Tuesday, June 1, 2021

You can’t change your DNA

Hi there, it has been years since I have posted. My journey never stops of course. I continue with hormones and will for the rest of my life. I have been on hormones for three years definitely some changes . Voice is deeper, body shape has changed etc. I come to you today to discuss something that’s been bothering me. Transgender teen athletes not being given the chance to compete in the sport of the identified gender. Excuse my language but I call bullshit. Conservatives and Republicans claim that the transgender child has an unfair advantage. There is of course no science to back it up of course. They argue that the hormones they take are giving them an advantage. A trans teen who identifies as a man takes testosterone so that his body matches his mind, not so that he can compete against females. That male teen wants to compete with men. Imagine waking up every day and looking in the mirror and not recognizing who that person is in the mirror. Imagine hating that image in the mirror every day. A child that identifies as a transgender is 40% more likely to commit suicide. Claiming that their biology at birth gives them an unfair advantage is a baseless argument. 

I continue to write this while watching a documentary on Hulu- “Changing the Game” I recommend you watch it. The comments by those that are in my opinion are just ignorant. So your telling me I have to use the bathroom of my assigned birth…. Really? I did a study while I was in college and I used the women’s restroom and the men’s restroom same number of times and kept a journal. My study showed that 99% of the time when going into the women’s restroom I would get a look, stare, or a comment. When I went into the men’s restroom, nothing was said, no one cared I was in there. I did not get a look. My business was my business. Although I can tell you that when I walk into the men’s I still am scared and if the restroom is full I will run out hoping the family restroom is not occupied. Men’s restrooms typically only have one stall. Anyways I digress, happens sometimes. I still cannot fathom the idea that there are those out there that refuse to educate themselves. Go read a book, talk to someone who is transgender. Only way you will learn truly. I welcome all questions if I feel its a little too personal I will be polite and move on to the next question but you wont no unless you ask me. 

Telling these kids that they cannot compete with those of their identified gender is like telling them to give up their dreams. Society tells me that I was born a female and will always be a female, my facial hair and deep voice will tell you otherwise. 

In case you think I don’t have some stuff to back up my argument 



Friday, May 24, 2019

Happy 1st Birthday Jason

Today marks 1 year and 2 days since I started testosterone. One year ago I was embarking on the journey I had only dreamt about for so long, and finally it’s a reality. So many changes in such a short amount of time and so many more changes to go. Let’s see, there is of course the obvious drop in the pitch of my voice. I was super squeaky, like I sucked on helium every day squeaky. Now, it’s much deeper, like a teenage boy hitting puberty, no more cracking when I talk though. No hair on my face, that’s noticeable, LOADS of peach fuzz though. Hair, pretty much everywhere else. EVERYWHERE.
I use more hygiene products now than ever before. I have face lotion, shaving cream, hair gel, body lotion, body wash, shampoo, and soon to have after shave. I’ve heard to stick to alcohol free or I’ll be singing soprano from the pain.
I was reading an article from 2016. I found it rather disturbing, still relevant today. It claimed that LGBTQ++ are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, and even suicide attempts.
I share with you this first paragraph from the article:
“Individuals who identify as transgender tend to experience higher rates of mental health issues than the general population. While approximately 6.7 percent of the general United States population suffers from depression and 18 percent grapple with some iteration of an anxiety disorder, nearly half of all individuals who identify as transgender experience these issues. What's more, over 41 percent of trans men and women are estimated to have attempted suicide — a rate that's nearly nine times as high as the rate of cisgender Americans.” ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truth-about-exercise-addiction/201612/why-transgender-people-experience-more-mental-health )
9 times as high as cisgender Americans!!!!! As the article says it’s all in the way we are treated. Another study I found was the impacts on mental health for transgender folks whose family accepted the gender they identify with.
I am not saying it’s easy for the family, but certainly very hard for the individual coming out and telling their family. Coming out as transgender we risk losing EVERYTHING: friends, job, home (what if you live with those who do not accept transgendered people), and most importantly your family. Family is supposed to be the safety net from the rest of the world that is filled with hate and ignorance. I am not claiming that it should be accepted overnight, everything takes time. It certainly is a transition for everyone involved in the transgendered person’s life. I will never stop saying that education (on all sides) is key to acceptance. By understanding what someone who is transitioning is going through and will go through it may perhaps make it a little to understand where they are coming from. It takes a lot of guts to even come out and say “Yes this is who I am”

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

So how should I treat you now that your trans?

Umm like a person. Anyone coming out, whether coming out as gay or transgendered knows its never easy coming out to your family and friends. But once you do the huge weight lifted off your shoulders is the best feeling in the world. Living as your true self and be loved for who you are and respected for who you are is the ultimate high. I come out to you doesn’t mean that you have to treat me any different, though the name and gender pronouns I ask you to use would be all that is required. No, I will not get mad if you slip and use my legal name or the occasional she/her comes out. After a while though if your still using it don’t be surprised if I say something.

I certainly don’t want to be introduced as oh this is Jason, my transgendered friend/ family member. Try this is Jason, that’s a good start. A lot of people ask me when I knew I was trans, it doesn’t work like that. Its not like I woke up one day and said "Hey lets try this tranny thing it sounds like fun". First never call me a tranny, its like saying faggot to a gay man or dyke to a gay woman. It is the ultimate disrespect and shows how ignorant you are. I am not a tranny, transvestite, nor a cross-dresser. I am transgendered man. No I don’t like talking about my private bits, their called private for a reason. I wont answer you and I will be as respectful as I can until I am pushed.

I'll put it this way, if you make it a big deal, it becomes a big deal. Most people that see me for the first time assume I am a man. Good, that’s the point of starting hormone therapy, to be able to pass as the gender you identify as. If they call me ma'am or young lady, yeah it gets to me a little, but only a little. Right now I have only been on testosterone therapy for 10 months and certainly not showing obvious signs except for fat redistribution to a more "male"-like shape. Until I have a moustache and/or beard I expect a lot of ma'am/miss/young lady to be coming out of peoples' mouths.

Patience would be the advice I give my fellow transgendered folks. It is not an overnight process. Everything will happen in its time depending on your age when you started the hormone therapy, how much your taking and how frequently. There are a lot of factors and doctors visits involved. Hang in there champ it gets better. And always, I mean ALWAYS take care of your mind, body and spirit. What am I talking about? I am talking about working on that temper that yes is coming out because for one thing you are introducing higher levels of a hormone you are not used to in your body, and two it can be rather stressful at some points. Counseling, I can't get enough of it. Take care of your body, for FTM my cholesterol is going to go up as I continue on hormone replacement therapy so I have to be painfully aware that I have to watch my weight, get to exercising, and monitor what I eat.

People are going to treat you differently, but its not what you think. The longer I am on hormones, the more confidence I build in who I truly am and people can sense it in you. So in the words of the cute kitten poster because its so cheesy I have to mention it twice in this blog, Hang in there champ.

Monday, December 31, 2018

And Knowing is Half the Battle!!!

A New Year is starting with a real me... I have been a horrible social media blogger. I have missed 2 months of updates, for this, I am sorry. It has been one hell of a busy couple of months. I'll start with the physical changes. Lots more hair all over, starting to notice some on the face. Voice continues to drop, not a baritone yet but I am on the way. Mentally, well I am happier of course. I am also A LOT more sensitive and needed to work on my temper a bit. I'm not flying off the handle or anything but normally, before hormones I am pretty laid back and chill. Now, things that would not anger me so easy, do. So how do I work on this you ask, counseling. Everyone needs someone to talk to, besides their other half, or friends, or family, or whomever you confide in. So working on the temper, putting a workout together for all the energy I have lately and things are on the up and up.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

You are not alone

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First an update on the physical changes. Voice: a definite drop in it, cracks a lot which is annoying but won’t be forever. Hair: Hair is everywhere, I found some on my toes!!!! Back, stomach, legs. Basically hair everywhere except my face 6 months on testosterone and changes are definitely noticeable in my overall body shape and face shape. I have a more “masculine shape” but with soft like features.

So now that that’s out of the way time to talk about what really grinds my gears. Transphobia. It’s the only way I can logically explain what is going on in the news today. The current administration is wanting to go as far as take the word transgender out of the dictionary. Like, it will be forbidden to not only be it, but to speak it. So I shall be he who shall not be called that let’s call him she (Harry Potter much?)

What is transphobia? Well exactly what it sounds like- not liking those that identify as transgender. More specifically from the world wide web the agreed upon definition is: Transphobia is a range of negative attitudes, feelings or actions toward transgender or transsexual people, or toward transsexuality. Transphobia can be emotional disgust, fear, violence, anger, or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who do not conform to society's gender expectation. It is often expressed alongside homophobic views and hence is often considered an aspect of homophobia. Transphobia is a type of prejudice and discrimination similar to racism and sexism, and transgender people of color are often subjected to all three forms of discrimination at once.

Child victims of transphobia experience harassment, school bullying, and violence in school, foster care, and social programs. Adult victims experience public ridicule, harassment including misgendering, taunts, threats of violence, robbery, and false arrest; many feel unsafe in public. A high percentage report being victims of sexual violence. Some are refused healthcare or suffer workplace discrimination, including being fired for being transgender, or feel under siege by conservative political or religious groups who oppose laws to protect them. There is even discrimination from some people within the movement for the rights of gender and sexual minorities.

Besides the increased risk of violence and other threats, the stress created by transphobia can cause negative emotional consequences which may lead to substance abuse, running away from home (in minors), and a higher rate of suicide. (Thank you Wikipedia for help on this)

For more information on this see the link below:

It has been scientifically proven that transgender adolescents and children report living a happier, healthier life when support is given from family and friends. I’m not saying every one of my family members needs to be on board or that my friends need to be 100%. But it sure does help. For my friends who know me best, coming out as a transman was not a surprise. Often I am asked a lot of questions about proper pronouns, what name I prefer, and surgery. The first two I have no problem answering, but as for surgery well I’m not going to ask you about your parts so I expect the same.
I will never stop saying that a good support system is essential in whatever you decide to accomplish. 

If you take a look at the suicide attempt rates, they are much higher among transgendered men (female-to-male). Can I say I haven’t had suicidal thoughts, or perhaps attempted in my life, no I cannot. As taboo it is to talk about yes I once preferred to be dead then to let my family down. I was raised that my family name meant everything and always do the right thing, even if it meant I was miserable. Obviously I have finally shaken myself of that thought pattern but it hurts when you see someone who lives a country apart from their family, speak to them every day via web chat and text throughout the day about the most random of subjects. They also group web chat once a week with the ENTIRE family so that everyone can play with the 1-year-old nephew. My family is but a car ride away. Being trans is not why I am not close with them, again a whole other blog that I may or may not post. I may have shaken myself of the thought pattern, but the habit of making sure my family is not disappointed is still there.

At the end of the day anyone whether trans or not if you feel alone. YOUR NOT. There are numerous support groups and hotlines you can call. If you suspect someone is at risk, there are the SAME hotlines you can call for how to help them. Moral of the story love is love, taking transgender out of the dictionary will not stop me from being who I am, and the more hate you put onto a certain group of people the more we become targets.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

But I really have to pee!!!!!!!

5 months so far. What a journey so far. Every day is a new day and I couldn't be more happier or more at peace with myself. It's truly amazing to see all the changes, even the subtle ones. There is definitely a change in the voice, deeper and still a ways to go. I actually like talking on the phone now. The other day I heard myself on the phone and geeked out a little ha. Hair growth is very very very slow. We bought my first razor and shaving cream for the face to help stimulate more black hair versus the peach fuzz I have so much of. Fat is redistributing to a more "male" shape and muscles are more defined, especially in my arms. Once I lose some more weight, its back to the gym for me, need to release all of this energy I seem to have a lot of lately.

Bet your wondering what the heck is up with the title? Bathroom dysphoria. Most transgendered persons suffer from this, especially in the beginning of their journey. Which bathroom do I go in? Am I safe? Using the restroom in public absolutely terrifies me. I'm scared that using the women's restroom will result in someone harassing me to the point of police involvement. I'm scared of using the men's restroom for fear they will realize that I lack the equipment to be in there. In some public male restrooms there is not even a stall to use, or the stall is missing the door, or god knows what happened in that stall. So I look for a family restroom. Either their in such an obscure spot you will never find it, or they are being used, or they don't have one.

A lot of the time, I will either hold it or take a chance in the female restroom. Pretty soon though I will pass as the gender I am and going into the female restroom will no longer be an option. But I ask myself, why in the hell is it anyone's business which one I use. If I have to go I go. Are you really in fear for your life if there is a "tranny" using the restroom? Are you yourself going to check what's going on in all of our pants to make sure we meet the requirements of male or female restroom? Personally I will bite your hand off if you come anywhere near me. I will use whatever bathroom I damn well want to because I will not risk a bladder infection over someone's comfortability.  Harassment and prejudice are still alive and well in this day and age. Until people can treat each other with respect those of us that fall outside of what society sees as "normal" will continue to be fearful of being ourselves.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Family is Everything.... Except when it comes to being yourself

Its been awhile since I posted, been a bit crazy with the new job. I love it. Finally I get to be out in the open and be myself. Everyone there is super supportive and always has a ton of questions. Good, I love questions. The more people are educated about the transgendered community the easier it is to understand us.

First an update on my progress, next week will be 3 months on testosterone. I'm at 100 mg every 2 weeks and my testosterone levels are at 354. Normal range for a cis-gendered man is approximately 300-1000 so I am on my way. Depending on how I respond will determine if there is an increase. Slow and steady is my motto. There is definitely a drop in the voice, a little cracking too. Hair on legs is darker and peach fuzz on face is increasing. Fat around body is redistributing to a more box like appearance or "more masculine". Even my nurse says I walk different. I feel different most definitely, but different in a good way. I feel stronger, less depressed. Even my wife has noticed my mood is brighter.

So with that said, what family wouldn’t want to see their child happy? I know I've talked about this before but something really been irking me. According to a study done in 2014, the Williams Institute and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported that 46% of trans men and 42% of trans women had attempted suicide. I am among them. Yes at one point in time I thought suicide was a better option than having to face the fact that my family may not accept me.

When I came out as transgender to my family I was told "I have one son and one daughter, not two sons". Fair enough, I expected that reaction. Its not easy to hear something like "I am transitioning" coming from your child, or your sibling. I'm not denying my past as Jessica. I am still that person that shared those memories with them. But, what I hope one day for all parents of trans-kids is that they educate themselves rather than go into denial, ignore the child, drive them away. There are tons of resources out there for trans youth as well as their families. It’s a transition for everyone not just the person taking the hormones.

I didn’t choose this life, no one chooses to be transgender. Why would anyone want to have an uphill battle to being their true self? I may not be everything my parents wanted me to be. Just because you have a set of plans for your child when they are born, doesn’t mean they are going to end up following that blueprint, as a matter of fact nothing ever goes according to plan. What I do know is that I am a good person and I accept my family the way they are, misguided sure, but accepted none the less and I am here whenever they may have a question. I'm going to stand by my convictions and respond when they say she or Jessica. But its gonna get really weird when I do walk in the room and I got the beard or 5 o'clock shadow and some bass behind my voice.

You can’t change your DNA

Hi there, it has been years since I have posted. My journey never stops of course. I continue with hormones and will for the rest of my life...