Monday, August 30, 2010

Clothing Changes

Over the past couple weeks, I've noticed some changes in myself. Changes relating to how I dress. Mind you, I have been way past the stage of wearing dresses and skirts all of the time for a while now, in fact I've been wearing jeans or shorts or capris at least 2 times a week. But recently, that 2 times a week has become how often I wear a dress or skirt instead.

I think it really started with shoes. I saw the most adorable clogs on Payless' website so I ran out and bought them and have been wearing jeans pretty often since. It's kind of a double whammy, really. Clogs instead of heels, pants instead of skirts. I stopped wearing heels as much when the summer weather allowed for more shorts and capris and I started to feel like heels, even strappy sandals, were a little overdressed for capris or shorts. So I turned to flipflops, mind you, high wedged flipflops, but nevertheless flipflops.

It's interesting to me because when I first came out, dresses, skirts, and heels were such a huge part of everything because they helped me feel more feminine and yet now, I am comfortable enough with myself and feel feminine enough without them. I guess I feel like I can still be a woman without all the extra feminine clothing.

The other day, I was wearing jeans and a top and I went to get the mail and as I was walking back to my apartment, I saw a random guy walking to the mailbox from the other building and thought to myself, From far away, does he see that I'm a woman even though I have jeans on?" and I wondered without any real answer. Somehow this led to the fact that my curves aren't exactly as curvy as I'd like them to be and how much more accentuated they can be with skirts or dresses or how much more sexier I felt in those instances.

So I guess on one hand, it's good that I'm feeling comfortable and feminine enough to wear clothes and shoes that don't necessarily accentuate my body as much as other articles of clothing could. But I still feel at times, so very lacking physically. I can only hope that as my body becomes more and more like it should be, that dysphoric feeling will become less and less.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts on De-transition and Suicide

Recently, I was reading a very detailed story about the life of Christine Daniels here and I was surprised to read that she had taken the same suicide method I had tried almost a year ago.

I believe there is no lack of correlation between Christine's de-transition back to 'Mike Penner' and her suicide. I can relate to a lot of what she went through (as can many who go through transition). She received a lot of support, especially at first but where there is support, there will always be criticism too.

The article talks about many cases where Christine was referred to as 'a man in a dress', something all of us fear to be recognized as. Her divorce was also talked about and how painful that was for her. She also was apparently set to have a photo shoot for Vanity Fair but from what the article says, it seems it might be plausible that the photographer was intent on portraying Christine as the dreaded "man in a dress". She realized this during the shoot and had to really fight to make sure Vanity Fair didn't publish it. On another note, apparently Christine kept a blog and she talked a lot about makeup and hair and clothes. The article talks about how she was severely criticized for this because other trans women thought she should be talking more about how it felt so much better to be real.

I'm not sure why I am choosing to write about Christine. I think it's because I have had similar experiences. I have missed my wife and my family, I've been referred to as a 'man in a dress' by many and many more think it and will continue to think that even after I've had surgery. I've also been criticized by people from within the trans community for the speed of my transition. I realize I'm not a celebrity and that if I was, I would probably get much more hate mail.

One thing I have come to realize because of this is that we really need concentrate less on criticizing others and more on supporting them. It's a good rule to live by in general but in the trans community, I think it's even more important. Anyway, I won't get on a soapbox here, I just wanted to mention that shortly.

One thing I will say about Christine: I think it's very clear that she didn't commit suicide or even de-transition because being Christine wasn't the right thing to do which many people might write it off as, if they haven't read the story closely at all. Instead, various circumstances that many of us go through, such as divorce, criticism, and general non-acceptance were the cause.

Recently, a transgender friend of mine that I knew online, posted a video crying saying she was going to de-transition. This was within weeks of her surgery too. None of us know why, it's really a huge shock to all of us. I cried when I watched the video because she was in so much pain.

I can directly relate to that pain as I have had fleeting thoughts of de-transitioning just to feel my family's love again, no other reason. Of course thoughts like that, of being a boy again, are much too painful to even try to entertain, as they tended to point me to back to suicide again. It's helped continue to push me along my path because I really do know who I am now and any other option is death.

To conclude, I just wanted to say two things:
#1 - Christine, I will always remember you as the beautiful woman that tried to be herself.
#2 - Sara, I hope you are not headed down a similar route but I will support any decision you make, including de-transition. Feel free to contact me always!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do chromosomes define us?

I recently read an article called I'm a woman with male chromosomes and I learned about an issue I had only vaguely heard of before: Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). The article tells the story of a young woman who was born with female parts on the outside but on the inside, had somewhat male parts. Apparently she was born with XY chromosomes but her body in the womb developed everything on the outside as female so she had a vagina like any other woman but there was no uterus and no ovaries.

She talks about the stress of living with this condition...how girly she was and yet she was constantly ridiculed as "being a boy" because she had XY chromosomes. Reading her story, I found I could completely relate. I mean, I don't have AIS, I wasn't born with a vagina but even with my male parts intact, something did happen in my brain or somewhere else in my body in the womb such that I now know I am a girl.

The article also took me back to my parents and my ex-wife telling me that no matter what I did to my body, my chromosomes would always be XY so I would always be a "man". Well tell me please....is this woman a man? I don't think anyone in their right mind would say so and though my condition is not quite the same, it's very similar.

Also, I read somewhere recently about the Nikki Araguz case that in some previous cases in Texas, they considered gender to be a combination of what your birth certificate and what other documents say as well as your chromosomes. I was kind of taken aback because in most cases, once you change your birth certificate to female, there's no way someone can say you're male. So here is a case where if they really considered chromosomes to define gender, they'd have to be crazy.

I like this article because it brings up an issue that is more closely understood by others than the usual Transgenderism issues and yet it's very closely related. I've often wondered about getting a kareotype test to find out if I'm one of the rare cases of XXY but the truth is that no matter if my chromosomes are XXY or XY, I know I am a woman.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Blog Layout and Name

Hi everyone!

You might have already noticed, my blog has taken on a new layout and also a new name. It was about time for both. In the time that I've posted to this blog, I've changed the name a few times. I remember it starting out as "Gender Confusion", moving through a couple other names as I progressed, and finally leading into "The Girl Inside", where it has stayed for the longest time.

But now I'm at a point in my transition and life that "The Girl Inside" no longer really describes it well because "The Girl" is no longer inside only. =) I am able to be me in every aspect now. Mind you, there's still a few surgeries on the list but you get the idea.

I can't take full credit for the new name. A recent acquaintance used it in passing and I thought it was really cute. But it also fits the blog better, I think.

Essentially, my blog is about my interaction with the world around me and I think this made-up word describes that well. =)

So, let me know what you think of the new layout and the new name!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Not wanting to wake up

This morning I woke up in my bed but I was in a different house, my parent's house. My dad came in and sat on the bed and started talking to me like old times. He started talking about something and referring to me in the third person and he actually used the pronoun "HER" and I was a little taken aback. I got up and was fiddling around with my dresser drawers or something when mom walked in and said that breakfast was ready.

Wow it felt like old times and yet my parents were allowing me to be around them and my dad was using female pronouns....what was going on?

Oh yeah. Then I woke up. =(

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Non-Trans Privilege Checklist

Taken from http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2006/09/22/the-non-trans-privilege-checklist/

1) Strangers don’t assume they can ask me what my genitals look like and how I have sex.

2) My validity as a man/woman/human is not based upon how much surgery I’ve had or how well I “pass” as a non-Trans person.

3) When initiating sex with someone, I do not have to worry that they won’t be able to deal with my parts or that having sex with me will cause my partner to question his or her own sexual orientation.

4) I am not excluded from events which are either explicitely or de facto* men-born-men or women-born-women only. (*basically anything involving nudity)

5) My politics are not questioned based on the choices I make with regard to my body.

6) I don’t have to hear “so have you had THE surgery?” or “oh, so you’re REALLY a [incorrect sex or gender]?” each time I come out to someone.

7) I am not expected to constantly defend my medical decisions.

8) Strangers do not ask me what my “real name” [birth name] is and then assume that they have a right to call me by that name.

9) People do not disrespect me by using incorrect pronouns even after they’ve been corrected.

10) I do not have to worry that someone wants to be my friend or have sex with me in order to prove his or her “hipness” or good politics.

11) I do not have to worry about whether I will be able to find a bathroom to use or whether I will be safe changing in a locker room.

12) When engaging in political action, I do not have to worry about the *gendered* repercussions of being arrested. (i.e. what will happen to me if the cops find out that my genitals do not match my gendered appearance? Will I end up in a cell with people of my own gender?)

13) I do not have to defend my right to be a part of “Queer” and gays and lesbians will not try to exclude me from OUR movement in order to gain political legitimacy for themselves.

14) My experience of gender (or gendered spaces) is not viewed as “baggage” by others of the gender in which I live.

15) I do not have to choose between either invisibility (“passing”) or being consistently “othered” and/or tokenized based on my gender.

16) I am not told that my sexual orientation and gender identity are mutually exclusive.

17) When I go to the gym or a public pool, I can use the showers.

18) If I end up in the emergency room, I do not have to worry that my gender will keep me from receiving appropriate treatment nor will all of my medical issues be seen as a product of my gender. (“Your nose is running and your throat hurts? Must be due to the hormones!”)

19) My health insurance provider (or public health system) does not specifically exclude me from receiving benefits or treatments available to others because of my gender.

20) When I express my internal identities in my daily life, I am not considered “mentally ill” by the medical establishment.

21) I am not required to undergo extensive psychological evaluation in order to receive basic medical care.

22) The medical establishment does not serve as a “gatekeeper” which disallows self-determination of what happens to my body.

23) People do not use me as a scapegoat for their own unresolved gender issues.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Strangers

Who are you people?
And what have you done
with the loved ones I knew?
Like phantoms of the night
and demons of the south
you came in and stole away
my family.
You're left in their place
empty husks of darkness
doing the will of evil
though thinking you walk
in the light.
The worst kinds of iniquities
are done by those who believe
they achieve them
in the name of good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Secret

I have a secret.
I hold it inside myself.
Some people know
others find out
most I have told
my secret.
Some days I wear it
on my sleeve
other times I hold it
close to me.
Some friends will know
and never care
while others gawk
and suddenly see me
differently.
They cut off friendships
and sever all ties
they claim to understand
yet they don't have
the feelings that go with
this secret.
So I choose to live
carefree in my way
some may know
and others may not
some may care
and others may grow.
But to know who I am
you don't have to know
my secret.

Variable Associations

Lighthearted conversation
tugs at heartstring bells
interest broils up
in small little swells.
Sexuality comforts
seem safer than most
but will this one waver
from a past-tense ghost?
A woman so true
in every single way
yet once history's revealed
there's no more to say.
They see what's in front
when it all starts out
who I am is all here
without a doubt.
But the moment they hear
who I used to be
their views do a shift
and they don't see me.
And messages are sent
but are never replied
uneducated biases
turn away blind-eyed.
Some say it's a curse
or a blessing disguise
it is much more work
and with many more tries.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

At First Date

The world seemed so right
your warm body next to mine
you kissed my shoulder
I beamed.
You wrapped your arms around me
and tickled my side
accidentally
I jumped
and you smiled.
You ran your finger down my back
I shivered at your touch.
Your nickname for me
made me want to cry tears of joy
every time you said it.
You gazed into my eyes
and I was magnetically pulled
but you always looked away
before we could kiss.
How could so little mean so much
so fast?
And why has it never meant that much to me
before?
A piece of myself is missing now
a considerable chunk of my heart.
I gave it to you
and now it's all I can do
to keep from crying
as I remember the beautiful girl
that stole my heart
at first date.

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