Yes, I fully understand the feeling of not belonging. I’ve not felt that way with men. It sucks, that feeling. Very self-conscious, trying to act a role that doesn’t quite fit. We both belong here and among our real friends who understand and love us authentically as our authentic selves.
It's high time for all of these pubs to give face time to trans men. As far as their not giving their due to trans women in the article I wasn't perturbed since the article was focused on men. I think it's much better known that trans women can experience quite a shock at how they are treated by society as women. Thus far I haven't felt it much since I never felt like I really filled the space as a man anyway. And I'm loving how nice women are in general to me. It's like being part of a sisterhood that I didn't know existed and I don't miss any brotherhood that simply doesn't exist, at least not at all in the same way. Did you also watch the video they have in the article (at the top)? I liked that, too. I'm envious that trans men seem to be able to blend into society (seemingly) much easier than trans women. If you've ever undergone electrolysis, man, you'd know what I mean. Oh, and then there is the voice work I'm doing! But I'm nonetheless pretty happy these days. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hi Michelle, I'm glad you liked the list and will definitely look at your suggestions. My wife and I also read all three of the Girl with Dragon series and loved them! So sorry that the author is gone, now. I want to add "The Martian" to the list. It was a very good movie and an amazing book, especially for a first novel. That said, so is "The Kite Runner"! You must read them both if you haven't already. I've read Michael Connelly's books and enjoyed them but these days I'm less satisfied with "genre fiction" or maybe I'm getting more into "chick lit" go figure. I have enjoyed John Grisham's books but here again they're getting long in the tooth. I loved James Michener's books, especially "The Source" which is a classic as far as I'm concerned. No, I haven't gone to the movies for maybe a year. No one to go with and kinda busy... See you! Emma
Hi Michelle, Always happy to talk about books! Around my neighborhood are these little weather-proof glass-door kiosks where residents can leave books they're done with and pick up others that interest them. Yesterday I picked up "The September Society" by Charles Finch and I'm one chapter into it. It has many great blurbs on the front and back covers so I'm hopeful it will be a fun read. Some possible books that come to mind are: "House of Sand and Fog" It was turned into a movie that was excellent; the book is even better of course. "The Name of the Rose" Also a movie that wasn't so good but I've read it at least twice, I loved it so much. Unfortunately I've tried all of Umberto Eco's other books and was always disappointed. Some weeks ago I found a Seattle bookstore that's acclaimed for its mystery books. I went there to find "another" Name of the Rose. The owner told me that there is no other book as good as that one! "Girl With a Pearl Earring" Another movie! Excellent, excellent historical novel. "The Grapes of Wrath" and any other book by John Steinbeck. "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a very interesting sci-fi book and is where the word "grok" came from. "I Will Fear No Evil" - also by Heinlein has a trans character! "The Book Thief" was excellent. "The Eye of the Needle"... wow! "Flight of Passage" is a very fun autobiographical account of two NY boys who were the youngest to fly a plane from NY to California. Very fun read. "Rocket Boys" (aka "October Sky") is a wonderful autobiography about a high school boy who earns his way out of a dreary coal mining existence into a professional career. "Soul of a New Machine" and any other book by Tracy Kidder. Gosh, I'd better stop now. If you don't find what you're looking for here, please send genres or titles of books you've enjoyed that I can use to offer other ideas. Edit 1: Okay, here's some more: "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. Really helped me, as all of her books have. "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. You don't have to be an artist (but we all are) to enjoy her taking you by the hand. Doing your Morning Pages can be very cathartic. "The Road" Cormac McCarthy: very spooky and surreal view of the future. "Wild" and "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed. I'm a huge fan of her, including her podcasts. She is so wise and inspirational! Edit 2: Still more! "Lonesome Dove" What an amazing adventure. "Atlas Shrugged" "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" "Man's Search for Meaning" Viktor Frankl: a must-read "The Hunt for Red October" "Red Storm Rising"
Very interesting article from TIME magazine: "Over the last three years, transgender awareness has exploded. From Orange is the New Black to Transparent, from Janet Mock to Caitlyn Jenner, America has a growing fascination with the lives of transgender people, most recently in light of recent debates over controversial bathroom laws. But the spotlight on trans issues has mostly been focused on transgender women, and transgender men have been largely left out of the narrative. ... "Yet experiences of trans men can provide a unique window into how gender functions in American society. In the last few months, I’ve interviewed nearly two dozen trans men and activists about work, relationships and family. Over and over again, men who were raised and socialized as female described all the ways they were treated differently as soon as the world perceived them as male. They gained professional respect, but lost intimacy. They exuded authority, but caused fear. From courtrooms to playgrounds to prisons to train stations, at work and at home, with friends and alone, trans men reiterated how fundamentally different it is to experience the world as a man." Transgender Men See Sexism From Both Sides
Chat has never really appealed to me, I must say. I like these “conversations” more. In the chat rooms I feel compelled to rapidly respond. Here, though, I can be a bit more thoughtful and long winded! So yes, let’s dive into deeper subjects! As for AFLAC, hey, you won your first deal! Good for you. The next will have challenges, sure, but you’re learning and making real progress, loading your funnel, and moving them toward closure. You go, girl! Emma
I don't find it so much as shameful but transition is a lot of work that can be daunting at times. Like in a half hour I'm headed to the electrologist to start removing the hair above my upper lip. I'm told that hurts a lot so first I will see a dentist (next door) who's going to inject novocaine into the area. I have also been told that this will all take many visits. But the effort seems reduced sometimes, like these days I don't experience much reluctance to just go out and about presenting as my authentic self. Psychologists once ran an experiment where they had people look up from the base of a hill to guess how hard it would be to hike up it. For one group they had them wear a 40-pound load on their back, and the other had no extra load. The 40-pounders assumed that the hill would be much harder to climb than those without the weight. I think I am finding that the load of my transition is lightening with each step I take. I'm very glad to hear that you have a therapist. You are lucky to have one. And indeed, there is always so much that we don't expect. That's why they call life a journey and not a destination! We learn as we go... :-)
Thanks for writing this Kitrah. Sadness and depression often lead to withdrawal since it feels like we are taking care of ourselves, licking our wounds so to speak or, as you said, we are unhappy and being alone feels like it’s a protection against further hurt. What do you feel is driving you to withdrawing from others? Self shame is another reason, and I know this one very well. Shame derives from feeling “I am bad” and I felt that way because of my gender dysphoria. But withdrawal doesn’t really help, does it. As Brene Brown says, shame loves the darkness and can’t live in the light of awareness and exposure. It’s scary but it truly helps to allow other people into our lives. Do you have the resources to see a therapist? I highly recommend doing that if you can.
Kitrah, I feel for you. I'm very fortunate to have a good support network and I agree completely with Lori: it's so important. In fact, when I started HRT in early September my doctor asked me to describe my support network. Its existence wasn't going to prevent her prescribing the hormones but she wanted assurance that I have people around for help. I imagine you've looked for LGBT community centers and other resources in your area? There is no replacement for face-to-face human contact but indeed, web resources like TGGuide can help too. I wish you the very best Kitrah, I really do.
Me too, MichelleLea, happy birthday. So, you were born in ‘42? What a time to grow up. I suppose you don’t have any memories of WW2 people coming home and resettling. But then there was the Korean War, and Vietnam, of course. That’s a lot of wars, too many. I was born in ‘56 and I well remember Vietnam, with Walter Cronkite reporting each night. I just missed being drafted which was quite fortunate of course. So much has changed mostly for the better since then, especially as regards being transgender. I surreptitiously read everything I happened across, mostly about Christine Jorgensen. But also about transvestites, which always sounded like some kind of nasty thing, like a parasite. Ah well, better late than never. I’m glad you found us, and enjoy yourself in the chat room. It does feel so great to just be yourself, doesn’t it. Good luck this week. Yours is an especially tough sales job. Not only cold calling and all that but also selling a solution to a need that most would prefer to ignore or procrastinate. So much of the job is about selling yourself, bonding and connecting with people so they trust and want to do business with you. It takes a special talent and kind of person and I feel you’re going to do very well. Emma
Interesting, Chrissy, thanks. For me, I’m less concerned with defining where I’m transitioning “from” and more interested in the “to.” Also, in my mind I’m not even 100% sure of what I’m going to be when I get there. A transgender woman, yes, but I think I’m already there now as I’m always presenting as female now although have only been on HRT for two months. In general use by cis people I believe that they also have varying opinions of the from and to. But all understand that it is a transition, and it’s a big thing. All that said, I agree with your concerns about “CGHT.” That does feel loaded and potentially stigmatizing. My own issue with “transition” is that it seems to imply something that is over and done at some point, like I should aim for something. I’m not, though. I’m simply taking steps, pretty much one at a time, like stepping stones across a river.
Hate never wins in the long run. Trump et al won the hearts and minds of many disparate groups (even including many women) and are now seeing not only the impossibility of Trump's promises but also his lies. My hope is that Mueller and Congress are able to hold Trump and his administration in check for the next three years. Next year with the Congressional elections and in three years I believe we're really going to see the pendulum swinging back toward rationality, awareness, and equality for all.
I find your attitude so refreshing and remarkable. You’re a great example to all of us. I’ll bet your managers love you! And, like Lori, I continue to learn, always. I’m 61 and taught myself how to create and publish iOS apps a couple of years ago. Too bad I missed the Gold Rush!