How to Be an All-Inclusive Gender Thread

So, I generally don't listen to podcasts. But today, I cued some up while epilating. It made the couple of hours of hair-yanking go by dramatically more pleasantly.

[size=6]Nothing like the silky smooth voice of Shawn Andrich to help you get silky smooth skin.[/size]

Hypatian wrote:

I'm also a bit heartened that the latest comments seem to be dominated with posts from an intersex woman who's bringing up yet another side of things.

Yeah, after reading the article my finger was hovering over the scrollwheel as I thought, "Dare I or dursn't I?". Well I dared, and flying in the face of years of expectations regarding news site comments, I was really pleased to see almost nothing but her and another poster ripping apart the ignorant comments with calm, well-reasoned, and thorough replies.

Now to maintain this good feeling I must never ever dare another news comments again.

Whee. Doctor's appointment tomorrow. Butterflies in the stomach big-time. I'm sure everything will be fine, but I'm just the kind of person who [em]has[/em] to imagine the worst case just so I go into things totally prepared. So dumb sometimes. :p

What I plan to ask my doctor about: 1) Obviously, I'm there because I'm trans, and I would very much like to be on HRT. 2) Also, I haven't been to a doctor for anything except an emergency in 20+ years, and that's not so good. Part of why I was forced to finally deal with being trans is that I was ignoring my body, including my health, and that's no good. So I'd like to make sure I'm in good health and try to be in better health. 3) I've lost 50 pounds in the last five months. I feel in good health, but I don't really have a good handle on what weight is appropriate for my body. I think I can afford to lose more weight, and I'd like to do so at least for a while longer, but it would be good to feel more secure about when I [em]should[/em] stop, because I think I could go to an unhealthy place weight-wise if I let myself. 4) I would very much like to quit smoking, and I have not been successful, even with the same added motivation that has made losing weight feel trivial to me. Can you help me with that?

I figure things will obviously start out with talking about my medical history and family medical history. I've filled out some paperwork with details on those, too, and have notes from talking to my mom. After that... well, I guess my best-case I-don't-think-there's-a-chance-in-hell-of-this-happening scenario is that for HRT he says "I can give you a prescription for spironolactone at a low test dosage now, but I'd like to do some blood tests before prescribing estrogen. We can take blood samples today and see you again in a couple of weeks." And my worst case scenario is "I'll prescribe something for you to help you quit smoking. See me in a month and I'll refer you to an endocrinologist who will see you a month after that regarding HRT." The reality is probably somewhere in between.

(Actually, the [em]worst[/em] case scenario is "Sorry, the doctor isn't here today because of the stupid snowstorm that rolled in overnight. Come back next month." :X That would suck. See? I told you I always stress over stupid worst-case scenarios.)

I'm a little worried that he might have some concerns about putting me on estradiol because of possible liver damage from my gallstones. Metabolizing estrogen taken orally can be a little rough on the liver. But, I barely drink at all, so that may offset that. Also, if there is a concern about my liver it might mean estrogen via injections or via dermal patches, which wouldn't bother me.

Anyway, what will really happen is probably something in between stuff. I doubt very much I'll walk out with a prescription for anything HRT-related, but... I really hope I do. I also doubt it will take months before that happens, because that would suck after being patient and trying to do things in the proper way instead of using the power of the Internets.

However things go, I'll have a doctor for the first time in way too long, and I'll be one step closer to where I want to be.

My appointment went about as one would expect: Pleasantly. We talked about why I was there, then my medical history and family medical history, etc. I think that Persad's procedures have changed or something, or they've handled me differently from normal. Anyway, there was a little confusion in terms of the doctor having expected me to have been through some gender panel thing, and me being all "a who what now?" and explaining what my experience at Persad was like. Anyway, after the confusion it didn't seem to phase him.

I got vaccinated (Pertussis, etc.), which is good. I hadn't really realized that I should have been, though it makes sense.

And now I have to go get some blood panels done, and then come back in about a month and if everything looks good I'll get my prescription. My next appointment is April 15. (And the prospect of having April 15 be me HRT tranniversary amuses me way too much.)

Edit: Oh, almost forgot: he thinks I'm at a healthy weight now (160#, 5'10") and should adjust my diet to maintain my weight. So, I'll be doing that. The idea that I have to make an effort to eat more is funny to me. He's also kind of a hippy, but I can deal with that. (Most people would not explicitly include "healthy Asian spices" in their food pyramid.)

Glad to hear things went well Hyp!

Sounds like great news, if you're likely to have your prescriptions soon

Wonderful news, Hyp! I'm so glad everything went well! *little dance of joy for good doctors*

Yeah!

Hypatian wrote:

(And the prospect of having April 15 be me HRT tranniversary amuses me way too much.)

I fully admit to being a filthy skimmer, but is there some context here that I'm missing?

Also, "tranniversary" is the best word.

Also also: congrats!

Floomi wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

(And the prospect of having April 15 be me HRT tranniversary amuses me way too much.)

I fully admit to being a filthy skimmer, but is there some context here that I'm missing?

Also, "tranniversary" is the best word.

Also also: congrats!

It's Tax Day in the US.

Floomi wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

(And the prospect of having April 15 be me HRT tranniversary amuses me way too much.)

I fully admit to being a filthy skimmer, but is there some context here that I'm missing?

Also, "tranniversary" is the best word.

Also also: congrats!

April 15th is the day taxes are due in the United States, leading to the date being one that elicits groans from most U.S. citizens.

Hypatian wrote:
Floomi wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

(And the prospect of having April 15 be me HRT tranniversary amuses me way too much.)

I fully admit to being a filthy skimmer, but is there some context here that I'm missing?

Also, "tranniversary" is the best word.

Also also: congrats!

April 15th is the day taxes are due in the United States, leading to the date being one that elicits groans from most U.S. citizens. :)

*Tries desperately to think of a witty Tax gag to tie it altogether, but fails miserably*

Congrats!

EDIT:
All I can come up with is adding ASCII oogaba to the relevant return form title!

Spoiler:

( . )( . )

m0nk3yboy wrote:
Floomi wrote:

April 15th is the day taxes are due in the United States, leading to the date being one that elicits groans from most U.S. citizens. :)

*Tries desperately to think of a witty Tax gag to tie it all together, but fails miserably*

Tax Day becomes Tranniversary when an arm & a leg just won't cut it.

Oh dear.

New goal: Quitting smoking before April 15. Last time I tried, I tried to loosely apply the same techniques I used for dieting to help... and failed miserably. I've signed up with a phone-in quit-line thing on the recommendation of my doctor, and talking with the person there helped me realize that I wasn't applying the same sort of rigor to smoking that I did to dieting. I basically just said "I smoked X cigarettes yesterday, I'm going to smoke X-1 today". So, this time I'm going to keep track of precisely when I'm smoking and try to cut back from those periods specifically. Hopefully that will make it a lot easier to be more mindful of what I'm doing, because it's the unconscious habitual nature of things that really wreaks havoc. Also going to try to turn that habit around into one of filling my water bottle when I'm feeling that craving and telling myself "no", since I should be more hydrated in any case.

Whee.

It would be really, really, really great to go into starting HRT having kicked smoking and managed my weight and... yeah. Good things.

Hypatian wrote:

New goal: Quitting smoking

/cheer!

Cod wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

New goal: Quitting smoking

/cheer!

+1!! It's a hard habit to break, but I have faith you can do it - esp. with all the motivation behind it. Here's to your even healthier future!

Mimble wrote:
Cod wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

New goal: Quitting smoking

/cheer!

+1!! It's a hard habit to break, but I have faith you can do it - esp. with all the motivation behind it. Here's to your even healthier future! :D

Compared to everything else you're accomplishing, quitting smoking almost seems like a 'gimme' (I understand that it won't be though). +1 to the healthier future.

Whee. Down from ~30 cigarettes a day to ~16. I'm currently using a rule of "if I've had a cigarette in the last hour, I can't have one yet", and I'm not quite on top of it yet. Once I am, I'll probably step to two hours. That may be more difficult, hard to say.

Other news: I got a new epilator, an Emjoi Emagine. It is quieter, faster, more effective, and less painful than my old one. I am very happy with it.

Last week I didn't share this, but I had a bit of a freak-out. I played way too much SimCity that weekend, and was just starting on the "try to quit smoking thing", so I ended up not getting a lot of sleep and being kind of distracted. It ended up being Sunday evening, and I was rather sleep deprived, and I hadn't shaved my face on Saturday after electrolysis like I usually do. Well... the extra time without shaving took me from "heavy stubble" to "beginnings of a full-on full-face beard". Since I wasn't in an awesome mental state in the first place... yeah, that kind of broke me. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror, even to shave. I couldn't sleep. I ended up taking Monday off work sick and finally managed to work myself up to looking at myself enough to shave by Monday evening.

In short: Yeah, that was bad.

It was a really weird feeling. Dysphoria for me has almost always been mostly this sort of dull constant ache. Something's wrong, but it's not acute--it doesn't actively grab me and throw me around. This was... a bit more than that. I've very occasionally in the past had mild panic attacks when I'm around too many people (particularly people I don't really know but who I'm expected to maybe interact with, like at a big party). It felt a lot like that, except I couldn't get away from it by stepping outside to go somewhere quiet--it was about me.

Weirdly, it was kind of affirming in a way--because it was so obviously serious and a part of my being trans, it was kind of a spike of "no, really, I have [em]really good reasons[/em] to go through the stress of transition". Of course, on the other side it was deeply scary--because it's never fun to feel out of control like that.

Anyway, nothing else really new to say. I'm going to go get blood tests done on Monday, then three more weeks until my next doctor's appointment.

Hypatian wrote:

Dysphoria for me has almost always been mostly this sort of dull constant ache. Something's wrong, but it's not acute--it doesn't actively grab me and throw me around. This was... a bit more than that.

If you're looking for a positive reframe on this reaction, I'd say it's letting you know you're closer to being the 'real you' than you realised. You had such a strong reaction to seeing yourself the way you appeared because you're focused and looking forwards to the you you'll eventually be.

You've moved a lot of emotion/psychological furniture around in your mind, and in your perception of who you are. Think of the beard as a table out of place, and the dysphoria as a bloody good knock to the shins from something you didn't expect to be there.

Congrats on the reduction in smoking too! I had a friend who did similar, but found two hours was too much without a patch to curb that itching sensation. He found limiting himself to only smoking outside helped also. His laziness won out over his addiction, 9 times out of 10 in the evenings at home

Yeah. It's just kind of surprising and disquieting when something that was sort of under control is suddenly and obviously not, and you know that it's because you chose it to be that way. There've been things before where I've been like "Oh. Yeah. Stripping away my mental armor here, making myself vulnerable, so that I can feel what I really feel again and know where I'm going." But this is the first time it's been, well, debilitating. It's not going to make me turn around, but that doesn't make it not scary.

I guess the important lesson I should take from it, really, is: be sure I know where my support systems are and am ready to make use of them. That spot is tender. Ow. Don't poke it, but don't be surprised when it gets smacked again and be ready to deal with it somehow. One of these days it will finally be healed right.

I'm getting back into an experimenting mood, a bit. I played with my posture and voice again as I walked home (first time in ages it's felt nice enough out to walk.) I ordered a new corset. (A good quality one this time as I don't expect to drop a zillion sizes from this point out.) I experimented a bit with my old one, and then with tearing up an old pillow and padding-under-tights to produce poorly simulated hips.

Deduction: If I thought that putting weight back on at this point would give me hips, you would be able to hear me eating from [em]space[/em].

My backside... is a boy backside. My man-boobs are gone. My spare tire is almost gone, too, but... it seems cold comfort.

I went in to have my blood tests done today. Three weeks until I hopefully get prescribed hormones. And then... the fast things are over, and it's time for Second Puberty... which by all accounts will take a lot of waiting. A lot. Even knowing, going into things, how long these things take, it's a bit hard to really comprehend the scale, sometimes. It's been, what, six months since this adventure started? And it seems in retrospect like it's gone by so fast. But looking forward, every month seems like a long time. And the changes I want to see? That's a lot more than months.

Patience is really hard.

And I feel like the people who know I'm going through this are probably all "Hunh, nothing's really happening". And that's probably pretty boring.

On the plus side, while the big body changes take a really long time, the smaller changes happen faster. Fat deposits around the face. Hair growth. Electrolysis is getting close to more interesting areas than the voluminous neckbeard, and with hair growth slowing down that should start going faster, I hope. Certainly I should be able to feel like I'm seeing real progress there by the end of the summer. At my age for the body changes, well, it's more like "see how you feel about things in four years and then start thinking about surgery options."

In the meantime, well, I will be happy to have a corset that's the right size again. And I can get some better-designed butt padding if I really feel the need. And... the mental effects of hormones are really something I'm looking forward to experiencing. I've been wondering for a while now if it will help me stop talking over people. (Which, in my workplace, may be a curse. But still... how much of that is learned, and how much is a testosterone-fueled urge to be aggressive?) Will I become less aggressive in forum exchanges? Because that urge also makes me feel weird.

Anyway, thoughts of the day, and probably many days to come. I'm looking forward to this summer, and whatever changes it brings.

IMAGE(http://25.media.tumblr.com/223b412f88345db90c1240ebf092d993/tumblr_meyf5pXR471rk56iwo1_500.jpg)

Ran into this interesting glossary of terms that I am curious about how accurate it is:

A Transgender Manual Of Style

Comments?

No link yet, but apparently an upcoming episode of Elementary will feature a trans character.. played by a trans actor.

RedJen wrote:

Ran into this interesting glossary of terms that I am curious about how accurate it is:

A Transgender Manual Of Style

Comments?

Seems pretty reasonable, and a good match for a lot of the way things get said these days online. One thing to note is that there's a [em]lot[/em] of variation in exactly how people break things down in various communities, particularly in the fine points.

For example, some people find the use of "transgender" as a noun to be off-putting, but it seems to be pretty commonly acceptable in India—I think part of that has to do with whether there's a cultural institution in place relating to trans people, because that kind of institution provides a foundation for a possible trans-embracing identity. (That is: it may be more common for people to identify as hijra as distinct from identifying as male or female.) I'd say that it's best to avoid using it that way, but you shouldn't assume that anything that does use "transgender" as a noun is doing it out of either being misinformed or a desire to cause offense—it can also be because it's a common usage in the area of origin.

Some people object to the term "transgendered" (adjective form) for some reason, while I'm perfectly happy with it. (A transgendered person? Sure, why not. A transgender person? Also sure.) Back when I was first reading about trans issues (early-to-mid 90s), I'm pretty sure that "transgendered" was the common usage.

--

An interesting thing that came up lately was a interview with a trans woman in which the interviewer used the subject's feminine name and pronouns throughout, even though when she interviewed the woman, the subject expressed that she was comfortable using her masculine name and pronouns. Some readers were rather put off by this, even though the author specifically mentioned it, simply because they felt the author should have gone to the subject and asked her opinion on the question. Personally, I think that if the author couldn't get ahold of the subject again, switching to uniform feminine usage was appropriate.

However, the author should probably have made clear that she tried to get in touch with the subject before making the change. That is, I would say, the most important single point of usage: Always make an effort to ask the preferences of the person in question, to abide by those preferences, and to explain at least in passing that you have done so. Doing this shows respect for the subject, and makes it clear to readers what that respect entails. If it's impossible to ask, always go with the apparent intent of the subject. And as Ms. Reed pointed out: it should never be up to the judgement of a reporter about whether the subject "passes" or not—because that just opens the door for disrespectful bigotry. "Well, he didn't *look* like a woman to me, he looked like a guy in a dress, so I called him a man!" (The current AP style guidelines, from what I understand, would be easy to interpret that way, which is unfortunate.)

Call and Response: On Body Snarking and The Word "Tr*nny" (Autostraddle)

Pretty cool pair of essays, one by a cis woman one by a trans woman. A couple of quotes:

One of the most offensive aspects of body snark is that it's used to delegitimize women (as the popular phrase like "real women have curves" makes clear). Suddenly, instead of just being a woman, full stop, there are degrees of ‘real' womanhood to aspire to.
"Tr*nny" doesn't just mean someone who is trans, it means someone who isn't accepted as a woman.

This is a really really sad thing.

It was exactly three months ago that Richard Littlejohn published a piece in the Daily Mail viciously attacking Lucy Meadows, a primary school teacher in Britain. Littlejohn targeted Meadows because she’s transgender and had chosen to remain in her job as a teacher after beginning to present as a woman – this was the entire basis for his outrageous, unprovoked assault on her identity, her career, and her very life. It was vile and hateful in all the ways we’ve come to expect from a publication that, like much of the press these days, treats trans women as alternately ridiculous or a threat to society. It was quite literally intolerant of everything that Lucy Meadows was.

So it came as a surprise today that the Daily Mail has completely removed any mention of Meadows from Littlejohn’s column. What happened? Did they suffer a sudden attack of morality, three months later? No. Their decision was based on something much darker than conscience.

Lucy Meadows killed herself this week.

Hypatian wrote:

This is a really really sad thing.

It was exactly three months ago that Richard Littlejohn published a piece in the Daily Mail viciously attacking Lucy Meadows, a primary school teacher in Britain. Littlejohn targeted Meadows because she’s transgender and had chosen to remain in her job as a teacher after beginning to present as a woman – this was the entire basis for his outrageous, unprovoked assault on her identity, her career, and her very life. It was vile and hateful in all the ways we’ve come to expect from a publication that, like much of the press these days, treats trans women as alternately ridiculous or a threat to society. It was quite literally intolerant of everything that Lucy Meadows was.

So it came as a surprise today that the Daily Mail has completely removed any mention of Meadows from Littlejohn’s column. What happened? Did they suffer a sudden attack of morality, three months later? No. Their decision was based on something much darker than conscience.

Lucy Meadows killed herself this week.

That's awful.

Any suicide is tragic, but suicides instigated or enhanced by that sort of ignorant, hateful rhetoric is truly heart-wrenching.

f*ck the Daily Mail. Hate-mongering ignorant rag.

*spits*

Hypatian wrote:

This is a really really sad thing.

It was exactly three months ago that Richard Littlejohn published a piece in the Daily Mail viciously attacking Lucy Meadows, a primary school teacher in Britain. Littlejohn targeted Meadows because she’s transgender and had chosen to remain in her job as a teacher after beginning to present as a woman – this was the entire basis for his outrageous, unprovoked assault on her identity, her career, and her very life. It was vile and hateful in all the ways we’ve come to expect from a publication that, like much of the press these days, treats trans women as alternately ridiculous or a threat to society. It was quite literally intolerant of everything that Lucy Meadows was.

So it came as a surprise today that the Daily Mail has completely removed any mention of Meadows from Littlejohn’s column. What happened? Did they suffer a sudden attack of morality, three months later? No. Their decision was based on something much darker than conscience.

Lucy Meadows killed herself this week.

Sometimes I really don't like this planet's inhabitants.