The Journey Continues…

21 05 2011

My path – Arriving with backpacks in Belize from Guatemala on our Honeymoon 2011

As I said from the start, I walk my own path – even as a TG.

I have always walked my own path.

We all make choices. As I said with my very first introduction of, I am not one easily labeled. I honestly hope that writing about this continuing journey is useful to those who also find that walking the path less tread has offered me a unique view into myself and society.

Here is how I started the Who Am I

Who am I?

I was born a male and still retain my penis (does that alone make a male?) – gees, there is that question again… so if a male gets his penis cut off, is he a what? If am F-M never gets a penis are they what? Boy, those never get answered easily.

I have no delusion about having an SRS; I can neither afford one and, in turn, have found a great way to live with my life as it now is. I am born in a different country that will not allow a change in my birth certificate without 2 doctors, in my home province, probing me to make sure I am not a male AFTER a SRS. This in turn effects other ID downstream.

I live as I am myself, I look like a female; and the rest of the world treats me as such.

I still answer to my male birth name. With the conflict of an international birth certificate, international passport, ‘green’ card and local ID, I could not have it all changed and cannot travel with 1/2 a change.

I have had to figure out that between the pink and the blue box there is a space for others. Gender Queers, Gender Benders or as my son said so long ago, “Gender Transformer; more than meets the eye” (he said it in a sing-song voice). I am now what I had been ultimately seeking – something of a balance of gender. I had said all along that I never though of being a female – heck, I know what real women are and there is such a blend of brain, body and soul that makes up the single term gender that we misuse the label ‘woman’ or ‘female’ all the time.

So what are the labels that I apply to myself to help others (and those others include black or white TG’s) understand?

  • Married and Father – married to a great, accepting person who accepts both my gender (ambiguity?) and my sexual orientation. Father to an outstanding (not just by my standards) son.
  • Gender – I think of myself more as a balance of gender, but others see it differently. When forced into a label, I am either a girl with a penis (which only matters when in change rooms or skinny dipping) or a ‘boy’ who looks like a girl. Mostly as a female who has boy brain knowledge and a penis (which so often seems the focus of TG’s). Most would call me a Preop M2F (not a label I like because it is a ‘bus stop’ on the way to the F). The most recent development is that many in the LGBT community see me as a woman and think I might be considering a gender change to male by using the name ‘David’. Everyone loves to box and label people, even in the community. Honestly, for the most part, I just let people figure it out and they label me female unless I tell them anything else. ‘Passing’ is not a problem, being ‘butch’ enough for travel past the TSA with my ID is more of an issue.
  • Sexual Orientation – Gynophiliac (attracted only to women) is what I prefer. If I were a lesbian, then it would stand to reason that I would be with them – but I am not. Lesbians are also Gynophiliac (preferring sexual intimacy with women). I am attracted to women and really needed to be with a female who has a more middle of the road approach to her attraction (bisexual if I had to label). So I either needed a lesbian with NO penis issues or a woman who had no other issues – a tall order! I luckily, have that woman in my life.

.

More to follow – 5/21/2011





The Path – Musings of Transitioning

13 11 2010

I have never been one for just following the road well travelled. I have managed to do very well in life by holding a course until the need arises to change it…

My transitional journey is a lot like long distance sailing;

  • You know where you would like to go – generally.
  • You have the means to get there, but not directly.
  • You tack when the conditions require it.
  • The course is never in a straight line (it is never just a downwind run!).
  • You do not dictate the weather, wind or water – only how you set your sails.

If you have not been off cruising in a sailboat, you may miss some of what I am saying here (and you can skip forward). As I said, life is about the Journey.

I (we, including the wife I was married to) thought that our son was going to be born in New Zealand 15 years ago. I looked like the rugged tanned male mariner (I was told I was a hunk) when I was in those early thirties. We were sailing on a course for New Zealand when we changed the tack. Life goes on and we never did make it to New Zealand, although we tacked onto another cruising boat, then tacked again into a house; gathering flotsam and jetsam along the way until we could not move or breathe.

I cut the anchor after 14 years on the cruising boat, a lifestyle, my wife and my 10 year position as a stay at home dad. In truth, I went adrift as a castaway so that I could focus on something that had been brewing for a long time. I had set all the challenges I had with Gender since I was 9 or so away in the back of my mind. I now set my course to figuring out gender for me.

It is nearing 40 years since I first started trying to figure out why I felt different. And for those that have been on a similar journey, it is never entirely what you think it is going to be, is it?…

Most people, when they hear of sailing long distance on the ocean, they think;

  • Wow, I could be free to go wherever I want – and it would be free!
  • It is white sand beaches, sunsets, drinks on the deck and paradise; forever!
  • Perfect, leaving all the responsibilities behind in the receding view.
  • That you are in command and control.

Nothing is further from the truth. Cruising is 90% boredom with 5% shear terror and 5% of the dream. The bulk of the time you maintain the boat, spend time on passage, explore remote locations and look for supplies to repair and maintain your boat.

Being TG or transitioning is a lot like that as well. Just like cruising, when you start transitioning, you think that you will now finally get all that you want, that all will accept you, that it will be sunshine, rainbows and unicorns… and then there is the reality of transitioning while in society.

By and large, most everybody has problems and issues – in fact, they are so busy dealing with their problems and issues that they do not give a shit about yours. This is, as it should be. When you start taking hormones and transitioning, most people will not notice anything – they will see you always were (except that perhaps you grew long hair). Transitioning is not about you and society OR you fitting in – it is a personal journey on a path few take and less understand. Most of the people transitioning really don’t know why they are here*.

*OK – before I get ‘hate comments’ (and I have never had one), I am just trying to be realistic with others transitioning. The truths are simple…

  • For the vast majority of the population, gender is seen as fixed in concrete and unquestionable.
  • Your very actions of transgender challenge people as much as it would if you said you could defy gravity.
  • Most people have their own crisis going on – and they really don’t want any drama from you.
  • The path you follow is individual, unless you decide that the route of popular psychology and surgery is the correct answer.
  • There is no singular answer to the ‘why’ question. Move forward and stay to the path that you choose.

I even managed to get involved with women (sorry, I am only into women) along this journey in the past 5 years. Like the general population, they had their own take and involvement in my transition. Transitioning takes it toll on close interpersonal relationships. The very act of transitioning means that what would be taken for granted as ‘stable / fixed’ is not!

Oh – time out here. You though this was going to be just about transitioning? You can read about that in the hormones section if you want to know what happens to the body. The real ocean of uncertainty in transitioning is not why you are doing it OR what will happen OR where you end up as in the other gender. No, the real ocean is what will you do for intimate companionship. Transitioning will take you only 10% or less of your lifetime (I know of a woman who did M-F in one year, at age 60; that means the transition was only 1/60th of their life). The other 90% of the time you will still need to figure out relationships, just like you always have BUT from a perspective that is now different. Good luck, reading further will not give you the key or secret.

Intimate Relationships

One was a woman named Amy. You see her name in the title of this blog. Amy was the first who birth the name Sarah (and I still like the name). Amy also had her own agenda and wanted her own lesbian relationship with Sarah… except, I was not Sarah, a woman. I was, as I am now, a transitioning person. Amy wanted me to go all the way and that was never my destination.

There was another named Laura and she was able to be bonded to me in such a way that my soul felt ripped apart by that relationship. She wanted something else. In the time with her – I married her and divorced her.

Both those people had their own strong agenda, and their own baggage. I started to think that transitioning was far less messed up than what ‘normal’ people were in relationships. I dated an angry lesbian army major (who had never cooked or cleaned for herself in her life), a woman (m-f), a crazy Filipino woman who had lesbian issues from her teenage past and a few others. I could not seem to find anyone ‘normal’ and I figured that it was all due to my own transitioning, my own ‘abnormality’ – although by now at near 4 years on hormones, I was feeling pretty normal!

So what was left for me? Guys? Um, no – I was a good guy who fucked around and I knew what guys were capable of. Besides that, they had nothing that interested me – they were hairy, had no shape, no breasts and an outy AND I did not want another relationship with some weird expectations. I have great close friends as guys, but I had no image of myself being in an intimate relationship with them.

I then did my best Tom Hanks in Castaway. I isolated myself long enough that I came up with the answer. As much as I loved being with people, I could no longer be in an intimate relationships. I would become a sheeple (sheep people) and live out the time enjoying relationships that worked. I did have some great long-term friendships, a set of great relationships at work and by and large got along great with everyone including my X (the one I had the son with) and my son. I guess, I just gave up and said that I was done with the freakyness of relationships.

And I was done… then

Along came a woman who I had not expected. One that allows me to be as I am – David+. That allows me to be the transitioning, integrated person without any expectations of any kind. Who revels in my womanliness and enjoys the maleness of my past. It is now nearing 6 months together and I love her more every day. The relationship is not crazy like the fireworks of the past (with many of those fireworks going off on the ground) – it is the steady smooth coal fire of a forge.

See, in transitioning, I refused to throw out what was good about me and still connected with maleness. I always considered the femaleness as added to me – not as in a trade. Perhaps I do not have the journey right for transition – I have always been about balance in my life… and I sought balance within myself of the male and female. I do not always look like a woman, although I have nice breasts! – nor entirely as a male, though I still have the outy.

Me on the right

I sailed off the map. I knew where male was and I thought that I knew where female was – I am somewhere else in both body and mind. Just like the sailing when I never made it to New Zealand, in transition I never made it to being entirely a woman. How do I feel about it?

Plot your own journey. You do not need to follow the path that only leads to one of two destinations. Keep an open mind and find peace within that mind and you will, like in Castaway, come to the crossroads where you can see that you really have a limitless horizon.

And about me, this early morning (I started writing at 0400)?

There is a beautiful woman, Jules, up in my loft still asleep; and we are getting married next spring. I have found a warm, accepting family with this woman. As for a sailboat, my third cruising boat (the smallest) is out in the carport, being rebuilt. Fair winds and safe shores to all who are transitioning. Sarah xox.





Losses – Coming Out as TransGender

11 11 2009

rememberance day crossKind of an odd day… and I have been reflecting on this for sometime now, here it is coming all together. I have avoided personal writing, for my own reasons – I have also satisfied my urges for personal writing by keeping them as drafts, here. This is article is a bit more personal.

Today is Remembrance Day. Have you forgotten what that is – or are you reflecting on it as an American, wondering what it really means?

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Armistice Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918 (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice). The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during war.

Oddly enough, I found myself playing Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2, today. I reflected on what it means for people to lose others. We have losses nearly every day, a Policeman was killed in Seattle, some die in a plane crash, another with swine flu – many in vehicle accidents; the highest killer of all people under 25.

military cemetery

I had buried all my grandparents by 18 (carried the caskets of 3 of them). My father and biological mother (I cast her ashes in the Cromarty Firth in Scotland on a sunny November day) are both dead. All that is left for me of immediate older family is my mother who no longer remembers who I am or anything of my childhood – she was the last to know the child who was David (I think that is the first time I have ever mentioned that name!). I left my country, left behind friends and family more than 20 years ago now. Ad to that the experience I have had as a Wilderness E.M.T. and I think I know something about loss.

I lived with my father for nearly a year, back in Canada, as he wound down and died of cancer. I held his hand, with me crying when he died – and took out my stethoscope to hear his last rasping breaths and weak heartbeat cease.

Losses. “Becoming” (if that is what this is – but it is how others see it) transgender, incurs losses.

I came out first, publically, in March of 2007. I thought that I would start to come out publically after I had resumed the hormone treatments in Feb 2007 and had started body hair removal in Dec 2006. Physical changes and personal encouragement from supporters brought me ‘out’.

Before I tell you any stories – here is the data I offer… Of all the people (family, friends, coworkers), who knew / know you, that you tell when ‘coming out’, here are the results I observed:

50% will disappear, fading over a little time (or not) and they will drop right off the radar.

Of the remaining 50%:

75% will react based on beliefs, judgment and experiences that you never knew they had, and the relationship will be changed significantly from what it was. Sometimes this is for the better though.

25% will remain and they will accept you pretty much as you are.

What that means is that about 1 in 8 will still see you as they nearly always saw you. Then 3 in 8 will treat you differently and may hold some concept of who you are – they may also hold judgment and bias that will manifest itself in weird ways. Those other remaining 4 in 8 – they will drop you right away, or disappear quickly, being unable to come to terms with their loss of you as a person in their life.

Now the stories – first the positive, then some losses.

G: He was – and still is – my best friend. He knew that I had been on hormones back in my late 20’s. We had traveled together, camped, skinny dipped together. I told him about the hormones and breasts 6 years ago – and he had seen them when swimming with me. When he was first told about me transitioning, he reacted like I was kidding – like I was trying to say I was going to start cross dressing. It has taken over 2 years for him to refer to me as Sarah to others, he still calls me David to my face (and that is ok). He still struggles a bit with me as female – mostly because he thought that I would become another person. I think he thought that I would become a woman who knew nothing of what I had in my head and who never saw what my eyes have seen. He now seems to understand that we can still talk and play with Land Rovers. He is in the 1 in 8.

C: Thank God, I am working with / for and incredible women who is my direct supervisor with the company I work for and a person I am glad to call friend. She never batted an eye (although she does stare at my chest sometimes). She is the only person I interact on a daily basis with that I can make gender comments to. Like when we were in Safeway and I said “If I give to breast cancer I also have to give to prostate cancer – I can get both!”. She is always about the performance of the individual, not the gender – and she is quick to point out that the ‘innies’ get a harder shake of it. I remember when I told her (I then sent her this blog)… she said, so are you like a cross dresser on the weekend? Standing there, wearing a womans jacket, I took it off and said “I am wearing all women’s clothing, and have been – have you not noticed the make-up and everything else”? I have 7 ear piercings, long hair and breasts… yet, she met me as David and still sees me as ‘him’. C has never ‘betrayed’ me, never slighted me with a careless comment. The relationship is what I wanted – unchanged. I do not want to be Sarah to her.

DragQueenN: He is in the 3 of 8 category. N is a great friend, who became a better friend after I told him. It did change one thing – he still, no matter how much I explain it to him, wants to see me “in drag”. What that means, is that he wants me to look like some kind of performance drag queen! Sorry N. He is nice though (and he is gay) and has treated me great as a woman when we go out – he is the one guy I like going out to dinner with. His Thanksgiving dinners are as the family that I do not have.

The other 50% – who dropped off

J: G told J before I could talk to him. Now he has been a great friend, what else can you call a person who will help you drywall and insulate in your garage, live on your boat (and help pay for it), help you through a divorce?… the list goes on. I never got another email from him. I have seen him on three occasions in the past 2+ years at social Land Rover events and he treats me like I have an infection, that is contagious, in a cloud 20′ around me. WTF? 

J is the most glaring example of the 50% that fall off, but he is joined by

L: Who I at one time considered a soul mate and more, was the daughter of lesbians and feigned understanding and support until the truth caught her up – the lie that she held. L suffered from the Peter Syndrome – in private, she was all about support, but in public and with people she knew (in any way), I found that she did not even mention our relationship, about living with me or who I was. In the end, even with her here, I found that she would introduce me as a friend, David, while loving Sarah. L denied knowing me publically.

A: She is really in the 25%, but there was a wake of losses that my closest confidant, friend, lover and so much more affected because she was more than willing to share ‘who I was’. She told old coworkers and other acquaintances. She also told her conservative family before she had even worked out what was really happening – let alone how to talk about it. Not once was I there to share my truth. The mother of A was also able to fake support and understanding, for a short time, until I found out that she had portrayed me as a freak to all she knew (and she is the matriarch of the extended family) and her daughter as someone trying to ‘rescue me’. This is where I really learned the term “frienemy”. Honestly, those that have gone – the losses – the real loss is theirs. I gained knowing who are true friends to my being.

The relationships with women in intimacy have been most challenging. Beyond being TG, there has been other complications (like other relationships), but the “TG thing” always has a large bearing. I no longer know what is truth – honesty. There always seemed to be some kind of deception when all that I offered was the bearing of an innermost past that I buried for 30 years behind facial hair and outdoor leadership skills teaching. Being TG and transitioning is hard in intimacy, few relationships of this kind survive the transition phase.

Honestly, the most damage to relationships has been caused by others telling my “TG story” to friends that we both know together. Once you share “the secret” (because that is what it is to everyone you talk to), they will want to tell others; I promise you that.

So, the best way to share your coming out is organize yourself, figure out who, when, where and what you want to say – and in what order. After that, it will change your life, just like your transition will.

I have no regrets after more than 3 years of coming out. I look forward to the continuing journey.





YouTube. WordPress does for writing what YouTube does for video

23 08 2009

I work as a writer and SEO, so my medium is understandably, writing.

Having said that, there is the medium of video and YouTube. YouTube has done for video what WordPress does for my writing. In the position I work in, for the company I work for (and I dare not put in a link to them because we monitor all links) I am the Communications Manager and Technical Writer; a nice title given to me without increasing my royalties! I also post instructional YouTube’s for work, but have yet to do any for myself.

If you are not used to YouTube, go there and type up a subject – from changing your oil to tuning your guitar (a friend found the subject of canning well covered!) to transgender and most anything you can think of. I found video instructions to reset the maintenance required light for my 2006 Scion Xb.

Here are a couple of my favorite people in the YouTube Transgender Community. Their videos are honest, educational, opinionated (sometimes), funny and often just plain entertaining.

Charlotte has a lot of videos – hours of amusement. I really liked her most recent one about detransitioning, so here is her link…

http://www.youtube.com/user/karmatic1110

This is honest and very nearly word for word my own experience; except for the fishy’s part! I knew I had ‘crossed the line’ when I was not trying to present and was being viewed as a woman. I go to work, with french braided hair (more days than not) and am still always seen and refered to as my male self – even though I am clearly over the line. And before you ask – I have no problem with people who used to know me as a male refering to me by my male name. I respond to either and my old name is like a ‘nick-name’ reminding me of who my long term friends have been.

<<>>

CandiFLA offers some very educational comments to help the beginner. Most impressive is her control of voice – although she is gorgous as well!

http://www.youtube.com/user/candiFLA

the video explains itself…





Gender Transitioning, Character Changes and Children

22 08 2009

For those of us in the TG community, there is a duty for support of each other as well as education for both inside and outside the community.

Warning, stop reading this right now. This article deals with the harshest subject in an honest manner.

You are not going to like what I am saying part of the time. You are going to think that I am wrong. Stop reading now.

IF you choose to start reading, then read it all, until the end, please. Please. It is a longish article and I will likely add to it upon more reflection and experiences.

Stop in the Name of Love

Stop in the Name of Love

I started this blog with who I am… a journeyer

Here is the fairytale, the story that you want to live. This is the story you tell yourself that will make you feel complete. So you woke up one day and thought – “I am not going to live the lie anymore. I am going to be who I was always meant to be. I am going to become the person who has been inside and hiding for all these years.”

For years, you just blended in, ‘kind of’. No one really knew what was in your head, the monsters that came to you at night, the dreams you masturbated to. Occasionally you reveled something of yourself and you were thought of as gay, or a dyke or a CD; by a partner or stranger that wanted to pigeon-hole you. You went to work and nobody knew what was inside you, dying to get out. You went to church, got married, had kids… and still they did not know. Then one day, you say a couple sentences to try to sum up all that you have felt, dreamt, wished, thought and all that you hope will happen and BOOM the bomb goes off.

The Big Bomb

The Big Bomb

Then you go see a doctor, go see a therapist, go to marriage counselling, go see a lawyer – get a divorce, fight for custody, have some surgery – and what do you have left? Who are you now?

If you have already exploded it all, if you have already blown up all your past life in a planned, rush of a sequence of timed detonations, then I am going to tell you the truths you know – the ones that you already know and live with everyday. If you have not blown it all up then take a look at what I am offering to help you transition.

calm

Calm Down

Take a calming breathe and repeat after me. Know who I am then what I want. FIRST – Know who you are, then SECOND – know what you want. Know who you are first and then what you want will just happen. Get it? Not quite yet, but this will help.

Time and time again when I encounter people who are unhappy and challenged, they are transitioning, or in love with someone transitioning. There is a swamp of feelings surrounding transition but most often I hear from people “I did not know I was (they were) like that. If your true goal in transitioning is to ostracize your past and try to start with very little in tow, then make grand announcements of a character, behavioral change. If you wish to maintain something of your old life (children, family, work, friends, sanity), then read on.

Transitioning need not be so painful. It need not be the rebirth that so many books and speakers seem to endorse. Not every person needs to fall from the sky, burn up to cinder then rise like the Phoenix (and that is the dream of many). If you think that you are prepared here for all the changes, read Astronaut Training first.

Missing the Right Arm

Missing the Right Arm

A Farmer looses an arm. Not an uncommon injury in some form or another across the country – much more common than F2M or M2F transitions, every year. The key here is what happens to the person after they lose the arm; the transition that might take place – and you should be able to imagine some tough scenarios here:

  • They wallow in self pity, retreating into a world with little social contact.
  • They feel like a freak, unable to do what others so easily do, and everyday is work just to keep up.
  • They change their character entirely towards the negative and become mean drunk and lose their family.

More often than not, a person with this sort of injury receives intensive therapy and, if they have the will, they return to their old life as they were. The lesson here is that if you were to lose an arm AND you want the people who always loved you to treat you the same, then keep your character. People can deal with the changes that come from you physically changing much more easily – they cannot adapt as well if you mentally change.

If your penis does not work, we have designed a drug so that you can make it work. The reason for that drug is two fold, less so for the operator but primarily so that things operate the same as they always have for the partner. It retains the ‘character’ of the act.

People have ‘character’ expectations of people they are with. If you change your character too much, people around you have a very hard time coping. Here is a man who retained his character after horrific life altering events. Read his story if you are not familiar with just how physically gifted he was before his accident and the character he maintained after the accident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Reeve

Mastectomy and the body changing impact

Mastectomy and the body changing impact

Women are subjected to a constant threat of a major body change. The result often changes the person they were. Once again, I will be bold saying that a partner, husband, family and friends will have little trouble with the transition IF your character remains intact. But, move towards Shame or Anger; taken what has happened out on a family, or the partner – or one of the negative courses like the farmer above who lost his arm and that will send a message that you have changed, mentally. Mental – character changes are the toughest for people around you to comprehend and, in turn, continue with you in a relationship. Mental – Character changes leave those who love the altered person adrift in how they can be with them.

Also Liu Yan – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/arts/dance/19barb.html

You can transition, live a great life and continue with family and especially your children… but your character needs to be defined.

Double Mastectomy means freedom and life to some

Double Mastectomy means freedom and life to some

Who you are – Know who you are – FIRST.

What you want to do with transitioning comes after knowing who you are, first. Too often we become lost on the “who we are becoming” journey and forget that there are many things about who we are and have been that are what others (and often ourselves) enjoy most about us. We spent a childhood, adolescence, adulthood forming who we are; not all of it needs to be left behind during transition.

So, if you really want to “get lost” and be forgotten, transition how you are. Most people transition and leave behind all that they ever knew. But this is not the only way…

Now about Children…

So you have decided to transition and you want to freak your kids out. This is easy, tell them just the way you did your partner, wife/husband, friends and work. Now if you want to maintain being with your children and you are switching which gender you are attracted to in a partner, this will complicate things – but only a bit – but that is a different article.

NOW, the part about kids and family. This is the secret recipe to give you the best chance at happiness IF you wish to maintain those around you AND be able to transition with them. You are going to need to keep your character consistent here, in spite of all the other changes that you will be doing. It is the little things that shake up the situation. Here are some M2F examples…

  • Refuse to mow the lawn because it is not ‘womanly’; or you might break a nail
  • Stop working on cars and get to the point where changing your own tire is beyond you
  • Go from confident business adviser to shaken, insecure person
  • Only do ‘girley’ things in a ‘girley’ way

People who care about you just can’t handle the change – and that is not their fault. You have a responsibility to yourself first, and then to them. Ask yourself if you are being real when (and this is because I am such a car gal) you tell your wife, children that “even though you have been a mechanic for 15 years, you are not able to do anything on a car at all now because you are becoming a woman” – and this is a true story, because I heard the woman who was so proud of her new “F” on her driver’s license say this to me!! How are people who know you supposed to keep up if you change who you are as a result of what you want?

My son

My son

You want to make it easier for your children? It is easy (and I am using 17 years teaching and 10 years as a stay at home father as my basis here). Retain your character with your children. Regardless of what your character is, retain it or make your character better for your children.

The real secret here is that you have to be who you are before your transition.

As an afterthought (I stumbled upon this video late October), this is a good message to Transgender individuals who are ‘over doing it’ or who are trying to figure out how to ‘act’.





Astronaut Training

1 02 2009

I know, it is an odd title… read to the end of the article and it will make more sense.

Nasa

Nasa

You can ‘test’ a person for almost anything, right? You can run a psychological profile on a person and still never really understand them. You can prepare humans for nearly any situation – yet 1/3 of all people who attend a first aid course are unable to use the skills taught to them at the time they need those skills. All those people passed the first aid class; they passed the tests and were observed by trained individuals.

There is no real testing that can prepare a transitioning person. I know, there is a protocol for testing that will free most Doctors of ‘liability’. There is also the element of the ‘year long test’ as well as counseling.

Here is some reality:

I know a friend, M2F, who started living full time as a women in July. By August, a doctor had already agreed to sign the papers needed to put the “F” on the drivers license. She then attended some monthly therapy. By the next spring, a mere 6 months later, she had made arrangements for a vaginoplasty. After 60 years of life and thirty seven years of marriage and less than one year of living publicly as a women, she received her operation. With less than 50 hours of therapy and support, she was now in her life. Her wife of 30+ years went through all the transition (and also met with counsellors – and ‘passed’). They separated.

I met another person, F2M, who was in a group. He was good looking and full on passable, with obvious hormone treatments that allowed a nice mustache and male body. The most interesting thing was where he had learned to “be a male”. He had followed in the path of another supportive friend. He had learned best (and acknowledged this) to mimic male behavior from a Dyke. Although the dyke was transitioning, they were clearly in all mannerism, still a dyke. This was made most obvious in the aggressive (self proclaimed “dickish” behavior) and the walk with full shoulderswing. The result was a short fellow who walks like a body builder and has the mannerisms and talk of an angry Lesbian.

The transgender suicide rate is one of the highest incidents of any social group in America.

So what about Astronaut Training then?

To prepare a person to go into space takes thousands of hours of training. Most career astronauts have spent time with the air force before NASA. The level of training and testing is second to none. Astronauts are subjected to the highest mental and physical stresses a person can take.

So, no transgendered person is really as ready as they should be. You can never really know if, during all their training and testing, will they be able to survive in what is an irreversible situation by most measures.

Trained Astronaut and Naval Officer drives 900 miles in a diaper to kidnap and assault a women dating a man that she had wanted. The headlines are impossible to believe at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Nowak

Met Lisa Nowak. A beautiful women who could have nearly any man she desired. Nowak was a respected Naval Officer. She was selected by NASA in 1996 and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics.Nowak flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during mission STS-121 in July 2006. Nowak gained international attention on February 5, 2007, when she was arrested in Orlando, Florida, and subsequently charged with the attempted kidnapping of U.S. Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, the girlfriend of astronaut William Oefelein.

on February 4–5, 2007. She had packed latex gloves, a black wig, a BB pistol and ammunition, pepper spray, a hooded tan trench coat, a 2-pound hammer drill, black gloves, rubber tubing, plastic garbage bags, about US$585 in cash, her computer, an eight-inch (203 mm) Gerber folding knife and several other items before driving the 900 miles (1,450 km) to Florida. 

Lisa Nowak was tested for character behavior, mental stability, standards, morals – tested and challenged both physically and mentally in ways few people are subjected to. She was trained to survive a crash landing, survive being in a hostile enviorment, survive in space. And still, she did the unthinkable – and – unpredictable. What really went through her mind is known only to her. Lisa started a journey of nearly 1000 miles, had plenty of time to reconsider, gather her wits – yet, she carried out what she had planned until it went wrong (what was she going to do with the hammer drill?) – and without a doubt, she knew it was wrong, crazy and emotionally disturbed all the time she planned it and them drove towards that terminal destination.

So in the transgender person, you receive less training and practice than a welder, EMT, peace corp, missionaries, fireman, social worker, daycare worker… the list goes on. I hope that my point is made. When crossing the gender barrier, a person needs to be trained and tested as they would to live in a foreign country will all new customs.

The real point is this:

  • There is not enough cross testing and training – it needs to be done with more than a single couple of doctors doing 1 hour of observation a week / month (You could ‘fake’ anything to get what you thought you wanted for an hour – right?).
  • Preparation needs to be in socially varied groups, not socially isolated groups. To find sole security in approving groups is not a real world test.
  • There needs to be followup.

Honestly, what is needed by everybody making a transition is a few mentors who have made the journey successfully and quite a few people who can offer supportive, yet accurate direction for the person. This journey is often done with too few people and too much emphasis on the “end goal” – which is not a final goal, but the landing on an alien planet without the support you were used to here on earth. Ultimately, many TG’s make the transition, but they are never really prepared to land on that foreign soil.





Transgender – Positive News

29 12 2008

I have written much about Gender; about society, the community and the person transitioning. Additionally, with the some 20,000 words here on this blog, I have increased the number of videos. If a picture is worth a 1000 words….

Here is some positive, social information. There are a number of agencies, companies and service agencies that are making some efforts to inform ‘norms’ to understand and even welcome transgender people.

From the Chicago Police Department, an informational video for the staff and the public.

20/20 – Gender, a 5 part episode. This series by Barbara Walters is societies attempt (with some success) at understanding Gender, what it means to families, their children and the media. This series concentrates on transgendered children.

From the moment we’re born, our gender identity is no secret. We’re either a boy or a girl. Gender organizes our world into pink or blue. As we grow up, most of us naturally fit into our gender roles. Girls wear dresses and play with dolls. For boys, it’s pants and trucks.

But for some children, what’s between their legs doesn’t match what’s between their ears — they insist they were born into the wrong body. They are transgender children, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, and their parents insist this is not a phase.
“A phase is called a phase because it is just that. It ends. And this is not ending. This is just getting stronger,” Renee Jennings told ABC News’ Barbara Walters. The Jennings asked that “20/20” not disclose their real name in order to protect the identity of their 6-year old transgender daughter, Jazz.

Most transgender children still live in the shadows, hiding from a world that sees them as freaks of nature. Rejected by their families, many grow up hating their bodies, and fall victim to high rates of depression, drug abuse, violence and suicide.
Today, hundreds of families with transgender children — who have found each other over the Internet — are taking a dramatically different course. They’re allowing their children to live in the gender they identify with in order to save them from a future of heartache and pain.
“I think we’re a very normal family,” said Renee’s husband, Scott. “I think we have a very healthy marriage. We love to watch our children in all of their activities, whether it’s at school, or on the field playing sports.”

On the surface, the Jennings and their four children are a typical American family. But their youngest child, Jazz, is only in kindergarten, and already she is one of the youngest known cases of an early transition from male to female.
“We’ll say things like, ‘You’re special. God made you special.’ Because there aren’t very many little girls out there that have a penis,” said Renee. “Renee and I are in 100 percent agreement as to how we should raise Jazz,” said Scott. “We don’t encourage, we support. And we just keep listening to what she tells us.”
From the moment he could speak, Jazz made it clear he wanted to wear a dress. At only 15 months, he would unsnap his onesies to make it look like a dress. When his parents praised Jazz as a “good boy,” he would correct them, saying he was a good girl.
The Jennings wanted to believe it would pass. Scott said he “was in a bit of denial” about what Jazz was trying to tell them. After all, even their rowdy twin boys, who are two years older than Jazz, had painted their nails growing up. But Jazz kept gravitating to girl things, insisting that his penis was a mistake.

There is a ground swell, a change from the 80’s ‘sex image’ of a TG Girl presenting her penis in a porn video. There is movement to “allow” transgender people to keep their jobs and to transition. Almost 125+ Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies in place that accommodate transgender peoples through their transition – while maintaining their jobs.