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.

Friday, July 20, 2018

He works hard for the money... so hard for the money $$$

I know its been awhile since I posted. Started a new job and was a little, ok a lot distracted for the last 2 weeks. I've been on testosterone for 2 months now( 5 shots so far) still at 80 mg will probably go up next visit, depends on my bloodwork.  Physical changes: most noticeable is my voice, getting deeper every day… I LOVE IT. Before I hated the sound of my own voice, now I talk just to hear myself :). Peach fuzz on the face increasing and definitely some hair on my belly….. Woo. My waist is starting to appear more "box like" less hour glass and the acne is still there UGH. Mentally, well I feel this giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can live how I always wanted to…. As myself because as someone once told me "I'm beautiful in this way, because God makes no mistakes, I'm on the right track baby, I WAS BORN THIS WAY"- Lady Gaga

Speaking of work, coming out at work….. It scares me to death. Although gender identity is protected under equal opportunity RI is an "at will" state. Meaning that your employer can fire you for any reason, and not tell you. I cannot confirm this happened to me because I don’t have any hard evidence, but then again if they don’t need to give you a reason it would be hard to have any evidence. Coming out to your family and friends is one thing, but coming out at work WHOLE DIFFERENT BREED. Like any other red-blooded adult, the transgender person has  bills to pay. Hard to do with no job.

Just to put it into perspective here's some fancy facts for you:
2017 Workplace Equality Fact Sheet
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Workplace Discrimination at a Glance:

Well I thought new job, new start. Yes that’s right I came out at work to my boss, who was completely cool with it. I told him he would start to notice changes, since I am already. Most of my coworkers know but not all, and that’s ok, in time they too will notice something is not quite the same anymore and I am fully prepared for those conversations. But I'm still scared to death. "At will" what a horrible loophole.

Coming out at work, there really is no advice I can give. Other than stay strong, stand by your convictions, and never apologize for who you are. And yes, you will have to come out more than once at work, its ok sometimes it takes a second, or a third, or a fourth, time to sink in. I work hard, no matter the industry I am in. Working is what drives my day, and yes pays my bills. Working is a part of who I am.
There is no right way or wrong way to do it. All I can say is I'm glad I did it.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Transgender and Religion

Today was my 4th shot of testosterone. AS of right now I am dosing every 2 weeks at 80 mg. Its not much but they start you small. We don’t need any incredible hulk monsters running around now do we.

I've noticed some physical changes like; voice cracking a little and slightly lower pitch, more peach fuzz on my face, oily skin and some acne. Mentally I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm not walking around with a "doom and gloom" cloud over my head all the time.

Ok onto the serious stuff. Transgender and religion. Once upon a time I was told that there were "no religions that accept changing of the sexes". Hmm, good point, so I did what I do best, RESEARCH. I was raised catholic after all, but don’t worry I will go every religion I can think of for my curiosity and that I love proving a point.

There are a lot of religions out there. The most dominate being Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group of Semitic-originated religious communities of faith that claim descent from the practices of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham. The term derives from a figure from the Bible known as Abraham.

Abrahamic religions have creation stories in which God creates people, "male and female" (Ref: 1,2). This is sometimes interpreted as a divine mandate against gender variance. The Torah contains specific prohibitions on cross-dressing (3) and damaged genitals(4).

  1. Genesis 1:27–1:27 "So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
  2. Quaran 75:39 "And made of him a pair, the male and female." 
  3. Deuteronomy 22:5–22:5 "A woman shall not wear a man’s apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God." 
  4. Deuteronomy 23:1–23:1 "No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord."
 Ok Jay, fancy stuff but what does it all mean. I'll start with Judaism. Orthodox Judaism views the sexes as two separate categories, male and female. There is no room for transgender. Sex-change operations involving the removal of genital organs are forbidden on the basis of the prohibition against “anything which is mauled, crushed, torn or cut” (Lev. 22:24).  Cross-dressing is seen as a crime against god (see above Deut 22:5). Hasidic Judaism has gender specific roles and therefore transgendered are not recognized. Conservative Judaism has mixed views. In 2016 the Rabbinical Assembly, which is the international association of Conservative rabbis, passed a "Resolution Affirming the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People". Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism have had positive views on the transgender community, even allowing them to become members of the clergy.

Christianity, oh my favorite, I was raised Catholic but no longer practicing and you will see why in a second. While answering questions about marriage and divorce, Jesus says that "there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."(Matthew: 19)

Christian Denominations that Allow Transgender Clergy: there are 30.

The Old Catholic Church has been affirming and welcoming of transgender members. Old
Catholic and Independent Catholic churches have been accepting of the LGBT community in general.( https://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2013/10/03/alternative-way-be-catholic-and-lgbt )  In 2014, one of the first transgender priests was ordained in the Old Catholic Church ( https://religionnews.com/2014/11/17/living-authentically-transgender-priest-christian-church/ ).

Now, I'm no priest, nor do I claim to be a theological expert, BUT, I don’t see anything to validate the lack of belonging to a denomination if you are transgender. Yes those silly Catholics, so judgmental aren't they, if your catholic I apologize. According to the old testament (Deuteronomy 23:1) you are forbidden from religious assemblies.  Other denominations that welcome transgender members and ordain transgender people in ministry are the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

In 2015, the Vatican declared that transgender Catholics cannot become godparents, stating in response to a transgender man's query that transgender status "reveals in a public way an attitude opposite to the moral imperative of solving the problem of sexual identity according to the truth of one's own sexuality" and that, "therefore it is evident that this person does not possess the requirement of leading a life according to the faith and in the position of godfather and is therefore unable to be admitted to the position of godfather or godmother."

I know what your going to say, MOST Christian denominations do not accept gender transition. And your right, MOST BUT NOT ALL. So we are both right in that sense that there are some religions that accept me and some that do not. I have options.

So what about Islam?

I found some interesting reading to answer that question:
The Effeminates of Early Medina
Everett K. Rowson
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 111, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1991), pp. 671-693

"In Islam, the term mukhannathun is used to describe gender-variant people, usually male-to-female transsexuals. Neither this term nor the equivalent for "eunuch" occurs in the Quran, but the term does appear in the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad, which have a secondary status to the central text. Within Islam, there is a tradition on the elaboration and refinement of extended religious doctrines through scholarship. This doctrine contains a trans-positive passage by the scholar and hadith collector Al-Nawawi:
A mukhannath is the one ("male") who carries in his movements, in his appearance and in his language the characteristics of a woman. There are two types; the first is the one in whom these characteristics are innate, he did not put them on by himself, and therein is no guilt, no blame and no shame, as long as he does not perform any (illicit) act or exploit it for money (prostitution etc.). The second type acts like a woman out of immoral purposes and he is the sinner and blameworthy."

Ok that’s a lot to take in, and I could keep going on the Dharmic Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) and African Religion, Chinese, Neopaganism, Shinto, but I wont as I am long-winded enough already.

I will say this about Buddhism:
" Ananda is a beloved figure in Buddhist cultures, noted for having been handsome, charismatic, and sympathetic to women, as well as for his tender emotionality. Among Thai Buddhists, he has long been regarded as having been a transgendered person in a previous life, and also to have taken a number of births as a woman." https://books.google.com/books?id=nGoag6b3JvYC&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q&f=false

Buddhists do not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual identities as they can be conducive to spiritual growth. For them it is about creating your path to enlightment. Doing unto others as you would do to yourself.

Am I religious, for the most part. I believe in karma. I believe that God exists for the simple reason that I have seen the existence of evil while serving in the military. Logically if there is evil, there must be good and vice versa. I don’t believe that God hates me, nor anyone in the transgender community, Jesus preached love. For me, love is love, and who I am does not change how the big man upstairs will judge me. Anyone that thinks otherwise, well you can answer to God when you see her.

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 an...