Traveling While Trans and Disabled

22 Mar

As I’ve mentioned here, I am traveling to Chicago next weekend, to attend the Trans 100 Live Event. This will be my first time flying in a significant number of years. Enough years that both traveling while trans, and traveling disabled are new to me. As I am prone to do, I have been actively researching what to expect at the TSA Checkpoints.

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Aside

Roommates

22 Mar

Well, as predicted, the possible third roommate flaked. The good news is that we had a waiting list for space, and we have moved on. A couple have decided to take our remaining room. Looking forward to their arrival the first weekend of April!

F*&% Fibro

20 Mar

Fuck fibro.

All I did today was pickup an Rx and get some keys made. Drove 10 minutes each way to take roommate to train station and pick her up again. Basically, nothing.

It hurts so bad, and has for several hours now. I’m really worried it’s progressing so fast.

I’m Attending The Trans 100 Live Event!

19 Mar

The Trans 100 Live Event is a big event among trans people. Every year, at the end of March, the community releases a list of the 100 most influential trans* people in the prior year.

The Trans 100 aims to provide an overview of the breadth and diversity of work being done in, by, and for the transgender community across the United States. New editions of The Trans 100 list are released every March at a live event in Chicago, Illinois.

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Update: My living situation

19 Mar

For the past several months, I have made my home in a “shelter” situation. It is a private home, which was managed by a relatively new 501(c)3 in cooperation with the property owner Logan Bruch. There were issues of lack of respect for the privacy of the individuals, autocratic behavior of the staff toward the residents, and just general mistreatment.

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Inevitable consequences of loss of income

26 Sep

When last I checked in, I had just heard about my salary being dropped to zero. I was left as a very part-time employee of the company that had employed me for the past 11 years. The loss of my income was felt, severely, by the household of which I have been a member for the last 18 months or so. As a refresher, I moved in with my daughter and her husband back in March of 2013, after that bad breakup.

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Under-employment

22 May

Beginning June 1, I will lose the salary that has kept me solvent for several years now. My employment (since 2003) has been on a salary plus commission basis. In the beginning, the commission part of that equation was the greater part. In the last few years, the commissionable work has declined, and I have been living on the salary. My employer has decided that my services aren’t sufficiently lucrative, and has informed me that the salary part of our agreement is canceled as of the end of this month. The only good news is that, so far, he hasn’t withdrawn my health insurance.

This will result in a severe financial hardship on my part. It’s very likely that I will default on a significant percentage of my consumer debt. I’m seriously considering bankruptcy. I have a few low balance credit cards and a car note. Those could be handled in consumer bankruptcy. The more significant issue is the utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, and telco). Electricity, telco, and internet access are required for my continued employment, as I telecommute.

I’ve been looking into other employment possibilities, but unfortunately, the last ten years spent in a backwater of the IT industry have left me skills challenged. I simply don’t have any marketable skills, and can’t acquire them in a short enough period of time to make a difference. Add to that the fact that I am in transition, and you can see my dilemma.

I live with my daughter, and she and her husband are scrambling to make up the anticipated loss of income, and/or reduce the outgo. I’m hopeful, but also, quite honestly, terrified. Once again life asks me: “What now?”

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. 🙂

Biological essentialism: can we not?

9 Mar

Excellent analysis of the ‘biological essentialism’ argument regarding who is a woman.

Another angry woman

Last week, I wrote about why I’m pro trans and pro choice. Given the sheer quantity of comments, I’m not sure I made myself clear enough.

I think that broad judgments based on perceived biology have historically had some bearing on the oppression of women. I also think that biological essentialism is meaningless and can only be deployed oppressively in the present day, as scientific and sociological understanding of gender and sex has progressed. Some time ago, I wrote about evolutionary psychology, and very charitably decided to pretend that perhaps all of the just-so stories explaining differences in behaviour of the sexes were true. And I concluded that even then, that does not mean it is in any way relevant now:

Wisdom teeth, though, were highly useful to humans when we first evolved. Humans were still a long way off inventing dental hygiene, and, so, tended to die…

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