Chrissy

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About Chrissy

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  • 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 post in a topic: Legal Name Change Resources in NYC and Elsewhere . . .   

    There is also the Silvia Rivera Law Project - www.slrp.org 
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  2. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Bringing my life together
    Last Friday I was having lunch with a friend from school - he and I were at the same field placement last year and got into the habit of going to Taco Bell for lunch every Wednesday, we've moved the day around but have continued the practice. I would say he's the best friend that I've made so far in school, we always have great conversations - if neither of us have anything else scheduled our lunches often turn into all afternoon things (we don't stay at Taco Bell the whole time, we walk around).
    Anyway - last week we were talking about the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - a guidebook for mental health diagnoses) and Gender Dysphoria vs. Depression. We were in pretty complete agreement on the topic (see below), but I was still getting a bit energized by the topic. As I was talking at one point I noticed that he was smiling - when I finished my thought he said "I really like this side of you." The "side" he's talking about is basically the activist side (the thought I was on was something critical of the DSM). Later that evening I texted him to specifically thank him for that segment of our conversation - I like all of our conversations, but that one in particular helped me connect some dots that had been wandering around loose. Along with the general thank you and explanation I mentioned that it was an area that brought together my personal, professional, and activist life, which I really liked.
    It then occurred to me that that happens a lot now. For example, when I was at the Trans Health Conference a few weeks ago, that whole few days were about all of those parts of my life. But in school, at my internship, and in other places I feel like my personal, professional and activist lives are all coming together. This is compared to say 5 years ago when my professional life was a job I hated, my personal life was virtually non-existent, and my activist life was completely non-existent.
    The reason for bringing this up in a post is that all of this is a result of coming out and transitioning for me. We talk about being "authentic," which is what I think is one of the most important aspects of coming out (and transitioning if that's what you do), and this reflects on what being authentic has meant for me.
     
    Side note about Gender Dysphoria and the DSM - Gender Dysphoria (GD) is a step in the right direction for the DSM, away from Gender Identity Disorder (GID). With GID they were basically pathologizing being transgender (the diagnosis just called for the person experiencing a dissonance between the gender they were identified with at birth and their experienced gender - it didn't matter if that dissonance had any negative effect on them). GD requires the presence of the dissonance, but is only diagnosed if it causes some problem in the person's overall functioning. So that's a good step, but my criticism of it is that it seemingly disregards the impact of bigotry on the person. There are passing references to this, but it doesn't seem that important that much of the dysfunction that can result from being transgender is in response to how it is perceived, and often stigmatized by others. So it's virtually (but not quite) pathologizing a perfectly reasonable response to bigotry. The question I've asked people is, if transphobia dissappeared tomorrow, would GD still be a problem?  I think it would, but a much much more manageable problem - someone saying that they're transgender would be greeted with "ok, so what do you want to do?" That could still be a difficult question, but easier to deal with if you weren't also facing rejection from family, friends, and society as a whole.
     
    Ok, I'm done :-)

    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  3. Chrissy added a post in a topic: Gender Identity Disorder vs. Gender Dysphoria on the Transsexual Forum   

    Hi,
    I just noticed that in the blurb at the top of the transsexual forum it still indicates "gender identity disorder." I think perhaps that should be updated to "gender dysphoria" to reflect the current status (the DSM has dropped "gender identity disorder," recognizing that it basically pathologized transgender identity).
    Chrissy
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  4. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Hurry Up and Wait   

    Same here, I've never been a big chat room person (I think I've looked into the chat rooms here once or twice, and very briefly both times - possibly because nobody was there)
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  5. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Decisions   

    I did change my gender marker pre-surgery on everything except my birth certificate (NJ requires bottom surgery before you can change that, but that should change next year when we lose our current pathetic governor). 
    Another consideration for a lot of people is access to surgery, not everyone has the resources to get them done. 
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  6. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Power Struggle   

    I remember after Sandy my power was out for about a week, and the most frustrating thing was seeing that it was coming on near me, but I went another couple of days without 😞 Not a fun experience!
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  7. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference - wrap-up
    Hi all,
    So I anticipated being more detailed, but that wasn't really very practical in this setting :-)  Suffice to say I really enjoyed the conference and got a lot out of it. In some cases it was learning that I already a fair amount of what they were talking about, which is always nice, but I definitely learned a few new things.
    The only downside was one of the last panels I attended - "White Supremacy in Trans Relationships."  The title probably should have been a warning - the fact that they used "white supremacy" instead of "white privilege" definitely reflected the views of the moderators, there was a good amount of hate going on and attempts at shaming. I plan to write to the conference organizers about it - I have no issue with being made uncomfortable about my white identity, but I don't think it should have happened at this conference and certainly not in the way it happened. This conference is about community in our gender identity, it's not right to shame people about other parts of their identity - not here.
    Otherwise everything was great! I had dinner with a couple of friends from NYC on Friday night - they had gone down on Friday, but I had just finished 2 full days. I commented at one point that "I had never had to be transgender for so long before" - I meant it to be humorous by with a point too. I was feel good about the conference but also pretty exhausted, and I think part of that is that I really don't activate that part of my identity for such long periods at a time on a regular basis. It's fine, I survived, but it was an interesting learning experience.
    Maybe the biggest thing I discovered - about myself that is - compared to when I attended last year is that I'm so much more comfortable about who I am now than I was back then.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  8. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Ignorance on Display   

    Wow, "genital mutilation." What does one say? My GCS surgeon was on a panel I saw yesterday and my thought was "she's the person who made me (physically) right." Far cry from "mutilation" ☺
    I'm not surprised on the sexual orientation part, even LG people seem to often have a problem knowing the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.
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  9. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference - Part II
    So day 1 is done - such a long day!  I volunteered to help with set up, so I was there starting at 6 a.m. But all totally worth it :-)
    On a matter of personal achievement first - during one of the panels I actually spoke during the Q&A. Perhaps seems small, but 3 or 4 years ago there's no way I would have done that - it was a fairly large room with about 50-60 people. No way. So that's a nice sign of what transitioning has done for me :-)
    The most interesting/controversial part was a lecture on "The Biology of Gender." It was a single presenter discussing the science and theories behind gender identity and gender variation. During the Q&A several people criticized it from the perspective that it was very binary - and he generally agreed (that the research itself tends to be biased in favor of the binary). Fair enough. However, I think this is an area where science and culture get conflated sometimes. Leaving aside the terms "sex" and "gender" for a moment - in my view there are 2 things going on: (1) there is what we are born, physiologically, biologically, neurologically, etc., and (2) there is the social construct that got built on top of that - sometimes with some basis, usually not.
    Regarding #1, I think we all exist on a spectrum from male to female - some in between, some "mixed" at birth (at least I think that's the prevalent theory about being transgender - genitalia developed one way, the brain the other). I also think that most reputable scientists - although they shorthand it as "male or female" - acknowledge that it's a spectrum and not a binary (they don't, for example, deny the existence of intersex individuals).
    Anyway - I'm not sure why I just started that, but curious if others have thoughts :-)

    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  10. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Cancer   

    Karen,
    I'm so sorry to hear that - hopefully they'll both be fine, but it's still a difficult process to go through :-(
    And great point about getting checked! I've been more assertive about talking with my doctor and endocrinologist to understand what things I need to be watching for that I might not have before (of course that's also part of getting older - but never mind that!!!)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  11. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference - Part I
    I arrived in Philadelphia today - the conference starts early tomorrow so I decided to get down here a day early. I got a hotel at a decent rate and it's about 1/2 block from the Convention Center!
    Anyway - last year I did the free version of the conference, this year I paid for the professional track (for a student it was $85). The tough part is deciding what to go to!  Initially I went through the schedule and just put everything I was interested in on my calendar. Then earlier this week I went through to pick which ones to actually attend - that was the hard part! I gave 1st priority to Behavioral Health panels, since that is the professional track I'm on. Then I leaned towards panels covering topics around F2M and gender non-confirming individuals, since I have decidedly less experience there. Of course this is a mixed things for me - personal and professional, so I don't want to forget the personal side :-)
    I'm volunteering in the morning - helping with set up, so it will be a long day, but worthwhile!  I'll post more tomorrow after Day 1.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  12. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Flowering   

    I suspect you will have "typical" days again, they'll just be a different "typical" 😛
    Xoxo
    Chrissy 
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  13. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry: Working   

    Michelle,
    Congrats on the job! It sounds challenging, working with kids in a detention setting, but possibly very rewarding. Anyone who has been exposed to the criminal "justice" system is going to have a rough time, they need all the support they can get if they're going to have any chance after.
    And congrats on growing into Michelle ☺ I definitely know what you mean about there being no going back! It is sad that it's connected to your wife passing - that seems like it would be very bittersweet - but you have to keep doing what you need and want.
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
     
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  14. Chrissy added a post in a topic: Makeup Kits   

    Personally, when I started out I found videos by Stephanie Lange on YouTube (she's Australian, now based in Ireland). These aren't specifically for trans people, but I found her easy to follow (I mainly found her because I have "hooded eyes," and she's done a number of videos on that specifically.
    If it's a possibility (and I know it's not always), ask female friends (trans or cis). I was fortunate that I have a good friend who is obsessed with make-up. I think when I came out as trans to her all she heard was "make-up shopping buddy!" It was a little hard at first - she knows it all so well and I barely knew the basics, but over time I picked it up :-)
    Beyond that, it just takes experimenting and practice! I've found that the brands at drugstores and such is perfectly fine, especially if that's where your budget it (as mine is! I'd love to go to Sephora, but I can't afford it).
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