Thursday, July 20, 2006

Regarding my Transgenderism

For the most part, I'm out of the closet now. So you may commence talking about me behind my back; you won't be giving away any secrets. For any of you who don't know, I'm transgendered. To recap:

I have been in therapy for well over a year, to help me deal with several issues, most significantly gender dysphoria. This is the same as being "a woman trapped in a man's body" (though generally I don't care for that term).

I am not gay, but I strongly identify with the opposite sex, and I strongly wish I was a woman. I have known this on some level all of my life, but I suppressed these feelings because I didn't know what they meant. I had always assumed that the desire to be female was part of being gay, and I knew I wasn't attracted to men. It just a few years ago that I found out that a lot of transsexuals are straight (at least before the operation), and with that discovery came a floodgate of realizations about myself.

So what does this do to my marriage? We're not sure yet. We have discussed this subject at great length, usually until both of us are in tears. We love each other very much, and we never want to be apart. But she doesn't want to be married to a woman, or even a man who perceives himself to be a woman. And while I can't bear the thought of losing her, I also can't go through life pretending to be something I'm not.

I can see myself as female, and I can accept myself as gender-neutral, but I simply can not see myself as male. Perhaps if I can come to terms with these feelings, and learn to be happy with myself the way I am in a gender-neutral way, then I won't have to pursue this any further.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Had a Letter Printed in KODT

Nothing big here...

I have a subscription to Knights of the Dinner Table, but I don't actually read it every month. Since I like it mostly for the strips, I don't bother until I have several issues to read in a row, so it lasts longer. The strip is generally an ongoing story, and reading a single issue by itself just doesn't go anywhere.

So typically, I'll let the issues stack up somewhere for a few months, then take them with me on a long car trip or something. Which is what we did yesterday - we took an overnight trip to Evansville, Indiana. KJ got to go gambling, and this morning we went to a really nice zoo. The Mesker Park Zoo, to be exact. It's a great place; I highly recommend it. It's part park, part zoo, and it lets you get a lot closer to the animals than most zoos I've been to.

Anyway, back to KODT... So here it is, mid-July, and I just now notice that they printed a letter of mine in the march issue. I made a KODT reference in my Itropa mod, and I couldn't resist sending them a pic. From Knights of the Dinner Table, Issue 113 (March '06), page 8:

Here's a better view of the picture I sent them:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Some TG-Related News Articles

Woman's Gender Change Shocks The Man She Dated
A Dear Abby column. It shows how little people understand transgenderism. If she has a woman's mind, and she now has a body to match, she's a woman. I understand why it creeped the guy out. A sex change is something that's hard for some people to wrap their minds around. What I just don't get is why he got so mad about it. It would be one thing if she was still pre-op, but she is a woman now, by nearly every definition.

Trans Candidate Takes Aim At Political Barriers
I hope this is a sign of things to come. I'm not much of a voter - I've just never seen a candidate who I really thought shared my beliefs. Most elections seem to involve two stick-in-the-mud idiots. For instance, I'm very much against censorship. Last presidential election I paid attention to, both candidates were in favor of censoring the internet more heavily. I'm a big believer in the seperation of church and state, but every candidate I see wants to improve the "moral climate" of America. And so on. At least with this woman, I know we share some opinions. Too bad I don't live in her district.

Transgender Child to Enter Florida School
This one bothered me a little. While I applaud the progressive attitude, I do worry about making decisions so early. A lot of trans children don't really feel "wrong" until they hit puberty. While many others feel it much younger, there's just so much sexual ambiguity in everyone before their hormones kick in, that I'd hate them to make these kind of decisions too early. Still, the child has been examined by the experts, so if they're sure, then more power to them.

Transgender Firefighter's Discrimination Claims Valid
Same $#!T, different day/job/minority/etc. Yet another person discriminated against for things they can't really control. Believe me, nobody wants to be a tranny. If it were a choice, we all would have simply been born the gender we were meant to be. Having people hate you, thinking you're evil, is just adding insult to injury. Many of us hate ourselves more than enough already, we don't need help, thank you.

Monday, July 10, 2006

It's Written All Over My Face

Right now, I've got a cute little webtoy on my page, that lets you draw on a picture of my face. Of course you've probably seen it, but I described it anyway because I might have to take it down soon, if this becomes a problem. Okay, so over the weekend, I changed my profile photo from a "Matt" pic to a "Christine" pic. Not even 24 hours later, someone had written "FAG" in big letters across my face.

Now, the opinion of a bigot does not bother me. Heck, he doesn't even know the difference between transgenderism and sexual orientation. I'm not a "fag", I'm a "tranny". If you're going to insult me, at least be accurate.

Besides, it's going to get so much worse than this. Everyone I've told about my gender issues has been so supportive; it's almost disappointing. (Note, I said, "almost"). Heck, most people I've told weren't even surprised. ("What do you mean, you already knew? I didn't even know! When were you going to tell me?") I am extremely lucky that this is the first negative feedback I've had to tolerate. But let's face it, sooner or later I'll be the target of insults, scorn, mocking, and probably even rocks. I'm going to have to develop a thick skin eventually.

Really, I'm kind of proud of the insult... it's like being initiated into some sort of club. Now that I've been insulted, I'm a "true tranny." In a strange way, it validates my existence.

However, there is one thing that really bothers me. The simple fact that someone out there hates me. Even though we've never met, and I've never done anything to him, he just hates me for who I am. Okay, okay, that's nothing new. People hate other people all the time for stupid reasons. There are people who hate certain races, religions, countries, etc. If you have a pulse, there's someone who hates you. But still, this is more personal. It's one thing to say that you dislike left-handed Hungarian ice skaters, but it's quite another to actually send a note to one.

And it's not like I want everyone in the world to like me. Heck, I'd rather most people not know I exist. To some extent, I even respect people who think I'm a sinner. I can't understand their beliefs for the life of me, but at least they're following some sort of moral code, and sticking to it. But I don't like being the direct target of hate. Hating a group is one thing... it's easier to hate groups because you don't see them as individual people. That's almost instinctual - "birds of a feather" and all that. But I'm not condoning racism, I'm just saying I understand why people (especially the dumber ones) are so prone to it. But singling me out personally, I just don't get. Yes, I know I'm reading a lot into three letters.

I'm not actually afraid, though... Yes, I know people like me have it tough. I know they can get into some pretty bad situations. Anyone who's seen that recent Lifetime Movie ("A Girl Like Me") or even "Boys Don't Cry" (pretty much the same story, but reversed), both of which are based on true events, knows that I could be killed just for being myself. But you know what? That just doesn't really frighten me. Considering the amount of time I spend contemplating suicide anyway, why should I be afraid of someone beating me to it? I'd rather die as a young woman, than as an old man.

Wait, wait, don't go calling the police or anything. Let me expand on what I meant by "contemplating suicide". I promise you, I'm not suicidal. Some of the pills I'm taking for depression/social anxiety do have "thoughts of suicide" listed as a side effect, a fact which I find hilariously ironic. But as my psychiatrist explained to me, I might think about suicide more often, but I'm much less likely to actually do it. The point is, I'm not trying to find ways to kill myself, but I'm not currently afraid of death. I'm much more afraid of "not living" than I am of dying.

Friday, July 7, 2006

MySpace and the Art of Knowing Who Your Friends Are

This is not directed at anyone in particular, nor is it only referring to the "bye" post that's been going around... but that was what sparked it, so I'll repost it here, in case you want to know what I'm talking about:

For those who are on my friend list...I totally have to agree with all of you who say people are getting fake In here. So I gave in and let's see who really reposts this. This is a test to see who's paying attention. It serves to eliminate people who are desperately trying to add "friends" like its a popularity contest in High School. This is a test to see how many people in my friends list actually pay attention to me. Copy and repost in your own bulletin. Lets see who the true friends are and I think I know who you are.. Repost this if you are a friend.. if you don't, you get deleted.. Don't reply... just copy and paste this in a new bulletin as "Bye Myspace

Okay, first observation. Saying people are getting fake in MySpace is like saying that all the professionalism has gone out of midget bowling. MySpace isn't supposed to be deep, it's just a fun way of sharing a piece of yourself with the rest of the world. Also, not everyone reads the board... I'd hate to be knocked off a friend's list just because I don't use every little feature of MySpace.

But more importantly, I hate this post because it puts the viewer in an awkward position, presenting them with a sort of logic puzzle. If you follow the instructions, and repost it as-is, then you are obligated to remove the friends who don't do the same. If you ignore the post completely, the person who originally posted it might remove you as a friend. Look how carefully it's phrased. "Don't reply... just copy and paste..." That way you won't add anything to let people know you don't mean it. With people afraid not to repost it, the post spreads like a virus.

Not everyone views MySpace the same way. Some want to have as many friends as possible, so they can share their posts with lots of people with similar interests. Others want only to list people they know personally. There are advantages to both. But the "bye" post forces people with both views to treat their friends lists the same way. This is unfair. In effect, the original poster is saying, "I don't want anything but true friends on my friends list, and I also don't want any of my friends to have oversized friends lists either."

But it's not just the "bye" post... I see lots of unrelated posts by people saying they're going to be trimming their friend lists. Let me say one thing plainly to everyone: Nobody cares how you organize your friends list. Listen, kiddos, you don't need a "bye" post or anything similar to know who your friends are. If you want someone off your list, remove them. I've seen at least one person basically say, "I don't know if my MySpace friends are really paying attention to me, I'm going to remove the ones who don't love me enough." If you don't know who your friends really are, then maybe the problem lies with you.

I realize this is whole blog is an oxymoron. I make a big long post about not telling people how to organize their friends lists, when in effect I'm trying to tell you what to do myself. But organizing your friends list is a personal thing, and it doesn't need to be broadcast to the world.