Chrissy

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Everything posted by Chrissy

  1. Chrissy added a post in a topic Basic Issues in Transgender Mental Health   

    From what I understand, pretty soon GD is going to be added medical diagnostic manuals and it will likely be removed from the DSM at that point, which I think is the way to go. That way, doctors can work with trans-identified people who want to pursue medical transitioning. On the mental health side we would then deal with the depression, anxiety, etc. that comes along with it for the individual. Those things are all caused by a host of issues, GD is one of the only ones that gets separated out which adds to the stigmatization. They also separate depression that is caused by substance use and by other health issues, but they don't individually break them out (for example, if you are depressed because you have cancer, it's depression linked to a medical condition, NOT depression linked to cancer).
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  2. Chrissy added a post in a topic Basic Issues in Transgender Mental Health   

    Looks like a good resource - though they do the same thing with Gender Dysphoria that the mental health profession loves to do so much, which is to disregard the impact of discrimination. They frame it as if the depression, anxiety and other effects are all caused by the internal dissonance when it's how you'll be received if you mess with traditional gender norms that causes so much of the problem.
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  3. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Karma DOES Indeed SUCK!   

    That was the most entertaining drivers license application story ever ūüėõ
    Possibly also the only one I've ever heard, but still!!! Well told! Bummer about the full name part though ūüėě I hated my middle name growing up too, ironically it's now my first name.
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  4. Chrissy added a topic in Transgender Health Care   

    New training program for gender affirming surgery in Philadelphia
    This program is being started by Dr. Kathy Rumer, who did my gender affirming surgery. She and her staff are really great, excited to see that she is doing this!
    http://www.philly.com/philly/health/hahnemann-training-program-transgender-affirmation-surgery-20171120.html?mobi=true
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  5. Chrissy added a post in a topic New training program for gender affirming surgery in Philadelphia   

    She does both, so I assume the program covers both 
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  6. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry the ocean or the beach   

    Kitrah,
    I'm so sorry that you have to be going through this without a social support network - it is certainly still very possible, but I understand how much more difficult it can be. And being on a job search at the same time just makes it that much more difficult.
    Perhaps you already have, but have you looked around for any support groups in your area?  They can be hard to find, even in NYC they are few and far between, but a good support group can be really helpful. In the meantime I hope you find some support on this site!
    I'm also totally with you on the idea of being "gender fluid" - I fully identify, and am, female, nothing fluid about it :-)
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  7. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    "Transition"
    Hi all,
    So I wanted to throw this out for discussion - I've been thinking recently about the term "transition" as it relates to the trans community. For starters, I hope nothing that I say here will suggest that I think everyone needs to use the same terminology, particularly for their own experience and journey - it's our story, it's our terminology!
    But in a broader perspective, I have some concerns about the term "transition."  Transition is defined as "the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another." Put simply, my fear of it's general use, with respect to trans-identified people, is that it perpetuates the narrative of being born X and "transitioning" to Y. In my view, I was NOT a man who transitioned to a woman, I was born a woman with some wrong parts. My "transition" therefore was essentially a medical correction along with a change in my personal presentation.
    And of course that does reflect a transition, so the word works. The problem is that there is an entrenched history of believing that we were born one gender and changed to the other - and I think that the term transition is linked to that narrative. Perhaps it's time to look for a new word, or stop using the word entirely? I think back over my process and wonder if I could have gone without it - in what circumstances did I need the word? For people who knew, I could say that yes, I'm getting some medical support to correct some things, and I'm working towards living my authentic self.
    The "trigger" in this case was discovering that my field placement location uses the initials "CGHT" (cross-gender hormone therapy) for HRT that is being prescribed to trans-identified clients. I'm working on that issue, but I realized the big problem I had with it is that it reaffirms that same narrative with staff who see and use that terminology - I DO NOT take "cross-gender" hormones.
    I am by no means sold on all of this, it's a thought I've been having and wanted to share and see what others in the community think 
    xoxo
    Chrissy 
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  8. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Saturday Night Quiet   

    Michelle,
    I think it's to be expected that your interest in the chat room - and in other areas - will fluctuate depending on where you are in your own journey, or even how you feel that day.
    Earlier this week I went to a bar (gay bar) that I hadn't been to since July. I went because a drag queen who I love so much was back, with a show again. She was the one who used to let me guest perform pretty much whenever I wanted which helped SO much in my "transition." I loved seeing her again, but at the same time felt like being there wasn't right for me anymore. 
    As a member of the trans support group I facilitate said yesterday, even good change is an adjustment and can be difficult.
    I may have gone away from responding to your point ‚ėļ
    Xoxo
    Chrissy 
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  9. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry 10.31.17 Tuesday   

    You both really do have a lot going on, that can be really taxing (to say the least) - and personally there is very little that I'm happy about at 8:15 a.m. :-)  (unless it's Sunday, then I'm good).
    I'm wondering - for both of you - if you have people to talk to? I mean therapy would be great, but difficult if you're going on the road, but even just close friends who you can talk to individually. Working together through all of this is great, but you do both have individual needs as well.
    And with HRT, typically they'll do blood work first, so you'd have to wait a little anyway. And my own experience with it was that I did feel it, but it wasn't very disruptive. As I recall I just started noticing that I felt all emotions a little more than I had been (happy, sad, angry, etc., they were all just a little stronger). They also start you slow. I did accidentally double my dosage once - the pharmacy had changed the pills so that they were double what they had been and I kept taking the same number - once I realized (about a week) I went back and realized it had been having a pretty big impact - so the moral of the story is "stick with the correct dosage!"  :-)
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  10. Chrissy added a blog entry in On Being...Me   

    Feminist Event - follow-up
    Last night the feminist group I belong to had a discussion about trans issues in the feminist movement - I was the organizer/moderator of the event.  The event was titled "Are Trans Women Real Women?" (the title was intentionally provocative with an obvious "YES" answer).
    I was pretty nervous going in - public speaking isn't really my thing, or at least hadn't been - the group organizer asked me, before anyone else was there, if I was nervous - I said "Yes." But I also said that it would pass as soon as I started talking. I realized later what a change that was - in the past I would have been nervous until it was over, not just until I started talking. But that is what happened, my anxiety peaked right as she introduced me, and then passed immediately. The rest of the way was pretty easy going. We played 4 short videos, the first was from a TERF (just so that they're perspective was shown) and then 3 trans people (the video links are below - the 2nd one is so incredibly moving, I still can't watch it without crying). They we had people pair off to discuss the question "What is a woman?"  Then we came back together as a group and talked for about an hour.
    So that put me in an interesting place - I was the only trans person present, and I was the moderator. So early on in particular I tried to hang back and let other people talk, even when I had a clear answer to a question or point. That worked nicely, there was a lot of value in letting the group work through issues that they hadn't before. The question proved particularly good as it was one that most people hadn't thought about before ("What is a woman?"). One person acknowledged that she probably had always gone through life without a definition but with a "I know it when I see it" belief.
    It's a really good group, we always have good discussions, and I think some good came of this, particularly in terms of people having a better understanding of trans issues and cisgender privilege. They even came to recognize that by even having to have this discussion suggests that the feminist movement is largely a cisgender movement (in addition to being a white movement).
    On a personal note, I'm thrilled at having done this. It's one more thing that I would never have thought about doing pre-transition, and now not only did I do it, but I want to do more of it.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLG6rqN8vjU (Jenni Murray)https://youtu.be/E0v_idyvjco (girl with cards)https://youtu.be/S8DwxjDrNNM (Lee Mokobe)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsowxKx_-_c (Janet Mock)
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  11. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Feminist Event - follow-up   

    I've definitely moved around on that one - from being fine with transgender woman, to trying to ignore the transgender part - where I am now is that I am a woman, and I am transgender. I personally don't want to have the transgender or trans put in front of the woman. To me I think it suggests some "other" type of woman in a way that other modifiers don't do (like talking about someone as "white woman" or a "black woman" is never thought of as suggesting that they aren't women, just a particular intersection - putting "trans" in front feels like it suggests that we are somehow less than a woman - and people like Jenni Murray reinforce that feeling).
    I think that's reinforced by the idea that - as opposed to "white woman" or "black woman," you don't hear people talking about being a "cisgender woman" (I mean you do hear the term, but few people would just randomly say it).
    I was actually going to use that very point in response to her comments too - the fact that I don't want to be referred to as a "transgender woman" doesn't mean that I'll object to an organization using that term where it's appropriate - I might ask them not to refer to me that way, but I understand that it is an accepted term.
    One of the better responses in our discussion to JM's complaint about language - and this applies to other (usually conservative) people who complain about new terms, is that "that's what language does! It evolves!" Which is so very true, language changes and adapts to new situations or new ways of thinking, and that's a very good thing, even if it gets a little confusing sometimes :-)
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  12. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Feminist Event - follow-up   

    Emma,
    I have to say I disagree in part about Jenni Murray. I don't disagree about her specific point about the language, but she was being a little deceptive with what she was doing. The point started with talking about the BMA using "pregnant people" instead of "pregnant women," and she made it sound like she was being expected to refer to herself that way, but that simply wasn't the case. The BMA was trying to find language that would cover everyone they were working with, they were mandating that all pregnant people be referred to that way. So at best her point was simply stupid, at worst is demagogic in that she probably very well knew what she was doing right there.
    I agree as far as the vicar, she might very well have been in an early stage of transition in which - some/many - of us do focus a lot on clothing and make-up. Her thoughts on women's place in the church were really unrelated to her own gender identity - which is true of anyone, the fact that I'm a woman doesn't mean that I now understand every issue relevant to women.
    A bigger take-away for me, in watching the Jenni Murray video and then immediately the little girl (Tuesday was the first time I actually watched them back-to-back) was thinking about how happy the girl is now and how JM would want to take that away from her. Beyond any specific thing she said that makes her overall commentary very cruel.
    xoxo
    Chrissy
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  13. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry Cleaning Up Loose Ends   

    I was going to say, I know I work much harder now than I did in my 20s :-)  Because I actually care about what I'm doing
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    um, a live duck?
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  21. 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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  22. Chrissy added a comment on a blog entry New B   

    Good luck Michelle!!!
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  23. 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.‚ÄĚ
    https://thinkprogress.org/endocrine-society-transgender-health-coverage-4e0dfc96c652/
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  24. 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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  25. 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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