Monday, September 24, 2007

Good News

My mom called this afternoon to tell me she is in remission, and that they will be pursuing the stem cell transplant in the near future. (If she wasn't in remission...there wasn't anything else they said they could do.) She has a third round of chemo this week, recovers from it, and then they start booking her time for the next procedure. From the looks of it, our family could all be on the road for Thanksgiving while my mom goes through the procedure.

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


I finally joined Netflix earlier this year. If anyone has ever read through all of my journal and blog entries, they probably know I cut out a lot of extras while going through transition in order to pay for all of it. Yes, I cut out movies almost entirely. I also went out less frequently and stopped making large purchases. I made my car last instead of buying a new one.

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

UC Berkeley

I was at UC Berkeley again today. Even since I participated in the Vagina Monologues in 2004, I've been invited back to talk about transgender topics with the Femme Sex class. I don't know the average demographics of the class, but, from what I have seen, there tends to be more lesbian and queer women in it than average.

So, anyway, there was myself and two other transgender people as 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 wish I had a smaller waist. I wish I had wider hips. I wish I could just shift the two around.

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

Eli Manning

Eli Manning went down this past weekend with a separated shoulder. He's the quarterback for the New York Giants professional football team, just in case no one knew. At first, they said he would miss a month, but now they are saying he might be back for the game this coming weekend. Wow.

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

Transgender Law Center's Birthday Party

I attended the Transgender Law Center's 3rd annual birthday party last night. It's a little fundraiser they put on every year to honor a number of individuals and groups that make a difference.

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


About a month and a half ago, my mom was diagnosed with cancer again. Yes, it has returned. They decided to pursue a different course of chemotherapy this time, followed by a bone marrow transplant. Her first chemo was 3 weeks ago. This week is her second session. She has one more in 3 weeks, and hopefully, based on being in remission or not, heads off for the bone marrow procedure. If she’s not in remission, they say there is nothing else they can do...which is not something I really want to think about.

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

Asked out

I’ve only had a few guys ever show interest in me, and most of them were drunk. (I'm not sure if that is good or bad.) There was one recent guy that tried hitting on me when I was doing a track workout, but he lived relatively far away and was a bit older. Of the women that have hit on me, most of them were drunk, too.

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.

“Of course.”

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

Sperm Bank

Early this year I realized I was approaching the 5 year mark on the sperm I had frozen before I started taking hormones. I called the sperm bank to see what type of renewal options they had. At that time in April, they said they would send out a renewal notice in June when my term ended. June came around and I never got anything.

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.