Thursday, December 31, 2009


No, I'm not in a "relationship." But I'd like to talk about different kinds of them.

I've written before that I'm really lonely. I believe that's due to two different kinds of relationships that I am missing in my life. The first is somebody to do stuff with. I don't mean dating. I mean somebody who would call me and ask if I wanted to do something in particular with them. Or somebody who would come over for fun: "we'll think of something to do." I'm tired of doing everything alone. I told my sister that I wasn't going to bring my Wii into my bedroom to hook up to my new home theatre. She pointed out that I'd have nobody to play it with. That is quite true. It's a group thing. And I've had a friend over exactly once since I moved here at the end of July. I just realised that today and felt sad.

The second is somebody to talk to. I could talk to my ex about anything save the topic of this blog. I am however, pleased to know one person that "knows all my secrets" and whom I can talk to about anything. But this isn't somebody that I could just call to go out for coffee to chat or whatever.

I've lost my best friend and I'm not ok with it. There's just nothing there any more, relationship-wise. I don't say anything personal to my ex even if she asks. I'm not going to share with her.

Now you might say, "oh, just get some new friends." That is easier said than done. I made every effort during the last semester to do things with my colleagues. These things were all drinking related, but I had fun. But there isn't one whom I could call for no reason. There's also a gender-related component to it, naturally. I don't connect emotionally with guys. Sure, I'll go camping or hiking. But you can only talk about trucks for so long. So I'd rather get some female friends. But I'm aware of the connotations. I act as male during daily life, so if I call up a female and suggest doing something, that sends a message that I wouldn't want to send. This is why I don't do things with the aforementioned friend I can share anything with. It would be difficult to relay the message that I'm not interested romantically if I call a girl to do something.

On a romantic relationship note, I made a small decision. My next relationship (probably not for some time, of course) is going to be more equal. In my marriage, I didn't get to help make any decisions. Where we went for our honeymoon, vacations, which house we bought, these things were not my decision. We got a dog (and later a stray dog) that I explicitly said I did not want. Nobody would have ever said that I "wore the pants" in the relationship. I'm ok with that, but I think it would be better to be more egalitarian. I suppose I am a pushover. I'm concerned with making people happy.

all for now!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm so glad Christmas is over

I haven't liked (or looked forward to) Christmas for the past few years. I particularily hate the dinner. I've actually done two in one day before! I don't really like Christmas dinner type foods, which makes it easy to not over-indulge. I think it's silly to have exactly the same thing each year, cooked in exactly the same way, "just because." I had a customer who exclaimed, "but it's not Christmas without cocktail onions."

I also dislike the "act" of the Christmas dinner. Normally, I'm a patient person. But these seem to drag on. And the anticipation of starting it is really annoying. You just sit there and make small talk and be useless. (I did bring the tapioca I was requested to make) Then all the food's ready. But wait! Let's take a picture! Oh, nobody knows how to work the timer on the fancy SLR. Let's just sit around and let the food get cold. Then when you're done eating after fifteen minutes, (since I don't eat lots at these things) everybody still has a plenty of food on their plates and is having seconds.

Company and table talk is another thing I dislike. This year my parents invited my grandfather's second wife. (he died in August, so this is my step grandma.) They also, as usual, invite this "family friend" of theirs whom they've known for twenty years. This guy is really annoying. He's on welfare/disability and spends all his time doing research on the intarwebs. I got really upset when he asked, "Where's H____? She wasn't at the Thanksgiving dinner either." I said nothing, just held up my left hand in front of my face. I almost started crying. I really felt the need to leave and go home, or at least hide myself in the bathroom. It was only through careful breathing and trying to clear my mind that I was able to get through it. The rest of the conversation around the table revolved around who had other Xmas dinners where and with whom, as well as the slight variations in the food. "So and so used an oven bag for the turkey this year."

This dinner happened on Boxing Day. On Christmas Eve, my parents came over for hors d'oeuvres. That was tolerable, although my sister had "set the ambiance" by playing Xmas music. I had just listened to it for eight hours at work. I stayed up until about 3:30 watching Love Actually. I watch that movie every year at Christmas. It always makes me cry. This year I cried more than usual.

Christmas Day, I had waffles in the morning with my sister and brother-in-law. Then my parents called and suggest going for a drive. They like to do this. We went on a 350 km round trip, and were going almost four hours. I've previously wrote about how my family has never really "shared." This is still the case. Number of personal questions asked in four hours: zero. This is annoying. (I'm not about to suddenly start sharing with my parents un-asked.) You'd think they'd have stuff to ask me about. It bothers me that I have not gone to church in years and that they have never asked why. I'm aware of their beliefs. They should be concerned for my soul. (No such thing!) Other than occasionally suggesting that I do something with a youth group, they don't bring it up. The same goes for my gender identity. It just is not discussed. They have not asked or made reference since I told them. I would tell the truth if they asked. "Hey, C____ you know that stuff you told us about almost six months ago? How are you coping? What is going on with that?" That would seem like denial, except that's what my family's like, and that's how I grew up. I've been asked exactly once how I'm dealing with the separation. That was back in August, by my mom. We went out for Indian food and when I pulled up to drop her off after, she asked, very "shyly." After the drive I made some simple food and had Christmas day dinner by myself.

Boxing Day, I got up at 3:30 for Boxing Day shopping. I bought a TV and a Blu-ray player, and have bought the rest of a home theatre set-up over the last few days. Watching movies and TV on DVD is very enjoyable for me. I had a nap, then went the the "Christmas" dinner at my parents'.

Sorry for going on and on as usual. But I am glad it's all over.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Over the past few days, I've been feeling bitter toward my ex. Since I've been working lots (we work at the same store, remember?), I've had to see her occasionally. I've been thinking way too much about how I got fucked over. (figuratively, of course...) I'm upset with her for doing the fucking, and me for feeling guilty, bending over, and taking it.

To move away from the metaphor, basically I blamed myself for the marriage ending. But the reality was that she had this boyfriend lined up which made her start thinking about her future. Anyways, I should have held out for much more money.

Other than that, my mood in general is decent.

Not too much to say today...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm lonely

Like the title says, I'm lonely. I don't mean in a romantic sense. Logically, of course, being involved romantically would be unwise. Today my new teacher at my new school for my new practicum starting in January asked me if I had any "obligations" at "home", so I pretty much had to tell her "no, I'm separated." Oddly enough she didn't seem really comfortable speaking French with me. She said it's the first time she's had a "boy" student teacher. I did not say anything other than to point out that that is obvious; French teachers tend to be female. Hopefully she does not treat me differently because she thinks I'm male. (hey, I was wearing a really nice shirt in between pink/purple that I bought at H&M yesterday)

Anyway back to the loneliness thing. I wish I had friends that I could reliably call up to do something with. The weekend before last, I invited my best male friend (he happens to be single) to come over to play Guitar Hero. This was at six o'clock. He said he was too tired. WHAT THE FUCK! this guy is so flakey. Plus I would never try to talk to him about emotional stuff. Jesus, it was Friday night, what the fuck did he have to do the next day? I just went through my cellphone phonebook. Not including duplicates, I have 15 people listed. There is no one that I could call just to do something. This makes me sad; I just started to tear up. Either they live to far away or they are female. Obviously if you are reading a trans blog you are probably aware of gender issues, but a genetic male *can't* call up a female to ask to just hang out. I wish that weren't the case. On Tuesday, I saw New Moon alone again for a second time. There is nobody that I could ask to go with me. (I suppose my sister might've, but she's a youth leader. Yeah, all my family is religious except for me, the heathen. oh you think they know? I have no idea. They must know that I don't go to church but they don't bother asking me why not. Do you think my parents or younger sister have talked to me about my "trans"ness since I came out to them at the beginning of fucking JULY? of course fucking not. They don't know I've had three laser treatments at that I've been on hormones for six weeks or so. I'm not exactly going to share that shit out of the blue. "what did you do today?" "oh, I got my third laser hair removal treatment, I'm taking steps towards transitioning." Yeah fucking right. I'm sure they'd judge me, but it does bother me that they don't seem to care. I was fairly clear that my being trans was the main reason for my failed marriage. (well I didn't say any word starting in "T" I just said that "I have gender issues and described it a little") Goddamn. None of my family or "friends" even bothers to ask why I do not go to church. Aren't they supposed to be concerned for my "soul"? (yeah of course there is no such thing). If somebody would ask me a direct question I would not lie, such as if somebody asked me, "why have you stopped going to church?" Do you think anyone ever has? Nope. I guarantee that I'm on tonnes of prayer lists. But why doesn't anyone talk to me? No idea. I suppose they don't know what to say. So fucking what. I will be honest in response to most questions unless they are from my ex. She is sort of under the impression that I'm trans due to hormonal imbalance(I said I had been to an endocrinologist.) Well little does she know that my hormonal balance is improving due to my medication! Like I'm going to share shit with her! Fuck, it's horrible working with her there. (Today, at a mini-meeting type thing our company has she was sitting beside her new fucking boyfriend. Earlier this year we would have been sitting together. I'm glad that I will only be working there five days a week until January 4th. ) I wish I had friends. I wish I could call someone and say, "Hey, I'm watching Hackers, wanna come over?" But I don't have anyone like that. My school friends live far away. I tried inviting people over (I copied six people in an email) to my house because my sister and bro-in-law weren't going to be home that evening/morning. I think, my reader(s), that you can guess how many people came. I got five "sorry, can't come" and one non-response.) Over the past few months, I've been trying to go to as many parties with the "party" crew from school as possible. This is an attempt to quell my loneliness, which is partially successful.

Basically most of my loneliness is just wanting "friends." I would prefer female friends; I can only talk about trucks for so long... But the other 30% is physical contact. The spironolactone and hormones have removed my normal "libido." However, I still crave physical contact. That's another reason I have been going to these bars with my new friends. Drunk hugs from friends/girl I have a crush on are better than hugs from family on holidays/special occasions.

Fucking "sigh."

Yes I am fucking drunk.

Monday, December 14, 2009

third laser treatment

I had my third laser hair removal treatment today.

I don't think six weeks was enough to wait between treatments; I didn't have too much growth. Obviously there's no way to know for sure, but I scheduled my next one nine weeks from today.

My first two were with one technician, and this one was with another. The first tech was much more slower and methodical. She had me hold ice packs on my face before and after she did each section. She also frequently asked my pain level on a scale of 1-10. This second tech was more casual and friendly. She didn't offer any ice packs and she didn't ask about pain much, although she was impressed that I did not use EMLA. (I haven't tried it because I always take transit to downtown Vancouver; I hate driving there. I'd have to have the Saran wrap on my face for the entire trip.)

Pain was mostly a lot less than the last two times. I think most of it was that I didn't have to much growth. At this point, if I miss two or three days shaving, it isn't really noticeable. I'm not sure if this is due to the fact that I'm not the down side of a hair cycle, or if the laser hair treatment is particularily effective on me. I did show the technician a picture of me from two years ago when I had a beard, and she was impressed.
That was from about two years ago.(also, see how long my hair was then. If only it was that long now.) I was working nights, so I didn't need to be presentable. I'm guessing that's a couple months' worth of growth. Sorry, about pain. This time the part that hurt most was the upper lip, especially near the nose. The other times didn't hurt on the upper lip as much. This time left lots of those exploded little hairs under the surface of the skin, but only on the upper lip.

I'm really happy that the laser hair removal seems to be working well. My next treatment nine weeks from now is already paid for. If progress thus far is an indication of effectiveness, I'll probably only get one or two more treatments after the next one. Hopefully I will not have to do too much electrolysis; that's much more inconvenient. I also think it's a wise thing to do as much hair removal as possible before transitioning at work or school. Obviously electro would be tricky if I had to keep up appearances.

Speaking about keeping up appearances, I tried something after the last treatment. (not today's) I tried not shaving for a week to let my skin heal. I found that I had a lot less skin irritation and acne than I did after the first treatment, when I shaved after one day. Anyways, my professor who came to observe me when I was teaching gave me shit the next time I saw him. I had also not tucked in my shirt that day. (I was rather well dressed aside from that) And he gave me a lecture about shaving everyday and dressing better, saying that "oh yeah, khakis are cheap." Well I was dressed well, although it was true I had visible beard growth. This guy happens to be gay. (he has a husband) I am very glad I did not come out then and there. It would have been convenient to explain exactly why I hadn't shaven. But I'm glad I didn't; as I wrote in my last post, the LGB people aren't necessarily T friendly. This guy has power over me. He might have been cool with it, but who knows...?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

fortnightly check-in

Honestly, I don't mean to do this only every two weeks. But somehow it just works out like that.

I don't really follow LGBT blogs that closely. I hadn't even heard of this Bilerico project place until this recent drama hit. Some activist that I'd also never heard of apparently posted something controversial that was somewhat anti-trans. There are reactions about it all over the LGBT blogosphere. They even pulled that post.

Anyways, something happened last week that reminded me of all the above. At my university, we had a couple presenters in to talk to us about educating homephobia. At the beginning, they wrote "LGBTQ" on the board and asked if everybody knew what that meant. One of them identified as "homosexuelle." (That word is declined to the feminine) The other one didn't identify herself as "LGBTQ" but specified that she had a female partner.

A big gripe I had was that they only paid the "T" lip service. They barely mentioned anything "T" related at all, other than boasting that one of their posters mentioned transphobia as well as homophobia. They, of course, did indeed mention that gender identity =/ sexual orientation.

The second issue I had was that the workshop was based solely on ways to educate students about homophobia, using ways such as comparing homophobia to racism or sexism. I think they should have mentioned ways to make the LGTBQ students in our classrooms to feel safer and more included. For example, something I do in my classroom is never separate boys/girls, or choose groups that way. Obviously, I'm more sensitive than most teachers, but I think sensitivity on this matter is something all teachers need to develop. I know I dislike having to choose, so I'm sure it's just as difficult for a trans student, or a questioning student.
Another thing I believe in is avoiding heteronormativity. I remember this one game we played in Grade 6 French Immersion, « veux-tu m'épouser ? » or "will you marry me?" The goal was to make another student smile when you proposed. Obviously this was a very heteronormative game; I'm sure nobody would have dared to propose to someone of the same gender.

Hormones are still making me feel awesome. I haven't taken the anti-depressant (it was a weak one anyways) for two weeks. I just feel pretty happy in general, and the feeling of awesomeness is still there. I'm probably doing a horrible job of describing it, but it's a completely different thing for me.

Non-trans related: My practicum is over. I have another one starting in January. It was a pretty good experience for the most part. I think I learned a great deal about teaching. I know I improved a lot during the roughly four weeks. Now I have three weeks off from school, which means I have to work more and earn some money. I was a little upset today at work. Not only did I go on my break at the wrong time (my ex was in the lunchroom) but then her new boyfriend came in to the lunchroom and started talking to her. Finally her father was in shopping and said hi.

I've been turning into somewhat of a party animal. I swear I'm at a "party" party every week-end. Last weekend I went to one on a Saturday night even though I had to work the next day, which meant for a really rough drive to work. (I slept over there; I would never drink and drive) Then on Thursday I was in quite the hedonistic mood, I guess. Not only did I get drunk at the pub on campus at lunch(hey, it was a shortened day), but I went to a club in Surrey with the usual party crowd from my programme. Let's just say I have no idea how much I drank, but I spent the $100 I had brought... I also danced, which is apparently only something I've started doing in the last two weeks or so. At the end my friends cut me off. This kind of drinking is much different than I would do before. Before, I would often get drunk alone after work. (no matter what the time of day!) Now, I seem to "only" binge drink socially once or twice a week(end). I don't seem to have any interest in drinking at home, aside from maybe a beer with food.

oops, I blabbed on yet again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Canadian Blood services and misc.

Nearly 4 weeks ago I attempted to donate blood. I was unsuccessful.

The first problem was that the registering person(not the nurse) put down "Mr" in the computer without asking me. I asked her to remove it, but she was unable to, even after asking a supervisor. She promised that they wouldn't send me letters so I would never see or hear that word.

Next problem was seeing the screening nurse. She was only somewhat familiar with trans issues. For example, after I told her which drugs I was taking she asked me, "so you were born a..." Obviously no transperson born a woman would be taking estrogen... Even though I wasn't taking any drugs that would not allow me to donate(Proscar would be an example), she had to ask for medical approval (from a doctor who wasn't there). They were supposed to call two weeks later.

Well today, I got a letter addressed to "Mr. ____ ______." I do have approval now. But now my reason for donating(I was trying to donate to add to my school's tally) is disappeared. So I don't know if I'll bother. Donating means being outed every time.
TMI alert
Effects of hormones:
I'm not quite sure. I still feel pretty good, including self-esteem. I decided to stop taking the mild anti-depressant a few days to rule out its effect on my morale.
Spontaneous erections are a thing of the past.
Libido is not entirely gone. But somehow it is different. When I masturbate, (about once a week), it's mostly out of curiosity.(I can, erections aren't very hard, however) My "desire" is more for cuddling or non-sexual physical intimacy.

I'm still changing as a person. Friday night, I went to a birthday party for a girl from my programme. It was at a bar. I wouldn't have actually gone, but I was misled into thinking it was more of a pub. Anyway, instead of my plan of making an appearance and staying an hour, I moved my car to where it could stay overnight. I actually danced for the first time. Well, first time doing a non-structured dance. That kind of stuff has always terrified me. It's sort of artistic expression with no explicit rules. To me, it's like somebody tells you to sing, but you can't sing a song that you know, or even one that exists. Anyways, it wasn't too bad. I didn't get super drunk since I didn't start early enough. Anecdote: I nearly jizzed myself(that's a gender neutral term these days) when the birthday girl (who I have a huge crush on, incidently) leaned her head on my shoulder during a photo op. The birthday girl, another programme colleague, and I went to the birthday girl's house to crash. (at 3 am!) They laid down on her bed right away and I laid down between them. Then we talked about who had crushes on who and that kind of stuff. I sorta felt like "one of the girls." I love that feeling, although it doesn't usually last. In this case, I left the bed to sleep on the floor. (I was sober enough to realize that it would be creepy when one of them woke up with me next to them.)

Which brings me to the last thing I want to write about at this moment. For me, wanting to be female isn't "all about the clothes" , which is the impression you get from reading many trans blogs. (I'm not criticizing.) Rather, it's the social role(or perceived social role??) that appeals to me. For example, today in this class I'm taking, we did a kind of role play game. Five of us had a role to play. We each got a piece of paper with instructions on how we were supposed to act. The goal of the activity was to demonstrate cultural differences. Each of the five had different instructions, an example being to avoid making eye contact while or listening. The one I got was that I had to shake hands upon "meeting" somebody and then I had to touch the arm, elbow, or shoulder when talking. Somebody pointed out that it would be especially weird because guys aren't allowed to do that kind of stuff in our culture. (which is completely true, of course) That's just one tiny example of me being jealous of female role(s).

All for now, stay safe!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am fucking awesome.

Well, I've been on the hormones for two and a half weeks. I don't know which of these things are the cause of my newfound awesomeness: the hormones/spiro or the anti-depressants.(or both?)

Regardless, I've never felt this way in my life. At the one week mark I did not feel any different whatsoever. Now, hopefully I can describe how I'm feeling. It's difficult when you're emotionally stunted, I suppose. Basically, I just feel like I'm the most awesome person ever. It's probably a self-esteem thing. I would never have thought that I liked myself. Two weeks ago, I could have listed off several of my good qualities, but still felt that I "sucked." Now, I can think of some negative qualities, but they don't seem to be that important. Before, I would occasionally feel like I had to pretend to be happy, and now I actually am.

I really hope this lasts; I like it.

I have noticed the libido dwindle down to nothing. Before, I would attempt "preemptive masturbation" to try to (unsuccessfully) curb sexual thoughts, but now I don't need to. This is a desired effect, for now at least.

What else?
•I've been on a practicum in a high school. That's been going well; I really enjoy it.
•I am seriously thinking of moving for January. I would hopefully be able to get a practicum placement close to where I move, or vice-versa. I don't get quite enough privacy here. For example, I couldn't practice makeup in the bathroom.
•I am really happy to be working toward my future career. I don't come home from a day at school and feel the need to start drinking immediately like I did when I worked five days a week at the grocery store.
•One of my colleagues at university was surprised that I was separated, because I "seem so happy." Even before my recently discovered self-esteem, I didn't let it bother me. Of course I miss her for the most part, but for now at least, I am enjoying the single life. On Tuesday night a few of us from university went to the pub to watch the horrible Canucks game, then went to somebody's house to play Rock Band and drinking games. I couldn't do that kind of stuff while married. It was great to go out and not know where I was going to spend the night and when I'd be home. (I slept on somebody's couch)
•I watched 2012 on Saturday. I do like the disaster genre, but was surprised to find myself tearing up when characters died. I wonder if I can blame that one on the hormones/spiro. Usually I only cry in a drama, such as My Sister's Keeper.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I've been failing in my blog duties

Sorry for the long break. I could say that I've been busy, which is true, but I'm fairly lazy.

Last Tuesday I had my first full face laser treatment. I chose not to do anything for the pain during the procedure, aside for the ice numbing before each section is done. It hurts, there's no way around it. I think it's just one of those things that you suffer through, since the result is worth it. The technician said that I was very tolerant of the pain, but that my skin was sensitive. I stayed after my appointment to keep an ice pack on my face. Then I went to a drugstore to buy aloe vera gel. The pain after was very manageable, but the aloe did feel nice. There was some redness, but the swelling was confined to the under chin/jaw area. So it almost looked like I had a double chin. The tingling was gone the next day, but I've had lots of acne since. I haven't been shaving much, to let the zapped hairs get pushed out. That started to happen today.

Since I was a bit worried about pain, I did a little drinking before, but not enough to help. The real drinking started after I got out of the laser clinic. I had brought a mickey of vodka along. (a 375 mL bottle, or about 13 oz) I nearly finished that over the next five hours or so. This meant I was pretty drunk all evening, which may have been a poor choice. I met about half the people from my class at a theatre and we saw a play. Nobody mentioned my redness. I was pretty emotional before; for some reason I was crying while waiting for everybody to get there. I think I was very friendly to one of my colleagues, but I don't think it crossed the line into flirty. After, another colleague offered me the use of her couch, since it would have taken me an hour to get to my car and another hour to get home. (although obviously I wouldn't have driven drunk no matter what) This girl is a lesbian. I knew pretty much as soon as I met her. Since I had lowered inhibitions, I came out to her. She was supportive, but we haven't talked about it since. When I woke I was so disoriented. I basically didn't know where her apartment was beyond a general area. Somehow, my intuition was enough to lead me to a Skytrain station.

Yesterday I had my first appointment with the endocrinologist. I got a prescription for estrogen, (patch form) progesterone(he asked me if I had an opinion about this, I didn't) and a real dose of spironolactone. Since my last therapist appointment, I had decided that there was little point in starting on spiro with no E. I asked the endo how long before the physical changes will be harder to hide. Unfortunately that is not predictable. I'm not going to commit to a timeline, but transition in April, August, or December 2010 are the dates on the table. It depends on physical and behavioural changes, as well as scheduling. It would be unwise to transition in the middle of my long practicum next year. I realise that when I apply for my first teaching jobs in 2011 that all the references will be in my current name, which means that I'll be outed to the administrator who is hiring as well as the school district. I can live with that. What I don't think I could live with is being a substitute teacher who doesn't pass. Teenagers can be quite cruel. The endo also ordered a blood test, which I got first thing this morning. (if you don't know, you have to fast beforehand) That was the first time in my life that I'd had blood taken. It was really easy. I barely felt the needle go in, and watched three vials fill without getting squeamish. The endo had put "F" on the blood request form. That's the first time I've seen my name associated with the "F". It was a nice feeling. But the "F" meant that the nurse at the lab asked me why it was there. Without saying anything I pointed to the comments line that said "MTF transsexual." She apologized, and I said it was no problem. I will have to get used to that kind of thing happening. I think I have a thick skin. (Yeah, I know, it's easy to say that now...)

As an aside, my mood has generally been good. I am happy to be in a high school, on a short practicum. But going to school makes appointments and stuff hard. Yesterday I had to leave early to go to the endo. Tuesday I have another laser appointment. Two weeks seems way too short of an interval. Perhaps they are just trying to get money. I will make the next one four weeks away. I've already paid for the next three since there was a sale on.

All for now!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hair removal

Well, I am taking more steps on this journey!

I had a test patch for laser hair removal done on Tuesday. I also booked an appointment for next week. Some people reading this likely have certain questions that I may be able to answer.

Pain: Hell yes. It's often described as a rubber band being snapped on your skin. I'd describe it as a mix of that and being pricked by a pin, only a "sharper" pain. Now, pain is different to compare or explain, but I think I have a relatively high pain tolerance. In the first ten seconds after my leg lacerations I was more upset about the scars that will be red for at least a year or two than the pain. I watched closely as the ER doctor put the freezing needle in my skin parallel to my wounds. It didn't bother me at all. The laser pain was very "sharp", not the dull pain of pressing on a bruise. Each "zap" hurts for only a very short time. There was only one zap that made me breathe in. She did a patch sort of under my chin and another on the upper lip. Oddly enough, it hurt more under the chin than on the lip.

Redness: the reddish on my upper lip went away by the next day, but the patch under my chin is still red and rough-feeling five days later. I think it will be quite noticeable when I get my whole face done next week. (I am going to a play with my class two hours after my appointment!) There isn't much I can do about that. I suppose I will just have to be vague and not answer any questions about it.

I'm not sure what kind of reduction I should hope for.

Question: Is there anything I can do for the pain other than Emla cream? I will be on a bus for the hour or so before my appointment, so I don't want plastic wrap all over my face! Would a normal painkiller like ibuprofen do anything? Or how about a few shots of hard liquor? I know it won't be pleasant no matter what...


I think that it may have been a mistake to stay living where I am now. I don't have as much of a connection here. I hardly have any friends; none that I see once a week or two. I don't like living in my old room, in the house I grew up in. I don't like imposing on my sister and brother-in-law. Last week I spent two nights sleeping elsewhere, for the sake of convenience.

If an opportunity arises, I may move in December. Otherwise, I still would like to move in May 2010.


On Friday I did something "out of my comfort zone." I went to a party at one of my classmate's. Normally I don't like going to parties at which I don't know what will happen. What I mean by that is that I like to know who will be there and what events are planned. But I did go, and had lots of fun. We played Rock Band and later played a drinking game. I should make more of an effort to do things other than sit at home on the net or seeing movies alone.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting somewhere

Well, I am making some progress on this confusing path through transition.

I don't want to say that "no matter what, I'm going to go through this." I want to be cautious. I may come to think that transitioning is not for me. There is no point going through hell if I don't want to arrive at the destination.

Still, that's not how I feel. I don't feel like a guy; I like it when someone refers to me as something else. Today, a girl at school said something to someone else along the lines of "all the guys do ...." . But she specified, "except for you of course ____."

Monday was a horrible, horrible day. It was the worst day I've had since that phone call from the doctor's office which outed me. The specifics don't really matter, it's more about how these events made me feel. Point form:

1. I dented my car(not majorly) in a single car accident involving entering a parking lot.
2. I ran over a squirrel 45 minutes later. (I obviously didn't get the combination of swerving and slowing down right)
3. I lacerated my leg an hour after that. That required stitches. I was doing something without the proper protection; I knew better.

What didn't help was that I had to be somewhere that evening and overnight. I would have preferred to sulk and be alone. But our entire class was having a bonding "retreat", so I couldn't leave after my leg accident. Any one of those things alone wouldn't have bothered me a huge amount, but it was just an entire mess that got me down.

The leg cuts were indeed fairly deep. I was basically forced to go to the hospital. I kept telling everybody that it was fine, but one woman insisted on giving me first aid, saying that she liked me and she didn't want anything bad happening to me. But she was panicking, worrying that she didn't know what she was doing. So she asked around if anyone knew first aid. This other girl (that I have a crush on, incidentally) had a certificate because she works with kids, so she said she would help me. She was really calm and professional. Then I was forced off to the hospital. But I wasn't allowed to drive myself; two people took me. Basically, this was all humiliating, getting all the attention. People were bringing me water and dessert.

So during the car ride there, I was crying half the way. Luckily I was in the back, so my colleagues didn't see me. Then at the hospital emergency room, I was allowed inside the ER to wait for a room to be available, so I was alone. I cried some more. Then when we got back, everybody made a big fuss. I did enjoy the two hugs I got, (one from the first aid girl I have a crush one) since it's been a long time since I've gotten a hug from somebody that I wasn't related to. But I'd come back to a dance party; the campfire had been canceled due to rain. Now, I don't dance. I don't mind "learning" a dance. Once, at a friend's wedding, we were taught certain square dances. That was really fun. But I just can't do "creative" things. I suppose that that could be explained as "learned helplessness" meaning that I've decided that I can't be creative so I won't try. I got C's and C-'s in middle school art class. So basically I refuse to dance, since it isn't something that I can be taught. I wish that could change. Perhaps one day.

Anyways, yesterday I saw my GP. He'd gotten the letter from my psychologist. He gave me a prescription for a "mild" anti-depressant and a low dose of spironolactone. He is also referring me to a nearby endocrinologist who has trans-experience; I think he wanted the endo to deal with the hormone stuff. I was once again impressed that he treated me just like another patient with a more mundane problem.

So yay, I'm getting drugs. I will get a stronger dose of spiro, see how that makes me feel, then consider estrogen.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yet another misc. post


At lunch time yesterday, some of us students were discussing what is acceptable for a teacher to discuss with a student. An example given was a teenage girl asking advice from her teacher on how to seek an abortion. The conversation evolved into a discussion of the girls in the group remembering how they had the "period" talk in elementary school. I remember that day, in grade 6. All of the boys in the class were kicked out during class time and made to wait outside of the school. We were curious, but I supposed it wasn't deemed acceptable for mixed-groups to learn about the menstration cycle. One girl mentioned that her class got that talk as a mixed group.

Another girl mentioned that as teachers, we might "have transgender, gay, and lesbian, and what's the proper term for hermaphrodite." I blurted out that it was "intersex", and she went on to explain that some of those kids might not like to be singled out into one gender group. I was tempted to say "you should try being an adult like that" but I didn't. I was impressed that somebody could be so thoughtful. Perhaps I'm more used to the religious, close-minded kinds of people.

Speaking of religious people, I was over at my parents' place last night for supper. I mentioned that I had finished The Life of Pi. (my mom had lent it to me) I said that it was clearly a metaphor for something, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. My dad said that it was a metaphor for the "interchangeability of religions." I was astonished to hear him say that, especially since he didn't say it disapprovingly. Now, over ten years ago in high school I had occasionally stated that C.S. Lewis suggested in The Last Battle that it didn't matter what religion you followed. But he didn't necessarily react to that back then.

I have an appointment with my GP on Tuesday. He should have the letter sent from my therapist by then. I am hoping that he is willing to help me. If not, there is an endocrinologist one town over that deals with trans patients. I am eager to find out how the anti-depressant and spiro will affect me.

Nobody in my class has mentioned my smooth, moisturized legs. I wasn't worried about people asking, but I was just curious. I do wear shorts most of the time. I wish I had ones that were less baggy. But I think I missed the shorts season.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fortnightly update try #2

Sorry about that last night. I had a bit too much too drink. I was at the "comfortably numb" phase but I didn't slow down enough.

Last week was my first week of school. It was generally a pretty good experience. I'm very pleased to be back in school, working toward my career. Universities in Canada have a probably 55-60% female population. My French classes have generally been at least 75% female. I don't know the percentage of school teachers that are female, but I'm trying to get at the point that my program is about 85% female. I like that. I'm hoping to be an honorary girl. One day, waiting around a table waiting for class to resume after a break, I was offered the use of orange hand moisturizer, an opportunity which I grasped.

On Wednesday, I was on the bus heading downtown for a therapy appointment. There were a couple girls on the bus from my class, so I sat next to them. They were going shopping for clothes. I was hoping to get invited, but no such luck. One asked me why I was going downtown, since it's in the opposite direction from where I live. I said I had therapy. She asked why. I said that I didn't want to say, but that I was seeing a psychologist.

I do look forward to therapy sessions. It's always interesting to see what gets discussed. This last time, there was little talk about gender identity; it was more about depression. My therapist is going to recommend to my GP that I go on a mild antidepressant, in addition to spironolactone. What I'm wondering is how will I be able to tell which of those drugs is affecting me? I am curious to see how I'll be affected nonetheless. It'd be nice to be happier. And I would be happy to lose my sex drive. I just thought of this the other day: when I'm admiring a girl's body, what part of that is jealousy, and what part is plain sexual attraction? It's probably both, but at what percentage. That's another reason I want to get rid of this testosterone stuff.

I need to book a laser appointment. I'm assuming I go somewhere for a free consult, then book a time slot.

There are enough bloggers that cover any trans-related news item, so I'm not really interested in doing that. But I may as well have a paragraph on Castor Semenya.

Unfortunately, there is no good solution to the problem of intersexed people in sports. None. All the suggestions I've seen or thought of have flaws. Make the intersexed gendered-females compete in men's sports? They won't have a competitive chance. Make intersexed people compete in their own category? Not going to happen; sport organizations aren't going to create a third gender category. Also, how will intersexed people be discovered? Are governments going to start carefully examining babies at birth? Another suggestion is instead of having two gender categories, create categories that an athlete goes into depending on their testosterone level. That is not fair. Let's say a gendered-male athlete gets an orchiectomy. His testosterone level would be fairly low. But he would still have the benefit of more bone mass, bigger muscles, etc. What about creating sports that are based less on strength and endurance, and more on skill? Googling showed me that men and women compete together in the Olympics in sailing and show jumping. But nearly all individual sports are gender-bifurcated. I don't see how that is going to change.

Best attempt at a solution is more discretion. This poor girl has made international news for something which is intensely private. How did this get released? National and international sporting organizations need clear policies. With this Castor Semenya thing, I have heard that her gender had been questioned in the past. Did her national athletics association ignore these allegations? Honestly, there is no easy solution. You could say it isn't fair for her to compete with women. I could point out that it wouldn't be fair for me to have to compete in a marathon with Kenyans. (The difference is that sports are not separated ethnicity , but by gender.)

Confusing stuff.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fortnightly update

You know, when I make a post here, that's the result of an urge to post. Most often I feel like it, but I'm away from my computer, or I feel lazy, or whatever. I'm not claiming that I have these awesome great posts that I think about for days before writing. But this is just what I'm like in general. I often write angry letters to companies, blog posts, diary entries in my head, (occasionally even suicide notes - not recently, however) but little of that actually makes to to the written-down stage. I know I don't make coherent posts on one theme, but I'm writing. It's as much for me as for anyone else.

I just finished watching Marley & Me. I cried a lot, well for me. Normally when I cry during a movie (or T.V. - last time being the wedding episode "You are Cordially Invited" of Deep Space 9) it's just a "tearing up" type thing. This movie made me get to the "sniffly, runny nose" stage. I am definitely more emotional than I used to be. (I mean over the last ten years or so) Yet I'm still pretty cold-hearted. That does bother me somewhat. I think I used to suppress my emotions for whatever reason. I remember explaining to one of the staff at Bible school (about seven years ago) that I "didn't believe in feeling emotions." That seems silly no matter how you look at it, but that was how I felt. I was also jealous of Tuvok, because he was able to suppress his emotions. I have no idea why I felt like that. I'm speculating, but perhaps I thought it was expected as part of the "male role". Confusing.

I don't miss living with our dog (a yellow lab, just like in the movie) I didn't like that he was "always there" that we'd always need to take care of him daily. We couldn't go out overnight without organising somebody to look after him. (well at least letting him out and feeding him!) I hated that all my clothes were covered in hair. I should note at this point that I never wanted a dog. My ex (goddamn I hate to write that) wanted one and would have gotten him against my wishes. But at the same time I miss having somebody greet me at the door. Or somebody to cuddle with. It was in fact fun to spoon with our dog, or go on a BIKE RIDE OMG!

Since my last post, I have remembered something trans related from my childhood! I've had this blog since the end of 2007. Not sure why I'd remember something now. Anyway, I specifically remember wanting to "be a girl" to see what it was like. I can pinpoint this memory to roughly Grade 4 or 5, and that I specifically felt that I only wanted it to be for a day. (again "just to see what it was like")

I am drunk so anything else from this post might not make sense

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gender theory

I'm not well read on this topic, but I have a tiny bit to say anyways. I'll start to rectify this lack of knowledge, because now that I'll be back in school, I'll be able to get books via inter-library loan. And I won't need to hide books in my car and read them on my break at work any more.

Dyssonance had a long post on "Dogma, Women, and Gender theory."

Here's an extract:

If sex and gender are the same thing, then how you are born is, basically, how you are. Transsexual women are not women all their lives, nor are they women after surgery; they are just men who had surgery under this basis.

In general communication of people outside the realm of transsexuals and their related associatives, this particular understanding is what is still held, because for centuries it was taught to them that way. The concept of gender as separate from sex is relatively new – dating back only about 70 years or so.

And it wasn’t until the very late 1990’s and early 2000’s that the basis for them being separate was proven.

So, to a very real extent, it’s only been about 8 years that the entirety of our understanding of gender has changed.

And Véronique just pointed out that:

The word gender was originally a grammatical term. Words had gender: masculine, feminine, and in some languages neuter. Later, it took on two new meanings: a kind of euphemistic synonym for sex...

In my first post here, I mentioned a class that I took in Fall 2007. The teacher was likely gay, but he didn't state that. Discussing the term "gender", he pointed out that the term only newly exists in French. If you type in "Gender" into Wikipedia, you'll be taken to this page.

The first line of that page is "Gender is a term that refers to the set of characteristics that humans perceive as distinguishing between men and women, extending from one's biological sex to one's social role or gender identity. " Note you have to click the disambiguation page to visit the grammatical gender page.

However, if you type in "Genre" in the French language wikipedia, you come automatically to the disambiguation page. The first listing on that page is for grammatical gender, the second one takes you to the Genus page, and finally the third listing is for Gender(Social sciences).

The first little bit:
Le genre est un concept récent en sciences sociales et en médecine dont on peut simplement appréhender le sens au travers des deux citations suivantes :

* « Le sexe, c'est ce que l'on voit, le genre, c'est ce que l'on ressent » Dr Harry Benjamin[réf. souhaitée]
* « Le genre, c'est ce que l'on pourrait appeler le "sexe social" » Christine Delphy[réf. souhaitée]

Le concept de genre (gender) a été créé dans la langue anglaise car le mot sex y possède un champ sémantique beaucoup plus réduit que le mot « sexe » en français — rendant difficile la présentation de la place des hommes et des femmes dans la société — et sous l'influence des féministes, qui différencièrent le sexe anatomique du genre afin de remettre en cause les contraintes imposées par ce dernier.
Translation: (mine)
Gender is a recent concept in social science and in medicine via these two quotes:

"Sex is what you see, gender is what you feel," Dr. Harry Benjamin
"Gender is what you could call the social sex," Christine Delphy

The concept of gender was created in the English language because the English word sex has a much more reduced semantic field compared to the word "sexe" in French, which makes the presentation on the part of men and women in society difficult, and under feminist influence, who distinguish anatomical sex from gender in order to question the constraints of the latter.
Sorry about the comma splicing in the last paragraph, the original wasn't too clear.

What I'm trying to get at is that the term "gender" in English is a creation to explain a concept. This is actually a strength of the English language, the fact the new words are created to explain something new, or that words are borrowed from other languages to fill a gap in English. I'm not saying that new words are less worthy; I'm saying that they are extremely useful.

Gender is an essential word for the T* community. Without it, it would be more difficult to discuss gender identity. Since "genre" is less accepted in French than "gender" is in English, people must use less precise words to talk about it.

Unfortunately, in English at least, the terms "sex" and "gender" are sometimes used interchangeably. Forms that you have to fill out for whatever reason always used to have a box labelled "Sex". Now, some of them say "Gender". This makes it difficult for we gender variant types. Should we interpret the "Sex" box as meaning "legal sex" and a "Gender" box as meaning "social sex"? I'm not sure.

Another example is when I came out to my parents. My father cautioned me to not tell me too many people since "society doesn't understand sexual variation." I agreed, but clarified that it was "gender" that we were discussing. While he did use the wrong term, I was impressed that he showed at least some understanding. I wonder how he (and my mom) will react as I begin the difficult transition process. I'm not sure what to share with them and when. Do I slip it into a conversation that "oh, btw, I've been chemically castrated."?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

good mood atm

I'm in a generally good and optimistic mood.* I don't think I can nail it down to anything in particular thing, but I have a couple ideas.

- I'm getting excited about school. I do like going to school. I could be a career student if that were feasible. The odd thing about my like of school is that despite completing a bachelor's degree, I never actually learned study habits. This is a bad thing.

- I'm actually getting somewhere with plans for transition. My therapist agrees with me that it would be best to start my professional career as a teacher fully transitioned. The plan is to transition after the practicum. So we're talking April-ish. She's also going to recommend me for hormones. I will start with Spironolactone as per my wishes, and then "see" how that works out.** Obviously it would be best to go full-time with at least some boobage. I am excited about starting hormone treatment. I'm really curious as to the effect of eliminating testosterone on my body and mind will be. This will be the first time in my life that I've ever had a continuing drug prescription for anything.

*Don't worry, I won't started updating my blog every day with mood updates.
**I feel guilty about this. She asked me, keeping eye contact, what I thought about starting estrogen and spiro at the same time versus starting spiro first. I said that I'd prefer trying spiro first. She said that she'd been trying to "read" my eyes. Unfortunately, I'm hard to read. (I don't make it easy for her. :( ) I don't express emotions easily.(I think it's something that I've taught myself for whatever reason) Hopefully, I'll be able to change that.

Other stuff:

I'm getting psyched about starting a female wardrobe. That's something that I've got to do quite soon. Can't go out en femme without clothes, now, can I? I don't really like shopping, but hopefully this will be different.

Thinking about going part-time raises a question though. Going out for a couple hours is one thing if I bring a change of femme clothes with me. But in a few months, I suspect I'll want to spend more time at home dressed en femme. Is my sister going to have a problem with that? I'm living as her tenant, pretty much. This is why part of me thinks it would be more convenient to live closer to Vancouver: I could more easily "go out" as a "sometimes passer". There certainly aren't any groups for CD's or TG's out here.

I'm going to the PNE with my ex tomorrow. This'll be the first thing we've done together since separation other than having coffee twice. I'm hoping it won't be too weird to be there with her. After all, the last time I was there was with her, perhaps three years ago. I really hope we can continue to be some kind of friends. I'm not expecting it, but it would be even better if she'd help me shop for femme clothes!! (yeah, probably not gonna happen.)

Voice is something that worries me about transition, even going part-time. There are indeed some amazing videos on youtube. But I'm worried that I just can't. I haven't tried yet. I know it's more than just pitch. My ex has a male friend who has a high pitched voice, yet you'd never mistake it for a female voice. Still, when I met Véronique a few weeks ago, her voice was not at all male. I doubt she gets gendered male on the phone very often.

I think I should buy a wig. (I wish I hadn't cut my hair two months ago :( ) My new brother-in-law had a couple friends over a few weeks ago. One of them obviously had alopecia, with a fair amount of hair loss on the top of her head. At the wedding, she said hi to me as I walked by. I didn't recognise her right away because she was wearing a wig and fake eyelashes. They just made her look like someone else.

All for now!

Monday, August 24, 2009


My thoughts have been going up and down recently. There's this feeling of discouragement that comes and goes.

My last post was during one of those "down" times. The next day, I felt even worse, and was going to write another post wondering how I could feel worse than the previous day. But then the next day I felt better, and during the next two my mood continued to be decent. Today, I'm back at the bottom. I just feel hopeless and discouraged. Hopefully that will improve soon.

Here's what I think is going on:

I think I felt better for those three days because of "escapism". On Friday I spent a fun day in Seattle with my older sister. On Saturday I went camping overnight with a couple friends. Finally, on Sunday I went on a bike tour with my sister. During all the time I didn't really think of the issues listed at the top of the last post. That isn't to say nothing crossed my mind, but rather that I wasn't thinking of them constantly. I hardly thought of school, work, etc. (although I did have to think of gender issues at each bathroom stop)

Obviously it isn't useful to avoid my issues. They need to be dealt with, not ignored. The status quo doesn't make me happy, but it is easier in some regards. For example, not dealing with my GD would mean that I didn't have to actively "do anything." This would be "simpler" than therapy, doing hard thinking about transition, etc. But now that I've recognized that I need to get my life in order, I need to make changes. We'll see what that entails.

On a not quite unrelated note: I feel horrible living here, in my old bedroom, with my younger sister and her new husband. First of all, it's my old room, so it feels like I'm 18 again. Second, it's noisy living under the kitchen in this unfinished room. While it does have a door, it doesn't have a ceiling, just the bottom of the floor. I can hear everything. Finally, I feel like I'm imposing on them. They're a newly married couple, and they deserve privacy. I think that these things will factor into my decision about living here and commuting vs. moving closer to school. (By the way, right now I'm planning on trying to commute for September. Perhaps I'll find somebody in my program that could use a roommate.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feeling overwhelmed

There's just too much to deal with right about now:

-being recently separated
-getting into school
-considering moving somewhere else

Damn. Plus, I'm trying to sell this second vehicle that I bought three months ago. I paid too much because I really wanted that specific year and engine. It's been on Craigslist for a day and a half for $800 less than I paid for it. I haven't had one bite yet.

And with each of those four things I listed comes further implications. With GID comes the need for therapy, deep thought, thinking about transition, etc. Being separated makes me sad and lonely. Getting into school means I have to worry about money and students loans. Moving somewhere (Somewhere in Metro Vancouver) means I have to look for a place, choose one, physically move, probably take my car off the road, and try to transfer to a different store.

The only one of those things that doesn't require me to do anything is being separated. Sure, I'm lonely, but I sure as hell don't need to be in a romantic relationship; not only does that take lots of time(I will be very busy during my program), but I think it would cause additional stress and confusion with regards to my gender identity. Haha, I can just imagine having sex with someone: "why are your armpits shaved?" "ummm...."

Any one of those issues would be a lot to deal with, but unfortunately I don't see any alternative.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sister's wedding

On Saturday, my younger sister (I have one older, one younger) got married. I was one of two ushers. I'm just going to recount a few of the interesting things.

I already mentioned how my sister literally picked out my clothes for the event, so I won't mention that. At any rate, I suppose other people saw me as attractive. (I did however, only get one "handsome" comment.)

So, I was an usher, so I had to show people to their seats. I deliberately made a big show of it, insisting that the women take my arm. Yeah, I know that's old fashioned and a bit sexist, but I was pretending, ok? Besides, the women seemed to enjoy it. I should note that the other usher didn't do this once, as far as I noticed.

I also walked my mom down the aisle as the last person to be seated before the bridal party came down. This was a bit rough, since it reminded me of when my mom walked me down the aisle as part of my wedding ceremony. I kept thinking about my own wedding during the entire day.

When the ceremony was over, everybody stood around outside drinking punch and socializing while waiting for the reception to begin. My great-aunt came up to talk to me. Now this is somebody that I wouldn't recognise out of context; I haven't met her too often. She asked me if I was "ok". I said yes, naturally. She asked again, "no, really." Then she asks where my ex was. I suspect that she had seen that I had no spouse listed in the bulletin for the funeral of my grandfather. So she was trying to comfort me and saying, "we can't always control these things, etc." "I love you, so if there's anything I can do to help, let me know." Next two of my aunts came up to "see how I was doing" and to give me hugs.

Ok, seriously... If you don't have a relationship in which you share personal information and feelings, don't go up to somebody and try to talk to them about really personal stuff. It's none of your business.

And then during the reception(which was a tea), my mom pointed to my teacup and said, "that's a woman's cup, we should trade." I suppose my teacup had a lot more pink on it, but these were all old-fashioned teacups with flowers and gold trim. I'm not sure what she was thinking. I did indeed use the keyword "gender identity" when I came out to my parents. I'm hoping that they will ask me about that stuff again. That will demonstrate to me that they have at least been thinking about it, and will give me the opportunity to share a little more.

After I had helped clean up, I went over to my friends' house for their daughter's one year birthday. Soon after I arrived, one of my guy friend's asked me where my ex was. I held out my ring-less left hand and said, "we're separated." He had a look of surprise, and my friends' mom (the grandmother of the baby) said, "WHAT!" I ran inside to avoid losing it/talking about it. Then later another friend asked about it and wanted to know what had happened. I refused to say, other than to say it wasn't an issue of infidelity or anything like that.

I think what I should have done is tell everybody I had originally told about my "marital difficulties" that they could tell people that I was separated after I moved out of the marital house. Oh well, can't do it over.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Big news in my life

I have mentioned once or twice on this blog that I'm trying to become a teacher. I actually finished all coursework for my degree in December 2007 and I've been trying to get into a teaching program ever since.

I've applied three times and got waitlisted twice. Recently, I've been waiting eagerly to hear if I get into the program that starts in January. This is something I'd discussed with my therapist, i.e. how would school affect the timeline for transition. (It's a one year program)

I just got an email today from the admissions department. They are offering me the chance to start in September! This is astonishing because I hadn't been able to apply for that intake.

I have to reply by Monday. Right now, I am thinking "YES YES YES!" I am not sure how that would work with transition. I have basically not started anything. I had been planning to start beard removal this fall if I'd gotten in for January. But realistically, I wasn't expecting to be ready to be fulltime by January. For one, I just cut my hair short at the beginning of July in a silly attempt to try to save my marriage. There's no way I could be prepared for January. Obviously September would be just stupidly early.

Now that I may be starting school right away I'll have to start thinking of timelines again. I don't really want to postpone transitioning too long. Perhaps transitioning after the long practicum would be best. I'm just brainstorming right now, but that'd be about March or April. I don't think it would be good to be a newly transitioned transsexual in your practicum.

I'm also thinking about where I'd stay. This program is on the Burnaby campus of SFU. There is no viable public transit from where I live. Driving takes 75-90 minutes each way, at a cost of about $10 per day in gas. One semester, I had to commute four days a week, which was horrible. That was even with my sister taking turns driving. I don't like spending $200 a month in gas, and I find the traffic really stressful. Now that I'm separated, there isn't a huge reason to stay living in this place where I've been for most of my life. So I think I have to consider moving closer to Burnaby.

Money is a concern. Student loans would cover tuition but nothing else. I'd have to think of that. But I really don't want to continue working at a grocery store for the rest of my life. I gotta get a career.

Monday, August 10, 2009

sometimes you just gotta do things

My younger sister is getting married on Saturday. My older sister is coming to visit from Montréal, so I'll tell her that I'm separated(if my mom hasn't) and probably tell her why.

Just a parenthetical insert: I am quite sure that my wife (do I wait until divorce to say "ex-wife"?) wanted to separate because of the trans thing. When I came home from vacation to hear "ZOMG we need to talk", I wasn't quite sure. Now that I've been moved out for a couple weeks, plus the few discussions we had when we were still sharing a house, I "just know." We both expressed some indication that we'd be willing to be flexible on the having kids issue. And that guy that she was hanging out with may have merely been a way to announce just how serious she was about separation. I haven't heard her speak about that guy since the first week or so of July. That leaves the "trans thing". Like I previously said, it's understandable. I have no right to be angry. Of course, I did respond to accusations of "you did this to me."

Back to the topic.

I had to go to a bachelor party, a.k.a. a stag, on Saturday night. I do like the guy my sister's marrying. He's pretty nice, and they seem to be good together. Ok, well I got to admit, he's a couple years younger than my sister, which isn't a problem, except he's about five years less mature than her.

Of course I would never choose to be at a bachelor party, but I obviously had to go. I knew less than half of the people there, and most of those I knew, I hadn't seen for ten years. The organiser of the party had bought a whole bunch of women's clothes at Value Village. (I had bought a pair of "granny panties") So my future brother-in-law had to wear this dress. (and later a skirt) Since he's a bit immature, he loves the attention and didn't mind the costume. First we played a round of mini-golf(the fancy kind on real grass), then we went to a restaurant, then we did stupid things. He also successfully raised $10 in 15 minutes at a busy intersection in town.
Generally he got good reactions from everybody, particularly women, who complimented him on his clothes.

What was hard for me was listening to all the homophobic and transphobic comments that ensued from some of the guys in the party. For example, somebody suggested that he belonged in the Downtown Eastside.(poorest part of Vancouver, probably Canada) Then there were some "tranny" jokes, which I didn't appreciate hearing. But obviously I wasn't about to try to educating them.

Generally I'm not in any situations with a large (~12) group of men/boys. I don't have that many friends, and even if I did it would still be hanging out in mixed(wow, that term seems old) groups. So perhaps I was a bit naïve.(I love how the term in English was borrowed from the feminine in French:P). But I was surprised by their behaviour. For example, I learned what a "fart cup" is. You cup your hand around your ass, then fart into it. Then you cup your smelly hand around the victim's mouth and nose until they inhale.

At least the minigolfing wasn't too bad. I was in group with the older people, older than I, actually. I suck at it, but it is much better on grass than kids' minigolf. I got two birdies and an eagle!


I should really blog right after events, when they are fresh in my head. Still, writing a few days later means I recall the moments that were most significant to me.

Last Wednesday was the "viewing." Only family were there. It wasn't enjoyable, but it wasn't too painful. In the last ten years or so, many of my cousins have started having children. The effect of that is that family gatherings are logistically difficult. My dad has five sisters, all of whom have multiple children with children of their own. My point is that I hadn't seen some of these relatives for years. One of my cousins and I tried to figure out how long it had been since we had seen each other and we couldn't figure it out. So I had to explain what I've been up to many times. Also, I had to hide the fact that I was recently separated. Finally, I disliked wearing the mens dress clothes, which were a great difference from my usual shorts and a t-shirt. (I didn't wear a tie, just a short-sleeved button up shirt.

The next day I missed the family only burial in the morning due to an exam. But I made the funeral in the afternoon. (this time I wore that new dress shirt, albeit sans tie) I had to read a song (presented in the bulletin as a reading, I wouldn't have tried to sing some unfamiliar song) that had been found on a paper in my grandpa's bible. That was the biggest crowd I had spoken in front of, the biggest before had been a class at university. (there were probably a few hundred people there) I wasn't nervous, since I wasn't familiar with what I was reading.

However, there were two hymns sung in the memorial service. Now, I've pretty much stopped singing since I've stopped going to church. But I decided I ought to sing along to these two songs, because you don't need to believe what you are singing, plus I always used to like singing hymns. Singing hymns reminds me of the late eighties, early nineties, when we went to a particular church that had a lot of hymns, which my late grandfather also attended at the time. Anyways, I literally couldn't make it more than a stanza or two of "How Great Thou Art" without starting to cry. Perhaps I miss religious belief, but of course that isn't an acceptable reason to redevelop it. I think crying during those two songs was just my way of being sad.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Male clothes

I've never liked shopping for clothes. When I was younger, I always went with a parent and just wanted to get it over with. When I was out of high school, I would always go with somebody else. Then after I got married, I always went with my wife. All my life, shopping for (my own) clothes is something that I've had to be dragged along to do. I would wear worn out clothes rather than shop for new ones. Since developing or discovering my trans feelings*, I've basically stopped shopping at all. All new clothes that I own have been brought home by my wife on one of her own shopping trips. The only new shoes I've bought for at least two years have been steel-toed shoes for work.

My sister is getting married in two weeks. Obviously, female clothes would be inappro(my therapist joked about going en femme to the wedding). So, it was decided by my family that I need new dress clothes, for the wedding, and because I'll "need them for my teacher program". I went out shopping with my sister on Friday to Sears and ended up with dress pants and a shirt. Male dress clothes are really boring. Essentially there are only a few variations on a theme. It was difficult for my sister and the lady helping us because I had no opinion other than I wouldn't get a white shirt. I swear they spent like fifteen minutes holding up ties to this one maroonish shirt that they had picked out, but they were unable to agree on one.

Plus male dress shirts fit poorly. Presumeably most readers will know this, but there are basically two measurements that are used to fit a men's dress shirt: neck size and arm length. Apparently I have a fat neck: 15.5". My arms are 33". Anyways, with only the two measurements, the manufacturers assume that I have a big chest and arms. So that means that the arms and chest are always really baggy. (Yeah, I know that a tailored dress shirt will fit better)

The next day my sister took me to another store for a tie, and another store for dress shoes which "were supposed to last me for years". These were "nice" leather shoes that cost $180!!!

My parents paid for these clothes just because.

On the positive side, I have lost a bit of weight. I was able to buy 32" pants for the first time in a while.

*topic for another post: were my trans feelings latent or created??????

Friday, July 31, 2009


My Grandfather just died a bit less than an hour ago. He was 96, and he died of lymphoma. When he was in his eighties, he said he wanted to lived to 100, so that he would get a letter from the Queen. He was in pretty good health for someone so old, although the last few years have been a bit of a downhill slope. He was only diagnosed six weeks ago.

I'm glad I got to see him in hospital yesterday. At first, he didn't know who I was, and asked me where Michelle was. (wife of one of my cousins). My mom and I just played along. But he did recognise me before I left. I cried a little bit seeing him like that. I don't think I will cry at the funeral since I will be unable to get past the religious aspect of it.

Grandpa always liked me because I was the only grandson bearing his last name. Now that I'm back in my parents' house living with my sister, I'm sleeping on a bed he bought for me when I was young supposedly because my middle name was his first, but I always knew it was because I shared his last name. I was occasionally reminded that I was the only ____ grandson. Good thing he never learned that I separated from my wife, don't want children, don't want to be a grandson.

Another time I'll have to write about the position of growing up the only boy out of three kids. (My dad was the only boy out of six children)

I was going to write about something else, but this post is all about my Grandpa.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

oh wow

There's been an incredible flurry of activity this month that I ought to blog about. I'm not sure how far I get in this post, but I'll try.

I came home from vacation at the beginning of the month. (My wife and I often take separate vacations in addition to shared ones.) Literally right away after I came into the house, my wife sat me down to talk. I was obviously quite taken aback. Here's what she said:

She said that there were two big issues that were bothering her. The first was that she had decided that she wanted a kid, and that I didn't want any. The second issue was my transgender identity crisis. Over the next few days, I learned that she was worried that no matter what happened about my trans feelings, that they would resurface later. I stated that I'd be willing to flex on the child issue, but that obviously I couldn't promise anything about the other one. She has since said that she could flex on the child issue.

So I'm convinced that the trans thing is the big deal. I cannot blame any spouse for thinking that it's a deal breaker. When you marry, it certainly isn't anything you imagine when you vow "in sickness and in health." It would be unreasonable for anyone to think that staying with a trans partner is equal to something like staying with a partner through cancer, or recovery after a stroke. I can't fault her for deciding that it's a deal breaker.

This is what I done since this crisis started:
1. moved to a different room of the house
2. the next day I made an appointment for therapy
3. told my sister, parents, and a married couple that I've been friends with for ages
4. started therapy
5. prepared to move out

These are all big things. It feels like this is happening too fast. But I can't stay in this house. My marriage is over and I can't pretend that it isn't. This has been a "wake-up call" to start therapy, something I should have done a year ago. This is hard evidence that trying to ignore my trans feelings is impossible. Trying to ignore hasn't worked. I'd been thinking about it every day, and so had my wife. She reached a decision, and I doubt I could have done something that would have altered it.

Why did I tell people? The two reasons were that my wife had told her parents and a couple friends, and that I had to explain why my marriage is ending. I supposed I felt like I had to, but I don't see it as a negative that people other than my wife know. I wouldn't want acquaintances or co-workers to know, but I think it's good that the people in life I'm closest to know. I have people I can talk to now if I need to.

I told my younger sister first. I'm relatively close to her, and I wanted to tell her first to get somebody's reaction to help me judge how others might react. Then I told my parents. Surprisingly, there were no overt tears.(I was able to hold mine back!) They did not appear emotional; in fact, they took the news well. One thing that made it easier to tell them was the fact that I had an appointment for therapy booked. They were, however, suspicious that a therapist with experience in gender identity would have a bias. I attempted to assuage their suspicions, but I clearly failed. My mom approached me a two weeks later and suggested seeing somebody else. She suggested some therapy chain called "Trinity" something or other, which was enough for me to dismiss it right away due to the clearly Christian name. Then she suggested a local psychologist who was "probably Christian, but you wouldn't know it." Obviously, I said again that it's best to see a specialist. They probably fear that a specialist has some sort of agenda in making more transsexuals or something.

Finally, I told two of my friends (a married couple) that I've known since high school. My dad had recommended not telling many people since society isn't very tolerant of "sexual differences." I was surprised at how insightful he was. ( I didn't want to keep correcting him when he said "sex" instead of "gender") It was good to tell my friends, just so they know what I'm going through.

So how was therapy? Well, I have no basis for comparison, since I haven't had any kind of therapy before. I think it went well. I found my therapist by googling. She's in downtown Vancouver. I really dislike driving into Vancouver, but that's where the specialists are going to be, due to a much larger population. (I live "in the Valley") Anyways, one appointment isn't enough to get through everything (I have another one scheduled for early August), but I think we got through the basics. She noted that suddenly being confronted by gender issues(as opposed to feeling them when a child) isn't unheard. Hearing that made me happy. I do read other blogs and websites, and many transpeople say that they had trans feelings at a very young age. She suggested two blogs to visit, both of which were already in my blogroll!!!

Apparently I am not in touch with my feelings.(I already knew that) I stated that while growing up, I wasn't encouraged to share them. I don't mean that I was actively discouraged, (for example, I don't remember my dad telling me to "man up" when I cried) but I simply wasn't encouraged. Expressing and being aware of my emotions is something that I need to work on.(any advice, anyone?) Another thing she suggested was trying out Second Life. I never had tried it.

One embarrassing thing happened on the way out. I'm from a smaller town, so I'm not used to big buildings. The door leading to the street was locked when I came down from my appointment. So I was pretty confused. There was a button near the door labelled "exit", so I pressed it, expecting the door to pop open automatically. Nothing happened, so I pressed it a couple more times, pulling and pushing on both doors. After literally 60 seconds, a Vancouver Police Department cruiser showed up. Apparently the trick was to press the button, then immediately push open one of the doors. The two officers were there because of an alarm(was it from me trying to get out?), so they wanted to see my identification. Luckily, I also had the therapist's business card.

So that pretty much sums up July so far. Here's what's is going to happen in the near future:

-I'm going to move out of this house as soon as I can. I'll be moving in with my sister, in my parents' old house, in my old room.
-I will continue with therapy.
-I'll hope to get in to the teaching program at SFU for January. My chances are much improved since I improved my mark on a particular test I had to take.
-I'm going to be more active in the TG world. I'll try to blog a couple times a week. I'll start posting on MHB. I would also like to meet some TG people, just to talk to.

One more thing:

Since I figured out my marriage is over, my suicidal thoughts literally disappeared. At the same time, I was anxious to begin therapy. I don't wish to say that being married was making me have suicidal thoughts. But perhaps at some level I am beginning to see "the light at the end of the tunnel." I think I am discovering hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gay people coming out

So my wife and I have these new friends, two boys in their late teens. One of them, is "flaming". By that, I mean he "acts gay", likes things liked by gay men, etc.

I know what you're thinking: "Marie, you're gender variant, what the hell gives you the right to label somebody as gay, or to decide that certain behaviours are "gayer" than others?"

You're right, of course. But certain things identify many gay people. My wife has a gay friend who came out soon after I met her. She and her friends were all shocked when he came out. But he had lots of stereotypical mannerisms, etc. He also tried to hide it by saying homophobic remarks. But he's out and has had boyfriends since.

So this flaming boy likes musicals, the movie Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also talks in a higher pitched voice.(I wish mine were that high!) He has had girlfriends back home.

So his friend told us that the flaming friend had cross-dressed as a character from the Rocky Horror Picture Show for his 15th birthday!! That's just amazing that somebody that young would risk being made fun of by his peers.

I don't know why this guy just can't admit it; he's probably gay.

The point of this rambling is that after telling the 15th birthday cross-dressing story, one of them asked me(in front of my wife) if I had ever cross-dressed. Luckily I was able to deflect it somehow, since I would have had to lie and I'm an unconvincing liar.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Comments enabled

Ok, I figured out how to allow for anonymous comments in the blog settings

I know I would be much less likely to comment on something if I had to reveal myself.


Ok, well I told my wife that I was unsure that I wanted to become a teacher. Surprisingly enough, she didn't freak out; I was pleasantly surprised.

Next über-personal thing that I tell her ought to be that I'm going to seek a therapist. I'll announce that when it happens... :P

I think I'll just pick up the phone book or something. Yes, I am about about the Vancouver Coastal Health's trans programs and stuff and the Three Bridges thing. But I'd want a therapist closer to where I live. (Also, I think the free therapist there is like only available every second Tuesday or something like that.)

On that note, can somebody give a ballpark figure for cost per session? (I'm sure that there can be a great deal of variation, but I'd like to know a guess.)

I've just noticed that all I write in this blog is rambling and barely coherent. Sorry.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

kill me now

Jesus fucking Christ I'm sick of my life.

Nothing is going right and I don't know "what I want to do with my life."

A year ago, I told my doctor that I thought I was trans. I never ending up starting therapy, mostly because of my fears. (Oh, and I'm fucking lazy, too)

So nothing has come of that.

A year ago, I finished a university degree. It doesn't seem like I'm any closer to getting into a teaching program.

Plus, now I'm beginning to feel that maybe I don't want to be a teacher. Goddamn it, life is complicated.

I still feel just as trans, if that's what that is. Fuck. How am I supposed to know anything?

I never used to understand what the point of a suicide attempt was. I mean, if you want to die, just kill yourself already, instead of a half-hearted attempt. I'm talking about methods that are less likely to be successful, like cutting on wrists, swallowing a bottle of over-the-counter painkillers, etc. Why not do something irreversible if you really want to die? Like hang yourself or jump off a tall building?

But people say that those kinds of suicide attempts are a cry for help. And now I understand that that's what it is, even if the attemptee doesn't know that. I think that people would do that because they want some help. See, if somebody wants help/attention, if they ask for it, they won't be taken seriously, or they worry that they won't be. But it's harder to ignore hospitalisation.

To anyone reading this: please don't worry. I haven't killed myself yet and I've had suicidal thoughts for at least ten years. So don't try to track down my IP or anything. I'd appreciate suggestions instead, or comments.

ok, gtg