Fucking Ads by Google

So I was browsing the Trans Group Blog when I found an entirely disturbing ad. It was for some website (www.ladyboykisses.com) and read “Dating with ladyboys” and had a picture of what I assume was a trans woman. How fucking inappropriate is that? Sure sites like that wouldn’t exist without willing “ladyboys” to take part, but it clearly just adds to the problem of sexualizing trans people. Too often we are seen as some sort of freaky fetish or fetishists ourselves. We are often defined as “pre-op” or “post-op” as if having a vagina is what being a trans woman is all about. I really wish that trans women would stop seeing themselves as some sort of fetish and stop supporting sites like this. (In all fairness, I haven’t visited the site so it could be really trans friendly, but I’m guessing that anyone who calls trans women “LADYBOYS” isn’t too concerned about transsexual rights or happiness.) Also, I really hope that predators aren’t using sites like this to abuse innocent trans women. On the one hand, I don’t want to impede anyone’s freedom and prevent consenting adults from doing whatever it is they want to do. But on the other, I think that if anyone gets hurt freedom goes out the door. They probably don’t even have any way of screening their clientele to weed out the predators.

GenderQueer in the Midwest

A mini-doc I found on Helen Boyd’s blog.

More electrolysis

So I’ve only been undergoing electrolysis for three weeks and we’ve already cleared the thickest part of my beard. It’s going much faster than I expected, we’ll probably clear my whole face in 6 months or so. This is very good news.

Immediate effects of startin transition

So even though transitioning is a long and tedious process, I have noticed some immediate effects. That is, my depression has lifted for the first time in years. It’s just the knowledge that I’m actually taking action on something I’ve wanted for all my life that has caused me great distress. I’m sure eventually this elation will die down, but for now it’s very nice not to be constantly suicidal and blue. My therapist is very excited, she says I’m doing the best she’s seen me do in 2 years. Also, it’s helped my dad become more accepting. When he saw how happy it made me, he seemed to realize how many of my troubles have been caused by being trans. I think he’s realized that it’s not a choice, because no one in their right mind would choose to be that miserable. I’m not sure how long this emotional high will last, probably until the first time someone I’m not out to finds out and calls me a freak. I plan on coming out to the rest of my friends in the coming weeks, starting with the ones I know for sure won’t have a problem with it. There are just two that I’m afraid of coming out to, and that’s because they’re pretty religious. But they also seem like the open-minded “you are as god made you” types, so my fears are probably ungrounded. I’m probably most likely to get harrassed by a total stranger who doesn’t know me, which I can handle (I don’t like most people I meet so I don’t really care what they think of me… I’m slightly misanthropic that way).

Intersex/trans documentary

I found this 45 minute documentary on Helen Boyd’s blog. It’s about intersex and MTF transsexual people. Basically they show evidence that gender identity has a biological basis not tied to XX/XY chromosomes. (Also known as the “brain sex theory.”) I liked how similar the story of the trans man known as Kevin (I think) going to bed wishing he would wake up male is to my own story (see this post). I also thought it was funny that the young MTF was named Alex, which is my name.

Hormones

So my doctor prescribed Premarin and spironolactone for my HRT. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I went online and did some research and found out the most people say that the injection (Progynon) has better results. I went back to my doctor to ask her about this and she told me just to stick with what she prescribed. Well, I decided to go over her head and get some Progynon and needles and see how the shot goes for a couple months. I was on Premarin before when I tried (and failed, as I have said) to transition in 2007, so I know more or less how it goes on that drug. If I don’t see more desirable results in 6 months with the Progynon, I’ll go back to what she prescribed. I know it sounds a little fishy, but I just want the best results. I don’t think my expectations are too far out or anything, I understand the limits of any hormone regimen and I know what to expect from extended treatment. I just figure the whole community of transsexuals on the internet can’t be completely wrong.

A little history

I think I should include a little history about my experiences with cross-gender feelings. It tarted when I was about three and my little sister was born. Until that point, I don’t think I realized that there was a such a thing as gender, but something about my little sister being born and learning about boys and girls made me realize something was very wrong. I don’t know exactly what it was, I just somehow knew I was supposed to be a girl.

For a couple years I went to bed every night after praying that god fix his mistake. Every morning when I woke up, I was gravely disappointed by the fact that I hadn’t been magically transformed as I slept. This caused me to question the existence of god, and eventually my dad won me over to the atheist camp.

Anyway, I eventually got used to being a boy at about age 9. Part of this had to do with the fact that I met my 2 best friends that year (they were brothers who moved from upstate New York; one of them is Josh, who I wrote a post about a day or two ago). At around 10 or 11 I began taking an interest in girls, which also helped to quell the gender identity issues because I figured if I was a girl I’d be interested in boys. This feeling of being okay lasted until I was about 12, when I met my first lesbians.

I was in Colorado at a family reunion. We were eating at Wendy’s, and I had finished so I decided to go to the car and listen to some music. As I exited the restaurant, two beautiful women in their early 20s came walking towards me. As they walked, one of them took the other one’s hand and kissed her. I had heard about lesbians, but I had never seen one. I tried not to stare or anything, but I couldn’t help it; I knew instantly that that’s what I was supposed to be. I longed for them to abduct me into their world.

This lead to a very deep depression during which I contemplated suicide several times in a day. For the rest of the vacation, all I did was lay in bed and mope. One day, my dad left the room with the TV on HBO and an Ellen Degeneres special came on. I was only half-listening because at first I was too depressed to care. Eventually,  though, it dawned on me that she was a lesbian and I instantly sat up and began watching intently. I felt like I had found a role model. I remembered a time when my dad’s girlfriend was watching a daytime talk show with a bunch of beautiful women and I asked her what was so special about them. She said they used to be men, so I knew that it was possible for me to become female, I just didn’t know how.

About a year and a half later, we finally got internet at my mom’s house. Since she didn’t know how to track my web browsing habit like my dad could, I knew it was my chance to do some research. I stumbled across a Montreal SRS surgeon’s website and he had a lot of useful information about gender dysphoria and transsexualism. I had been seeing a therapist for a few months because of my depresion and suicidal tendancies, so I decided to talk to him about it. After spending a lot of time talking about my feelings and other therapisty stuff, he said that he thought I probably did have gender dysphoria.

I knew my parent’s wouldn’t like it. It meant I was a freak. I wrote a letter to my mom about it because I couldn’t talk to her face to face, and she only acknowledged that she read it; she didn’t say anything else about the subject. Ever. My dad at one point asked me if I was a crossdresser, and I told him yes (I had been borrowing girl friends’ clothes and crossdressing at school, changing before my parents picked me up). He threatened to take away my allowance if he ever caught me in girls’ clothes or makeup. That didn’t change much; he only caught me with nail polish on once and he didn’t flip as much as I had expected him to.

Starting at 13, despite the fact that I was exploring my gender identity, I went into a hyper-macho phase where I cut my long hair and began having sex with anything with a vagina that I came across. By the time I was 15 I was doing stuff that most people spend their lives fantasizing about. I’ve done all sorts of freaky scenes. I realize now that this was me trying to prove to the world or maybe myself that I was a “real man”; I had learned from mainstream media that “real men” have lots of sexual “conquests.” I made a lot of stupid mistakes, and I’m really ashamed of that period of my life.

When I moved out to Nebraska, people started tearing me down because of how effeminate I was. They called me “gay” and “fag,” so for a while I tried to learn how to act butch. In my second semester of college I quit all that because I had fallen in with the local feminist and artist scenes, and both those circles embraced gender variance. Then I met a girl and fell in love, and I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about how that ended. Anyway, that’s my story.

How to refer to me

So last night I was talking to my best friend about Mark McGwire. (Seriously, is anyone surprised that he was on roids? Remember in 2005 when he testified about drug use in baseball and every time he was asked a question about steroids he read a prepared statement. That should’ve been a dead giveaway.) Anyway, at one point Josh said “I just realized I keep calling you ‘man.’ Does that offend you?”

First of all, I’m so early in my transition that I don’t expect anyone to think of me as a woman. So I could understand why he was calling me “man.” Even if I was farther along (such as living full-time), if Josh called me “man” or “dude” or “brother” like he always has I wouldn’t care. You see, Josh and I have been brothers for about 15 years now. We used to spend tons of time together, playing video games or D&D, watching Mallrats, listening to Steven Wright, or just hanging out. We are pretty much as close as two people can get. Even though there are some things I had kept from him when we were younger (such as my drug use and involvement in the queer community), I eventually told him about it and it didn’t hurt our friendship at all. He has many LGBT friends and he’s supportive of us all. He’s super open-minded, despite the fact that his dad listens to Rush Limbaugh. So I know he really doesn’t mean to imply anything by using masculine terms to refer to me; it’s just force of habit from a decade and a half of being close friends and “brothers.”

That being said, would I be happy if he came to think of me as his sister instead of his brother? Of course it would. And knowing him, I’m sure it will happen eventually. However, until then it doesn’t offend me for him to call me “man.”

(It would be a different story if I was out in the real world en femme and someone clocked me and started calling me “dude” or “man” or “sir.” That’s just insensitive.)

Amanda Simpson

I suppose being trans I should at least say something about Amanda Simpson. In a nutshell, I think her being trans shouldn’t be a big issue. Quite simply, she’s the best person for the job. Almost 30 years experience, multiple degreees from good schools, and she’s a former board member of a huge national organization.

I think Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the topic was best. You can find it on the NCTE’s homepage. If it’s not still there, or you don’t care to look, allow me to paraphrase: “Shut the fuck up, right wing. This woman’s got qualifications coming out the ass.”

If you’re wondering why I didn’t say anything till now, it’s because I just heard about this whole thing on Sunday. You see, I get my news from CNN, which hasn’t said a single word as far as I know. That’s not to say they didn’t cover it at all; all I’m saying is I watch 40+ hours of CNN a week so one would think I’d have heard something if they covered it.

Dating pre-transition

I thought I’d write a little about my experiences dating before transition. I’ve dated a lot and had lots of sex, which I think was an attempt to prove to the world that I was a man. I started having sex at 13 and have done just about everything. I’ve only had sex with one guy, and I didn’t like it so I swore never to do it again.

Anyway, I like a specific type of girl. I prefer really strong, independant women. I like the type of girl who can chug a beer and out-belch any guy in the bar. That being said, a few of the girls I’ve dated have been kind of butch or even dykey. I’ve found that these women are the ones that have the biggest problems with me being trans.

Usually, I begin a relationship by telling the woman I’m a crossdresser, just so I’m still free to experiment with my gender in the relationship. All the people I’ve dated have been okay with this. If I think the relationship is taking a serious turn, I feel obliged to tell them about how serious my gender identity issues are. Some women are okay with this, however the dykey ones always blow up and usually become very abusive. I think this is because they are so butch that they get a lot of people who assume they are lesbians. By being attracted to someone who identifies as a woman, they probably feel that their sexuality is being called into question. I’m not entirely sure, though.

Anyway, I’ve decided not to date any more until I’m more comfortable with my body. Also, I doubt any girl I might date would be completely fine with dating someone during transition. I think I’ve already said this, but I am super androgynous and I get a lot of people who don’t know how to refer to me (sir or ma’am). Anyway, right now I think I’m too feminine for straight girls and too masculine for gay girls. You never know, though; I could meet the girl of my dreams who is also completely fine with me the way I am. If on the off chance that happens, I’ll certainly not miss the opportunity. I highly doubt it will happen, though.

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