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The WPATH Standards of Care

29 Apr

The most recently published version of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care document is version 7. It was published in 2011, and in many ways, was truly revolutionary. It is available in PDF form in 18 different languages at the link below. Continue reading

Am I Trans Enough?

15 Apr

Cross-posted at Trans Counseling QLD

Have you asked yourself “Am I trans enough?” This is a particularly significant question for transgender people who waited until later in life to transition, or are only just now exploring their gender as adults. The standard narrative of “I knew since I was a child” and “I transitioned young” certainly is a feel good narrative. However, the alternative that turns out to be true for many, many people is that we knew something was wrong, but couldn’t understand what that something was. We went many years thinking that we were somehow wrong, and begrudgingly accepting that we were broken.

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Am I Transgender?

13 Apr

Recently, a very good friend of mine in Australia who’s offering transgender counseling services asked me if I would write an occasional guest piece for her website, Trans Counselling QLD. I am truly honored that she respects me enough to make the request. Without further ado, here’s the first of those articles.


Cross-posted at Trans Counseling QLD

I am a transgender woman. I am not a professional counselor. I have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. I am romantically attracted to women, which makes me a lesbian. There is a common misconception among cisgender people that trans people, by definition, experience a particular sexual orientation. To be specific, that trans women are really just effeminate gay men, and that trans men are just masculine lesbians. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Carnations for Mother’s Day

6 May

I was out running a few errands today. Stopped in my local grocery to get a few items for tonight’s dinner. At checkout, the bagger handed me and my roommate each a yellow carnation, and wished us a Happy Mother’s Day. That felt so good.

Unfortunately, it came at the end of two hours of errands. As I’ve noted before, driving for any significant period of time tends to trigger my MPS (myofascial pain syndrome). Yeah, it’s flaring. Back pain is not fun.

Aside

Ma’am

23 Mar

Salesman just came to door trying to sell carpet cleaning. Even though I almost certainly have 5 o’clock shadow, he opens with “How are you doing ma’am?” 😀   So I guess this day is not totally fired.

BTW: All wood floors here.

Another first

1 May

So I got propositioned tonight.  Homeless drunk wanted to sleep with me. Oh, he built up to it, but he went there.  That’s another first for me.

Biologic Basis for Transsexuality, and Fibromyalgia

26 Apr

Yes, I realize that’s an odd juxtaposition. Give me a chance, and I’ll make the connection.

Thanks to a couple of relatively disparate conversations that happened to come into juxtaposition time wise, I have been thinking about some medical issues recently.

A  good while back, (June 2013) I shared (to my Google + account) an interesting news bit about the impending transition of a news helicopter reporter named Bob Tur. A friend reshared that post to a private transgender community on G+, where another friend stumbled upon it last night.

In this interview, Bob / Zoey (she asked to intersperse her names) mentioned biological bases for transsexuality, but did not elaborate. When my friend Jane saw that, she asked if there were any studies to support it. In short, yes there are, but they are very small studies in terms of persons included. One of the most interesting of these studies is

“A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality” http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v378/n6552/abs/378068a0.html

Wikipedia links to other studies as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_transsexualism

I’ve been convinced pretty much since I learned of the existence of transsexuality that it must have a biologic basis. Of course, we want to believe that, so I acknowledge confirmation bias in myself. That said, having this come up in my notifications after all this time was a trigger to another thought process I’ve been dealing with for some time.

Many of you know that I suffer from fibromyalgia, which is a generalized pain disorder, thought to be rooted in an abnormality of the nervous system. Here’s where that gets interesting with regards to me. The disorder in question is rare in men. It’s prevalence is 3.4% female, 0.5% male. Now, that’s where it gets interesting to me. Men seldom ever have fibro, women much more often.

I’m MTF transsexual, which per the study mentioned earlier, may have a basis in neurologic differences. Fibro is seven times more common in women, is believed to be neurologically based as well. Hmmm… My fibro is, in my mind, another data point indicating toward the biologic basis for transsexuality.

So, let’s discuss. 🙂

My daughter wrote this today. I couldn’t be more proud.

21 Dec

On her Facebook page:

With the widespread idiocy in the last few days regarding the LGBT community at large, and specifically the Trans community, let me explain the Trans experience in the most succinct way I know: Your brain, not your body is the seat, source, and home of your identity. If you, as you are now, with all your likes, dislikes, hates, loves, preferences, tastes, and all those things that define you as you, woke up tomorrow with the opposite gender’s genitals, you would be living in the Trans experience. Now, try for just 10 seconds to imagine not only the internal, “This is wrong!” but also having the entire world tell you that you CAN’T (not shouldn’t) but CANNOT be who you are at the very core of your soul. THAT is what it means to be Transgender.

Whether you understand why a transgender person is transgender or not; whether that is a choice you would make or not; whether you are comfortable around them or not; they deserve tolerance, understanding, support, love, and to be championed. No matter who the person was “before transition” they are still, at the core of their being, the same person “after transition”. If you loved them “before” why can’t you love them “after”. A “sister” doesn’t “become a brother”, they always were one, it’s just that you couldn’t SEE that they were a brother and not a sister. Transition is nothing more than making a physical change so that others can see what’s inside. In many ways, transition is on the same level as dying one’s hair, losing weight, having plastic surgery, or any other form of body modification done to make us feel more comfortable in our own skins. Yes, Transition is an extremely difficult process. Yes, it is far more extreme than dying one’s hair, and I have yet to meet a Trans person who didn’t take their choices with every ounce of the gravity that those choices deserve. Until you have personally had to choose between living a lie, dying a truthful suicide, or going through one of the world’s most humiliating processes of change, do not presume to assume that you “know what those people are really after.” I can tell you, from deep, direct, constant contact with not just one, but many Trans people, what they are really after is love, acceptance, and their own truth of identity. None of that should threaten or frighten you. If seeing them around does either of those things to you, that is ignorance, intolerance, and unacceptable. Get over yourself.

PS: This is not directed at anyone I know personally, but rather some things happening in the society.

Not much of interest to report

27 Aug

Well, except that I’m now living in Atlanta. My son-in-law got a new job here in Atlanta. He started in July (on my birthday coincidentally) and we all moved here. If you follow along with me at all, you know that I telecommute. My physical location has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to perform my job, as long as I have reliable internet service. I’ve informed my employer about the move. It’s a non-issue to them. So that’s that. Hello Atlanta, goodbye rural Arkansas. Continue reading

Endings and Beginnings

20 Mar

My time in Texas has ended. That decision was in large part due to another ending. Back in mid February, an intense nine month love affair came to an end. She said she wanted to remain friends, and I did my best to do just that. It didn’t work out. So I left for “parts unknown”.
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