Chrissy

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Posts posted by Chrissy


  1. Good piece, but why is it titled, and why does she refer to a "gay agenda"? The LGBTQ community lets that happen too often, we (transgender people, and others) become invisible by referring to it as a "gay agenda" or "gay rights movement," etc. It's especially disturbing coming from a transgender activist!

    2 people like this

  2. Stephani,

    I agree completely that surgeries and medical transitioning are not magical cure-alls - and I admit that I might have harbored some of those feelings (not consciously, I was very aware that not surgery was going to "fix" everything, but "magical thinking" has a way of creeping in anyway).

    I think where I disagree - and I apologize if I'm misreading your comments - is the role of outside support in my transition and in living my authentic life. Of course ultimately it had to happen within me, but I had a lot of support along the way, from friends, therapists, doctors, people on this website, and others - even family!  (not much from family, but still). I could possibly have achieved this same state of being without that support, and without the medical transitioning, but that was the route I chose and I don't want to diminish the roles of those who helped along the way. This is probably a big part of why I decided to pursue a career in social work - I believe that people can survive and thrive in almost any circumstance, but sometimes we need some help.

    In any event, I think this has been a really good and really important conversation to have :-)  In large part because, as I mentioned above, I think your point about not expecting surgeries to "fix everything" is a potential danger for people, it can be part of a journey towards authenticity, but it's not everything, it's not even the most important thing.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    2 people like this

  3. I think this topic calls for a little humility. I can't speak for anyone but myself in terms of the impact of the surgeries I've had.

    In my case I was far less self-confident before, and far less content and happy. I won't say that either surgery specifically changed that, but my full transition did. Even in that context though the surgeries weren't just procedures that I underwent. They made me feel physically more "correct" than I ever had, that's not nothing.

    We all have our own experience so I won't challenge or disrespect anyone's view of their journey and I hope for the same respect back.

    As for fetishists, that's a whole other topic. Personally I've never met a woman who is trans who focuses on the sexual beyond what one might expect.

    5 people like this

  4. I think Emma is correct, the RLE is no longer a requirement. For my GCS I needed 2 letters, but they focused on whether I understood what the surgery was about and the "consequences," there was no discussion of RLE. 

     

    Even that goes too far in my opinion. Getting letters is a financial burden that many can't afford. Informed consent should be enough.

    2 people like this

  5. I agree with Briannah's point, it seems like socio-economic status was very likely a bigger factor across the board in terms of health impact than being transgender. It raises the question of why the sample they used was "younger, poorer, less white and more likely to be unemployed." One guess I have is how they sought out participants, that they may have mainly focused on community health service providers where they were more likely to find transgender people, and as a result the sampling of trans individuals was skewed.

    I'm a little troubled that they didn't address this issue in the article. Whether it was that their sampling method caused the skewing, or that trans people do, on average, tend to be "younger, poorer, less white and more likely to be unemployed," it's a cause for concern.

    Another point is that whenever you see a survey of trans people, it's much like it was with gay and lesbian people years ago, it skewed towards those who were willing to be open about it. So these might be interesting for conversation, but they will always be far from accurate until we live in a society where more/most trans people can live openly.

    3 people like this

  6. On the subject of the Supreme Court specifically, there is very good reason to be very pessimistic about the near and distant future. Although Goresuch didn't really change anything (he replaced Scalia, perhaps the worst bigot/sexist/homophobe/transphobe the court has ever seen). But Kennedy and Ginbsburg are both at an age where retirement could happen anytime, if Trump gets to nominate for one or both of them, the Court is lost for decades to come.

    After that bit of pessimism, I think that simply means having to put more effort into grassroots movements at the local and state level. And one thing that's been very encouraging in the past 6 months is the new level of activism in the country, triggered by Trump, and the intersectional nature of it! I increasingly see Black Lives Matter people, feminists, trans activists, etc. stepping up for each other's interests (in truth they're just realizing that there are so many shared interests). There will be set backs, especially at the federal level, but I still think the future will be better! Hopefully more and more cisgender, straight, white men will realize that there's a benefit to giving up their privilege and working to help everyone advance. (Hopefully Caitlyn Jenner will realize that too)

    2 people like this

  7. Well, at least the mental health community is coming around and removed "Gender Identity Disorder" from the latest DSM. I have to admit that initially I thought they might have just changed the term, but the change to "Gender Dysphoria" was real - now they recognize that having a dissonance between your gender and your physical body can cause issues (depression, etc.), so the goal is to treat those effects and not pathologize being transgender.

    As far as being a "malfunction," as a woman who is transgender the only thing that distinguishes me from a woman who is cisgender is the ability to give birth (ok, that might not be the ONLY thing, but it's the major thing). It has troubled me now and then when I've thought about the fact that basically from birth I was destined to be unable to give birth, but that's just a variation in life, not a malfunction. If that was a malfunction, then any woman born without the ability to give birth is malfunctioning, or any man who can't procreate. Reproduction is obviously important for humanity, but it isn't the purpose for any of us being here - I've read a couple of sources that talk about the fact that if reproduction was our main purpose as human beings, then we basically have no purpose. Our purpose would then be to create new beings whose purpose is to create new beings, and so on - that can't be defined as "purpose." So reproduction is a necessary function for humanity, but not for each individual human.

    4 people like this

  8. Amy,

    Welcome to the site! It's so good to hear that you have your wife's support!  I look forward to hearing about your thoughts and experiences.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    2 people like this

  9. It's a tough line - it's good that more stories are out there, but troubling (to me anyway) that celebrities get so much more attention. So it's not really that they're saying anything, I have no problem with that, it's that it gets so much more attention than others who don't have the same advantages. But I don't imagine that society is going to change all that much too soon :-)

    In this case too I worry that the way Miley phrased it might contribute to the confusion people have over the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. Having said that, at least in this case they were talking about themselves and their own identity. Another recent thing I saw was a picture of Jaden Smith wearing heels to some sort of event - whoever posted it was gushing over how brave he was and I thought "how so?" So that was a case where the media was attributing courage to someone who was more likely just looking for attention.

    2 people like this

  10. I get tired of celebrities, especially children, acting like they made some big discovery and are being courageous. This doesn't even make sense to me, gender and sexual orientation are totally different things, men and women can all be pansexual, how does discovering they're "unassigned" lead to that realization?

    Another celebrity getting attention for consequence-free "courage"

    2 people like this

  11. I'd suspect that not many stores are trans-unfriendly by policy, it depends more on whether they specifically have non-discrimination policies and enforce them from store to store.

    I've been to a VS in Jersey City and had no issues - don't buy much there because of prices :-(

    I've never encountered any direct hostility at any clothing stores, which is nice. Mist of my shopping is @ Kohl's and Loft, both of which are totally friendly :-)

    2 people like this

  12. Hi all,

    I've probably mentioned her in blog posts, but I thought I should do a post here under recommendations - particularly now that I'm 6 months past my own GRS (6 months!!!!).

    Anyway - I had my surgery done by Dr. Kathy Rumer in Philadelphia (her office is in Ardmore, PA, a suburb of Philly, she does the surgery at Hahnemann University Hospital). I don't know how long she's been doing this but clearly she is very experienced. She also recently started a transgender health fellowship at Hahnemann (the hospital is affiliated with Drexel University in Philly).

    With only a couple of issues, my experience with her and her staff has been really good. The most important part, the surgery, went without incident. Apparently it took about 3 hours in total (maybe less - it's hard to tell since it takes a couple of hours to reorient from being under that long). But it was quick, and the work is really good, I'm very happy with the appearance.

    They asked me before we started if they could contact anyone for me when it's done, so I gave them my brother's number and they did reach out to him right after the surgery was completed (I called a little while later, when I was reoriented). I think he actually thought it was Dr. Rumer who called him, he hasn't worked with surgeons so much :-)  It recently occurred to me that I've probably only been awake in a room with Dr. Rumer herself for about 15 minutes - 10 minutes the first time I went to her office, then maybe 5 minutes in the OR. Otherwise it's always been her staff.

    Tomorrow is my 6-month check-up, which will be the 4th since surgery (they happened at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months - the 3 months one I just sent pics and we talked on the phone). I'll have one more at 1 year, then I assume others only if needed. The staff has been great every time - and I realized after the fact that I'm glad her entire staff is female. When you're actually in the chair getting checked, it's a pretty vulnerable, exposed feeling, so I feel better that it's women doing the checking (really only 1 woman doing the checking, but another in the room with us). I'm not sure how I'd feel about a man doing that.

    I mentioned earlier that I had just a couple of issues: (1) they lost my "reservation" for a hospitality room at their office (she has several rooms upstairs that are available for the first week after surgery). In November I found out that I didn't have a room.  On the plus side, the hotel was very near the hospital and they had a deal with the hospital, so I didn't spend much more than I would have with the hospitality room, and it was probably a nicer room (being at a hotel) which was important since I was pretty much stuck there for a solid week. The other issue was (2) the "bed" in the hospital, where I had to stay for 2 solid days after the surgery (no getting up at all) was a glorified cot - I didn't really feel much pain from surgery, but my butt was seriously hurting from the bed (I think most of my morphine use was to compensate for that). That one is on the hospital, and I did report it to Dr. Rumer's office.

    So that's my experience - one of the reasons I went with her was that she is under contract with Cigna, which was my insurance at the time. But I have been really happy with her and her staff overall. For one thing, in the many times I emailed in the first couple of months after surgery (when you're sure that every little tingling sensation is something horrible happening), they were very quick and very friendly in responding, including over the weekend.

    3 people like this

  13. I knew when I put my comments out that there would be a heavy price to pay . I remain unconvinced that Gender Fluid is helping our cause in any way positive .

    The reality of something has nothing to do with whether it "helps our cause." Gender fluid is real - I do think it's a different phenomenon than being transgender, but that doesn't mean people who identify as gender fluid aren't part of the movement for rights and respect based on gender identity.

    To suggest otherwise sounds similar to the handful of "feminists" who deny that transgender women are "real women," or even those in the LGBTQ community who don't think trans people belong.

    6 people like this

  14. So much of that was very disappointing, but not very surprising. Now that I've pretty much transitioned as much as I plan to, one of the biggest anxieties that I have is never being "wanted" by a man (whether it's in a relationship or even just for sex).

    The flip side of all of this is that the friendships that I already had, and many of the new ones I've made, are far stronger than they used to be. Once you get past the issue of acceptance then the fact that I'm living an authentic life has contributed positively to most of my relationships (granted most of my newer friendships were through the social work program at NYU, where you would hope to find greater acceptance, but still...)

    All of that is just to say that while the broader social issues are troubling, it's still possible to work through it successfully at an individual level.

    3 people like this

  15. 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

    3 people like this

  16. Thanks for the replies!

    Briannah, I should have addressed your point in my original post - to me the appropriate terms are "transgender" or "trans" (followed by person or woman or man, depending)

    Emma, in this setting they are definitely supportive and they are usually referring generally to all trans people - in my view it's an attempt to say the right thing that went wrong :-)


  17. Hi everyone,

    I recently started volunteering at Identity House - a volunteer group in NYC that provides peer counseling, support groups, and therapy referrals for LGBT people - and a term has been used in various settings there that I wanted to ask people here about.

    Specifically, people will use the term "person of trans experience" - I wanted to see if others had heard that term, and what you think of it?

    Personally, I'm not a fan, it irks me as much as "transgendered" (it's not something that happened to me! It's who I am!!). The way I often respond is to ask people to consider the same construction for lesbian or gay people and see how it sounds - so "person of gay experience" or "person of lesbian experience" (or for transgendered - "gayed" or "lesbianed")

    Anyway - just wondering if people have any thoughts on this - and BTW, esp at Identity House I know that everyone is supportive, it's simply a matter - I think - of using the wrong terminology, not trying to be mean in any way.

    Chrissy

    3 people like this

  18. Thanks for all the feedback!  I kinda forgot I had posted this :-)

    I have played a couple of times now, just wearing a regular wig, without any issues, so so far so good! 


  19. Hi all,

    I'm a pretty avid tennis player, though sidelined since June from a shoulder injury - has anyone ever played tennis, or other sports, with a wig on?  Just wondering how to keep it on with all that movement :)

    I tried to Google this, did find out that Andre Agassi once wore one at the French open.

    3 people like this

  20. Welcome Connie!  I fully second Karen's book recommendation - I read it, couldn't put it down (I was actually quite upset when I was done, I wanted more).

    As far as finding out where you are on the T spectrum, hopefully you have some social outlets to dress for?  The first times for me were (1) doing drag performances (my make-up never quite made it to drag level, I was always really trying to be a woman), and (2) a Meetup group here in the city.  It helped me figure out pretty quickly that this needed to be a full-time experience.  But I also know people in that group who dress for that group and are otherwise fully happy being men.

    xoxo

    Christie

    1 person likes this

  21. Nicole,

    Welcome to TG Guide!  I'm glad to hear your appointment went well, with the exception of the cholesterol issue :(

    I'm going on Thursday for my HRT appointment, so hopefully by the end of this week or early next!  I know I'm late to the conversation about how to dress to the appointment, but I would have just said to go however you feel comfortable.  If anything I'd think they might notice more if you weren't dressed female.  Personally I'm not "passing," but I do dress exclusively female and the endocrinologist's office uses Christie (I haven't legally changed my name yet, that's in process).

    xoxo,

    Christie

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