2009-06-24 06:34 pm

Intermission!

As I work on writing the blog post regarding identity labeling (and I assure you, I'm putting all my efforts into avoiding making this offensive or confrontational, because I know a lot of people get offended or feel attacked when discussing how identity labels are applied) I do think there are some updates I should share on various situations.

1: My dad is still giving me the silent treatment but I'm recovering, slowly and carefully, from the effects. Time heals, bit by bit, so I'm reaching a point now where it doesn't hurt me as much as it did.

2: I have a job! I can't tell you about it here. Primarily because I'm keeping my transsexuality on the downlow there (cautious by nature, I am and the HR department really worked hard to accommodate my needs and avoid things like my still male name on my security ID. Much love <3). But also because the thing (it's a game) I'm working on is kind of a big deal and may get a lot of publicity. So we're keeping it quiet right now as leaking info too early hurts a release date.

3: Name change paperwork is obtained. Right now a friend of mine is checking up on whether my change of address will be an issue (or if it's fine because I stayed in the same county for the move). Fingers crossed I don't have to wait a goddamn 8 more months just to send the paperwork in. Because I will be PISSED.

4: I've decided to hold off on this sexual self exploration thing temporarily. A friend of mine raised a disturbing possibility. That I might feel uncomfortable with being referred to as a lesbian. I can't think of why I'd be uncomfortable with that label but I found I couldn't really entirely dismiss it as a possibility. I do seem to feel sort of uncomfortable having my sexuality discussed or discussing it with people and I often find myself being careful not to drop references to ex girlfriends and to use more "admiring" words than "I'm interested" words to compliment girls I find really attractive. x_x

It seems like a thoroughly bad idea to go out and have sex with a guy (subjecting myself to the risks any woman faces when looking for basically a hook up and the additional risks a trans woman faces) when it could simply be because I'm not very comfy with a label. So I'll figure that out first.



So that's a collection of fun updates. I'll keep working on that blog post, so please be patient.
2009-05-30 12:16 pm

ID!

I haven't changed my name yet because of some email issues and a lack of paperwork but I finally got my new driver's license in the mail with a picture that doesn't look like a male convict.

So I am very very pleased.

It isn't the best of pictures as I look very very startled but it is still a picture that looks undeniably like me at this venture in my hormone therapy.

It's also nice from the standpoint of the eventual name change. A lot of trans folk are stuck carrying around the old ID for stuff as the name change thing gets filtered through everything. What really sucks is that the old picture usually looks entirely like how they did pre transition. So it's a pretty shitty source of dysphoria. But now, my "old" ID will be girl picture/old name instead of old name/omfg bearded guy picture.

...yeah I had a goatee when I was younger. x_x

I'm not quite comfortable yet putting up pictures of myself here so I can't really show you how radically different I look now from how I looked before. I get the comments all the time of "omg, hun that can't possibly be you." But as I get a little more settled in and make sure there isn't any linkages between me irl and here that I don't have at least some control over, you (my faithful readers or figments of my imagination <3) can expect some photos to compare.

This sort of ventures into an interesting topic of stereotypes and misconceptions. To those unexposed to trans folk, many have this sort of clear stereotypical view of what we look like as a whole. This idea that we all look like manly dudes in dresses with big chiseled chins or petite curvy chicks in guy clothing with short hair.

There are folks out there who got really effing screwed by the lifetrain and do (unfortunately) have very strong features of their birthsex and never get rid of them even with tons of surgery and stuff. But assuming that is all that's out there is really kind of ignorant. But to be entirely aware of society, this happens with EVERYONE. Black people are stereotyped, gay folk are stereotyped, women are stereotyped, etc etc. Even people in the majority are stereotyped, it just has a slightly lower impact because they tend to control the resources of a society. The really serious issue is when the community in question absorbs these stereotypes as truth.

When I tell people that I'm trans I get the head cocked to the side and one eyebrow up expression nowadays. Even other trans people sometimes. That's great from a self esteem standpoint, but it really dismays me that people think it is so utterly impossible for a trans woman to look good that they actually have a hard time believing me when I tell them I'm trans. It gets a little mtf specific here, sorry trans guys and nonbinaries. I just don't have much experience with you folks and your image issues coming from these attitudes to reliably shoot my mouth off about them. And sure it's a blog, so no one really expects accuracy but I do my best not to talk about things I know fuckall about. *nodnod*

But if any trans guys or nonbinaries wanna sound off in the comments section about some of the issues you folks face from the misconceptions about trans person appearance, please do. Hell, I might even edit the post and throw some of your comments into it with a name to give credit. <3

But yes, back to the attitudes on trans person appearance. This is especially a negative thing because these attitudes permeate the trans community too. I can't tell you how many girls I've talked to who think they can't possibly look good if they transition pass age 21. I've seen and even met transwomen who transitioned at age 60 and look utterly amazing. To me, allowing these attitudes on appearance to poison us is nothing short of self sabotage and it is utterly unacceptable.

Things like this can make all sorts of awful shit happen. People dosing themselves on way higher amounts of hormones then they should because they feel like they'll never look like their target sex if they don't rush it. Does anyone else realize that natal girl/guy puberty can take between 4~7 years to finish? We move fast in comparison! Or people delaying and giving up on transition until they can't take it anymore and either finally jump in or kill themselves, because they think it isn't worth it if they can't look like their target sex and automatically believe that they never will. There's other issues there of course (seriously you don't need to be an effing supermodel to be happy, folks) but this assumption that everyone is equally fucked by the lifetrain is an awful horrible assumption.

It's incredibly destructive to our self esteem as well, to the point that we may actually develop complexes that make us negate compliments and positive affirmation from people with excuses, rationalizations and outright disbelief.

"Oh he's just hitting on me because he's bi"

"I'm only getting sir'd because they're respectful of trans people"

"She's only telling me I look good because she cares about me and she's biased"

I'm not immune, I have these issues too. It took a lot of self affirmation to start believing people when they complimented me and to get over my own negativity about how I look.

I don't think there's much we can do to change the widespread stereotypes quickly. It'll be a long and arduous process. But there is something we can do now and that's educate our fellow trans people about the actual realistic effects of hormones and the actual realistic way to view yourself and your possible results. You don't have to look perfect to be happy. You aren't guaranteed to look like your birth sex forever. You aren't utterly fucked if you transition after a certain age. These are things we need to internalize in our community so we stop letting society's misconceptions and idiocy drag us all down.

And folks? I started hormones at 24 and I look great. You do not need to transition as a teenager to reach your goals. Stop the self sabotage.

Love,
RP