2009-07-07 10:34 pm

Drag Kinging, Family Drama and Trauma

I'm going to delay the identities post for a bit longer because the time I need to put into it simply isn't forthcoming right now. My duties to this game's development (and the fact that it's basically a paid 40 hour week each week) are just eating up too much of my time to do that post justice.

So instead, I'll give a rambling three parter one for now.

MtF Drag Kinging?!

I tried on some of my old more formal clothing today (guys slacks, button down, tie and fedora). Mostly just out of an odd feeling of doing something strange. I just wanted to see how I looked. I was aware of the possibility of a dysphoric response and I knew that the moment it hit me I could yank the clothing off.

But the results were surprising. I basically looked like a girl who was crossdressing. And poorly I might add. Even with my bra off, there was still distinct breast pokeage. And my curvature was pretty visible even in the baggy formal clothing. It was a heartening thing to see, the fact that I could put on that old clothing and still look the way I needed to look. My confidence swelled, my self esteem grew and I realized that I could probably do a drag show without issue because my dysphoria wasn't firing up at all.

I did get this sort of genderfuck-y feeling though. I mean I'm an MtF crossdressing as a guy. It's... a lot to wrap my head around all of a sudden. I think I'm gonna experiment a bit more with it, even if just for the confidence booster of still looking like an attractive young lady even in guy's formalwear. *nodnod*

Goddammit, Dad.

I'm getting really fucking tired of my father acting like a child. Apparently my mom is tiptoing around to contact me now, literally waiting until he's left for work to call me or even send emails. I don't know if it's just her being anxious and neurotic (an issue I have myself) and just trying to avoid conflict or if he's been even more of a dick about me and my situation but it's starting to reach the point where I wonder if I'm going to get slandered to my brothers.

I haven't told them yet, I haven't really had a chance. I wrote the letter to my father and that's when shit hit the fan and since then my contact with my family has been... iffy, at best. The way he responded to me was absolutely awful (and I'm sure most of you have read the response) but what hurt the most wasn't so much that it was a cold, nasty response and more that it was a cold, nasty response from someone who was normally very warm and connective (he had his problems as a parent, but that didn't change the fact that he was at least verbally affectionate. I was badly shell shocked by the whole thing and it's only been recently that I've started being able to think past the pain of the rejection and the vicious way he carried it out in.

Unfortunately, thinking past those things just leads to more concerns. He can be infantile and petty at times and he has made outbursts about things in anger, even when he rationally realizes that they ought to not be shared. So to me, the risk of one of my brothers bringing me up at the wrong time and him slandering the fuck out of me is very real. Especially as the holidays get close. My youngest brother especially will find me not visiting home for Christmas to be very unusual and warranting of comment.

I managed to convince my mom to, at the very least, approach the issue with the youngest soon and put us back into direct contact to discuss it. I haven't figured out how I'm going to broach the subject with the middle brother. I find it unlikely his reaction will be much better than dad's.

What really really digs under my skin is how my mom is defending him. No. Stop fucking enabling his bullshit. What he did was wrong. What he did was unacceptable. You don't just cut off your kid like that for safeguarding her health. And you don't create static with the rest of the family for contacting her. That is fucking wrong. Stop fucking enabling him. Seriously.

Ugh. Fucking blood family. This will only get worse when news spreads to my extended blood family. Especially my dad's side of the family. Former Jehovah's Witnesses (now Catholics) on that side. And they're not from a very tolerant background...

Not looking forward to this at all...

Had To Go Into This Shit Eventually...

This is where things get a bit... personal. Some of you who read this will know the individual in question. You may want to avoid reading it. In fact I would suggest avoiding it if you feel that this would put you in an untenable situation. And I would ask that you do not under any circumstances direct this individual to this entry.

I am not writing this to violate anyone's neutrality. This is just part of the healing process. I need to get it out and stop hiding it so I can start moving on.

Trauma related stuff. Might be triggering for some. )

So there you all go. One good thing, and two bad. The identity post may get delayed a bit longer depending but hopefully I can do it this weekend. Thanks for reading.

2009-06-24 06:34 pm


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.
2009-06-07 10:28 pm


I will not pander to those who see me as a role or purpose in their lives. I am a person. If you can not accept my layers then you have no worth to me. If you act as though your comfort, your reputation is automatically more important then my health, you have no worth to me. If you balk at the idea of me changing, as all people do with time, then you have no worth to me. If you refuse to respect me, my pronouns, my name, my identity and my feelings then you have no worth to me.

I am done making excuses for people to treat me like shit. I am done being made into an object or role so that someone else can be more comfortable. I am done with people selfishly putting their image or comfort above my effing health and then asking me how I could be so "selfish" as to transition. The irony is just sickening.

I will not pander to it. I will not allow it. If you do this to me, I will turn my back on you. I will walk away from you. I won't look back.

And you'll only have yourself to blame.
2009-05-05 03:18 pm
Entry tags:

As requested, the letter

Some people on WiG requested the letter I sent be put up because some of them were wondering if my inclination to speak very scientifically about things had a poor impact on how he took the information. There's a good chunk science speak in the center, but on either end I definitely spoke from the emotional standpoint and tried to reassure him.

Still, any criticism that can be offered on how this letter was structured would be welcome so that I can avoid similar mistakes in the future, with other people or if he resumes contact:


Dear Dad,

I decided to tell you in a letter because it seems more personally connected than email. Email feels impersonal to me. I would have preferred to discuss this with you in person but the events of Christmas week prevented that. With ________’s stroke or seizure and all of us being sick, I felt that this needed to wait. But I also recognize that the longer I wait, the longer you worry about what it could be that I’m dealing with and whether or not my health is threatened. So I’m doing the next best thing to telling you directly and that’s writing an informal letter.

The general situation is that I have a psychological disorder and a serious one. It fits under the same set of bodily integrity disorders like, as an example (not what I have) BIID (bodily integrity identity disorder) which involves the patient’s mind rejecting the presence of one or more limbs as being foreign and wrong or deformed. Bodily integrity disorders involve a rejection of bodily structure as wrong or foreign, usually accompanied by an instinctual need for a different bodily structure to replace it (although they don’t require that second part) Disorders like this are untreatable by therapy or medication. In that, you can use therapy and medication to treat the issues and possible disorders that arise from the crippling psychological harm of bodily dysphoria (the feeling that a part or all of one’s body is foreign, wrong or deformed to the point of serious distress) but medication and therapy don’t really have an effect on the dysphoria itself. Generally the only way to fully handle the dysphoria is to modify the body accordingly, removing the offending characteristics or replacing them with the characteristics that the brain believes belongs. These disorders are not delusional disorders nor do they involve psychosis, because individuals who have them recognize that the feeling of wrongness and foreign deformity isn’t rational and is an issue. These disorders can cause delusional disorders and psychosis if left untreated as the mind tries to cope with the constant flood of foreign invasion or deformity signals from the dysphoria inducing parts.

Which brings me to my particular disorder. I have been diagnosed with GID (gender identity disorder). It isn’t aptly named (just an artifact from the last Diagnostic Manual before they really understood this disorder) for a bodily integrity disorder but that is what it is. Specifically GID is a disorder wherein the secondary and primary sexual characteristics of the individual and the lack of another sex’s characteristics are the bodily dysphoria inducing characteristics. There are variants where the individual with GID simply rejects the characteristics and wants nothing to replace them (agendered variants would require nullification of the secondarily sexual characteristics). Other variants (mixed or bigendered) require a mixture of traits similar to an intersexed condition. Fortunately my instance is a bit simpler than those. It (male to female GID) is also the most common type of GID for a male-bodied person with the disorder to experience so it actually has established bodily modification treatment and validity in the medical field.

This primary form of GID for male bodied folk involves my mind rejecting the male parts (the volume of body hair, the shape of my hips and waist, my flat chest, my facial hair, facial shape and my genitals) and expecting female parts instead (lower volume of body hair, wider curved hips and curvature along the waist, breast development, no facial hair, more rounded facial shape and a vagina instead of a penis). The dysphoria levels I face are, unfortunately, somewhat severe. I, at first, went the same route that ________ did in dealing with his problems. I drank. A lot. And often. I kept it a secret pretty well but things were getting bad in those regards and the risks of alcoholism were pretty bad back then for me. I had a few wake up calls and actually paid attention to them. So I stopped drinking and started doing research. Having found that GID fit pretty well, I involved myself in support groups and went about getting therapy.

The diagnosis was pretty immediate. It was clear from the psychiatrist that my symptoms fit GID very well. During this time I proceeded to purchase a permanent laser hair removal package for my facial hair and began undergoing those treatments. The removal of that facial hair has been very beneficial so far and has definitely helped but not quite enough to fully handle my dysphoria regarding the other elements of my body.

For a person in my position the normal procedure is to do as many bodily modifications as is necessary to remove the bodily dysphoria. The full set of bodily modification applied to the most severe of cases of Male to Female GID would include laser/electrolysis/IPL hair removal on the face and body, hormone replacement therapy (which resculpts the body fat and muscle and causes breast development), genital reconstructive surgery (which uses the materials of the penis to construct a functional neovagina), breast augmentation, facial feminization surgery and vocal surgery (a tracheal shave is included with that, but I lack an adam’s apple of any real size). I do not believe that all of that would be necessary for me. At this time, I would hazard a guess that the furthest I would need to go is laser hair removal on the face, hormone replacement therapy to restructure my shape and perhaps GRS (genital reconstructive surgery). I don’t believe breast augmentation would be necessary and my face is sufficiently androgynous that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) would likely do everything I needed there. I sincerely doubt I would need vocal surgery, as I know how to modulate and adjust my voice sufficiently (from all the impressions and voice throwing I used to do in high school.)

I’m aware that the social impact of pretty much everything but the hair removal is somewhat extreme. It isn’t terribly practical to walk around with male pronouns and a male name when you have breasts and a female looking face and especially a vagina (if I go that far). If I were to move forward with this treatment (and it is looking more and more necessary every day) it would become necessary for me to adopt female pronouns and a female name out of social practicality and social necessity. Changing my presentation like that, along with the physical changes has a risk of alienating some people and there is a strong level of social dislike scattered throughout our culture for individuals in my position. There are a lot of risks but I am also aware of how to account for them. I have inquired into how my field treats individuals like myself and the response has been mostly positive. I’m in a good college community where individuals in my situation are well treated, both by the school and by the people. I have confirmed this through several friends who are going through the same thing but are further along in treatment than I am. I already am very self aware and conscious of social situations, including dangerous ones and have a healthy level of distrust for people I don’t know and even people I do know. Most of these habits I learned before I was even aware what my situation was, simply because of how I was treated in high school. I learned social distrust and judging a situation, as well as safety in numbers at my community college, as I was often in the bad parts of the three cities when visiting my friends. So I am not unarmed and unable to stave off these risks. I am more than prepared for them.

Unfortunately, despite the social impact and the risks it exposes me to, those risks still aren’t as dire as the risks I am exposed to should I not treat my dysphoria. Were it the other way around, I wouldn’t even consider such a change as I myself am not fond of change and transition in my life. I have been on and off suicidal and prone to urges of self harm for a very large portion of my life, holding myself back only because of my strong moral objection to killing and self injury (one of the reasons I’m glad I grew up with a Christian background where those things are morally unacceptable). There were times when things got bad enough that I seriously considered castrating myself or even killing myself. It’s part of the reason I resorted to alcohol as it deadened the feelings of the dysphoria. Unfortunately, alcohol is, in and of itself, a form of self harm and I barely managed to escape the trap of addiction that comes with it. Were I to strip myself of treatment for this disorder, I would have little else to use to cope with it. Another serious risk I faced and still face while this goes untreated comes from my overuse of the disassociation coping method to deal with my dysphoria.

To give some background, disassociation is a mental coping method wherein a person pulls himself or herself away from reality. The mind literally perceives reality less, either through blurring things conceptually or literally pulling away from it and no longer perceiving all of it. Individuals exposed to traumatic stress often use disassociation. Soldiers, rape and abuse victims, children who are brutally beaten or teased in schools, gang members, victims of torture or people exposed to constant damaging levels of stress. Disassociation is often the cause of desensitization as the mind pulls far and frequently enough away from that segment of reality to not feel the impact any longer. Disassociation comes in two forms, depersonalization and derealization. Derealization is the most common for externally sourced trauma. Disturbing images or horrible experiences that a soldier might see or experience would cause him or her to pull away from external reality, to the point that it feels unreal, dreamlike, strange, and foreign or illusion like. That is derealization. Depersonalization is the most common for internally sourced or direct trauma. Severe and constant pain, direct trauma like rape and abuse tend to cause the person to pull away from their own body, feeling as though their body is someone else’s, or feeling like they’re having an out of body experience, often feeling like they’re watching the traumatic event occur to their body from afar. Both of these forms have the potential to be used too much and cause serious disorders like Disassociative Identity Disorder (commonly thought of as Multiple Personality Disorder) or General Disassociative Disorder (which I believe causes catatonic and fugue states in which the person is essentially “not home” in their mind, even while doing things).

I myself use depersonalization the most, as my dysphoria is constant pain relating to my body itself. My brain uses this coping method to such a degree that I often don’t realize when I’m in physical pain (like from the IBS) or notice what I’m wearing because I’m so pulled away from my body. The very real risk of me developing a disassociative disorder is one my therapist has mentioned numerous times and those are even more difficult to treat than GID.

I know this probably doesn’t help you worry any less and will probably be a lot to take in but I am adamant that I am in good hands and am working on getting the treatments I need. As scary and awful as they may seem, there are solutions and they are obtainable. I am dealing with this slowly, carefully and with the help of trained and experienced professionals. I am avoiding the harmful and dangerous methods of coping from my past and attempting to work within the therapy and treatment to fix this, instead of going down the self destructive route like __________ did for his own (presumably) unrelated issues. I also know that considering the strong possibility that your son could very well become your daughter is pretty harshly difficult all by itself. I get this and I will do everything in my power to try to make any future transition that occurs slow and careful so that you and mom and my brothers aren’t overwhelmed. My family is important to me and I want you guys to be a part of my life, even if I go forward with the full transition. So I want to do my best to help you come to terms with the disorder I have and what will likely be necessary to fix it.

If you have questions I can answer them. No matter how silly, ridiculous, strange, outlandish, foolish or even offensive you think a question is, still please ask it. One of the best ways to come to terms with something is to understand it as best as you can. And that means finding out everything you can of it, especially from the one who’s going through it. You can ask over email, over the phone, or even through letters you send on your own to me. Mom has already been made aware but she’s been afraid of looking into this stuff and researching it for fear of revealing this situation to you before you were ready to hear it. Which is sort of silly because no one is ever ready to hear this and there’s never a good time to tell it. But yes, she’ll need your help to do research online and such to find out more. That’s only if you guys want to do that stuff on your own. I have a good number of resources I can pass along and things I can find to help give more information on my situation and gender identity disorder and now that you know, there’s no risk to sending them to you guys. I have not told _________ or ___________ yet and I would appreciate it if this was kept from them for now. __________ especially. I’m sorry for any stress or worry this has caused you. I’ll do my best to help in this situation but in the end, it will be difficult and there’s nothing I can do to change that.

With Love,

2009-05-04 12:52 am

When fathers act like ignorant children.

Update: While I feel entirely justified in venting about this when comparing my letter to this email, a few people on WiG did raise a worry in me that my dad could find this blog. While I doubt it would change his supportiveness (I am effectively disowned right now), they pointed out that it could certainly motivate him to take an actively antagonistic role in my situation. Which would cause a lot of problems. So I've toned down the annotations and removed most of the worst venting itself.

So, I sent a letter to my dad a while back. That letter worked very hard to soften the blow of my transsexuality while explaining it from a technical, medical, scientific and general standpoint. My father, in his infinite fucking wisdom, decided to take a few chugs out of the big jar of distilled essence of "stupid douchefuck" that we keep in the garage (no idea why, must be a holdover from the 70s)

His response (edited for identity stuff) and with annotated responses added by yours truly:


I cannot get my mind to work through your letter. (This indicates to me that he didn't really read the entire thing. Further indication comes later)

However, since I am your father I feel obligated to provide this feed back for your use and your doctor’s use.
(This feed back is mostly uninformed and ignorant garbage. It's pretty apparent he didn't read the letter or research.)

1. How can your treatment work? (He ignores me describing exactly how it works in the letter)

a. You already realize that your medical problem is irrational. (Probably the only part he actually read and internalized in the letter. x_x)

b. You do an irrational treatment program. (A treatment program is irrational if it does not make the symptoms cease or if it causes the disorder to progress. GID does not progress in dysphoria sources even without treatment, it just continues to wear away at you till you kill yourself or castrate yourself. And transition causes the dysphoria to cease. Ergo transition is not an irrational treatment program. Basically, he's using buzzwords that he doesn't fully comprehend in an irrational and emotional reaction. Yes, I'm aware of the irony.)

c. How can an irrational treatment program work to solve irrational thoughts? Two wrongs never make a right. (Thank you for showing us your capacity to use buzzwords that you don't fully comprehend to make a completely nonsensical argument designed to appeal entirely to irrational emotional states. Thanks too for giving a darn good example of irony. You'd make a brilliant politician, dad.)

2. Second opinion. (How about a third opinion? You know, like what I got. The assumptions are pretty thick here. Notice how he never asks if I've done so and so, he assumes I haven't because the treatment isn't acceptable to him personally.)

a. This treatment is so radical that a second opinion is warranted. (I recall specifically talking about it being risky and high social impact and that I was taking every precaution. At the very least, he could have used that info to ask, not assume that I wasn't.)

b. Why hasn’t your so-called Doctor recommended a second opinion? (Um. He did. And I got one. Even if he hadn't recommended one, I still would have gotten one. I never just trust one doctor. That's silly.)

c. Does your Doctor even have a medical degree? (Yes. He does. So do the other three doctors I saw and am seeing. PhDs in each of their fields, psychology for two of them, psychiatry/psychology and standard medical/endocrinology for the other two. Why in the fuck does he think I would go to a doctor without a fucking degree? I regularly posit my disdain for getting medical advice or treatment from individuals without medical doctorate degrees because of the complexity of biology. Alt treatments aside, HRT and surgery are major medical procedures and treatments. I would never get advice to do them from a person without the appropriate degrees. At least this one he actually asked, although the question implies he's already assumed the answer. )

3. Alternate more common sense treatment. (You need to
actually make sense first before you can call what you say "common sense.")

a. Why not work on the irrational thoughts in the first place with a doctor? (This one was verbatim dealt with in my letter. 100% bonified proof that he did not read. I got sort of pissed here and originally caps locked in my annotation, because of how obvious his lack of reading was here. To let you all know, I went to therapy for two years to deal with my dysphoria.)

b. Why not work on your IBS? IBS provides a lot of pain. With pain come irrational thoughts. (There isn't even an iota of evidence that IBS causes such an extreme reaction as GID. I didn't explicitly give the order in the letter but he knows that the IBS symptoms started late teens and the letter told him that the dysphoria started far earlier, pre puberty. This is where it becomes even more apparent that he either didn't read or didn't think at all while writing this.)

4. You should also change your last name. Please include all documentation your SS card, your drivers license and all insurances. In additional include all entities like the federal government, the state, and your school. (This implies, despite the stuff below that he wants to disassociate me from the family. Pretty screwed up, dad.)

a. A simple search (<my last name> && <my school>) on the Internet reveals the following.

Ø <my female name> <my last name>

Ø <One of my online handles>

Ø <my female name and last name>@<an email provider>

Ø Your picture and a caption at <a university news site>(So? Anyone who does that search is going to see a girl and a girl name. GASP. SHOCK. AWE. You only see a guy and a girl name because you know about my history. Others do not. Others have no reason to. And my old name is not associated with my new name. I have also been cautious to avoid trans association that is traceable online.)

b. What do you think future employers are going to do? The Internet is searched. Especially facebook, and google are the first step in the search of an employee’s background. (And? Employers will find a girl, with a girl name. I don't even have a facebook. And when I get one, it'll likely be female based. Besides, employers are about eighty steps ahead of the government in my field and many already have non discrimination policies for trans people. I've called several HR departments about it just to check.)

c. For the 2008 tax year you are still considered a dependent on my taxes. For the 2009 tax year you are not a dependent since you moved out in June of 2008. Make your own arrangements now. (This is actually good news, as it helps me for taxes. This was already planned out when I moved so it isn't like this is an extra indicator of being cut off. He just is treating it like it is, which is pretty disgusting.)

d. You must come off my Health and Auto insurance by your 25th birthday. Make your own arrangements now.
(He's acting like an asshole again in the wording but this one is actually based on my insurance company itself. Age 25 is the cut off point. Although I have my doubts if he would let me stay on the insurance if it didn't have a cut off.)

5. Did you ever think about what your actions will do to your family?
(I got pretty upset here too as I went over this in the letter: "Obviously. I waited years and years to even consider moving forward with this. I grappled with being suicidal, with self harm, alcohol abuse and wanting to castrate myself. I got therapy and basically worked my damnest to make sure that every step I took had a minimum social impact. But after a while it became apparent that it wasn't enough for me to survive. And in the end, I can't live for other people if it will destroy my own life. I realized it was time to do what was necessary for me, instead of taking my life, becoming a hospital ward or a drunk. None of those would have been good for the family either, so really, you guys were fucked from the beginning. But I have a chance at functionality and happiness. How fucking dare you stand on my throat when I finally take my own damn well being into my hands. Did you ever think about what keeping myself in this state for you guys did to me? Do you give a shit about the state I would be in now if I didn't transition? Obviously not. Two way street, asshole. If you want me to care about you, you need to care back." I'm keeping this section because really, even if he finds this blog, this particular statement is the one that upset me the most. He was way out of line saying that when I told him how much I did for the family in my letter.)

6. You need to stay away until further notice. Do not visit. Do not call. Do not e-mail me.
(There's a mild possibility that this has to do with his job but really, I doubt it. I think he just doesn't want contact.)

7. You may contact your mother via e-mail. You may prearrange a call with her when I am not home.
(The previous assessment being because of this statement.)


So there you have it. This is the man that I used to regard as a parent. Little hard to see him as one now, when he's acting like an insolent child. I haven't contacted him. I don't see the point. Even if he gives me that "further notice"
he alluded to I really don't know if I want to contact someone who treated me like he did. Notice the lack of "love, dad" in there. That's normally in every email from him. So it's readily apparent how I'm viewed now.

I am understandably bitter.