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 year + on testo

5 07 2009

I’ve been a very bad blogger. I know I could post more frequently and write shorter posts but I always wind up with a lot to say and I hesitate to start posts when I don’t have a lot of time to spare because I know I will wind up taking more time than I had intended.

So my one year testosterone anniversary on May 26th came and went with no commentary from me. The Saturday before, I had a multi-purpose party to celebrate my anniversary, the end of term, two friends’ birthdays etc. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful.

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The Stress of Stealth?

5 07 2009

It’s never been a part of my plan to go stealth although I’ve wondered what it must be like. I’m pretty open and, since I want to keep my job (tenure and security for life if I want it!), there is no way that I could have transitioned and be stealth anyway.

However, there are certain quarters in which I’ve tried to be discrete. I haven’t really been that open with my students, for example. Because of the perfect timing of me getting PhD funding and being able to take first, a part-time leave, and now a full-time leave, most of the physical changes necessary for me to be consistently read as male were done before going back to teach. And now I won’t be teaching for 2 years while I work on my doctorate. So there hasn’t been any need for me to deal with students so much.

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Mother’s Day for Trans Moms

10 05 2009

UPDATED (last paragraph)

I just wanted to spend a special “Happy Mother’s Day” out to all trans moms. Whether you’re FTM, MTF or gender transgressing in some way, it’s possible that people around you don’t recognise you on mother’s day, even if you ARE a mom through having given birth or through adoption.

It came as a sudden shock to me last year when my son and I went out for lunch on Mother’s Day and the person giving out roses walked right by our table. Not that I really like flowers and not that I appreciate the association of flowers with women, as if all women liked flowers. But it felt weird to have my motherhood go unnoticed. And I know some people, including my own mom, are unsure about my current status as a mom. But as I’ve written here, here and here I’ll always be my son’s mom. Always.

My mom wrote to me this morning to wish me a happy mother’s day because she said, I was once a mother. Once a mother. Sigh.

I’m sure other transguys who are moms encounter similar things. IN some cases, they might be fine with that because I know some transguys, unlike me, actually prefer not to keep IDing as moms. On the other hand, some MTFs want to identify as moms and probably aren’t recognised as such by some people around them.

So, anyway, any of you trans folk who are moms and who aren’t always recognised as such for whatever reason, this one’s for you!

UPDATE: So, 5 minutes after I wrote this, 3 friends wished me a happy mother’s day. And my son gave me a card he made in school. So I guess my posts refer more to strangers than anything else 😉 But, still, I know it’s the case for many trans moms so my wish still stands!

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.



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.

Men’s Washrooms

24 03 2009

As soon as I started to be consistently read as male and started to see that my presense in the women’s room made women seem uncomfortable, I ventured into the men’s washrooms. I haven’t found it particularly stressful. I don’t worry too much about whether other guys can see that I’m sitting to pee by the way my feet are pointing. I figure that even if they did notice, what guy in his right mind would call me on it?

It’s only stressful in two ways. One is when I’m with my son. He knows that he’s supposed to call me Jacky instead of Mommy in the men’s room. I’ve explained to him that some people might get mad if they heard him call me Mommy because it would make them think I’m a girl. But sometimes he slips.

The other stressful thing is when all the stalls are taken. Since I have to sit to pee, urinals are not an option. Men’s washroom etiquette seems to dictate that you don’t wait for a stall. The one time I stood and waited I got tons of weird looks. So I leave and come back. But when you really really have to pee that can be pretty stressful.

I haven’t practiced peeing with my Stand To Pee device very much. I should because I’m starting to see the practical applications  of learning to pee standing up. It’s not that I attach that much value to it as such but being dependent on there being a free stall when there are sometimes only one or two compared to four or five in women’s rooms (as was the case in this particular mall) can be quite the stress. Not to mention that when men use the stalls they take forever. What, do they carry newspapers with them  everywhere?? 😀

That Testosterone Thing

18 03 2009

While I’m not completely against the idea that our biology (genes and hormones, for instance) have some impact on our emotions and reactions, I’m certainly not a biological determinist. Like most social scientists, I think that our emotions and behaviour are influenced by a multitude of factors and that this happens in such an intricate and interwoven way that  it’s impossible to isolate one single cause for anything.So when I started reading about the impacts of testosterone, I kept an open mind but I refused to swallow everything that I was reading about it whole.

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There’s nothing special about being a guy

11 03 2009

Back when I first start alluded to the fact that I was seriously thinking of sexual transition to a colleaugue/friend of mine, his reaction was: “What’s so great about being a guy?” We’ve talked a lot in the meantime and he gets it now, but I know there are people who assume that people who transition do it because they think there is something “better” about being of a particular sex.

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Reconciling motherhood and being a guy – the epic goes on

7 03 2009

Here and here I wrote about the mental gymnastics involved in reconciling motherhood and being a guy. Now that I’m at the point where I’m very rarely read as female, it’s becoming even more interesting.  Last summer, at a glance, people would read me as male much of the time but could still easily see me as female. If they heard my son call me “Mommy”, then it just confirmed my femaleness for them if they weren’t sure. Now, though, people are honestly confused and get a deer in the headlights look on their face when I’m with him and they hear him call me Mommy. It’s actually pretty amusing. Even the people we already know are subject to mind fucks when he refers to me as “mommy” and “he” in the same sentence. Or when I do something nice and, in that way that kids mimic adults, he says: “Good boy, Mommy!”

One fun anecdote was when I took my son to see a doctor recently for a minor problem he was having. Being the friendly little boy that he is, went up to the doctor and introduced himself. Then he said: “And this is my Mommy.”  The Dr. gave me a quick look, then took my son to the examination table to give him a check up. When they came back to the desk, the Dr. peered at my over his glasses and asked me what my name was. I told him Jacky, which, of course, didn’t answer his mental question about my gender. “Why does he call you Mommy?” he asked. “Because I’m his mother,” I offered, with a sly smile. “Are you female?” he asked bluntly. I replied that I used to be female, not wanting to go into long drawn out explanations. A light bulb went off and he excitedly told me about an acquaintance of his that was going the other way and yadda yadda.

I left amused and confident that my son and I will have many more years ahead of us of amusing anecdotes. But it also left me with the usual thought that, when I’m with my son, it will never be possible to blend in. It’s ok. I’m not resentful. His well-being is more important to me than anything and part of that well-being is the reassurance that I’m the same person for him that I always was – Mommy. I’m willing to pay the price of other people’s confusion to preserve that.

It’s really not that big of a deal anymore . . .oh, and breasts.

2 02 2009

Business and needing downtime away from my PC on most evenings aren’t the only reason for my lower blogging frequency these days. Transition just isn’t that big of a deal anymore it seems. Not that I don’t think about it at all anymore but it’s not the central concern of my life. Other things have taken over my centre of preoccupation, such as my autistic son’s progress and completing my PhD. Most of the time, I feel so UNgendered. I rarely think about being a guy, which is in stark contract to how I thought about gender constantly in the days when I tried to be a “real” female. Sometimes I realise that I’m doing things that aren’t seen as very manly and I don’t care. I have no issue with being a different kind of guy. It’s not my goal at all to be “like other guys”. In fact, if there was a box that said: “other” I would gladly mark it off because ultimately, I’m genderqueer. I just happen to prefer a male-like packaging for my own sense of self.

All that being said, my breasts are getting on my nerves. For a while, I couldn’t handle the thought of getting rid of them as I used them to nurse my son, something that I see as a concrete manifestation of the spiritual bond that I established with him early on. Then there is the sexual pleasure that they’re brought me. But now the binding is become so annoying that the discomfort outweighs any benefit of keeping them. Sure, I get to shock people with my genderqueer strip teases. But that novelty will soon wear off. I just hope that I can lose 30-40 pounds and raise $6000 in time to get them taken care of when that novelty HAS worn off.