Chrissy

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Everything posted by Chrissy

  1. Chrissy added a post in a topic Legal Name Change Resources in NYC and Elsewhere . . .   

    In the support group that I facilitate (in NYC) we discussed name changes recently, a couple of people who have done it said it went very easily - there's usually a publication requirement, but in both cases the judge waived it for them due to the possibility of it endangering them - so that was nice to hear!  (I had it done in NJ, didn't even think to ask about waiving the publication requirement)
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  2. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Dressing for success!!!!
    Much has been said on this website about dressing - obviously! - here was my experience this morning. I'm at my field placement today, which is a social work internship, so it requires a good balance of looking professional, without going too far and creating the appearance of a power imbalance. Add to that mix that I had a dental appointment in the morning before I came here. Usually that wouldn't impact anything, but I go to the NYU Faculty Dental Practice, and the student I go to is really, really cute. So, add to the equation trying to look as cute as possible for the dental student :-)
    Last time I saw him he mentioned a girlfriend (which was admittedly a little painful to hear), but that was back in June, so who knows!  More important though is that I decided it doesn't matter if I actually have a chance with him, I want to learn to act, and dress like I do (not just for him, but generally). So I think I found a good balance :-)  (had it been a non-internship day I would have worn one of the tank tops that I have that I think are very flattering)
    Of course then I get to the appointment and the first thing that happens when you're in the chair is that they put that protective bib on you - why even have cleavage to show!?!? Then they have these goggles for you to wear to protect from the spray while they're doing the cleaning - so at this point there's no way I look at all cute :-(
    But the takeaway remains! I want to date, I would like a relationship, so I have to take that into account now and then and dress accordingly :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  3. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    Monica,
    That seems like it might have been a little while ago? From what I've learned there aren't any time limits. What matters is how much, if at all, the grieving process is interfering with daily living. It can certainly go beyond 2 years (my parents died 13 years ago and I still have moments of grieving)
    Chrissy
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  4. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Feminist Group event
    Hi everyone,
    I'm pretty excited about an upcoming event that I'm involved with - it's part of a feminist Meetup group that I belong to. Each month we have a moderated discussion on some issue within the feminist movement (last month was about racism in feminism). This month I'm moderating the discussion on transgender issues - the title is "Are trans women real women?" (the title is meant to be a little provocative, and to have a very obvious answer - the organizer was worried about using it, but since I was ok with being identified as transgender in the blurb about it she was ok with the title).
    We're going to show a couple of short videos - one by a TERF explaining why she doesn't accept transgender people as women, and then one by Janet Mock, explaining how she realized that she was a woman (well, a girl, she was 5 when it happened). Then we'll have a discussion about it! The topic is really "what is a woman?" which should be pretty interesting - I expect some discussion about nature vs. nurture ("Female brain" vs social construct).
    This is another example of where I've gone over time, since it was only within the last year that I was trying to pretend I'm not transgender - now I'm openly leading discussions about the topic. That of course is another huge thing - I told a friend about this, she's known me for 8 or 9 years, and she was thrilled, but also recognized how far I had come, back when we met there's no way I would have been willingly doing a public speaking event.
    More later!
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  5. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Sunday Again   

    I like my "homebound" Sundays . It's a nice mental break from the week
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  6. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Ho-hum   

    You never need to apologize for feeling sad or down. Grieving isn't a predictable or linear process, it's completely natural to feel it for almost any length of time. I can imagine how getting checks with just your name could trigger it.
    It's good to hear that writing about it helps. Keep writing! It's also perfectly normal to want or need some sympathy - so don't hesitate to say when you're feeling down.
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  7. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    um, a live duck?
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  8. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Book Project
    Hi all,
    I met on Tuesday with a person who is working on a book project about "transformations." Although not gender-specific, she indicated that most of the people she thinks will be featured will be female. One section of the book will be dedicated to trans-identified people, and it looks like I'm going to be one of them 
    Each person featured will have a short blurb, something about their story of transformation, and then a few related pictures. I'll write the initial blurb myself - my slant on it, as of now, is the idea that what started as a transition that I viewed as being to "become a woman" turned into a transition that I viewed as being to "become me." I'm also going to write the general introduction for the transgender section - her goal is to elevate our stories through this book, so that should be a really awesome project to be part of.
    More later 
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  9. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    Good luck Michelle!!!
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  10. Chrissy added a topic in Transgender Health Care   

    Experts Confirm Gender Identity is Biological
    Further information towards the "growing consensus" (they use the term in the article, hence the quotation marks) that gender identity is biological and not environmental. They allow for the fact that many people make choices regarding gender and transitioning based on environmental forces, but that "there do not seem to be external forces that genuinely cause individuals to change gender identity.”
    https://thinkprogress.org/endocrine-society-transgender-health-coverage-4e0dfc96c652/
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  11. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Transgender "Community"   

    Emma,
    Enjoy the talk!  I have to admit I wasn't thrilled by her new book, but I loved the first one and have loved her every time I've heard her speak (never in person, just on TV).
    On the topic of community - I think for me it was important to (finally) realize that I could shift my social priorities away from the trans community without cutting myself off from the people and issues of the community. So I keep doing the support group, and I work with some trans identified clients at my internship and on a volunteer basis, etc.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  12. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Transgender "Community"
    This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot, and have been wanting to write something about - so here goes!!! It's the concept of a transgender "community" - does it exist?  Should it exist? It came up during the support group that I facilitate on Saturdays, so I thought it might be time to look at the issue myself a little more deeply - and see what others think :-)
    In 2 separate contexts I was told by people - who knew I was in the process of transitioning - that they knew trans people who would "disappear" after they transitioned. In one case it was with the LGBT tennis group I belonged to, that person wasn't talking about anyone with the tennis group, just a trans person they knew who basically left their entire social world behind as they transitioned. The other was a trans meetup group, where a member (who is a cross-dresser), commented that members who transition tend to disappear from the group. Well, in both cases I did exactly that. I joined a new tennis group this year, a non-LGBT group. I was going to maintain both memberships, but there isn't enough time to play matches with 2 groups. And I've pretty much stopped going to the meetup group. It should be noted that the person in the meetup group who made that comment also, on another occasion, half-seriously criticized me for dressing "boyish" (I wasn't, I just wasn't dressed up since I had been out doing things all day). Part of the reason for dropping that group, beyond the fact that it's essentially just a bar-hangout group, is that it mainly seems focused on people who really want to get totally dressed up. I'm not criticizing that, but it's not what I particularly want or need right now.
    So aside from this website, I'm not really part of a transgender community - and I feel ok about that? (I also co-facilitate trans support groups, but as a facilitator I don't consider myself to be part of the "community" that might arise from membership). To me it makes sense that gay men and lesbians have their respective communities - beyond the need to support each other socially and politically, they want to date each other (pardon the binary language). While I could certainly see dating a transgender man, it isn't my only option.
    On Saturday, after the group, I made another foray into the non-LGBT social world. I went to a bar where they show NC State football games - I'm happy that I went since I felt nervous about it, but disappointed as there didn't seem to be any other NC State people there :-(  (Worse still, the few people there seemed to be Syracuse people!!! I was not only alone as an NC State fan, I was in "enemy" territory).
    I suppose all of this is really just me trying to reconcile my transgender identity. It's been a source of strength, since living it out has required some level of courage and persistence, but it's also a source of depression - I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish I had just been born a cisgender woman. There have been times that I've tried to pretend that I'm not (if you look through my blog entries there will no doubt be a gap of a few months, that's when it happened), but then I do the support group, and I'm pretty open about it at school and my internship and even socially - so clearly I'm not trying to run away from it anymore. But still, living with it hasn't gotten particularly easy yet.
    So that was a bit of a ramble I suspect - but let me know what you think :-)

    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  13. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Mission Accomplished   

    "It's tight enough--breathing is an issue--but it definitely makes you feel womanly."
    Exactly   Comfort doesn't seem to be a top priority in women's attire.
    Congrats on passing the exam!!!
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  14. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Two year anniversary coming up   

    Happy anniversary!!! 
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  15. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Next project   

    yup 
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  16. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Next project   

    I assume you meant this for Monica 😛 I have no impending social plans 
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  17. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Closets   

    Just a quick thought on your comment about moving things around for awhile to get it right - that was something I needed (perhaps still need?) to learn, I would go into organizational projects like that expecting that I could make it perfect the 1st time around - that rarely happens, so I had to learn that I was going to make an effort and see how it works, then make other changes until I felt good about it (ok, I think that just turned into a comment about living in general)
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  18. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Next project   

    I love closet remodeling!  Good luck with that!!! I don't have a walk-in closet, but I have a bigger closet that was very simple when I moved in. I added a section of shelves down the middle (not quite the middle) for shorts, t-shirts, etc. and then a single rod on one side for longer things and 2 rods on the other for shorter. I don't wear many dresses, so I didn't as much room on the single-rod side.
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  19. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry A life lived, a life to live   

    Welcome to TGGuide!  I can't wait to read your blog entries 
    My own experience - I've transitioned over the past 2-3 years (depending on what I consider the starting point) - is that it is both amazing and terrifying - often at the same time. But either way is better than settling for a life that isn't right for you!
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  20. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Full Speed Ahead   

    Good luck on the license exam!!!
    Thinking of your comment about wanting to be or be with a beautiful woman - an early memory for me is after seeing "Grease," thinking I wanted to "be with" Olivia Newton-John, then later realizing I wanted to "be" her :-)   (of course I was 10 years old at the time, so I wouldn't have known what to do "with" her even if I had the chance).
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  21. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Dressing   

    Sizing can be tough as it can vary from designer to designer (or even within a designer in some cases) - that's why I like the Jennifer Lopez collection @ Kohls, I always fit in large with her 😛
    With my men's clothing I ended up donating almost all of it to an AIDS organization in NYC. Nice tax break!
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  22. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Fear Adapting and Idenity   

    Kitrah,
    Safety has to be a primary concern, I'm glad you're able to find that while still making room to discover yourself. Hopefully over time you'll he able to do more and more while still being safe ☺
    I live in an area where fortunately I can be a who I am publicly, but even here I've had a few scary experiences with overly aggressive men. I keep thinking that I should take a self defense class but haven't yet 😞
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  23. 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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  24. 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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