clueless with this. Shelly postulated to one man that if his chromosomes came back as female, would he continue to live as a man, or live as a woman. He said he'd live as a woman, and even went further to tell Shelly he'd probably date men...all while standing there with his girlfriend.
For transgender people that have accepted who they are, these questions are quite easy...we know who we are because we've pondered these questions before. We hope for something telling us we are or we aren't, but there is no clear cut answer. We feel one way, but we see another. For many of us, after realizing that we're not alone in the world, we finally seek the path that takes us where we need to be.
So, are you a man or a woman...and how do you know?
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Just a picture from the NY event (me on the left, Tiffany in the middle, and Beth on the right). I guess I should post some of the pictures I took on my sightseeing adventure, as well.
More of these pictures can be seen here.
ps...why do I always have red-eye? Neither of the other two have it. =(
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Anyway, Jimmy Kimmel had guest Rebecca Romijn on. Rebecca is currently seen on Ugly Betty as Alexis Meade, a transsexual woman. Jimmy mentioned this at the beginning of his program, so I figured I'd stay up a little longer and see what they said.
After bringing her out, Jimmy showed a number of pictures of transsexuals...including Renee Richards, Amanda Lepore, and a few others that I didn't recognize. (To be honest, I was slightly hoping he didn't pop up an image of myself. Luckily for me, I don't have many super clear images up...just enough so you know who I am.)
So, Jimmy then mentions that most of the transsexuals he showed didn't look anything like the supermodel Rebecca currently is...since that is who she is playing on Ugly Betty. It is kinda ironic that a show modeled around their main star being someone who is ugly has a transsexual character that is a supermodel.
Jimmy thought most transgender people weren't as feminine as she appeared. Rebecca chimed in that there were plenty of feminine transsexuals...and that she had a transsexual friend that had lived as a woman longer than she had lived as a man. I found that to be quite interesting that she had an acquaintance that was transgender.
Although Jimmy seemed slightly only slightly uncomfortable talking about transsexuals, he took a fairly reasonable approach to her playing a transsexual.
On a wicked little side note, I have an acquaintance who has spent a little time with a certain talk show host. We shan't mention names, but I do find it remarkable just how many people are quite "curious" about transsexuals.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
A few months ago, one of my teammates commented that he could tell women with fake boobs, and he didn't believe me when I told him I had mine done. He wanted to see. (Hahaha...guys!) I felt it was a compliment that he didn't know I had a breast augmentation.
Anyway, as I mentioned, they have fallen nicely into place. They still aren't as soft as I would like, but the shape and placement are pretty good. My left incision area is pretty much only noticeable to me. My right one is a little more noticeable, but most people still would not be able to detect it unless I pointed it out to them.
I still have a little numbness with my right breast...in a circular area below my nipple..that just barely touches the nipple area. It's not full numbness, but there is limited sensation there. I would say the area is slighly larger than a half-dollar.
Overall, I'd give the whole thing an A-, simply for the issue of the numbness. Although I did have to buy all new dresses for those special occasions, my clothes fit a lot better now...and I feel a lot more comfortable with my body.
On another note, I recently heard a rumor that Dr. Gray was no longer performing BA's on transgender patients. When I chatted with him in my initial consult, he seemed fairly ok with working with transgender people. He said he'd been working with us since his residency days and I didn't sense any real issues. One of his office staff is obviously gay, so I wondered what was going on. I sent Dr. Gray an email and his office staff responded. Dr. Gray isn't operating on trangender people because the hospital he operates in is no longer accepting transgender patients. It's a Catholic hospital, so they seem to have a big issue with it. I've heard rumors that certain actions are being taken, so we'll have to wait to see. It'd be nice if Dr. Gray would simply move his operations to a different hospital, but I'm not sure how likely that action is. Anyway, if anyone is considering Dr. Gray as a potential option, you might want to either reconsider, or look into the actions being taken against Seton Medical Center.
I've included below the mission statement listed on their opening page:
It seems very hypocritical to me.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Anyway, the channel I watch used to have Montell on, but they have since switched to the Greg Behrendt show. I've seen a bit of it the past few months. Today was the first transgender episode I have seen since watching it.
Greg's show takes place in LA, so I'm sure he's fairly aware of T's. Him and his psychologist were definitely more about the relationship between the T and her girlfriend that telling the T how to live her life. They weren't quite up on pronouns, but then again, I'm not sure how the T would like to be addressed. You see, the transgender person said they were transgender...perhaps a transgenderist. She stated she wasn't a cross-dresser nor a transsexual, and that she did not plan on having surgery...she just wanted to live her life in the female persona.
The girlfriend of five years knew of the persona, but was not aware of her desire to live fulltime. It was sprung on her during the show.
That's gotta be hard. Don't drag your SO to a TV show to tell them some disastrous secret, OK? It takes many of us years to deal with the GID...how can we ask them to accept things right then...on national TV? It's just unfair.
Anyway, I only caught the first part, and taped the rest of it. I'll have to watch it later tonight. My initial reaction is that the show did a fairly decent job handling it...besides the overdramatization created via the need for network ratings.
PS...I love his uncomfortable phone calls.
It was an early flight out of the Bay Area into Chicago for a short layover. Beth and I were both there around the same time, but via different flights. She was also at Midway while I was at O'hare. Both of us were flying to New York to participate in the Transfigurations show at the igallery. Being Superbowl weekend, I saw a ton of Bears fans headed to Miami or walking around in their jerseys...just in the airport.
Beth and I arrived in La Guardia around rush hour. Fortunately, we were headed into the city, and not out of it like everyone else. We decided to stay at the same hotel as the artist, Jana Marcus. She picked a very posh place just north of Times Square called Michelangelo. It sounds befitting an artist, right?
As soon as we ran the bags up to our room, we were off to the premiere opening. We arrived to find a few friends already there, with more to arrive soon. The picture layout looked wonderful and the place was actually packed solid.
While chatting with Jana and entourage, I noticed a young man eyeing me. He was slightly taller than me, young, and fairly attractive. I soon recognized him as one of the subjects of Jana's timeline series. It's amazing how much he has changed with time...even since the one year on hormones. (Wow...testosterone is such a powerful drug.)
Jana soon introduced the two of us. He complimented me on my 'appearance' and didn't know I was T...especially since my photo did not make this showing. Had I not seen his pictures, I never would have known he was T either. I caught him eyeing me a few more times during the weekend, but when I saw him head off to iceskate with his female friend, I thought they might be dating. He lives in Southern California now, so that would be a bit hard anyway. (They weren't dating, btw.)
Saturday morning involved sleeping in a little, then Beth and I headed off to the Museum of Natural History. There was a lot of cool stuff, and some not so cool stuff. We soon picked up a straggler...one of the museum volunteer curators that found a liking to Beth. After the museum, we headed off to the afternoon panel at the art show.
Jana talked first and went over what she put into the show. She went through a lot of the slides that didn't make the NY show, including all of the nudes. That was the first time I was present in the room where my nude was shown. I probably felt nervous for about half a second before I went "oh, whatever". I used to go topless all the time in boymode, so it's really no big deal. Plus, her shot doesn't show that much down below.
Next, we watched the Aidan's movie about his transition and the effects it's had on himself and family. It's a remarkable look back at who he was. It's really amazing looking back to see how most of us never do that well at living in the wrong bodies...and then how comfortable when we do have the right one.
After the movie, we started the panel. It was myself, Beth, Aidan, Lyle, and one more whose name escapes me right now who chatted about our lives and the project. Most of the people in the audience were not T, but a few were. It was a very cool glimpse at how the project has affected us. The group went out afterward, and then a smaller group of us kinda wandered around Saturday night. Once Beth and I made it back to our hotel room, I convinced her to walk with me down to Times Square to get a picture or two...all well past midnight...and with tons of people still out doing the touristy thing.
On Sunday, I decided I was going to cram in as much touristy stuff that I could. While Beth was off having brunch with a few family members, I had brunch in the East Village with a pair of NY friends. I dragged them down to Battery Park in the freezing wind blown cold so I could catch a distant glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. We then headed slightly northeast to walk past Ground Zero before jumping back on the subway. It was so cold we had to duck into several places just to stand there with the doorman so we could warm up.
"Just act like you own the place," I said in a jokingly manner. I'm sure the doormen were happy to help out a few frozen damsels in distress.
Beth later joked that you could tell the temperature by how soon one of us said a four letter word to describe how cold it was. (And, yes, it wasn't necessarily the temperature, but the fraking wind that really caused the real trouble.)
After warming up and regrouping with Beth, we headed for more site-seeing. This time we ran by Rockefeller Center and went to the Top of the Rock. Since the Superbowl was on later that day, the lines were super short. In fact, there weren't really any lines at all. After that, it was mainly just Beth and I. I talked her into going up in the Empire State Building. Again, no line at all. I think we maybe had 5-6 people in front of us at the actual elevator, when on a normal day, the line to buy tickets would extend outside the building. We literally walked through tons of roped off sections made for the usual lines.
Both buildings provided incredible views. They had guides on what was visible, and even included 'ghost images' where the Trade Center Towers had been. It was amazing just how big they were.
I guess I'm one of those that could just sit up there all day and look out at the world. Even in college, I resided on the 7th floor of one dorm. I'd just sit on the balcony at night and look out over the city entangled in the rolling forest. Unfortunately, the wind-chill led me to shorten my observance time. I talked Beth into a little Korean barbeque which happened to be right around the corner from ESB.
We spent that evening at a cool little bar that had an all-female activity going on for those of us not participating in Super Bowl activities. Our New York visit was coming to a close.
Because we ate relatively early in the afternoon, Beth and I were both kinda hungry when we finally made it back to our hotel room. I was looking for something sweet, while Beth was looking forPizza. We saw a deli open near the hotel and ran down in the four-letter-word-in-2-seconds cold. I saw cake which made me fairly happy. Back across the street, I saw a Dunkin Donuts with a Pizza Hut attached. I asked Beth if she wanted me to see if they were still open, so I ran across to the corner. The door was locked.
I turned around to see two guys sitting in an older model 2 door sedan.
"Why didn't you and your girlfriend order something from the deli?"
"Umm...she's not my girlfriend...and she was interested in pizza."
"Ahh...well, me and my friend just got off work and picked up our pastrami sandwiches. What are you two up to? "
"Well, let me ask this...are you female?"
OK, OMG!!!!! WTF? I go to a transgender panel where an FTM can't read me, but something about me leads this guy to ask if I am female. In this case, he wanted either a yes or no answer.
"I'm female...what made you ask me that?"
"Did you think I was a transsexual?"
"No no no...it's New York...I gotta ask."
Beth has now followed me across the street.
"Hey, what's going on?" asks Beth.
"These guys wanna go up to our hotel room," I say.
"Hey, I didn't say that."
OK, he's right...he didn't say that, but that's what he was thinking.
Beth and I walked back to the deli after ditching them. I had cake.
The next morning we caught our flights home. Ahhhh...no more four-letter-word-temperatures.