I found this interesting article over on TransHealth.
I found this interesting article over on TransHealth.
An older story but still relevant.
No, I am not questioning myself here, more I seeking my place within the TG/TS framework both online and off.
Where I live isn’t a hot bed of activism and social decent. For the most part people here only relate to what they have seen or heard on the news or opinion radio so you can imagine some of the conversations I have overheard. I’m not an eavesdropper but some of these people are like the annoying guy in the restaurant who thinks everyone should listen to his side of the conversation.
Anyway, the point is, there isn’t a network of people and organizations I can look up to find others like myself or any LGBT folk in general. At least none who I would be comfortable striking up a conversation with. There aren’t any PFLAG offices or other services aimed at the trans community. After doing some research I found there was a short time when such individuals and groups existed locally, but the last traces of them faded out in 2009.
There was another group nearby, about a half hour drive, but they also have disbanded due to lack of participation. As Jodi pointed out, it’s a good sign when a group disbands because it is no longer needed, but it can problematic for those like myself who are a little late getting to the party.
It has be suggested trying to form a new support group locally. Jodi has mentioned it more than once and I am in full support of her efforts. What I’m not sure of is where I would fit in. I’m not a very good organizer, and pubic speaking, while not impossible, is difficult especially when I’m not familiar with the audience.
I am more than willing to speak to others about my own experiences and to offer what support I can. I’m certainly not an expert, but I can certainly empathize with what others are facing.
While I feel doing things here, in person is important, indeed, vitally needed, through the internet my reach is much further. As important as sharing my own personal story is, I feel there is so much more I can do…
I’m just not sure what it may be or even how to start moving in the direction I need to in order to make any sort of meaningful impact in the lives of my brothers and sisters.
I was asked about resources or books which discuss Trans people both today and in history. I found these with a simple keyword search on Barnes & Noble.
Under Two Spirit:
“Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality”
by Sue-Ellen Jacobs, Wesley Thomas (Editor), Sabine Lang (Editor)
“Two Spirit People: American Indian Lesbian Women and Gay Men / Edition 1”
by Lester B Brown
Under Third Gender:
“Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History / Edition 1”
by Gilbert Herdt (Editor).
“Two Spirits: An Unauthorized Guide to Transgender Topics and Identities, Including Genderqueer, Third Gender, Intersex, and More”
by Calista King.
“The Other Genders: Androgyne, Genderqueer, Non-Binary Gender Variant: Intergender, Mixed Gender, Ambigender, Agender, Neutrois, Nullgender, Bigender, Multigender, Plural Gender, Fluid Gender, Third Gender, Gender Outlaw, Pangender, Polygender, Omnigender,”
by Ken Wickham.
“Sex and the Gender Revolution: Heterosexuality and the Third Gender in Enlightenment London”
by Randolph Trumbach.
Those were just a quick search of a single site, I can imagine there is a great deal more to be found if I were dig a little deeper. Also, these are titles currently available for sale and does not include anything from the secondary market.
Another note is these are not autobiographies, there are more them a few of them as well, such as;
“She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders”
by Jennifer Finney Boylan, Richard Russo.
(I cannot speak to the quality of any of these books as I have not read them.)
Of course this doesn’t touch on the huge resources available through the internet where there pages and pages of information, links, thoughts, opinions, and personal experiences.
I can, if anyone is interested begin a new page with links to additional information regarding gender variant information.
Note: I didn’t attempt to link directly to B&N pages for any of the books. I am still testing a blogging app and I didn’t want to risk losing all my work if something didn’t work correctly. I expect to have this resolved in the near future.
So, yesterday morning I had my appointment with my therapist. Things have changed a bit, location and time being to big ones, but thanks to a change in what I have to pay, I will also be able to go to more sessions, depending on schedules. Over all, a positive change I am quite happy with.
This session began with discussing my issues at the beginning of the week and the consequences. The big thing was in talking about how one small thing can have such a big impact on me, more then that, how all this affects those around me, mainly my children. It really has bothered me that I took out my negative feelings on the boys without realizing what I was doing until my middle son asked,”Why are you mad?” It was obvious he thought it was because of something he did which was wrong of me on a number of levels… I assured him it wasn’t him, it was me and I apologized. There was no doubt I had been short with him and his brother through no fault of their own. They were just being kids and I was being a bitch. That conversation caused me to really take a look at myself and my actions and to admit I was wrong to take out my personal issues on those around me. This lead me to realize, regardless of what I might think or wish regarding who I am and what it means for how I interact with the world, I cannot be someone I am not just because I think it is what others want of me. Honestly, this whole thing has made me wonder what I was like before I came out… If I was like that all of the time, it’s a wonder I have a family at all, and I can’t imagine how stressful it was for everyone to deal with me on a daily basis when they didn’t know what might set me off. The main thing to come out of this was to understand I had been able to recognize what had happened and change my behavior. What I need to do now is be able to do this in the beginning and take steps to deal with the issue before it can be become a problem. We’ll work on the more in future sessions and I think it will make a real difference.
We also spoke about dealing with anti trans sentiments as what we see so much of online which lead to a discussion about how this is only going to continue as long as the public awareness of trans people and issues continues to be in the news. We spoke of some of the high profile coming out stories which have been such hot topics including, Kirstin Beck, Fallon Fox, Laura Jane Grace, Lana Wachowski, and Jenna Talackova. From there the discussion lead to the fears which seem so common among trans people as expressed by Kirstin Beck in her television interview and how I related to so much she spoke about.
From there we talked about a number of different things including an interesting discussion about the differences she sees between me and some of the gay men she knows. I can’t remember all of the details so I’m not going to try and recreate what was said here, but it was interesting to hear her thoughts on the matter as a heterosexual, cis female.
Okay, I think I covered all of main points and really, I have rambled long enough, so I’ll wrap this up for now.
I woke up before anyone else, so I have a few minutes to write before the day gets busy. Odds are we are going to have to leave before the end of the day, thankfully we have a place to stay. Most of our neighbors are also ready to leave at a moments notice and everyone is a bit on edge. People have already been evacuated from some lower lying areas not too far from here, though they had less time to pack up than we have had. There is a major business just down the street and at first they were going to sandbag but part way through yesterday they gave up and decided to pack up instead. Needless to say, this doesn’t bode well for what they expect to happen. A number of smaller businesses have also packed up seeking to save as much as possible. There is a lot we aren’t going to be able to move, I checked into getting a moving van yesterday and there isn’t a single one available within 50 miles. So we are just going to get all of our personal things which can’t be replaced out. Everything else is expendable. As I told A, it’s all just stuff and it can be replaced, all that matters to me is that everyone is safe. If we do have to leave I’ll be sure to post a note as soon as I can just to let you know we are safe.
Another thing yesterday was I had a therapy session. I was going to cancel for obvious reasons, but it would have meant waiting at least another two weeks before I could be seen and both A and I thought it best to keep this one.
First, I am going to refer to my therapist as “J” from now on. I should have been doing this from the beginning and I really don’t know why I didn’t. I did talk to her about this and she is fine with it.
We discussed what happened with my doctor and what it means as far as my transition is concerned and my reaction to it. As I mentioned before, I was disappointed, but it is something which I can get past. It just means exploring different options. We also talked about my finally getting treatment for depression and what it might mean for my wellbeing going forward. Having this recognized has been a weight lifted off my shoulders and I look forward to seeing what life looks like from a “normal” viewpoint. After all, my “normal” was anything but. By our next appointment I will have been on medication fro more than the three weeks I have been advised it will take for it to take full affect and I am interested to see just how much of a difference it makes.
We also discussed the understanding I have gained in regards to a number of personal issues, mostly dealing with my emotional state and how it impacts my relationships. I spoke about this before and I really can’t go into a lot of detail here simply because it would turn this post into a full length novel. What I will do is point you again to what triggered this line of thought. It was a podcast which you can either find in iTunes by searching for “Off the Air – Chick McGee” or by going here. Download “Episode 041 Marc Marion”. I promise you, it is powerful. I have listened to it several times now and it always leaves me in tears. There is so much which is discussed in which I can see myself. Sometimes it takes something like this to really open your eyes.
The final part of the session dealt with the relationship between A and I. This is something I’m not comfortable writing about here because I really don’t don’t think it is my place to share such things with the whole world, even if she gave me permission, which she hasn’t. There may come a point at which I will discuss all of this, but now is not the time.
Okay, people are getting up and so it is time to get to work. I will try and do an update at some point, but if not, then I will make sure to write something which I can post for tomorrow.
I am a little surprised with myself. I guess I expected to be feeling at least a little down after what happened with the doctor, after all, this is a setback. Yet I can’t find it in myself to feel sad about this. It just seems to be a minor thing, not a life altering chasm I cannot get past. One of the things I know is I will have to wait until at least June before I will have the time to travel, as I have mentioned before, the nearest “major” city where I have found any Trans* related resources listed is three hours away by car. Such a trip isn’t impossible, just inconvenient and troublesome to schedule. That’s providing I can get an appointment with a gender specialist in a time frame I can work with. (I’m assuming this will have to be my first step before I can get a recommendation to an endocrinologist). From there I will see about HRT as I’m sure I will have to pretty much start over in showing it is something I need as opposed to simply want. This was the main reason I was hoping to keep things local if possible.
Another aspect to this is my current emotional state, which has remained fairly steady. I have had plenty of time to think and work though a number of issues. I can’t really go into any details as much of this is very personal in nature and I’m not comfortable sharing it at this point. What matters is this; I have finally realized the most important thing I could do was to forgive myself. I know this seems obvious, but it is much easier said than done and I simply cannot truly forgive anyone else if I cannot do so for me first.
This is something i have been working toward for months, but it has just been over the past several days when I truly embraced this understanding and it has made a tremendous difference in my overall outlook on life. I mentioned it before and I will do so again, this has been such a freeing experience, I’m still coming to terms with what a difference it has already made in my thinking… it’s such a night and day sort of thing.
I’ll stop here for now. There is still so much to work through, but I’m simply getting too tired to think clearly.
Sorry for getting this done so late, I had some work I needed to finish before I could sit down and write anything. I did manage to reply to all the comments I got today, so it’s all good.
Yesterday left me disappointed, but putting it aside and getting some sleep has helped to put things back into perspective. This is nothing more than a bump in the road, I’ll work through it. In fact, this might be a blessing as it forces me to take a slower path, now having at least until June before I can consider taking any time to travel to the nearest major city which has the support I need. I’m not sure just how I will go about this, I am going to be doing more research and contacting at least one national support group I know that has a headquarters in said city. I do wish I lived closer, but wish in one hand… Anyway, this is workable, it is just going to take time and planning.
As for that doctor.. I am going to see him only for non trans medical care and frankly, I’m not even going to mention this last appointment to him again. It’s his loss as far as I’m concerned. Speaking of which, I started my antidepressant today (FLUoxetine) and I hope it works for me. As I understand, it might be a few weeks before there is enough in my system to have a noticeable affect. I only wish I had had the sense to do this years ago…
No matter what, I am keeping my head held high and my eyes looking forward.
Today has, for the most part, been one of the better ones. I had the chance to work through some things during my shift last night and so there is a sense of a weight having been lifted. One would think this leaves little to ponder on a Thursday evening, but alas you would be mistaken.
I had to run to the store for few things and doing so is a source of anxiety, though I can usually get in and out without too many issues… until some helpful soul asks, “can I help you, sir?” or a teller automatically finishes with a “have a nice day… sir.”
I understand, every time I walk out the door I am presenting as male, which is my decision for many reasons, but doing so is getting more difficult. More painful. It gets to the point some days I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to hide. I often wonder if it’s wrong to want to peel off my skin to reveal the real Kira trapped underneath.
I watch the people around me and think how lucky they are to simply be who they are. Of course they have no understanding of what their freedom means. Funny, I’m not jealous of them, male or female, I wish I could share in such a simple joy myself.
I guess I have always had these feelings, I know they have been more intense since I first came out, but now I feel them almost constantly and I wonder if it isn’t because I am hoping I can begin HRT soon. Really, I’m not sure how I will react if I am told it isn’t possible… I don’t even want to think of it, but I am pragmatic enough to know the possibility exists.
This leads my thoughts to considering some of the things I will still have to do to be able to present the way I want, which is going to include some additional clothing items, mainly to give me a more feminine figure which I won’t gain from hormones alone thanks to having gone through the wrong puberty. The good news on that front is I can buy the things I need and stay within a reasonable budget.
So, something positive to offset the negative.
One way or another I am going to make it through this in one piece, even f it kills me.
My thoughts have been centered on my upcoming appointment. It is going to be my first serious hurdle to the future. I’m not thinking of what will happen if the doctor refuses to start treatment but to how my life might be changed with a single shot or pill. Yes, I understand this isn’t some magic cure all, it is going to be a long process which will takes years. Yet for all intents and purposes, a new chapter in my life will begin with the first treatment. The future is never certain, but at least I know I will have done everything I could toward becoming the person, the woman, I know myself to be.
Having said that, A said something the other day which caught in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until last night the full impact of her words struck me.
“It seems all you need in (our state) to change your ID is boobs.”
I just brushed it off, “Well, you need a little more than that.”
She agreed, you need to have a doctor or therapist sign off and I’m sure there are other requirements, but I do remember reading not too long ago that our state no longer requires a person have surgery to get a name change or have their gender changed on official documents.
Apparently she read the same thing.
(I can’t imagine where her thoughts are on all of this and I am not going to dare to make assumptions, I will let you draw your own conclusions.)
I told her, and my lack of thinking so far ahead shows, I’m not worried about that part of things yet. I need to get through this appointment first. If it happens, then it happens.