Chrissy

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Everything posted by Chrissy

  1. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Bottom Surgery!!!
    As I mentioned in my last posting, I had a consultation in Philadelphia on Monday about bottom surgery - it went very well, I liked the surgeon a lot and liked the work that she showed me.  So I'm scheduled for December 27 :-)
    I had anticipated waiting until spring because of school, but classes finish in the fall on December 23, and there's over a month before spring classes, so this worked out, and financially it's VERY helpful as it lets me get this under my current insurance, and in the same year as top surgery so that I have only 1 deductible to worry about.
    I had a "gut check" moment while waiting for the surgeon - this time my gut's response was "leave me alone! this is good!" - so apparently my gut is getting a little annoyed at me checking-in too much. I drove down (hate driving, but it seemed easier), and the drive back was awesome - nothing about the drive itself, just knowing that I'm getting this done, that it's scheduled and before we start 2017 I will be just about as much of a woman as I can be :-) (physically at least)
    Now I get to have the conversation with my brother in which I tell him :-)  That should be fine, we've already spoken about me being trans and he's totally supportive, just awkward having any medical discussions with him.
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  2. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    New York Pride - and My Pride
    Tomorrow is New York Pride! It's expected to be one of the biggest ever as a result of the emotional impact of the Orlando shootings - and there will also be an increased NYPD presence as a result of the shootings. I expect that they'll do a moment of silence for Orlando - they do it each year for those lost to HIV/AIDs, and it's always an incredibly moving experience - you're on the streets of NYC with thousands and thousands of people, and there isn't a single sound (otherwise it's almost impossible to be on 5th Ave. or in the Village in total silence, except perhaps during a snowstorm).
    For me, this is my first NY Pride since I started transitioning.  Last year at this time I had "come out," but I hadn't really started transitioning yet (I went for a gender bending look at Pride). So this will also be the first time I'm actually marching and not just watching (I did also volunteer one year). I'm planning to march with Identity House, the peer counseling organization I volunteer with, which is what prompted me to march. In the past I've wanted to, but didn't really have any group that I felt strongly enough about to march with.
    But back to the point about it being the first Pride since my transition started. That has prompted me to look squarely at my own ambivalence about being trans.  I don't mean that I question whether I am or not, any question like that was resolved LONG ago - I mean that at some level, at some times, I try to reject my identity as a transwoman, and "just" be a woman. Sometimes it's an affirmative thing, I'm affirming my gender identity as a woman, other times though it's a negative, it's me trying to not be trans.
    This is kind of a hard thing to acknowledge here in particular - on this website - but I think that makes it more important to do. I went to the Transgender Health Conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago and realized that I felt very uncomfortable. In my day-to-day life I'm typically the only trans person around, this was a rare situation where I was in roomfuls of trans people, and I wasn't comfortable, which upset me a lot.
    I don't think it's unusual, perhaps others (many others even) here have experienced it - or something similar. There is an underlying wish - that is, I have an underlying wish that I had just been born a cisgender woman - and it can feel horrible to recognize that that will simply never be my reality. There is no amount of transitioning that will ever make me a cisgender woman.
    I am taking a step to work through this tomorrow at Pride - I found a shirt on-line to wear, a pink tank-top that says "Trans Women are Real Women" :-)  I think it's important for me to take ownership of that message - keeping in mind that while I'm wearing it for Pride, I'll also be wearing it as I travel back and forth to the city, which means around an audience that isn't necessarily receptive to the message.
    So I just wanted to - or rather, felt the need to - share that. I'll post some pics on Monday :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  3. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry T Time   

    That's awesome that you'll be getting your prescription soon :-)  Congrats!
     
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  4. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Bottom Surgery!!!   

    Jay,
    Oh, right, you're in the UK - how is all that going? I woke up in the middle of the night and thought to check, was shocked to see the result!
    Now just waiting for Scotland to vote again and leave the UK!  I'm of Scottish descent, would like to see them break free :-)
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  5. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Animosity or Acceptance   

    Michele,
    Thank you so much for sharing that - I have to admit that I've never met someone who is intersex - or at least I don't know that I did, so it's an experience/identity that I know very little about. I hope that you'll share more of your experience here.
    Your experience with your mother definitely resonated with me - I've struggled for awhile over thinking that my parents in so many ways failed me as a child - not in the same way that you experienced, but in terms of a form of neglect, mostly emotional. For so long I was hung up between "my parents screwed up," and the defense that "maybe they did the best they could?" My therapist recently added something incredibly useful to help me move past that dialogue - "I needed more." I found that helped a lot, it helped me move past wondering if they were to blame, or if they were blameless - either way, I needed more.
    Anyway, again, I hope you'll continue to share your thoughts and experiences!
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  6. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Woohoo   

    As an English purist I have to lead with this, it's "woo hoo"  :-)
    But FAR more important - CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!
    I always find it interesting that transmen and transwomen share one huge thing in common, the desire to "correct" our gender (or whatever terminology people choose to use), but literally every detail after that is the exact opposite :-)  I've spent the last 10 months taking a prescription to stop my testosterone from happening - if only they could find a way to let us do one-for-one switches!!!  I would happily give you every drop of testosterone I have (unless I actually need some amount to stay alive, then I'd hold back a bit)
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  7. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Bored at work and other updates...
    I see I haven't updated since April 28, so I'm behind on a few items :-)
    My job - where I've worked for 10+ years now - recently announced employee buy-outs b/c they need to cut the budget.  Since I was already planning on going back to school, I took the buy-out and will now go back full-time (to NYU for a Masters in Social Work). Now I'm just here at work riding out my time until probably June 30 - it's SOOOO boring!!!
    On other fronts - next Monday I have a consult with a bottom surgeon in the Philadelphia area - very excited about that!  And in mid-July I have another appt with the top surgeon in Albany - to finalize details, etc.  That surgery is scheduled for August 19 - one of my friends who is a student, and thus free during the summer, is going with me (you have to have someone with you).
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  8. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Avoiding the Law?   

    Ren,
    I'd suggest double (or triple) checking on the drivers license rule - people working at agencies are known to get the law wrong (social security by me initially refused to correct my gender id, but I eventually got them to see they were wrong). Looking online it doesn't look like new hampshire requires full on surgery for a gender correction on drivers license (you are in New hampshire, right? My apologies if I got that wrong)
    Chrissy
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  9. Chrissy added a post in a topic Trans Support Group - NYC   

    If you know anyone in NYC feel free to pass it along 👯😀😛👧
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  10. Chrissy added a topic in Mental Health and Crisis Intervention   

    Trans Support Group - NYC
    Hi all,
    For anyone in the NYC area, there is a new support group, sponsored by Identity House, starting next Wednesday. It will run from 7-9 pm every Wednesday for 8 weeks starting May 25.
    If you're interested just send me a message (I'm co-facilitating the group)
    More info at www.IdentityHouse.org
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  11. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    HRT Update
    Hi all,
    I just had my endocrinologist appointment - my testosterone level is at 170 now - yay!!!  Typical male level is 270-1200, female level is up to the 60s or so - so I'm in "No Man's and No Woman's Land" currently - but it's progress!
    I think the nicest part of the appointment was when he said he wished everyone who came to see him was like me - in this case meaning that he has no qualms about what I'm doing and giving me the HRT prescription, so that was nice to hear :-)
    He did say I need to lose some weight - which I knew quite well already, I'm hoping hearing it from him will help motivate.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  12. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Interesting occurances   

    If your experience is at all like mine was (and many others!) things could start happening very fast.  I started out cross-dressing (without acknowledging being trans), and almost immediately knew that wasn't enough!
    Circumstances can of course dictate a lot, and fear of not being accepted is obviously a strong thing, but I agree with the others' sentiments about your friend and the likelihood that she'll stay with you - she may well have been telling you she already knows :-)
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  13. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry want to be a female every day.   

    That's too bad that your circumstances won't allow for more :-(  But at least you have an outlet! Hopefully someday soon it can be more
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  14. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Memorial Service - coming out
    Hi everyone,
    So last weekend was the memorial service for my uncle who passed away in January - everyone was so spread out they delayed it to find a convenient time for as many people as possible. His passing was of course sad, but he was older and hadn't been in good health (mentally or physically) for quite some time.
    The point of this entry is the fact that this is the first time I've seen many family members since I transitioned. About 10-12 people knew (the most direct of my relatives - my brother and sister and first cousins), but most of the rest didn't, so on top of being a sad occasion I had to basically "come out" at it - it was an interesting balance, obviously it's a funeral so it's not about me, but it's not like my transition is a subtle thing that nobody will notice if I don't mention it! And going as a guy was out of the question (one of my friends asked me after if I thought I would have been more or less comfortable if I had presented as a male for this - I told him I don't really know because I can't even imagine doing that - he liked that answer).
    Anyway, the first issue was that the first group of people I saw were more distant relatives who didn't know about my transitioning, and it occurred to me that i hadn't thought about how to "introduce" myself. I introduced myself with my current name, but several times added "formerly _____" so that they would know who I am.
    I didn't have any negative incidents - there may have been a couple of people who avoided interacting with me, but those who did were all perfectly friendly. One of my cousins (who knew already) commented towards the end about how much happier I seem (and that's at a funeral!)
    So after a lot of stress leading up to it, it ended up being a good experience.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  15. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Whats the point...   

    That sucks, I'm sorry :-(
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  16. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Life is Good   

    Emma,
    So glad things are going well, and love the dress 😀 #PinkItUp
    I have a "life is good" t-shirt (pink), it only occurred to me after I bought it what I had bought! Before my "coming out" i would never have bought something with such an affirmative thought.
    And indeed, life is good 👯
    Xoxo
    Chrissy
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  17. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Finding Peace
    Ok people, so this isn't technically - or at least not fully - about being trans, but something I need an outlet for.  It might be a bit meandering.
    I've been going through a difficult stretch, including a series of "endings" that have left me feeling - well, I don't quite know, but I know a thought that has crossed my mind several times is "when will I find peace?"
    The endings - (1) I'm applying to grad school and on Friday got a rejection from one of them - the one that was by far my first choice; (2) the drag queen who often lets me guest perform is no longer doing her show at the bar I go to; (3) my 2 best friends are about to move to California; (4) one of my favorite uncles passed away in January; (5) ... I know there are a few more, but I'm blanking right now.
    This is all on top of having a job that has gotten progressively worse over the past few months, and there is absolutely no sign of it turning around anytime soon (or ever).
    So how do I find peace?  I used that line in therapy today and she asked me what that would look like to me, peace. My initial answer was that I would have a job that I didn't hate going to every day and didn't cause endless annoyance and stress. As I thought about it on my way back to work I know that that was too specific an answer, but a good lead-in to maybe figure it out.  Because it's not about getting things to be happening the way I want them to, it's about getting me to think about things differently.  I think the serenity prayer is always a good baseline - give me the courage to change the things I can, the strength to accept the things I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.
    I think this is related - but keep in mind I did say I might meander :-)  Every Wednesday I go to a supervision group for the volunteer organization I belong to, and last week (at our last session) I made a comment about how this group, for those 2 hours a week, allow me to feel completely comfortable with my complete identity.  It's not that they accept me being trans, it just is. And I thought afterwords that if I can feel that way in the group, i should be able to feel that way anywhere :-)  Just knowing that I'm capable of feeling that way makes it possible.
    To relate that back to the broader theme - I'm capable of accepting difficult things, so I should be able to accept any difficult thing.  Ok, that's just a starting point perhaps.
    One final point on the grad school thing. Being rejected by my first choice school actually hurt me a lot more than I expected.  I think that although I harbor some doubts about being able to do it, I assumed the choice would be mine (I'd be accepted and then decide if I want to go).  But this really was crushing - I got home from work the day I got the rejection and literally cried for about an hour (and even thinking about it right now almost makes me start again). It became really clear that "coming out" as transgender finally made it possible for me to realize where my passion lies, and to have that set-back on the path to fulfilling it was very painful.  It doesn't end things, I have a couple of other applications out still, but those options would be more difficult - but probably worth pursuing.
    So thank you to anyone who got this far - and if you didn't, well you're not seeing this now so there's no reason for me to say anything to you - but I understand :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  18. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Finding Peace   

    Thank you Veronica :-)  It's always enough just to have this space to get things out, but definitely an added benefit to get a kind response.
    My uncle was older, and hadn't been doing well, and honestly I hadn't seen him in quite awhile. We were closer when I was younger, but then drifted. 
    As for my friends, we had also been drifting, so I'll most likely let that go - distance rarely works for me in that kind of situation. I don't like to travel to start with, and I have no interest in going to LA - with apologies to anyone on here who lives in LA :-)
    There are also some beginnings - like my volunteer work with Identity House, and one particular friendship that's emerging from that.
    So peace will happen :-)
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  19. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Another step closer
    I had my weekly therapy session today and she confirmed that she had faxed the needed letter to my surgeon to authorize my top surgery - yay!  In this case insurance doesn't actually require it, but the surgeon does - needed a letter from a therapist confirming gender dysphoria. I called and confirmed that they got it, and they did - tomorrow they'll be contacting the insurance company to start the pre-authorization process.
    It isn't happening until August, but I still was happy to see it moving forward 
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  20. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Dress up time!
    This past weekend we hosted a moot court competition at our school, and as Moot Court staff administrator I was very involved in the planning, and naturally attended the Saturday night reception for the event.  It was my first real opportunity to "dress up"   The picture below is me (on the left) and 2 students.
    I did realize on Friday night as I was packing up for the next day that I had never really dressed in plum before, so I didn't know what color make-up to use - fortunately Google exists and I found that lavender works perfectly!
    Overall a very fun night!  My next opportunity will be the Law Review Banquet on April 1 - of course I just wore this dress, so I'll have to come up with something else for that occasion.
     
     

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  21. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    New path
    Hi all,
    It's been awhile since I've been able to write - very busy at work, and outside of work (the outside part is all good, but tiring).
    In a prior post I wrote about an "exit strategy" from my current job, and that point has advanced substantially.  Several weeks ago I had breakfast with my electrologist (her appointment after me had cancelled). I was telling her about my job issues and half-jokingly asked if she knew anyone who was hiring. She replied that I was asking the wrong question, and that what I needed to ask (myself) is what is my passion, and how can I make a career out of that?
    It took virtually no time at all to figure it out once I had that question in mind and I've decided to try to pursue an MSW (Masters of Social Work) and try to become a therapist. Long ago I had thought about pursuing that career, but never followed-through. Looking back now and realizing the impact of gender dysphoria, I think that it was impossible (or at least improbable) that I could have figured out what my passion was, much less follow-through on it, until I came out as transgender (which, BTW, was a year ago this month).
    Earlier this year I started volunteering with Identity House - a group that provides peer counseling, support groups, and therapy referrals for LGBTQ people in the NYC area. I've never done anything that has given me as much personal satisfaction as this! So at this point I've applied to 2 MSW programs, that might be about it, I had to choose based on some logistical constraints - but one of them is Rutgers University, which has a well-regarded MSW program.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  22. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry New path   

    In my work with Identity House, the very first time I did the peer counseling, the client we had was a person who came in to discuss "concerns about transgender thoughts" - he (he still identified as he) seemed very positive about the interaction (we spoke for about an hour and a half), which felt really good :-)
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  23. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry I aint a Cait fan...........   

    I watched season 1 because I felt like I should, but I decided as that season ended that I wouldn't watch it again (and apparently I'm not alone, ratings are WAY down from last year).
    The comment I heard that she made that shocked me was that she thought she could be an ambassador for Ted Cruz to the transgender community. I don't think either side wants that!!!
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  24. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Nature vs. Nurture: Nature Scores!   

    It would be really nice if medical science could finally confirm something biological to establish being transgender - though increasingly I only hope for that for the benefit of people who don't think it's real at all.
    Having been "out" for a year now, and on HRT and fully presenting as a woman for 7 months, I have no doubt that it's "nature" :-)
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  25. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Impatiently Waiting   

    That sounds very encouraging - good luck! If only they could do breast transfusions, I'd be in NH in a second
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