Chrissy

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About Chrissy

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/23/1966

Profile Information

  • Gender Female
  • Location NYC
  • Interests Tennis, movies, theatre, all things French...and shopping, definitely shopping. Did I mention shopping? And shopping now is sooo much more fun than when I was shopping for the male who occupied my body for too long.

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Chrissy's Activity

  1. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: One Door Closes, Another Door Opens   

    Emma,
    I wish you all the happiness you can find on this journey! It's not an easy path, but it's well worth it and it seems like you've really thought through a lot and have a good vision of how to get started. Between that and the courage you've already demonstrated I have no doubt you'll find your authentic self.
    I also admire how you managed things with your wife. It was no doubt tempting at times just to leave (I say that from experience, having been married so many years ago), but you stayed and took care of what needed to be done. So add persistence to the strengths mentioned above :-)
    I'm looking forward to hearing about your travels - literal and personal :-)
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  2. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    long time...
    It's been awhile since I've written anything here - that was partly (largely) because of school and recovery. My recovery from GRS is going well, I've now been cleared for everything (including tennis and sex!), and I'm down to dilating twice a day (until the end of June). There was some granulated tissue, but that's been taken care of. And I've now had the delightful female experience of having my feet up in the stirrups for a medical exam! It doesn't make you feel at all vulnerable (sarcasm). I'm glad that my surgeon's staff is entirely female, I suspect that part of the process would have been a little more uncomfortable if her PA who was checking me was male.
    I recently finished co-facilitating an 8-week support group for transgender people, this one was focused on those who had recently come out and/or were in the early stages of transitioning. The most interesting part for me personally was that going in I saw myself as in a very different place than the group members (since I've pretty much come out everywhere, and my physical transitioning is largely done), but there was definitely a common thread that made me very much part of the group (since it's a peer-run support group it was fine that I was sharing as well, thought I always made sure it was after anyone else had shared, I never took a priority position for myself). Specifically, the sense of alienation and rejection that people felt because of their gender identity, that's still definitely a very big part of my life - especially now that surgeries are done and I'm thinking more about the prospects of dating :-(
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  3. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: On "Tolerance"   

    Emma,
    I know I'm late to the game on this one - but first, I think your response was perfect, I think it's important to point out that there isn't a "choice" involved (except the "choice" to live authentically!).
    I also agree that "tolerance" is definitely NOT the goal. Personally, I think mutual acceptance and respect is what's generally called for in life - "acceptance" feels a little off too, but that's why I put the "mutual" in front of it. It's about accepting that people are different from each other in many, many ways, and we should accept that and respect everyone for who and what they are (within reason of course - I'll never accept or respect Trump).
    I would also consider that you probably have a much more nuanced understanding of what "tolerance" means than your friend - that may well have just been the first word to come to mind, and if they haven't been in a position where they were rejected for some part of their identity they might not fully appreciate the meaning. With friends I've always gone by motivation - as long as I know that they're being supportive, I don't take any incorrect terminology badly from them - though I do correct it!
    Has anything further happened with this friend since February?
    xoxo
    Chrissy
     
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  4. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: In Which Emma Starts Liking Herself   

    That sounds great! Introspection can be a scary thing, but it is the only path to authenticity ūüėÄ
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  5. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Struggling with Labels   

    Emma,
    There's a lot packed into this post - let me start by saying that I think everyone should be free to identify as they will (within reason of course, if I tried to identify as black for example I would expect to be challenged or flat-out mocked). 
    I think it changes the conversation a bit to look at identities vs labels - it feels to me a little more substantive and whether we like it or not identity differences do exist and they do matter (they may be social constructs but even a social construct is real). I could, for example, claim that my being white isn't important - but since white is a "privileged" identity I would be wrong.
    Anyway, being trans is obviously different (since there is no such thing as "trans privilege") so I agree that we are each free to incorporate it into own lives as we want. Personally I've gone from highlighting it ("trans woman") to burying it ("woman") to pushing it back ("woman who is transgender") - and I generally only mention it to people as we get closer.
    One other thing - to one of Monica's points - to me being transgender is part of me body, mind, and soul - for some it may be primarily in the mind, but I don't think that's universal by any means.
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  6. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Update
    Hi all!
    So my recovery seems to be going well. I had my follow-up with the surgeon and they removed the packing and tubes. That felt so much better! They showed me how to dilate - wasn't too bad.
    Yesterday I came home - I've never been so happy to be home! Recovery is easier in my own place with my own stuff.
    For 4 weeks I have to dilate 4x a day for 20 minutes each. I'm still working on my positioning, it gets a little uncomfortable and tedious, but I'll survive :-)
    Otherwise for now it's a lot of TV and reading. Barring complications I should be able to go back to school and my internship the week of the 23rd.
    At a more fundamental level - as swelling starts to recede it's easier to see what I have now, and it's pretty awesome ūüĎĮ¬†
    More later!
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
     
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  7. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    GRS Part II
    Hi again,
    I wanted to post some more now that I've actually had my surgery (YAY!!!!), especially for anyone thinking about or planning the surgery themselves - everyone's experience is different, but this might give some things to consider:
    Monday, Dec. 26 - I arrived in Philadelphia and checked-in to my hotel.  Went to a Target Express nearby to load up on food and beverages for the days after surgery when I'd be at the hotel, knowing that getting out for food would be tough.  Around noon I started bowel prep (Magnesium Citrate and Dulcolax, and a couple of other prescriptions).  That went on through the day, culminating in an enema at 4 a.m.  I unpacked and tried to set things up as much as I could to be ready for when I got back - then I packed my bag of stuff to go to the hospital (including Cinnamon, my new stuffed bear).
    Tuesday, Dec. 27 - I had to be at the hospital by 10:30 a.m., and it's only a few minutes away from here.  I was still up early - nerves no doubt.  My brother called to check-in and asked if someone could call him when the surgery was done.  Around 9:30 I got a call from the hospital asking if I could show up early, Dr. Rumer was running early.  So I left and got to the hospital before 10 a.m. (Hahnemann University Hospital - it's affiliated with Drexel University).
    I went through check-in - a bunch of questions standard for any surgery.  Got changed into the gowns they gave me.  Then the anesthesiologist came by and put in the tube (or whatever it is they put in). I saw Dr. Rumer and her PA quickly - people kept asking if I had any questions, but really I didn't.
    Got taken into the operating room at 11:09 a.m. (they call it when the patient is brought in), and got moved to the operating table.  Next thing I know I wake up in another room.  They had called my brother at 1:40, so I know it took about 2.5 hours in total.  I called him around 4:00 when I was more coherent
    I spent the next 2 days in a hospital bed, unable to get up or move much at all.  My only real complaint is that the bed had about a 2" mattress, which I think is way too small for being on bedrest for 2 days (I told the PA about that later).  The nurses were nice, but it took a long time to get almost anything.  I do know that I couldn't do their job, and they don't make enough money (I don't know how much they make, but it can't be enough).
    So my new vagina is still packed, and has 3 tubes coming out of it - 1 going to a Foley bag (urine) and 2 going to smaller containers collecting blood.  The nurses periodically emptied them.  I had no hunger, which was good because the food was truly awful (how do you make scrambled eggs not good!?!?).
    Thursday, Dec. 29 - I got discharged - yay!!!  It took forever, but it finally happened.  Before that I had to actually get up and start moving, which was so much harder than I expected - I did fine with it, but there was light-headedness and nausea.
    They sent me back to the hotel in a taxi - and I've been here since.  Pretty much staying in bed except to go to the bathroom (including emptying the bags) and getting food.
    I don't really feel any pain from the surgery - the biggest pain is my butt from the hospital bed, that's the main reason I've been taking the percocet since then.
    On Tuesday morning I got for my follow-up, which is when they'll remove the tubes and packing.  Then I stay one more night (to make sure everything is ok after they take the stuff out) and go home the next day.
    Emotionally - I won't lie, on Thursday I had moments when I thought I might be feeling regret, but it was entirely about how I was feeling and knowing that the surgery caused that - as I've started feeling more normal any such thoughts went away and I'm getting back to feeling thrilled about this :-)   (I think that will be complete when the packing comes out and I can actually see it)
    More later!
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  8. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Looking back on 2016   

    Karen,
    Thanks for sharing this!  I've thought a lot about assimilation in the past few months as I've basically been trying to do it myself.  Ultimately I agree with you that it's important to be available to help others as we can - for me it was (is?) driven by a desire to adjust my social life - for about 20 years of living as a gay man I had built a social life around that, so it was important to me to shift that now that I'm (authentically) living as a straight woman.  Especially since I would very much like to be in a relationship (that would be hard to come by at gay bars).
    Having said all that, I'm definitely not trying to leave behind the LGBTQ community  :-)
    xoxo 
    Chrissy
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  9. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: GRS (or SRS if your prefer)   

    Thanks for that information!  The timing matches up pretty well with mine - surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning, I was told to be at the hospital at 10:30 (originally 6 a.m., but it got moved).  Then I should be out on Friday, with a follow-up appointment with Dr. Rumer next Tuesday, then home on Wednesday.  They suggested staying overnight after the visit to make sure there are no issues with dilation.
    I'll be staying at Homes2 Suite (or Home 2 Suites) tomorrow night and then after the surgery - the rooms all have kitchen facilities and it's pretty close to the hospital (an 8 minute walk - obviously I won't be walking back, but I can walk to the hospital on Tuesday).
    I got some unscented feminine wipes, but they didn't mention the KY - that is something I should probably get, and the donut pillow is a great idea!  I'll try to get one in Philly when I get down there tomorrow.  My train ride back next week is about 2 hours, that's probably comparable to what you had in terms of your return flight?
    I don't know if I ever mentioned that I saw Marci Bowers speak when I went to the Transgender Health Conference last year?  It was a full room and a good presentation!  The fullness of the room was partly because they only gave her 1 time slot this year, not the usual 2, so she had to cover M2F and F2M in the same session.
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  10. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: GRS (or SRS if your prefer)   

    I'll make every effort :-)  My surgery is Tuesday and I'm in Philly until the following Wednesday morning - hopefully I'll have the appetite by then!
    If I can ask, did you have to stay in the hospital for any period of time after surgery?  I'll be in for 3 days which is probably the thing that makes me the most nervous as I've never had to stay in a hospital (past surgeries were all outpatient).  Just wondering what your experience was like?
    It is sometimes an awkward fit - the "T" in the "LGBTQ" - particularly if you're transgender and straight (I have some bisexual inclinations, but in terms of an actual relationship I could only see that happening with a man).  For lesbian, gay and bi individuals (cis or trans) the community represents political, social, and relationship connections.  Being straight and trans I feel the political connection, but I know that if I want a relationship (and I do), I need to be outside of that.  I'm certainly not cutting all ties - right now I'm probably focusing more on straight things, but that's to compensate for years of being away from that.
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  11. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: GRS (or SRS if your prefer)   

    Karen,
    As always thank you for your feedback!  I totally agree that the journey is ongoing, I'm just saying that as far as how I'm defining my own journey - my own experience - I no longer consider it transitioning after GRS is done (I realize my body will continue to change - but I won't be making affirmative decisions about making physical changes anymore).  I guess for me it's a matter of shifting focus from physical (transitioning) to mental, emotional and spiritual (evolution) (not that evolution hasn't been happening all along of course, it's just a matter of giving it more attention now).
    I actually grew up with family (my favorite aunt and her family) in the Philly area, but almost never went into the city (just once when I was considering going to Temple University, my uncle worked there and brought me in to look around).  Unfortunately when I go down tomorrow I'll be on a "clear diet," I doubt that cheese steaks fit that :-(  But I will be staying for a week, perhaps at some point I'll feel up to ordering in :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  12. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Small and Treasured   

    Emma,
    I know I'm late to this conversation - but I wanted to thank you for sharing all of that!  It can be pretty overwhelming, and it doesn't help that there isn't really (yet) a scientific way of establishing that someone is transgender.
    I spent a lot of time going through similar thought processes to what you describe above - looking back at my childhood to look for clues, etc. Then as I started transitioning I just started noticing that it felt right.  Ultimately I think it has to be a mix of rational and emotional thought - the rational part is the objective information that we can gather, but there's a limit to that, and that's where emotional thought has to take over.
    Recently I wrote a letter to my sister (who hasn't been dealing well with this) to try to explain everything that I wish she would have given me a chance to say on the phone - including "how I know this is right for me" - I won't go into the detail, but I lead off with a simple "I know it's right for me because I know it's right for me."  :-)
    I'm not sure where you are with your process at this point - but just keep at it, an answer will eventually come!  :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  13. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Diversion and inclusion event   

    Karen,
    Congrats on doing that!  It sounds like a really good event.
    I guess I'm not too surprised that people didn't ask questions - I feel like we're still at a point where people know so little about being transgender that they don't even know what questions to ask - or for those who are supportive, they might be afraid of asking the wrong questions.  In closer relationships if people express curiosity I usually try to make them more comfortable by saying that nothing they ask me will offend me - if it's something that is objectively offensive I'll just tell them that, but I won't take it personally (if the person is supportive, then I know they aren't trying to offend) - but that wouldn't work in a larger group setting, I would never give an entire audience the option of being offensive :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  14. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    GRS (or SRS if your prefer)
    Hi everyone,
    I haven't been able to write for awhile - I started school again in September and that's kept me pretty busy.  I'm in the MSW (Masters in Social Work) program at NYU (New York University), which is a full-time program and includes a 21-hour/week internship on top of classes (mine is with a drop-in center for people who are homeless).
    Anyway, I didn't come on to write about that, but since the semester is over, and internship is over until late January, I have a little time.
    The big update is that my GRS is happening this coming Tuesday!  I leave for Philadelphia on Monday morning, then the surgery is at Hahneman University Hospital with Dr. Kathy Rumer.  I'll be staying in Philly for a week and coming back home after my one-week follow-up with her.
    I've already started pre-surgery prep - including stopping hormones a few weeks ago (that one hurt), and today starting an Arnica protocol (it's to reduce or eliminate bruising from the surgery).  Then on Monday I'll be on a clear-liquid diet and have to do some bowel prep (the glamorous side of surgery!).  I have to be at the hospital at 10:30 a.m. And luckily this time my insurance company didn't give me a hard time, they approved the procedure (they also eventually agreed to cover top surgery, which they had rejected initially - it's really good that I work/worked in New York where the state requires these things to be covered.
    Since July I've been seeing my therapist twice a week - she provided one of the letters that I needed, and requested the additional sessions - which I think is great (I'm actually going to miss going twice a week, but I can't afford to keep doing that).  So we've talked A LOT about the process - transitioning generally, the surgery specifically, and now the post-transition period.  I used to say that I'd probably be transitioning until I die, but lately I've decided (for myself, others may feel otherwise) that GRS essentially marks the end of my transition - at that point I'll have done as much physically as I'm going to.  Now I'm in a period of "evolution" - discovering who I am - both as a woman and just generally.  It's already begun, and it's been a great process.  I find myself moving away from LGBTQ-specific things - not as a rejection of the community, but as an acknowledgement that I'm straight (as a man I was gay, but not now), so I needed to know that I can function in "straight environments."
    So now that I'm more comfortable with school (I was worried a lot about whether I could really do it - now I feel much more confident), I'm going to try to write more.  I bought myself a separate journal to keep notes about GRS - I plan to write that first entry on the train to Philly, and then keep track of what happens, how I feel physically, and how I feel emotionally - I'll try to share some of that here as I go along, in case it's helpful to anyone (recognizing that the experience is going to be different for everyone - but there are still going to be similarities).
    I also want to write more about my "evolution" - that was something that I (understandably) didn't focus on until more recently.  The physical transition is one thing, but as I felt myself living a more authentic existence it also became important to know how I wanted to live my life.  The benefits are already huge - I find that the friendships that I had are stronger than ever, and the new people I'm meeting are really good people (mostly social work students) - and none of this would have happened without that recognition a few years ago that I am a woman, and I am transgender.
    I'll wrap this up for now - I know my attention flags sometimes on longer entries, so I'll stop taxing people's attention span :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  15. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Mixed Emotions   

    I am truly going to miss President Obama and VP Biden when they're gone. In often quiet ways this administration did a lot for us!
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