I am an F2M queer transman, living in SLC. These are my experiences and such...
Like most Trans individuals insurance doesn't pay for my SRS surgeries. If you would like to help me out by donating click the link below.
If you would like to donate directly to my top surgery fund you can do so by clicking here. Any amount is appreciated!
Around Jun 1st, you will also be able to purchase a very SEXY trans*masculine calendar. Details can be found on the Facebook page here
On may 25th, I will be having a ROCK YOUR TITS OFF Fundraiser at Bar Deluxe in SLC. That info can be found here.
LOTS of ways to help a young lad out, with his very expensive top surgery!
It’s been a bit, I’m bad at this blogging thing, I apologize. I recently traveled to Dallas for work again. This time I was visiting our home office to chat with a group who we, in SLC, work closely with. It was a good trip, lots of work stuff. I don’t like Dallas. Nothing against anyone that lives in Dallas, it’s just not for me. There just isn’t anything in Dallas except buildings and freeways. Granted I didn’t do any sightseeing per say, I just don’t think it’s a place I would ever want to reside in for a long period of time.
Coming back from Dallas I had my first “run in,” since starting transitioning, with TSA. It went a little like this…
I walked up to the person who checks the tickets against your ID. She marked me off and sent me to the agent who tells you what lane to get in. I still maintain that no matter what I wear to the airport they always flag me as being “trouble.” I was sent to the X-ray lane while everyone before me was sent to the regular, just pick up your up shit, lane. As I stepped out of the X-ray machine, a dude was there to pat me down. He indicated he was going to Pat me down, I said ok, and he proceeded. Now, when I came back from Hawaii this same procedure happened. However the binder I wore in Hawaii was a full binder and didn’t bunch up under my chest, like the one I currently had on did. So when the TSA agent passed his hand over my chest he felt the bunched up binder. He stopped and asked what I had under my shirt. I leaned in and said… I am transgender, so what you are feeling is my binder. He asked you’re what? I said, I am transgender… He then took a step back put his hands in the air and said… OH! Well… Hold on one min and wondered over to his supervisor.
By this time another man had been sent through the x-ray machine and was now standing impatiently behind me. I think it’s important to note that this man was of Middle Eastern decent…Only because it backs up my theory that I must look like trouble. (NOT SAYING MIDDLE EASTERN PEOPLE ARE TROUBLE JUST THAT THEY ARE TARGETED BY TSA) As I stood there I joked around with the Female TSA agent. I Noticed that everyone else behind me was being sent through the, pick your shit up lane, and no one else was being x-rayed… again trouble.
After about 3 min another male TSA agent wondered over, he put on some gloves and said, I’m going to pat you down so we can get this going… I said, well, well, wait. And he began to pat me down. He did the same thing the first TSA agent did, got to my bunched up binder and questioned what was under my shirt. Mind you there is now a man standing behind me. I simply stated, I am transgender so what you are feeling is a binder. The dude apologized and said I was just trying to help get you through the line. I reassured him that everything was fine, and I wasn’t offended by what just happened. A little flustered but not offended.
The man behind me became increasingly upset, asking what was taking so long, and why was his laptop pulled out of the bag x-ray machine. He began to get a little aggressive when the TSA agent told him if he didn’t calm down he would have a bigger problem than a short wait in line. The first TSA agent now stepped back to our line. He pulled me aside and said, ok I’m really sorry about all of this. I just had to make sure I was following proper procedure. I said, you’re just fine, I understand you have to do your job, as long as you’re not an ass everything is cool. He then asked if I wanted a female to pat me down, or if I just wanted him to finish. I said if you don’t mind I don’t mind. He said he didn’t, he finished patting me down, tested my hands to make sure I hadn’t made any bombs that day, patted me on the back and told me to have a good day. SO all in all not bad at all, just interesting I will say that I am very pleased with how respectful the Dallas TSA people were. Things could have been much worse, so thanks for the respect TSA.
On another note, my blog is lacking. It’s funny because I always ask myself before I blog, is there anything change wise I need to point out. The answer is always no, not really. As of 11-11-11 it has been 7 months since I started T. My face is hairy but really that’s about the only change I notice. People tell me my voice has changed, but then people who haven’t seen me since I started T say my voice hasn’t changed at all. I’m still up in the air, I don’t hear it all. Yet via phone conversation I do get sir a lot more than I ever did. I’m read as male 100% of the time. Binding is getting to be more and more difficult. I don’t think my chest has changed much but there are days where my boobs feel larger than normal. I am of the belief this is really all just in my head, but breathing is becoming more difficult to the point of where I wonder if I might have asthma. Most of the time I come home and instantly change into my PJs, no binder just so I feel comfortable, it’s not been a pleasant thing. I plan on hitting the gym regularly so hopefully that will help me with some weight gain but I really just need top surgery. Anyone want to co sign a loan for me?
The biggest difference that I still notice to this day… I am happy. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long feeling happy. I’ve spoken about this before but I feel it needs repeating. I’ve suffered from depression ever since I was a teen. Ever since I could remember I felt heavy, not fat heavy but weighed down, feel like your dragging a ton of bricks behind you heavy. I would go through short spells where I would feel semi happy, but these generally lasted a day or week if I was lucky, always knowing that the happy would be followed by some deep despair. In high school I suffered through daily thoughts of suicide, I attempted a few times but lucky never succeeded. As I grew up I got use to the suicidal thoughts. They would hit me all the time, can’t pay your bills… Just kill yourself, oh your car won’t start, kill yourself. It was ridiculous. Killing myself was always the first suggestions my brain came up. I would push through applying my cognitive thinking theory tactics and basically I just existed, feeling empty, sad, and heavy.
Since T I haven’t felt any of this. I’ve had my down days but NOTHING, SERRIOUSLY NOTHING like what they were. I haven’t thought about suicide ever since that first shot of T in my leg. It’s amazing, when I do feel sad, it’s not a heavy hopeless I don’t think I can make it sad. I feel disappointment and move on, it’s such a relief. I also don’t feel like my happy will come crashing down some day. I’m not saying that naively, I know in reality that at any point in time shit can change and I could possibly be unhappy; it’s more that there is no looming depression sitting in my brain. I’ve been on many a medication for depression and nothing ever resulted in me feeling this good. Mostly I would take the medication and a week or two later I would feel numb. I hate that feeling; I would rather feel shitty then not feel anything at all. It’s amazing how the right balance of hormones can make such a small difference.
So anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my world. I’m moving Thanksgiving weekend, I’m so effing excited. The apartment that I am in now is gross and moldy. I don’t clean because it feels pointless, my roommate doesn’t clean either. I’ll pick up but there is definitely no deep cleaning disinfecting going on. So it will for sure be a welcome change, the place we are moving is also bigger so that’s nice too. EXCITING!!!!!!!!
Oh yeah… I also shaved my head and now it looks like this…
So here’s something I’m not real sure how to handle. In my office environment I encounter a number of ,what we call vendors, on a daily basis. These are people who are not employees of the company I work for, but perform some kind of service for the company I work for (sounds dirty, but it’s not). For example, we have a cafeteria in our building; the people who run the cafeteria are vendors.
On a daily basis I have to interact with people who don’t know I’m trans. Ever since I started growing my facial hair, I’ve noticed a changed reaction when it comes to interacting with most of these vendors. One thing about me, I am a hashbrown addict. For the last 11 years I have eaten hashbrowns on a very regular basis. The cafeteria in the building makes said hashbrowns and is basically my dealer.
Every morning I go in and get my hashbrowns and banter back and forth with some of the work crew. I’ve noticed, ever since my facial hair has formed this banter has become nonexistent. Not for my lack of trying, mind you. At first I thought it was just the morning, not everyone is excited about morning every day. I sure as hell am not, so for a few days I just chalked it up to that. Now that it’s been a few weeks, I’m starting to think its not grumpy morning at all. These are people who went from joking around with me to not wanting to really even look at me.
So my question is this, do I talk to these individuals. Mention, btw, I am transitioning, you may notice changes, like facial hair for example. Inform them I like male pronouns, as this was already an issue one morning when I was standing there with a bunch of dudes from outside the building. The cook turned to me and said, morning girly what can I get you? UGH! I could also talk to the manager of the cafeteria she is a very reasonable individual.
I’m not one that cares to live a stealthy life. I’m trans and proud of it, I also know the risk involved with being trans. So when standing amongst people who are not covered by my works discrimination policy, I do have to be a little cautious with who am I. I want to be clear that I’m not hiding or ashamed, I’m just cautious. That said, I still don’t know when and if the trans conversation is appropriate in all situations.
Every day I get up between 6:30 and 7:30 A.M. I shower, get dressed, in a muscle shirt and shorts, and peddle my bicycle to work. There are days that I get to work and I am drenched in sweat. I can not stress this enough, I am DRENCHED! My Bike ride consist of coasting about 1.3 miles downhill, then peddling uphill at a less than 3% grade ( I have an app that tells me this) about .4 miles the st of my journey. In other words, nothing that should cause me to be drenched by the time I get to work. Most days Its about 70 -80 so that shouldn’t do it either.
Generally when I get to work I have to rinse off because of how sweaty I am. I soak my head in ice cold water, struggle with my other binder, change my shirt. Dry the sweat that’s continuing to pour from my body, and ultimately can’t make it to my desk fast enough.
At my desk I have a desk fan that blows nice cool air on my face while I sit there. Then I sit around, sometimes I get up and go to another desk and sit around there troubleshooting what might be wrong with the pc. Then I get up and go back to my desk. Here is where the problem occurs again.. As soon as I leave my desk the sweating starts. Sometimes, we have to move people around, these are the worst! I generally am just uncomfortable and hot all day long.
When all is said and done, I change back into my muscle shirt and lose fitting binder and peddle home. Most days I ride all the way home, today I couldn’t even do that. I have been doing this ritual consistently ever since June. Today, before leaving work my face became extremely flushed and I was incredibly hot. When I walked outside with my bike it was like my body slammed into a wall of heat. I instantly started to sweat. I hopped on my bike and peddled out to the street. I felt exhausted before I even started. I rode my bike to the train stop, waited for the train, rode to the stop above my house (so I can coast to my house, of course) coasted down a huge hill to my house, and collapsed on my bed.
I then proceeded to fall asleep until maybe 30 min ago, this translates out to be about 4 hours of nap. When I awoke from said nap it was because my roommate was leaving for work, not because I woke up from being rested. As I write this I still feel like I could lie back down and fall right back to sleep. All of this occurs on almost a daily basis. Aside from ridding up to the stop above my house, I really try to push it and ride home every day. Just today I couldn’t do it.
Like I mentioned, all of this occurs on a daily basis. I just feel exhausted and hot all the time. I really don’t know if it’s the T, binding, and summer all rolled into one that’s causing this. When I tell some of the older crowed I work with, they mention things like. Oh my son comes home from work and sleeps until 8 pm then he’s up till all hours of the night, then gets up for school in the morning. Is this really normal? I’m just so sleepy! I don’t really think I have an alien in my body. I mostly just like how that sounds. I like saying things that are overly dramatic for effect.Although I do worry I might have some kind of infection that I’m not taking care of. Problem there is, I have health insurance but you see I have craptastic health insurance, which charges me a $1500 deductible before they will pay for anything. Since I am already paying $150 bucks a month to them, I don’t really have extra money to pay 100 to go to the DR. And that’s only for an office visit that doesn’t
I find it interesting as I start to give off a more masculine appearance, the way cis-gender men interact with me. For the most part, dudes are more accepting and interactive with me. Prior to T most men would just stare at me, give me dirty looks, or in group situations most straight, cis-gender men, wouldn’t even really acknowledge me.
Since T, and more so, since growing facial hair, this has changed. More than once I’ve had dudes do the following. I will meet said dude, dude with extend their hand for a hand shake, then with the free hand they will either pat me on the back or put their hands on my shoulder. It’s curious to me why this happens. I googled it, I guess it wasn’t that curious I had my suspicions it was due to dominance.
Dominance may also be shown by using the other hand to grip the person, such as at the wrist, elbow, arm or shoulder. This may also be done by gripping the shaken hand with both of your hands. This may also indicate affection or pleasure (which allows for an ambiguous signal).
I find myself thinking back to an episode of This American Life. It’s about individuals and their experience with testosterone. One of the stories is a trans man, in which he talks about male aggression. He talks about how when he was read as male more often men became more aggressive with him as he passed down the street. Even in some cases body checking him. I find this behavior in people so fascinating.
The thing about it is, I’ve experienced this behavior more so before T then after T. I asked my friend Dexter about this and if he noticed dudes being friendlier with him. He said no, his experience was just the opposite. Which made me wonder why, so far, it’s been relatively positive for me; interesting how we all react to each based on Gender.
I also had an experience with a girl in which I was read as a super creeper dude. It actually left me feeling a little sad. I like to Roller skate around liberty park when it starts to get late at night. The other night after finishing skating I hopped on my bicycle and began to peddle home. I generally make one more lap, on my bike, around the park. As I rode around I came up on a girl who was also riding her bike late at night. We both stopped at a drinking fountain that’s inhabits the park, and she clearly was hesitant to not continue on biking.
I smiled as I refilled my water bottle but this obviously had no comfort to her. She kept watching me out of the corner of her eye. She got on her bike and stared to peddle away, as I started to peddle behind her she pulled over to the side and started at me while I passed. I again smiled and peddled off. I guess at 10 o clock at night I can appear as a creeper, I assure you I am not. Still just fascinating how we all behavior towards each other, how gender plays such a large role in that.
I’m not sure what this is, but it came up when I searched for creeper pictures. Now I am in love!
Holy Shit Balls, I’m going back to school! I’ve toyed with this idea for some time. About 3 years, I think, I’ll go back. Then I’ll look at classes make a schedule but never really apply. A few days ago, I just did it. I paid the registration fee, I applied for student loans, and I went in and took the assessment test.
It was odd walking back into the school. I had gone there before, when I was 18. I wasn’t ready for college then, I was still needing to live some more and discover who I was. I tried to back again later when I was 22, but that didn’t work out so well either. Then when I was 24 or so I tried my hand in vet tech school. I enjoyed it, but as school went on I couldn’t take the animal abuse that I witnessed. The teachers kept warning us as the days would roll on, Don’t do this if you have a soft hear for animals. I did and I listened.
So now, at 33 I know I am ready to go back to school. I feel really confident about this, and very positive about where I can go. For now, I think my focus will be on a minor in gender studies with a major in psychology. Goodness that’s a lot of school, but I think it will be worth it in the end. I’m excited. I’m finally in a place where learning can be fun instead of a burden on my life.
So as I mentioned I had to go in for the assessment test. This is the pre test that everyone takes to tell you and the school what level your math, reading comprehension, and English skills are at. I knew going into it that my math skills were not so great. My English, hell I have horrible grammar. However, I guess I am much better at test then I gave myself credit for. The academic advisor told me I scored almost perfect on the reading comprehension and sentence skills portion of the test. My math, not so much… Like I said, I already knew this.
I came home signed on to the SLCC website to sign up for classes, and EFF ME all the ones I want to take are full. I did however find an intro to sociology and a intro to criminal justice class. I think those are safe bets for my first two classes. Per the advice of my academic advisor I should only take 6 credit hours, because I work 40 hours a week. I also am going to try and stick to the SLC campus, at first at least, so I can commute as easily as possible.
I do have to mention, I did have a rather positive experience at the school. As I walked around the student services area there were signs posted everywhere about needing photo identification for everything. This caused a little bit of panic as I do have a good amount of stubble on my face and I think I’m presenting far more masculine then I ever was. When I walked up to the counter to get my student number the girl helping me didn’t question anything. I then made my way up to the testing lab. The dude that helped me there asked for my student number, asked for my drivers license, then asked me how my day was. We made small talk then he turned around to the other lab aid and said. Can you set this dude up for the test?
I love when this happens. There is always a moment of panic when I hand someone my Drivers license (DL). Now, I have to admit that I am not in anywhere near the same damager that countless other transgender individuals are when it comes to their DL. I’m very fortunate to have a gender variant name, not to mention trans masculine individuals seem to have an easier time when it comes to DL pictures. So the picture on my DL is more masculine, but no where near what it is today. Not to mention that pesky F gender marker. But I am lucky as most people just glance at the pic, glance at the name then give it back. The ones who question are the ones who hold on to it longer.
Once done with the test the academic advisor told me I had a nice lookin shirt ( I had a muscle shirt on, what does that say about him?), gave me a pat on the back and wished me luck in my schooling. All and All super positive experience I would say. This shall be a good adventure, I’m super excited.