Monthly Archives: January 2014

What do you see?

They see a kid, sane person.
a bit average maybe, 
clearly fitting in,
blending with the crowd.
The tears of laughter,
a well-placed grin,
and living for the future.

They miss faltering smiles,
the constant burn of pain,
and tears of despair.
The thin wall of lies
breaking, crumbling
the small existence:
here today, gone tomorrow.

What do you see?

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Apprehension (Eeeek!) Part II

This one’s going to be short – strict orders from my coach to get a good meal in the body and to sleep tonight. I had tilapia, green beans, sweet potatoes and ice cream for dinner, not for the sleep part!

In my last post I talked about how nervous I’ve been about various things. Here I’m going to explain what happened with those elements.

Quizzes: I had one today – got a 2/4. Eeeek. I could’ve performed better, but I’ll be more ready next time. He tested on material from class since the people were a little confused on what reading we had. So I studied ahead. Ah, well. Ye live and learn.

Running: Today my hip hurt. Pretty bad. I couldn’t even stand on it with out it hurting, so my friend on the team that does.. well I’m not sure exactly what she does, but it’s magic. She massages and does active muscle release. Which hurts. I literally cried a little. It feels sore now, but I think from the massage. I have a  double tomorrow morning, so I guess we’ll see then.

Public Speaking: Well, I gave my speech. And the world didn’t end. The person that gave the speech about me used all male pronouns.. didn’t even slip up once, which I really appreciated. I hope it wasn’t too hard on her to do that. 

Applications: BAM. Two done, for a total of three, just three to go. I think I have the process undercontrol, but I really nervous to see if I’ll get in a summer laboratory position.

On another note – it’s official. I’m meeting with Sally Kern. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why I would even go within a mile of her. Hearing her talk on Flashpoint hit a nerve. I know that nothing I say to her will make one iota of a difference. But I think it’s not for her benefit; it’s more mine. I need to know that I tried. So we’ll see how that goes, and see if I can pull together something to talk about. If you have any ideas, feel free to let me know in the comments section!

Cheers, guys, thanks for reading.

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Apprehension. (Eeeek!)

Oh, that heart-thumping, nail-biting, leg-shaking, hair-pulling feeling. It seems to be a theme in my life lately.

Quizzes: I usually have a quiz every single day, in one of my classes. They’re meant to be low-stress and just test if you’ve actually done the reading, but I get this perfectionist complex, where I get crazy-pissed at myself if I miss even one question. I run it through my head over and over, wondering why I couldn’t have just selected the right answer. Looking back, the answer was so obvious. Why can’t I get a simple true/false question right?

Running: Yeah, I had one good race, but what if it was a fluke? What if I can’t hit the times in my workout, or fail the expectations of my coach?

Public Speaking: I know, I know, I’m normal on this one. Just the words “public speaking” can instill fear in any person. I have my first speech tomorrow. I think I was going to dress up a bit, maybe wear a button up and tie, but I don’t even know how to tie a tie! I still need to even practice my speech. I don’t even think it counts for a grade. It’s just 2-4 minutes, and it’s pretty much just to get us talking in front of the class. The topic is introductions – but the catch is that we’re introducing someone else, not ourselves. I’m nervous if the person talking about me is going to use the correct pronouns, and if I’m going to be uncomfortable even if she does.

Applications: I’m trying to get into a summer program for research, and each program is incredibly competitive and the applications are reminiscent of trying to get into college. And they’re more competitive than most grad schools. I’m nervous because some of them ask what diversity I can bring to the program, and this would be the place to talk about being trans. But at the same time I have no idea how to word it to be pertinent to research.

Oi vey. I will fight apprehension with positive thoughts and productivity. I’m looking forward to the Superbowl, hanging out with PFLAG peeps and my friends. I love my Thursday group, but I like PFLAG because the people in there are really mature, and one can have actual adult conversations! I’m looking forward to running my race because I know that I can get a PR. Productivity is happening: now. I’m going to prepare and practice my speech as well as finish two applications for summer stuff. Bam. Here we go.

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I will walk 500 miles… (I will run 500 meters)

So. 3rd workout in six days. (Even if one was a mini-workout, it still counts, dammit!)

Today we went to the lake. The BIG lake – if you live where I do you know which one it is. I have to admit, it’s nice chillaxing on the bus on the way there, not having to worry about driving or anything. When we got there, we loaded out, and after much jesting we skedaddled on our runs/warm-ups. I got back and my coach asked if I wanted to know what the workout was. I said yeah! and he asked me: so what’s the workout? He’s funny like that. I replied, er.. 500s! Lo and behold, I was right! I won’t specify the time nor recovery because I think that information is my coach’s property, but let’s just assume they were at a decent pace.

I knew I was in trouble on the warm-up, when I had stitches underneath both my clavicles. I hit the times for the workout, though I definitely wish I could’ve ran faster for the last few. My breathing was heavy, my face was hot, and my muscles felt a lot tighter than usual. If during my last 3k I was flying, then today I was wading through mud.

It might also be because the temperature was a blistering 65 degrees. Thank goodness it’s going back to the 20’s for the next couple days; this Colorado guy can’t take the roasting. (Just wait until May, then I’ll really be complaining.)

I’ve come to realize that I have a bit of a problem with hydrating. I don’t really enjoy drinking water unless I’m really thirsty, and there’s only so much powdered Gatorade one can shove down hir gullet before it becomes a bit rank too. Is this just me, or do most people actually like water? Sometimes I eat salty things to make me crave it, but that usually increases my water retention too much and makes me feel heavy. I desperately need your advice. How do you trick yourself into drinking more water?

Anyway, my suffering warm-down was good. A friend was asking if I think I’ll be happier about myself after I medically transition, and I said that I knew it wouldn’t solve all my problems, but that I thought it would make me a great deal happier. I shared with her the changes I was most looking forward to – it was interesting that she was quite surprised that HRT can do so much. I forget that I’ve done quite a bit of research, and that to most people the changes are mind-blowing. I guess to me they are as well, but more of a mind-blowing eventual necessity.

 

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Self-Made Man – Nora Vincent

 

Last night I was a tad bit bored and since I had no plans on a Friday night I decided to drive around. Can you believe how late bookstores are open? 9 or 10 pm! I looked for the book Parrotfish, by Ellen Wittlinger. The used bookstore had a few shelves of LGBT stuff, and a couple of her books were there, but not Parrotfish. I picked another book, Self-Made Man, out because it looked interesting. (On a side note, I just now realized that Half Price Books actually means half price. The book was $7.50 as opposed to an original $15.00. Yes, you can call me captain obvious…) 

I went to a new bookstore hoping to find Parrotfish, but to no avail. They did have, however, at least 70 shelves of Christian literature. All I can say is welcome to Oklahoma! I’m not sure my hometown would be much different though. I may just have to order that book online.

Well, the book is extremely insightful to say the least! You can find a summary here. The premise is that a women, who also happens to be gay, disguises herself as a man, and lives in male-dominated atmospheres for more than a year. As a transguy, this gives a lot of insight to gender differences – the manner of talking, acting, interacting, and in essence, being. I still think it’s incredible (and I’m a bit jealous) that she was able to pass so well. Maybe if I weren’t a lanky cross country runner and worked on my voice I might be able to be stealth more often than I am now. One can certainly dream.

Even though the author isn’t transgender, her experiences still give a glimpse into how life will change after I start HRT. I’m not quite finished with the book, but it is so well written and intellectually intriguing that I couldn’t wait to write about it. Actually I’m so hopeful that other people will read it too, if they haven’t already, that I would like to do a pass-it-forward kind of thing. 

If you’re interested in reading this book (when I’m finished,) contact me. If you give me an address to send it to I will do so! Each person that reads it can sign hir wordpress (or other website) username in the cover and pass it on. All I ask is that the new person blog about what they thought of the book and do a pingback to the previous person so we can track everywhere it’s been! Hope that made sense and that someone’s interested…

Cheers, peeps.

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Self-esteem and the confident transman

The last day or two I’ve been feeling down. Not down as in, “the day was kind of a bummer,” but down as in “why the heck are tears streaming down my face? I didn’t see this coming.”  I was so in control for so long, that the lapse too me completely off guard.

I’m sure my mood is due to a plethora of causes, including the stress of school setting in and a strong possibility of womanly hormonal fluctuation (just take my ovaries now please, and don’t even give them back.) I think though, that the brief downward spiral happened when I stopped smiling to myself in the mirror.

Call me crazy, but lately I’ve been doing this thing where I look in the mirror and give myself a few complements before walking out the door. Hey there, good lookin’. Your face looks way clearer than last week. And your hair, the way it turned out… and you didn’t even try! You’ve lost a few pound and it shows – practically no hips left at all! And then I literally smile at myself and take note of how good I look when I’m happy.

I think I had a day where I didn’t feel so good about myself. I didn’t wear my binder because my back hurt, and I had convinced myself that I had chesticles out to kingdom come, and my hips were just so wide. And my face was chubby – forget baby face. I looked all woman. I’m sure I don’t look any different now than I did a week ago, but my self-esteem clouded everything around me. Instead of catching myself in the act of thinking irrationally, I fed into it, looking for evidence of my faults everywhere.

Every person that used “she” or called me “girl,” reinforced the idea that everyone always sees me as a girl. I felt I was a faker. And that that people that do use “he” were just playing along with the charade. I didn’t have my usual patience to remind myself that habit are hard to break, and that people were intentionally trying to hurt me. 

Then looking on Facebook I started feeling like no one likes me. I saw pictures of my friends together celebrating someone’s entrance to med school, and got sad that I wasn’t invited.

Then I heard my roommates talking about me. And even though I couldn’t hear everything, I just heard “doing homework” and “dishes” and even though I couldn’t quite hear their whispered tone of voice I became paranoid that they’re all pissed at me for not keeping up with the dishes, or leaving my computer on the table, or using their pans. 

Even at my LGBT youth group I was in a foul mood. And when someone there “she’d” me, someone in one of the only place I have to feel accepted, it hit me like a train. I sort of looked around, and painfully remembered that I was the only transperson in there. That no one understands how fucking painful it is to hear “she” from the people I trust the most. I felt like the odd one out because not one of the twenty-something people in the room knows what it feels like to be trans. Even when I go to the trans* group, every transguy ever that shows up is either on T or getting it really soon.

What it makes me want to do is retreat. Not run for the youth board because I don’t have the confidence. I feel like running and not getting voted in would feel even worse. I don’t even want to be around my science buddies when it feels like they don’t invite me to things anyway. I don’t want to be around anyone.

But I know it’s irrational. I need to pick myself up and start from square one – find things about myself that I like, remember each and every person I know that values me in some aspect. I need to give people the benefit of the doubt when trying to determine their intentions. 

If I do that, then I’ll be fine.

 

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Sunday Flashpoint: Kevin Ogle talks same-sex marriage with guests Sally Kern & Scott Hamilton

Major changes may be happening in Oklahoma. This is worth a watch, and I have so much respect for Scott. He is such an articulate person on and off camera, and keeps his head in frustrating situations.

KFOR.com

FLASHPOINT: Earlier this week, when a federal judge ruled Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional – it set off a firestorm of controversy.

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Today on Flashpoint Kevin Ogle brings up this topic.

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Our guests on the show are State Representative Sally Kern, a well-known opponent of the gay lifestyle and gay marriage.

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Our other guest is Scott J. Hamilton, the Executive Director of the gay advocacy group The Cimarron Alliance in Oklahoma City.

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