Sunday, May 10, 2015

Respect - A basic part of human rights

Hello there my dear readers.  Finding topics to write about in today's media seems to be becoming an easy task.  There are many many topics to choose from.  The problem I find is, while they are all very important topics, they inevitably get beaten to death by over-broadcasting in the media.  The problem I continue to find is not with the topics that are being talked about throughout the country in regards to LGBT equality and Transgender rights is that there are so many problems that nobody is talking about.  Sure we deserve equal treatment.  Who doesn't in reality.  We are (human beings) are all equal and we deserve the right to be treated equal regardless of other people's opinions.  I think that the major issue is that we as Transgender people are not united, nor to we possess the common respect for one another that projects a positive image to the world around us.  Many of the Trans* people I speak with notice similar issues no matter where in the country they are.  Breaking this down to an individual level is the best way I can compare and contrast the situation and I understand that people can believe whatever it is they wish.  However, in retrospect, how can we as Trans* people ask others to treat us equally if we are (A) not willing to give that equal treatment in return, and (B) able to treat one another with the same respect that we demand from others.  I really don't have a secure answer, however, I do have some very very intriguing questions that I feel need to be asked and honestly, they need answers.

I have dedicated the majority of my transition at this point to working on myself and occasionally helping another person.  I have begun in recent weeks to reach out into the world on a more professional basis in an effort to help the masses in need.  Now I am no millionaire and I can't solve everyone's problems with homelessness, unemployment, lack of insurance, or ability to get their surgery.  These are problems that cannot be repaired by one person alone.  It would take the unity of the entire Trans* population pushing towards the same effort to bring numbers like 80% of Transgender people have experienced harassment on college campus', a 45% suicide rate, or the fact that over 50% of Transgender people are or will experience homelessness in their life.  Why are these numbers so high you might ask.  Many people would say that it is society at large's fault due to lack of acceptance of Transgender people.  They might be right, but just because this is a fact of the situation doesn't mean that it is the only fact.  There are many others that have lead to the rising number of Transgender suicides and other statistics that can be linked to us, the Transgender community ourselves.  I can only imagine what you, the reader, is thinking after that statement.  "What in the heck is she talking about?" "Hater!!"  "Misogynist" "How dare you tell us what is wrong with us!!"  Well, in the face of the fact that I may offend, I am willing to take on the barrage of banter.  I can take it.  It's nothing I haven't heard before.  Strange thing is, my ideas and points may only be ideas and points, but really?  Since when did we not learn anything from history?  Take violence for instance.  Many I have talked to have shown support for the Baltimore riots.  Encouraging them to continue rioting and attempting to stir up the Trans* community into acting out in a similar way.  This is what I have to say.  Seriously?? When did violence ever solve any problem without creating more.  Now, with the riots, are the African-American community within there right to be so royally ticked off that they feel that they need to resort to violence to get justice?  Sure they are!!!  I would be so angry if I was in their position.  What happened was uncalled for by the officer.  Then he gets acquitted?  What is wrong with our system.  Be outraged I say.  However, that outrage can never spill into the streets.  How does that make the abused any better than the abuser.  I have spent countless hours researching war throughout history.  I have yet to have found one war that has been fought where the oppressed rose up, fought back, and won, and they didn't oppress the people that were just previously being oppressed by.  All it does is turn the servant into a tyrant.  Is that the image we as Trans* people want to project to everyone in the world.  That we are no better than the common criminal and we just take what we want?  It's definitely not the image I want.  I believe that the only way for the Trans* community is to be just that, a community.  Look at what Martin Luther King Jr. did for the African-American community in the 50's and 60's.  He united them and won a huge victory.  Our community can do the same, but the best part of fighting for equal rights in a modern age is that we have the world at our fingertips.  We as a community do not really need a leader to unite behind.  We are our own leaders.  We have the power to change our lives and the way the world views us by our actions.  Speak out.  Be involved.  Voice your opinion, but do it in a professional way.  Honestly, if you can't take the heat your opinion may create and are not open to the opposing opinion of others, then you probably shouldn't be voicing your opinion in the first place.

I am going to continue on this same thought pattern.  Only now I am going to switch from the way we want to be viewed and treated by society to how we view and treat ourselves and each other within our own community.  I know that the majority of individuals are overwhelmingly accepting of the newly out and beginner in transition.  We all cheer for the person who is brave enough to step over the line drawn in the sand by society and join the ranks of legions of people in the LGBT.  This is exactly what we as a community should be doing.  Being inviting and accepting is almost a trademark at times.  However, lets break off the LGB and just talk about that inviting aspect of the T.  We are just as inviting and accepting to someone coming out, but what happens when that person's opinion differs from our own or the opinion of the group?  In many cases, depending on the topic, we are just like any other person or group.  We agree and disagree on a great many topics.  This is fine as it is part of normal human behavior.  Then something happens and a major issue arises, for example, how to obtain equal rights.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to express that opinion.  However, what inevitably happens is that we begin to argue over to what extremes we should go, how this or that should be handled, and what the end result will be.  In this process feelings get hurt sometimes, even if it is inadvertently.  The problem is that so many of us have a different opinion and nobody is willing to step forward and organize all the thoughts that people have.  We want to society to be open minded toward us, but yet when it comes to the voices of our own people we cannot find it in ourselves to be open minded.  Why is that?  Part of it, in my opinion, is simply human nature.  The Trans* community is not the only place we find this erratic behavior.  Its found in almost every society on the planet.  How do we change that?  Honestly, that is the question of the day.  One can speculate on the inner workings of making people respect each other enough to place themselves in the shoes of another even if that other person is an enemy.  Truthfully, we may really never know how to change this in ourselves and it is entirely possible that it is so deeply woven into who we are as human beings that change might not be possible.  World peace?  Highly doubtful.  I don't believe it would work.  I do believe one simple fact though.  If we as a people want the respect that we so rightly deserve to be given, then we have to give that respect back, even when we don't want to.  Thank you for reading.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thoughts on Bruce Jenner and the Trans* Community

I am beginning this blog with an apology instead of my usual disclaimer about it being my opinion.  I want to apologize to my readers for not being able to post in such a long time.  I am no different than anyone else out in the world.  I go though personal, financial, mental and emotional problems too.  These and other reason have be the force behind my absence and I hope that you will all forgive me.  With that said on to the subject I have chosen to write about.  Last night I watched the Bruce Jenner interview and have spent the day reading twitter comments, Facebook comments, read hundreds of other writers blogs, and researched the general feeling of the country as a whole on what was said last night.  I will admit there are many out there that my deem me a misogynist or a hater for what I am about to write, however, I want it to be known that I am not a hater.  I speak only my opinion.  In addition to that my opinion is always based off of the cold hard facts.  Whether or not many members of the Trans* community wish to acknowledge these truths is entirely personal choice on their part.  I am not taking the side of Bruce and I am not taking the side of the people who think he is a joke.  I definitely find myself somewhere in the middle but I do want to stress the importance of one fact.  In order to make a educated opinion about any subject, Trans* related or not, one must have all the facts and basically do their homework.  Therefore, the following is my take on Bruce Jenner interview and his entry into a world that I am sure he is still attempting to figure out as all Trans* people are.  I say this because I am in high hopes that he (Bruce Jenner) and other major figures such as Fallon Fox, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Chaz Bono, etc will read these words and find a way to use it to support others.

I have to start my comment/opinion by saying that before the interview of Bruce Jenner I was hesitant.  I hoped that it was not a stunt or some form of a way to attract attention to himself after the divorce him and his most recent wife went through.  I thought he just wanted the limelight back on him, after all, he won a gold medal, what did she ever do?  I was sadly mistaken in my comments that he would make a fool of himself or make a mockery of the entire Trans* community.  Even though the interview was riddled with errors that would make most Trans women cringe, he handled himself with both professionalism and compassion.  Note that throughout this entry I will refer to Bruce Jenner with male pronouns strictly due to my wish to respect his wishes stated in the interview.  Many may disagree and that is fine with me.  I encourage people to voice their opinion whether or not it aligns with my own.  I can take on critics, I can defend myself with both tact and a level of  professionalism appropriate for an educated Transgender woman.  On to my opinion.

Simply put, I think that Bruce Jenner is a very brave individual.  This is where I will talk about why I think so.  There were many things about the interview that I loved and others that I did not.  I love that fact that he was willing to get on national television with one of the most influential interviewers of our time, Diane Sawyer, and come out to the world as Transgender.  He joins an ever growing list of people in the public eye who now have the courage to buck the social norms and truly be happy in life regardless of the critics opinions.  Now everybody will have bad to say and everybody has good to say.  Only time can tell how Bruce's career in the public eye will be effected in the future.  However, in the long run, who really cares.  As long as he is happy and content then I do not feel that anyone has the right to slam him for what he is doing by transitioning.  In addition, I have seen many Trans people throughout the country speak out to their frustration with Bruce and the interview.  One of the common themes I have seen, among numerous others, is the fact that he is a very wealthy person and that he will never really know the struggle that Trans people truly go through every day of our lives.  This is where I have to stand up and agree and disagree.  Whereas Bruce does have a financial fortune at his fingertips, that doesn't make his struggle much different than my own.  Bruce will most definitely have a far easier time financially for aspects of his transition such as SRS, or Sex Reassignment Surgery, FFS, or Facial Feminization Surgery (some of which he has already undergone), and very possibly a Breast Augmentation.  But how does that make his struggle with Gender Identity Disorder any different than any other Trans person on the planet.  Our struggle is one from within, it has nothing to do with how much money we have.  Money only makes our transitions faster, not easier.  I do not believe that his struggle with GID is any different than my own.  I may have to wait longer and work harder now to afford my surgeries, but Bruce Jenner has worked hard his entire life to get to where he is today.  Just because he has the financial means to go through transition smoothly and quickly after a lifetime of hard work and struggle doesn't mean that he is any less of a Transgender person or that it doesn't mean as much to him.  Now I can imagine what a large portion of the Trans* community is going to say to that point.  "Look at what I have to go through.  I am homeless, hungry, unemployed, and have been driven to abuse drugs and alcohol in my struggle.  I may never be able to afford surgery and I will be stuck like this.  In a body that I can barely stand to look at."  I have heard it time and again.  I hear many parts of that every day in my own head.  Does that mean these individuals struggle is more difficult than Bruce Jenner's struggle? It may be more difficult for that person, but that doesn't mean its harder.  Yes, the statistics don't lie.  The Trans* unemployment rate is over 50%, the suicide rate is at 45%, 80% of Transgender people report discrimination on college campus'.  I can use my own life as an example however.  I am a 33 year old Transgender female and been in transition for almost two years.  In my life I have had several suicide attempts and been down many roads that no person should ever have to travel.  I am married to a wonderful woman who supports me and I have two children who also support me.  We are a low income family.  We can barely afford our bills.  We have had struggles with homelessness, unemployment, and discrimination due to me being Transgender.  This whole struggle has been insane.  I have a family to take care of.  Children to feed and clothe.  A partner to keep satisfied, all while attempting to get through my transition.  I many never be able to afford surgery.  I am horrified of that thought but it is very real.  I hear so many Trans* people who complain about the same problems I have but in reality they may have no idea just how hard it can be.  Does that mean that my struggle is harder than theirs?  Of course not.  I have a set of responsibilities that a single Transgender person doesn't have to worry about but that doesn't mean it is a more difficult struggle.  The same holds true with Bruce Jenner.  He will have it easier financially than I, however, that does not change my opinion.  We all have struggles of all different types.  That doesn't mean that someone with or without money has a harder time than the other.  We all struggle at the same level.  Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bi, Cis, Trans*.  It doesn't matter who you are, we all have struggles.  How you deal with and approach those struggles is what truly defines your character.

I also wanted to address a fact that I have seen to be growing more and more inside the Trans* community.  Many will disagree, but unfortunately for them they are not ready to hear the truth about themselves.  The truth is never and easy egg to swallow.  This growing "trend" I will call it, is this:  We as Transgender people discriminate against each other.  I am finding more and more problems with the community as a whole that I so desperately want to help.  The one that seems to be growing the fastest is in regards to how we treat each other.  Now, I understand that not everyone agrees or likes one another.  I also know that in order for any people as a conjunctive whole to be successful in a fight for rights and equality is actually to be a conjunctive whole.  To come together and join forces.  What happens when there is dissension among the ranks of a military platoon?  People die, moral plummets, and the large majority of the soldier's involved lose faith in the fight.  In other words, a people cannot hope to win a fight unless they fight on a united front.  Bickering amongst ourselves will never further the fight for equality and exposure that the Trans* community claims it wants so desperately.  The problem that I have with this logic is that it isn't logic.  Common sense says to treat everyone like you want to be treated.  I don't see much of this going on inside the Trans* community.  I have expressed my concern over this problem in the past and people have told me that if I am waiting for the LGBT or the Trans* community to unite then I am wasting my time.  I refuse to believe this.  I believe that if we cannot even stop bickering about the tiniest of issues inside our own community, then how can we, in good conscience, go to the larger community (the entire country) and ask them to treat us equally.  If we as the Trans* community cannot unite in our fight for equal rights, in much the same manner as many other minorities have in the past, we will never win our fight.  We may win battles, but the war will never be won.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. united the black community and turned the tide for equal rights within the African American community.  This was back in the 1950's and the 1960's when civil rights were a concept thought to only be afforded to one class.  White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant Cis-gendered successful people.  How is the African American's fight for civil rights any different than our own?  Answer: it isn't any different.  The only difference is the era in which we live.  So many of my fellow Transgender people claim that we need a banner to rally behind or a public figure to rally behind.  I say this is a load of garbage.  Why do we need to have one person fight our own fight for us this day in age.  In our modern time we as humans have the ability to speak out and unite the community in which we live and participate or are members of to affect change.  We don't need a general, we need unity.  Without unity, we fail ourselves, our supporters, and each other.

I know that people may get into a massive uproar from time to time and that many people disagree.  We as a people should be able to disagree with one another without harming the mental and emotional health of others around us.  I want to remind my readers that this is only my opinions, but I have a strong belief that I am speaking the truth.  My opinion is based on the words, comments and concerns of you, the reader, and those whom I have followed in research.  Please take no offense but please sit back and contemplate the magnitude of what I say before jumping to an opinion.  Thank you for reading and I wish you all, including Bruce Jenner, the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

What happened to the community in the LGBT community??

So I have seen the my last post really wasn't that popular.  I can completely understand why.  Dysphoria is a difficult thing to write about and sometimes even harder to read about.  Even a small little blurb can trigger an dysphoric episode that could possibly ruin someone's life.  However, it is a very real part of any Transgender person's everyday life.  Many times it goes away, which I haven't actually met anyone who says it is gone completely, but most of the time it just dies down to a point inside the person who experiences it where they can manage it with little difficulty.  With that said, I was not extremely surprised by the low reader volume when I write about a very difficult subject.  I have been attempting to write about things that are not only near and dear to my heart but issues that people can identify with.  So what do I write about now?  I am not really sure.  I have talked a lot about Trans issues.  I have talked a lot about personal issues.  So what should I write about?  I really don't know.  Do I have writer's block or do I just need to find some new material that doesn't take hours, days, or weeks to research.  I know that I have tons of opinions, most of which are backed up by hard facts.  I hear about the bathroom bills going on and all the other political bologna we all hear about.  I really don't want to write about those issues.  So I think I will continue to write about personal issues.  One thing that I have had an especially hard time with is not really dysphoria, but it is in relation to it.  I really just want to talk about the way we should treat each other as human beings, not necessarily how we treat those whom we see as different from ourselves or from what we may or may not consider normal, but how we as people treat each other every day.

This will probably be one of the most challenging blog I write to date.  I am going to divulge some information about myself that I don't traditionally have the courage to share.  I don't just share stuff like this because it can be hard to deal with people knowing the details of what is going on in my life.  For those of you who do not know me very well, I am a 32 year old Trans-female.  I have 2 kids and a wonderful partner whom I love and care for deeply.  Our relationship has had many many pitfalls resulting in our periodic separation.  However, in the end, we usually try to make things work.  We love each other enough to put things in our rear view mirror.  Both my kids, as well as my partner, are extremely supportive of my transition.  The issue that we have had in the last few months had to do with the members of our community, specifically the Trans community, that were disrespectful towards my family and the fact that I even had a family.  I just wanted to be around people who had a common interest with me and would actually take up the quest of being a good friend.  In my times of need my online friends that are spread throughout the country and the world were there and my local "friends" were not really there for me.  There were few to no phone calls to check on me, emails of care were non-existent, and except for the occasional Facebook message, it felt like my local friends just bailed on me.  I was even more confused when these so called "friends" did everything to attempt to pull me away from my family so they had another person to call a wing woman in the bar.  Not really my scene.  Then, I found out that someone whom I considered a friend was attempting to hook me up with random people and advertising my ass out on dating sites without my knowledge, and she knew I was still married.  "I was just trying to help you move on," was her claim.  Maybe she was, but I know her better than that.  She wasn't a real friend and nurturing what I wanted.  She was just scheming to get what she wanted.  But I digress, everyone has "friend drama."  What it did though was make me question who was really my friend and who just wanted another person to fill a bar stool. 

In December of last year, 2014, I had a suicide attempt that was very nearly successful.  Had it not been for my 14 year old son and his girlfriend I would not be writing this blog today.  I overdosed on pain killers and muscle relaxers.  About a month later, I had a second attempt that landed me in the emergency room with several stitches in my leg.  I was living alone, super depressed daily, and had relapsed with my cutting.  I was the extremest when it comes to my cutting.  I have surgical precision, most of the time.  I have a kit.  It contains everything I will need to take care of myself before, during, and after an episode of cutting.  I had gauze, bandages, surgical glue, razors, tape, and at one point I even had local anesthetic.  Kinda strange that a cutter would use this last item but it was just to get me started.  I am a deep cutter.  I cut in the same place over and over and over in an effort to bleed the pain out of my body.  The problem is, even with experience and caution, I still was very close to death when I last visited the emergency room.  Most people would never guess from my normally bubbly and friendly composure that I have some very deep rooted self image problems.  No way, who would ever guess?  Note the hint of sarcasm?

You now have a little background on my life.  Very little.  Now we can talk about my opinion.  I think that, at least in my town, the idea of community within the LGBT community has all but disappeared unless you are into going out to the bar regularly and hooking up with random people for a one night stand.  Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing, if that is what you enjoy, fine.  I am not one to tell people what to do, how to act, or that their behavior is wrong.  All I am saying is that it isn't my cup of tea.  The issue I really have is this; I am a married woman.  Just because I am separated or getting divorced doesn't mean that I am ready an willing to just act like a teenager again and go out, get smashed, and fuck the first dick that gets hard.  Nor am I willing to open up the can of worms involved with cheating on my spouse.  Now, I do not believe that if a husband or wife finds a new partner during as long a process as a divorce can be as cheating on your spouse.  Especially if both parties know the relationship is totally over, but what about all the divorces that are filed every year where the parties separate, file divorce and then reconcile their differences?  In this case, my partner and I reconciled.  Had I done anything to jeopardize our relationship the chances of salvaging it would have been extremely difficult if not impossible.  The general gist of what I am saying is simply this, "Why would a true friend or group of true friends who say they believe in "community" do everything in the world to pull me away from my family because, "that's not really our mission.  We are reaching out to the Trans people without families."  This is so an oxymoron!!!!  So now I can't even be accepted into the Trans community/LGBT community in my own town because I have a family and don't think it is OK to go to the bar every night and sleep with every tom, dick and harry?  How is that community?  I struggle to be accepted in society as a whole every day and it is difficult for me just as it is for all transgender people.  My issue is that there is this clique type atmosphere within Missoula, Montana that accepts immature, irresponsible, and highly sexual behavior as normal and just fine.  If someone doesn't agree, they are shunned, all because they have their priorities straight and take care of and raise a family?  So now, my phone doesn't ring, I don't get asked out by friends, and nobody seems to give a shit.  And people wonder why I spend my nights in tears fighting the urge to tear my legs apart with razors.

So the question I pose to the masses is this:  How can we continue to fight for acceptance of the LGBT community as a whole when there are issues with us accepting each other within the community itself?  Another question that I have posed to cis-gender friends regularly is "Why would people say they will accept me but not be willing to accept my partner and my kids?"  What makes me different from any other Trans person in the world?  Somehow having a loving partner and loving children makes me unpopular?  Isn't equality what we are fighting for all around?  What I find so disturbing is that my cis-gender friends are more accepting of me than my trans and LGBT friends are.  I really just don't believe that you can accept me as a transfemale, without being willing to accept my partner and children at the same time.  Part of that is if my partner has problems understanding what I am going through and needs or wants to talk to someone else in an effort to ask questions and understand this beast called transition, why should she be shunned for asking questions and having a genuine interest in helping and understanding.  Hell, I don't understand this beast all the time, neither does she.  However, isn't asking questions from other people going through the same experience the way we learn how to cope?  Isn't that what therapy is all about?  Just one person helping another.  So again, I pose the question, what happened to the community in LGBT community?

Monday, March 2, 2015

That Dysphoric Feeling

I want to begin this blog with one thing in mind.  The safety of my readers.  Therefore I will be stating a disclaimer before I even begin.  I am going to talk about the feeling all transgender individuals experience known as dysphoria.  I in no way intend to trigger anyone or lead anyone to believe that my fight has been any more difficult than anyone else's battle.  However, I intend to talk about stuff that could trigger you, the reader, if caution is not taken.  I will do my very best to convey to my readers that I am only relaying my experience and the experience's of my family and friends.  Names are purposefully omitted to protect parties involved.  I hold no responsibility towards any individuals who may be triggered by reading, but in all kindness, I warned you.

So here we go.  I am about to analyze one of, in my opinion, the strangest phenomena I have had to experience in my life.  Facing my Gender Dysphoria.  That feeling that there is something not right about my body looks, feels, smells, etc in some very specific areas of my body.  I catch myself asking myself questions like "Why do I hate my penis so much?", "What about my physical body is wrong?", "Why can I not be secure in being a woman and not give little notice to what is between my legs?", and "If I have my bottom surgery will it go away or will it just shift to another part of my body?"  I have yet to come up with any solid answers to these and several other nagging questions that I am sure we of the Trans community can all identify with.  However, I feel the main point of this blog should revolve around not why we feel the way we do, but how to manage those feelings and thoughts when they happen.  These two aspects of how we feel and how we think controlling our behavior seem to go hand in hand half the time and work against each other the next.  So in the grand scheme of things, what does one do when they have a dyphoric attack, as I have quite often, that is so strong that the idea of just going to the bathroom or taking a shower is appalling?

This is something that I deal with almost daily.  I hate my body.  My aversion to my physical genitalia and seemingly insignificant breast size has always been strong.  However, over the last several months this dysphoric feeling every time I have to get in the shower and bathe consumes me.  I trudge through it only because showering seems to be an extremely necessary part of a hygienic person's day.  I am anal retentive about hygiene.  In lieu of this need, every time its time to shower this overwhelming feeling of disgust, ill-will, hate, and discontent takes me.  I cannot even wash my own genitals.  I have cried so hard in the shower, weft on the floor of the bathtub.  All because of something that seemed to be so trivial now controls my emotional state of mind.

I am hoping that other transgender people out there can identify with some of what I have talked about so far.  I really need to attempt to explain what might just be unexplainable.  Why do I feel that way?  Short answer; no idea.  Long answer; I can analyze it and maybe understand it.  So lets analyze.  Modern medicine has taught us what happens in the womb of someone who suffers for Gender Dysphoria as I do.  I basically have the body of a male and the mind and mental makeup of a female.  Obviously, a woman trapped in a man's body would have its issues no matter who you might be.  Some would be positive, depending on the female.  She might enjoy the experience.  However, I have had a far different experience.  The most difficult when it come to bedroom activities with my life partner.  I hate the fact that the one thing in this world that I want just as much as to be seen as a woman by everyone I meet, is a vagina.  I am not quite there yet.  Getting close.  I have the issue that I cannot make love to my partner the way my mind tells me is correct. 

So how do I deal with it.  Lately, its been a lot of crying and mountains of social anxiety coupled with not dealing with it at all.  Ignoring seems like a good idea at first and then it catches up with you.  So here I am dealing with it.  Why can't I seem to be able to be OK with my body?  Answer:  Cause its the wrong one!!  Can I learn to be comfortable with it?  Nope.  Would I ever actually perform self surgery to get rid of it? Nope on that too.  I may want to, but...ow.  So what do I do?  I cry.  Inside.  Every day.  All day.  I learn to live with the mental and emotional pain just as I learned to live with the physical pain I have from my back problems.  I am, as they say is psychology, conditioning myself.  Is conditioning actually dealing with the problem?  Not really.  It works though.  I don't suggest it as a positive behavior, but it is what I do. 

What can others do?  Find something about your body that you do like every day and put a lot of emphasis on it.  I love my butt and my legs and my eyes.  So I add emphasis to those areas every day in an attempt to draw attention away from the bulge in my pants or the itty bitty titties I have.  Complimenting yourself every day helps too.  I like to tell myself "You can do this" in the mirror.  In reality, what someone does is really there business and I really don't wanna tell anyone how to handle there problems.  I probably didn't help anyone with this rant I have gone on.  Maybe I did.  Who knows.  If I did, I would love to know.  There is another peek at me.  Peace, Love, Unity, Respect

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sexual Openness Requires Open-Mindedness

Sometimes it truly amazes me at the sheer archaic attitude of the world.  Now, I am not the most worldly person on the planet.  I am not the smartest, or funniest, or hottest.  However, I will say that I am the "oddest."  I know that I have a belief system that is about as unique as they come.  I have different beliefs depending on the situation.  I will change my beliefs to fit the situation as well.  I am open-minded enough to understand that every experience in life is able to be translated differently depending on the facts of that situation.  I believe that too many people in our world allow there initial opinion or experience with any topic to be the be all end all of the entire situation.

Somehow there seems to be this movement where people believe that Trans people are whores because many of us are in relationships, yet post pictures of our naked or scantily clad bodies on social media websites such as Facebook, Fetlife, Skype, etc.  Let me ask you this.  How in the hell does posting pictures, or sharing photos (nudity or not) an act of betrayal towards someone in the relationship?  To further explain what I mean I will have to use an experience from my past. (names omitted)

I have been accused by almost every partner of being unfaithful because of sex related issues.  Flirting, naked pictures, and anything sexual in nature is cheating I am told.  I understand the concept of emotional cheating.  This would require, just like any other relationship, time, effort, and a desire or intent to have an intimate relationship.  However, I have to take a stance of opposition to the concept that posting a naked picture in order to share the beauty of my human body with whomever I want really amount to nothing more than participating in free pornography.  I have recently began taking "selfies" and provocative pictures of myself in an effort to boost my confidence in my body.  Being a transfemale, this is a crucial aspect of my transition.  I am a pre-operative transgender female and I am obviously NOT comfortable with my body.  However, I have found that sharing my body via the internet has been very empowering and has boosted my confidence to heights that I have never experienced before.  I still have issues and I probably always will until that faithful day that I am able to wake up after surgery.  That should not prevent me from doing whatever it takes to keep myself out of the bathroom with a razor blade attempting to do self surgery.  We all have different ways of coping with our emotions and bodies, both cisgender and transgender alike.  I do have to say that there is nothing to be ashamed of in the human body, however, most people have some element of insecurity when it comes time to take their clothes off.  Why this is, who knows.  It is different for every person.

However, I am coming to the rescue and taking a stance behind anyone who has every posted or shared with a friend a naked picture in an effort to boost self confidence.  I am standing with all the sex workers of the world and say you are no different than any other small business owner in the United States.  Many people say that these types of people are whores and they have no self respect.  Maybe they are right in some cases.  However, that type of gross stereotype is the same belief system that is keeping the world at war.  Its a reason that the suicide rate in the Trans community is at 41%.  Its why so many people, trans and Cis alike, are killed, assaulted, and raped every year.  I believe that there will never be true peace in our country until these types of stereotypes are abolished.

So now we really get down to me getting on my soap box.  I am so completely sick and tired of the stereotypes in the world.  I am tired of those individuals who claim that their personal problems are so significant that it forces them to neglect and abuse those around them.  How is "I am dealing with so many emotional problems that I can't be intimate with you because it would be to emotional," an excuse.  This is the most asinine thing I have every heard.  I understand the boundaries of a monogamous relationship, however, I also understand that if one partner is neglecting the physical needs and desires of the other for any reason, finding out that the other partner has turned into an exhibitionist and wants to show off their naked body to others shouldn't be a surprise or unexpected.  There should also not be any problems with it.  Flirting isn't cheating.  Being a sexual exhibitionist doesn't make someone a whore or unfaithful.  It means that those of us who enjoy the attention that this "potentially immoral" behavior creates, want that type of attention from the person we are attracted to the most, i.e. their partner.  However, if this attention is neglected then obviously there has to be another venue for the attention sought.  Everyone has their own venue.  I like people to want me with the understanding that they are never gonna get into my pants but they are still willing to give me the attention or the compliments rather, that I am refused in other aspects of my life.

Ok, enough of the soap box.  In the real world, cheating requires two consenting adults, where one ore both are being unfaithful to a partner via emotional intent, sexual relations, or sexual activity.  This can and does include cyber sex.  However, sending a naked picture to a friend or innocently flirting with the hot guy/girl at the coffee shop isn't considered cheating.  Being friendly, being a tease, leading people on, playing games with people's heads, and maybe even attempting to create a little jealousy in order to get some attention from a partner it may or may not be.  However, its not cheating until the act and the intent is there at the same time.  I guess the way I will end this is with this thought from grade school; "I want attention.  I am not getting any positive attention or the attention I want.  Well, negative attention is better than no attention.  At least they are focused on me."  Self centered, I know I know.  So what?  Sometimes, those of us in the world need to be a little selfish in order to make sure we are ok on the inside.  If we are not  ok with ourselves on the inside and outside, then we can't be ok for anyone else.  If we are emotionally in bad repair, then we can't repair anyone else.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Current Fight

I know I am not very good at keeping up with posting in this.  College classes have a tendency to keep me busy.  I haven't really had much to write about cause I have been spending a lot of time working on myself.  I am writing now cause I can feel my mind getting to that point of swell that would make me have an aneurysm.  I have finally gotten my hormones in order after an insane bought with incredibly high levels of estrogen.  My mind seems to be leveling out.  However, I am in a situation and place in my life that requires attention. 

I have suffered from major panic attacks due to high anxiety and being clinically depressed.  I am having them daily, but most seem to be manageable.  There have been many instances where I have not been able to contain myself and have needed assistance.  This appears to be a common trend, not just among many individuals world wide, but in the Transgender community as well.  I have only one piece of advice for anyone who suffers from these episodes.  Always make sure to have anything that you know will help calm your mind readily available.  I have found that music and art are excellent forms of calming energy.  Once I am calm, I find keeping a journal is very effective in mapping my triggers and other causes of panic.  I have spent much of my time handling my depression and panic episodes via razor blades and self mutilation.  I have to fight the urge to pull the thin metal through my legs skin every time I get down.  However, I have been able to myself from acting on those impulses.

I have always been very effective at keeping my emotions in check and never had an issues covering up how I really felt.  The last year of my transition has been very good and very bad.  I almost succeeded in committing suicide, I have major scars from self harm, and I have shed millions of tears.  The influx/out-flux of hormones, the biological changes, the mental/emotional changes, and every single instance of "that time of the month" have hit me like a ton of proverbial bricks.  I have had to reach into the depths of my spiritual beliefs in order to draw the strength I require to keep moving forward.  Every spell I cast draws me farther down a road of spiritual development that makes me more in touch with the female/temptress/witch that I am.  It does help me.  In essence, I have finally found the beginnings of the true woman that has been hiding in my heart.  I am submissive, respectfully bratty, I require care, nuturing, and love.  I need to feel like a woman and to continue to find myself.  The male in me died.  The last remaining aspects of maleness I have are strictly physical. 

Now we can talk about what this journey has done for my dysphoric self image.  It really has done wonders.  I don't even see the "old" me when looking in the mirror.  I see a strong, confident, and extremely sexy woman, albeit troubled and dark on the inside.  I have days when just taking off my clothes and taking a shower proves to be a daunting task.  I think anyone who goes through this change goes through similar experiences.  How have I dealt with it?  Lots and lots of tears.  What is the best way to deal with it?  If someone knows the answer to that question, please let me know.  This will not keep me from fighting the good fight.  I want this more than anything else in the world.  I would sacrifice everything short of the change and my family to be able to have this "physical" change be done and over with. 

Here we are again, the ramblings of a transgender woman.  I suppose these help more than lots of other options.  I hope you all enjoy.  Don't forget, you can follow my blogs and comment.  I have a stat tracker that lets me know tons of info about how many people check out this blog.  It has gotten good reviews thus far and I have had well over 100 views and a few followers since I started this in December 2014.  Thank you everyone for taking the time to read and listen.  Peace, love, unity, respect.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Transgender Relationships

I am epically sorry for it taking me so long to gather up the time to create another blog.  I have been sick and life has kind of gotten away from me.  I hope to spend more time in this blog because apparently there are some of you who actually follow what I have to say.  I don't mind that you that do follow don't comment, I just love the fact that what I have to say gets out to the masses.  I hope that you all will enjoy this installment of Jame's Life Transcendence.

I have had so much time to think about what to write about that it has been hard to come up with a topic to write about.  Many times I think I should just have random wandering thoughts.  However, I know myself well enough that I understand that I really don't write in that format.  If I did, nobody would understand anything I have to say.  I prefer to stick some semblance of order.  I have decided that this installment will be in regards to Transgender Relationships.  I am talking more about intimate relationships, not friendships.  Intimate relationships are a far different creature.  They are complex by nature, even for our cis-gender counterparts.  The real difficulty, and I know from personal experience, is when a cis-gender and a transgender decide to be in a relationship.  There are not always issues, problems, or difficulties that are anything more than what the "average" couple would experience in a relationship.  What then am I talking about?  I am talking about what it takes for both sides of a relationship when your significant other comes out as transgender and wants to transition.  How does the partner deal with their issues?  How does the partner coming out deal with their issues?  How can they work together to make the relationship work?  When do they call it quits?  How do they know if it will last?  These are only a few of the questions that any trans/cis-gender couple will face.  This is only the beginning of the rabbit hole.  Every couple, every situation, every person will deal with their personal experience in their own personal way.  I only wish to use my own experience as a guide, a starting point.  Some of what I have done has worked and others have not.  Surely most of you who do follow my Facebook will know that I have had major difficulties in my relationship as of late.  However, I have decided on this topic in order to attempt to make some sense of the things that confuse me and to help others who I have seen have the same problems.  I hope someone will find insight in my words.

So what are some of the problems in an intimate relationship regardless of gender identity or orientation?  What are some of the issues all couples face?  The majority of you will probably agree with me that communication, finances, children, bedroom activities (or the lack thereof), infidelity, and whole laundry list of issues can come to light in any and all relationships.  No relationship is safe from being susceptible to these relationship issues.  Even the relationship that has a newly out transgender individual or the experienced transgender person can fall victim to these problems.  However, if anyone, cis-gender or not, gets involved in a relationship, there are other complexities that can and will inevitably effect the relationship.

Dating someone who is transgender can be a difficult challenge for any individual.  There is so much to learn about what it takes to achieve success in transition.  Many persons involved with the transgender can feel hopeless and frustrated by the fact that they cannot identify with what their partner is going through mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.  Being sensitive to the constant ebb and flow of emotions that a transgender person deals with daily, if not hourly, can make anyone feel insane and hopeless.  Gender Dysphoria, mood swings, and depression are some of the more serious issues that both people have to deal with.  Personally, the mood swings and depression are dealt with more on a personal level than with my partner.  I journal, talk to my therapist and friends, and research how other transgender people deal with these issues.  These are all good avenues, however, they may not work for everyone.  Both partners must be patient and be willing to open their minds and hearts to explore areas of their minds, hearts, and souls that neither person may have been in touch with.  Sensitivity and love, massive amounts of both, are the keys to success.  Dealing with the Dysphoria is always a touchy subject.  Every transgender person has their own way of dealing with it and their own level that it exists in their mind.  Each one also has aspects of who they are physically, mentally and emotionally that contributes to the negative feelings they have towards themselves.

The issues for the other member of the relationship, especially for the cis-gender person, can be a daunting task.  The fear of losing the person they love, not understanding the how's and why's of the situation, feeling that they are less adequate, and feeling completely hopeless in being able to understand what their partner is going through and their own inability to assist them with their own problems are all issues that any person can and will probably face at some point in the relationship.  Yet another issue that is common is the other member of the relationship feeling that they have lost a connection or closeness with the transgender person.  This element, however, is unique to the relationship where the couple has remained together after one partner has come out as transgender.    How does the partner, cis or not, face these issues? I think the most important aspect of any relationship, especially one with a transgender person, is finding a way to have overly open lines of communication with their partner.  Transgender people can be very sensitive and may not always understand what they are going through.  This makes it very difficult for the transgender person to be the focal point of explanation.  The partner must be sensitive to the cues of their partner and be willing to explore and research what their person is going through on their own.  Having a support system or a group of people who are going through a similar situation is always a huge help as well.  Each individual must take cues from their partner and find ways to identify and understand what their partner is going through.  However, all the responsibility is not on the partner.  It is also firmly on the shoulders of the transgender person.  The transgender person must be sensitive to the emotions and feelings that their partner may experience.  Talking and working together can be a very effective tool.  Spending time researching transition together, growing their relationship together, just as any couple would do, is essential.  The transgender must understand that their partner is confused, scared, intimidated, uneasy, and has difficulty understanding something that may be outside their personal experience.

So what is the key to making this type of relationship work?  I really don't think there is some almighty fix or cure all.  I feel that every relationship is unique and must be handled with sensitivity and care.  Each couple must find ways that work for them individually and as a couple in order to be successful in dealing with the intricacies of a complex relationship such as this.  These have been my own thoughts and are by no means to be viewed as relationship advice.  However, it is my sincere hope that anyone who reads this will be able to pick out something that can help them.  The only advice I can and will give is to know yourself.  Be aware of how you feel, how your partner feels, and always attempt to grow yourself and your partner on a personal level.  Until next time.  Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.