Why I will go out of town for top surgery

7 01 2011

Trigger warning: fatphobic and classist incident.

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I’m not dead …

23 02 2010

…just REALLY REALLY busy. There was that whole business with the show and now I have s bunch of conference presentations and workshops to prepare, and ethics review to get done before I can do fieldwork, and 4 events that I’m involved in planning. Then there are personal projects like a comic book zine and some videos and a web site to market my presentations.

So . .. yeah . .. not much time for blogging.

A couple of updates: my testosterone increased to 0.30 ml per week a little while ago. I hadn’t had an increase since I started in May 2008. My endo decided to up my dosage since I’m on Proscar to decrease hair loss. My bloodwork is all good, he says.

Speaking of testo . . . from May 2008 to December 2009, I never missed a Monday injection. In December, I finally missed a Monday. So I shot up on Tuesdays for about 3 weeks. Then I missed  Tuesday and did Wednesdays for 2, then . . .yada yada. This last injection was on Saturday after 2 Fridays. When I finally get back to Mondays, I wonder how long I’ll be able to stay there?!?!

In other news, ALL my cards now have Jacky on them. All I’m missing is a passport but I can’t afford it right now. And my name needs to be changed with the federal and provicial revenue offices. Then that’s it!

I have a date for a hysterectomy on March 25. After that, I will have the option of getting the M. I had decided against it for personal reasons but now I’m reconsidering. I’m really annoyed by having to explain myself everytime I need to show my driver’s license or health card anywhere.

There are tons of other ways I can blatantly genderfuck.

So we’ll see.

In local news, most trans surgeries are now covered in Québec. If I wanted to, in the next year or so, I could get top surgery and bottom surgery (either a meta or a phallo). But I won’t. I’m not interested in bottom surgery at all. Nada. As for top surgery, I’m not there yet.

And if I was, I sure as hell wouldn’t go to the one surgeon that performs trans surgeries in Quebec. I went to see him for a consultation last year and found him to be an elitist, arrogant prick. He treated me with contempt when he thought I was “just another working class joe” because of the way I dress and he became super “fake nice” – you know, the kind of nice like in the toothpaste commercials with the glinting teeth – when he found out I was an academic. All of a sudden, I was worth treating like a human being. But before that even happened, he wanted to look at my chest to give me an idea of the type of top surgery he could give me, depending on the size of my breasts. When I took my shirt and binder off, he got a look of disgust on his face. He said: “You’re way too fat, it’s ridiculous.” And he went on to say that he wouldn’t even consider me for surgery since he’d have to leave some fat under the breasts to match my torso. As though I were there for a “perfect” body.

As far as I’m concerned, he’d a write off. A lot of people like him but I know (and some other people that I know, also know) that he’s a class A prick. An elitist. So I will pay to go to Toronto or New York when I’m ready for top surgery before I put myself at his hands, even if Quebec would cover it. In any case, I’ve seen pictures of his top surgeries (and others) and am TOTALLY not impressed.





A letter I will be sending to a local clinic

6 01 2010

Hot on the heels of my previous post about medical treatment of transsexuals, here is a letter I will be sending to a local medical clinic after some horrific treatment I received today.  I have removed the name and address of the clinic to avoid any legal issues.

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Blast from the past II: Dating site rant

22 12 2009

All this talk of dating has made me want to transfer another blast from the past over to this blog from my other blog that is on it’s way to cyber oblivion. I first wrote this as a note on Facebook in December 2007. I was still living as female but I had just decided to transition. So my experience of dating sites up until then had all been as female. Enjoy!

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A Rant

7 05 2009

Please note: I don’t want advice. I don’t want to be told that I shouldn’t feel this way. I don’t want to be told how I should feel. So if that’s what your reflex is, please abstain from the comments.

I just want to rant to sympathetic ears (eyes?). If you can relate and share in the ranting, by all means. But I don’t want to be rational right now so no advice.

I can’t rant about this on Facebook. Too many people from work on there and some of them are the ones I’m ranting about. I really doubt that any of them read this blog . . .well, I know one does on occasion because he’s mentioned it but he’s not included in the rant because he’s gotten it right from the beginning.

So, on the surface, everything is great at work with regards to my transition. Everyone accepted me, no one gave me a hard time, it was all love and rainbows. A bunch of co-workers even came ot my transition party. So, no harassment, no discrimination. One colleague even said that he thought that it was cool that if anyone in our department did manifest problems with what I am doing, they would be the one to be ostracised. Yes. What a nice, progressive lot.

And, yeah, it’s true that I really can’t complain about that overall vibes.

But.

Fuck.

After ALL this time, when are they going to get the damn pronouns right?!? I was patient for a long time. And lots of them do get it right. In many cases, I don’t know because I’m not there if people refer to me in conversation about work related things. When I’m not there to glare as mistakes, do they even correct themselves if they say “she”?

Anyway, what set this off? I got “she”d by three different co-workers today. Three. 3. Trois. Drei.

In one case, the person corrected herself immediately and moved on. Good move.

In another case, the person corrected himself after I gave him a look of death and said: “What?!?!” But I got that look of “Whatever, it’s not such a big deal, just deal with it.”

In yet another case, the person said “she” to a person I had just met, a relatively new employee who, undoubtedly had read me as male until that moment as 100% of people that I meet have been doing for MONTHS now. Can you say confusion and in need of explanation now?

That’s the thing. When they screw up and I point it out, they don’t even understand why it’s important. I’m the one who is seen as making a big deal out of it but they don’t even realise, or want to it seems, that it’s like they just stuck a knife in my chest, knocking the wind right out of me with their lack of recognition of my gender. And it’s even worse when it comes from someone that I had considered a friend. Someone who has always claimed to “get” me.

Well, if you get me so much, how can you not get that it IS a big deal when you consistently verbalise an identity that is no longer mine, by the same token demonstrating that you can’t see me for who I am?

Why do you NOT get that you complicate my life in relation to new people when you “out” me and force me to have to explain to the new person who I am? When you remove my power to disclose to new people when I see fit?

We, trans folk, are told all the time that we take it too personally when people screw up our pronouns. Most of us are understanding in the beginning, though. And yet after over a year, when people still screw up, you start to wonder.

I understood that when I still had a delicate girly face and a girly voice it was hard to read me as male. I was patient. I didn’t make a big deal out of it.

But christ, I have a fucking beard now. I have a deeper voice. My chest is bound so tight that sometimes it’s hard to breathe. I go through all this shit with the chest binding so that I can present myself to the world in a way that concords with who I feel I am and I’m the one that is taking it too personally, being impatient and making a big deal out of nothing?

In response to that I say FUCK YOU. You’re the one that is losing the privilege of knowing who I am. And I say privilege not because I think I’m any more special than anyone else but because I know that I’m as special as anyone else and that I have a lot to contribute to the lives of people that take the time to know me for who I am.

REMINDER of opening disclaimer:

I don’t want advice. I don’t want to be told that I shouldn’t feel this way. I don’t want to be told how I should feel. So if that’s what your reflex is, please abstain from the comments.





Life before transition

8 04 2009

This post by Gender Outlaw and the comment by Genderkid made me reflect on the common portrayal of trans people as miserable, near-suicidal individuals who would not survive if they did not have access to physical transition through hormones or surgery. I understand that this might be t he case for some people. I’m sure that in some cases, transition is a life saver.

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Argh!

20 10 2008

Need to rant. As regular readers know, I’m not gung-ho on going stealth. However, I’m also not gung ho about having my trans identity being the first thing people know about me. As with my bisexual orientation, it’s the kind of thing that I don’t want to hide but I don’t necessarily want to wear on my sleeve either (I do wear a t-boy cuff but only people who know what that means think anything of it). If it comes up, it comes up and I won’t hide but that is contextual. And where, when and how I come out is up to ME and no one else.

Now, I’ve been patient with friends and co-workers, trying to get them to get the pronouns right. When it’s just us, I can tolerate the slippages somewhat, although I’m getting stricter about correcting them. But today, I just about lost it. I was outed in front of total strangers not once, but twice! The first time, a colleague was trying to answer a student’s question. I did not know the student. The colleague point at me and said: “Maybe she would know.” I was mortified. I’m being read as male 95% of the time by strangers so I have no reason to believe this student was any different. I was presenting as male. I look and sound male. And I had to say: “You mean ‘he'” much to the bemusement of this student.

Next, another colleague called me by my girl name in front of a guest speaker. Again, I was mortified. I had invited this guest to the college and, when giving him a meeting point, I had told him to look for a guy in his 30s with a spider on his left hand. Since I got no weird looks upon meeting him, I had no reason to think that he read me as anything other than male. So to hear me referred to with my girl name must’ve been very confusing. And it certainly was very frustrating for me.

All they ever say is “sorry/it’s normal/give us time/it doesn’t mean anything/it’s just a slip” but what they’re not getting is that everytime they slip in front of strangers, they are OUTING me or at least confusing the person I’m interacting with so that, suddenly, a run-of-the-mill interaction becomes question-laden for the new person and embarrassing for me. What am I supposed to say? Oh, people think I’m a girl? Oh, people confuse me for my twin sister? Oh, I used to be female and I’ve transitioned to male but people around me can’t adjust? How am I supposed to have a normal interaction after someone “she”s the guy they see in front of them or calls him by a girl name?

Back when I first contemplated transition, I thought that I would have to leave and start somewhere new. Not because I want to go stealth but just because I want to be taken at face value. Then I thought, no, it’ll be OK, they’ll get used to it and be able to adjust. But it’s not happening with the people around me who are unable to see me the way strangers see me. It seems many of them are unable to let go of the woman they thought they knew. I know they don’t mean harm but it’s a reflection of what they’re seeing when they see me: not a guy but a woman tring to look and sound like a guy. And I can’t help feeling hurt, embarrassed and frustrated by it.

I almost took a semester off for next term but now it’s too late. The deadline to apply has passed and I’m going to be stuck there for a whole semester probably being outed in front of students constantly . I think I’ll have to just walk around ad not look at anyone, not have any conversations with anyone but new students so that I don’t get the “she” and the girl name. Then I’ll be gone for a year in the sub-arctic and maybe when I come back I’ll be “man enough” or they’ll have forgotten the woman and just see me as a new person. I hope so because I can’t handle the idea of 30 more years of “she” until I retire.