Saturday, April 6, 2019

Beyond Gender Podcast Interview: Stealth


I was excited to do an interview on Beyond Gender, a podcast I've listened to for a while now.

I got to tell some of my story and talk about what 'stealth' has meant to me, etc.

Check it out: http://www.beyondgenderpod.com/ep-093-stealth/

Friday, February 1, 2019

Poem: Distant


This is something I wrote when I moved away into a new condo I bought for myself. My husband and I had already separated at that point but the fact that the condo was farther from him and closer to work was going to mean I wouldn't see him as often.




Distant



These walls are now bare
Most everything’s packed
The day’s finally come
It’s all now so real
I’m moving away
farther.

Things quickly have changed
In an up and down way
Emotions, commitments, 
My heart feels like it’s been 
Put through 
the ringer.

And yet here we are
Somehow on good terms
As we both make plans
For our new future lives
apart.

When I came to this place
I was heart-set with hope
We could still make things work
We just couldn’t live together
anymore.

How much can change
In just 7 months
Neither of us are ready
To forever part ways
But this will make things more
difficult.

It was a space of my own
After years of sharing
A place to explore myself
As well as grieve
on my own, in my own
Solitude.

Not meant to be permanent
But I didn’t think
I’d move again so quickly
It’s almost more significant
Than moving out of your 
house.

We’ll still see each other
You’ll help me with my condo
As I help you sell things
And encourage your move to Hawaii
But now things will definitely be more
distant.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody


Note: SPOILERS for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody follow. I jotted this down in November but spruced it up to post today.


There are many themes in the movie that portray Freddy Mercury’s life and dreams. Many which ring true to my soul. 

Like many of us, he wants to make something of his life and he knows he has talent and he goes for it. I realize there was only so many minutes available in the film to portray him but it felt like they rushed him into singing without really portraying him as a person first. It almost feels like he sets his family aside for his career from the start, changing his name completely, apart from them and as a watcher, I kind of want to know more about where that’s coming from, inside of him. What did he experience growing up that made him feel like he needed to escape from the family name? Of course I also relate to this since my parents disowned me when I came out as transgender. I re-married several years later and gladly took my husband’s name, no longer proud of the family name. And I’ve become something special in my own right with my own talents too.

Anyway, his family, especially his father, is almost ashamed him for what he’s becoming as he gets more and more popular. Freddy seems to look past that and sees into the future of who he will be and what he will accomplish. He finds his own true family within the band, Queen. And in truth, though he was a major piece of the spirit of Queen, and the lead singer, he even admits that the band is his family and it’s a great thing to watch as all members of the band bring their songs and lyrics to the table, contributing in different fashions. Over the years since I transitioned, I’ve been forced to make my own family as well. I’ve met many friends along the way, some of which I have been close enough to call sister and even mother. Family really is who you make it sometimes rather than the blood relation we were raised to believe was thicker than water. It’s also interesting to me that my family issues are not the only ones….that many people out there are estranged from their blood families in some fashion and it’s often not LGBT acceptance related.

Ok back to Freddy. He's obviously in love with a girl from the beginning of the show, before he’s even fully committed to the band. As the years go by, he discovers himself to be gay and he realizes that he can’t keep holding onto her. He tries to let go, giving her a place to live very close to him but the kind of relationship one can have that is not intimate is still so limited and leaves a hole for someone else to come and fill it. He's aghast when she finds a new boyfriend who can love her like he can’t. Similarly, I had to let thy wife go as well, not because I was gay but rather because she wasn’t (haha). But gosh darnit if I don’t know the feeling of trying to keep someone you love close to you even when you know it’s better to let them "fly away" to live their best life. I’m actually struggling with that even now as my husband is moving away and I am trying to figure out where I want my life to go even if it is not quite as entangled with his as it has been for the past 7 years.

In the final moments of the movie, Freddy gets back together with Queen and they perform for the Live-Aid event that is destined to raise a record amount of donated money to stop hunger in Africa. These moments of the film portray what it’s really like to be loved on stage, to perform with your heart and soul and feel the energy of the crowd. I remember getting a similar feeling when playing bass guitar in the worship band at church and have also experienced it runway modeling and on stage for competitions. There is no other feeling like performing your passion and being loved for that performance.

In all of that, Freddy finally wins the respect of his father after all of these years by performing on a stage for a good cause. Something his father always preached about. It’s quite wondrous to see the two unite in a hug as his fathers eyes fill with tears of pride for his son after all of the years when they were merely filled with disappointment. Alas, not every story has a happy ending….especially in real life. I’ve had to come to terms with my hope…..a hope that my parents could maybe one day be proud of me….be proud of who I am today and what I’ve accomplished. I’ve had to let that hope die so that the constant disappointment doesn’t keep bringing me down.

But you know what? “The Show Must Go On” and as “Another one bites the dust” I just ask you all two things: “Let me Live” and “Don’t stop me now”

You see what I did there, right? 😉 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Rhinoplasty Revision

So I'd been planning this for a while but I had a rhinoplasty revision with my doctor this month.

A year ago, I had my 1 year post-op appointment and I wasn't sure if I really needed or wanted a revision. It's true the nose wasn't shaped quite as I'd wanted it to be and the doctor agreed that there was a slight bump before the tip....which ends up keeping it from having that pleasing ski slope look. Even still, I wasn't sure I wanted to go through an excessive surgery again just for a small bump when FFS in general had a huge impact on my confidence.

I think I was convinced by two things. One, the doctor was wlling to do the revision for free (which means he waives his fees but I still would pay hospital and anesthesia fees) and two, he claimed the recovery would be much easier. So we scheduled it for this month and I scheduled the proper time off and found myself in San Francisco again in December.

The surgery went well. He said he took out mostly scar tissue (but a little bit more cartilage as well) and that has led us to believe that he should have had me taping my nose for the recovery of the last surgery 2 years ago. So this time, I'm taping my nose for a month and I may even keep taping it at night for another month after that.

I'm almost at 2 weeks post-op now and feeling pretty good about the results. Between FFS, hair transplants, and this over the last 3 years, I'm feeling like it'd be nice to not have any more surgeries for a while (if ever?) haha.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dating while trans: Not my narrative

So lately I’ve been dating again. My husband and I are splitting up. We are still seeing each other for now but I’m also seeing other people. It’s a weird situation but ironically it’s working well for us currently. 

But anyway, back to the dating part. For seven years I’ve taken for granted the fact that I no longer had to worry about people rejecting me for being trans. My husband has always been supportive and it’s never even been much of a subject we even talk about. I’m over it, I’m done. I moved on. 

But apparently once again I’ve been caught…..dating while trans. 

People that hang out with me nowadays have easily realized that there’s much more to my life than the fact that I transitioned from man to woman. I just don’t talk about it anymore and why should I? I have all the necessary parts for sexual copulation as a woman, I interact as a woman, I really am no different than other woman except that I can’t get pregnant. 

And yet I still run across guys that either take issue with my past or take issue with the fact that I don’t bring it up. The latter is almost even more frustrating than the obvious reactions reflected in the former. The fact that my body didn’t completely match up with my identity for a part of my life has no bearing on the present. I shouldn’t need to bring this up with every single person I meet, especially on a first date. It’s nobody else’s business but my own. 

One date stopped talking to me after the first date and we’d had a really good time together. I finally straight up asked him what was up and he told me he was upset I never brought up my trans status during our date;  that he’d dated other trans women and they had always brought it up. He said that because I hadn’t, I was being dishonest. I told him I didn’t see why that was important. If you like me as a person, find me attractive, and you can have sex with me, what the heck does it matter where I came from? It’s a literal piece of my medical history and it’s private. 

I am however very upfront with the fact that I don’t want kids therefore excusing the need to bring up the fact that I’m infertile. I’ve definitely never led a guy on in thinking I would have his baby. 

We don’t all immediately list out the surgeries or illnesses we’ve had when we meet someone so why does being trans have to be any different? I’ve been over it a million times that I don’t want to be a spectacle and I definitely don’t want to be ‘special’. I’ve tried my best to live a ‘normal’ life as a woman, taking on new hobbies and experiencing new things in this short life we have here on earth. Whether people are supportive or hateful, I’d just rather they skip over the my ‘trans status’ and look closer to who I am as a person instead. 

Don’t get me wrong, many trans individuals are happily out and proud and/or feel the need to tell people about their trans status. Some don’t even feel fully male or female and that’s their narrative and that’s completely valid but it’s not my narrative. 

I’m female. I’m a woman. That’s it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The truth about my parents (a Star Wars revelation)

“Do you know the truth about your parents? Or have you always known? You’ve just hidden it away. … Say it.” 
“They were nobody,” she says, fighting back tears. 
“They were filthy junk traders,” he says. “Sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You’re nothing....”
So I finally saw the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. It was entertaining, had action and plot, and relatable characters. But of course, I was struck by the above fore-mentioned lines when Kylo Ren and Rey are talking about her parents. (spoiler alert)
There's a lot to unpack there, relatable sentiments and inversely relatable ones too. Rey was unfortunate to be born to parents who didn't want her and didn't deserve her. As Kylo states, they sold her off like she was only as good as the price she could get. 
My parents didn't sell me off, especially not as a kid. I had a pretty good life growing up but it has come to my attention that maybe they did not really want kids and maybe in truth, they never should have had them. What kind of parents reject their child and dismisses them, never wanting to see them again, especially after 28 years of life together? 
It's been 8 years now since I transitioned and I have to admit, I'm completely flabbergasted that these people I call my parents refuse to change; refuse to adapt with the world.....even for.....especially for their own child. 
Oh I've been in contact with my dad. If you've read previous posts, you know how well that has gone. Recently I also reached out to my sister and offered her the same scenario as my dad and mother, she can gladly keep in touch with me if she simply uses my name and female pronouns. Her response was about praying so she didn't respond in anger and then I never heard another word. Shortly after that, my father decided to stop calling me by the nickname he had compromised with too.....after he re-stated that I was still male to him and always would be. Yes, you've made your point, Dad. He's still blind to the world, blind to life, blind to happiness and unfortunately it has had an effect on his own health and happiness too. 
In 8 years, my parents have missed out on me finding myself, living my new life, adapting and learning how to be me and navigate this world as I've created a new reality around myself that better fit me, including my body, voice, career, friends, hobbies, romance, relationships. Through all of that, I've found happiness and contentment and even had the pleasure of being adopted into several families too. You could almost see me as Rey, using the force, transforming my life around me.
Unfortunately, my parents will never even wish to see the life I've carved out for myself. They wouldn't dare even take a peek at who I am now. Some would blame religion but in fact, they use religion as a crutch. The truth is, if their church had told them to 'buck up' and accept me, they would have tried. But because their church supports their complacency, they will never change; never adapt. Why? They just don't want to. They don't care enough about their child to understand what she wants or to even try to respect her with simple human decency. They'll never see how happy I have been these past 8 years and going forward.
And because of that, they've become nobody. And you know what? I've made something of my life and become somebody....somebody I'm proud to be. A friend told me recently that they loved how I was 'unapologetically myself'. It really struck a chord with me. They are right. I am. Some might call it entitlement and I definitely have had my share of privilege in this world, but I have also still had to fight for who I am and where I am today. And even though it's true, I worry about being 'outed' sometimes, that doesn't stop me from being me. I wear what I want, I act how I feel, and I live the way I think I should. 
Rey and me, we go way back, let me tell ya. We could even be sisters....and we left our parents in the dust in the Jakku desert. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

FFS: 1 year Post-op


Well I finally had my 1 year post-op appointment for FFS (Forehead reconstruction & rhinoplasty). I'm pretty happy with things but both the doctor and I agree that the tip of the nose could use some tweaking.

He said he'd do that for free and that it'd be a much simpler operation with no cast, just tape on the nose for ~ 2 weeks + at night after that for a bit. I'll of course have to pay for hospital and anesthesia but no surgeon fees. I'm definitely considering it , with all of that taken into account. Maybe next Winter.

The forehead itself, the only annoying thing was the scar and he said I did the right thing by getting hair transplants to cover it. He did show me a few other results (again) showing that the scar showing like that was not a common thing. So I guess I just got unlucky there.

Overall I'm pretty happy and feel like this has been a very good choice for me and my well being and self confidence.

I did also catch a look at some of these other results and noticed a trend of the wider nose bridge like I have now too. He said he wouldn't do it any differently because essentially it would mean not taking as much bone from the bridge of the nose and well you want that all to line up right so yeah.

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