days go by

Sep. 19th, 2014 02:59 am
redders: (pw - nick)
Unbelievably, I have 6 shifts left at work. Also unbelievably, I'd had only one session left at crossfit--that is, of course, til I paid up yesterday to get an additional week and two-thirds (I go on T/Th/Sa, but will be flying to Baltimore on the 4th, a Saturday), and now I've six sessions left of that, too.

I went to get my physical and bloodwork done on Wednesday. It was all rather anticlimactic, and my physician had a good laugh at the papers. "I'd love this job more," she said, "were it not for all the ridiculous paperwork," and I responded, "yeah, I hear you." I'm constantly nervous, every step in this process--I showed up to the physical after work, so I thought the whole time, fuck my blood pressure will be through the roof, always is after work, and sure enough it was in the 130's which is quite high for me. But all things being equal, that's a normal BP for most of the universe, and my labs were boring as well. I email the staff at the surgeon's constantly. "Is this in order?" I ask. "How about this?"

Probably, I won't relax til I'm actually on the table. Even then, I'm fairly certain that I'll become convinced I'll perish immediately. I don't know why I ever chose my profession, I'm such a hypochondriac, and all of you should count some blessings you aren't going to be with me post-surgery to hear about my self-diagnosed DVTs and MRSA.

Less than 3 weeks until surgery. It seems so unreal... It feels like it was just yesterday that I started binding, even. More than five years, and it's passed by like nothing at all.
redders: (utahraptor - gender)
I've taken the day off for sleep reboot--something I not-so-secretly adore about being a night-shifter, that I get to take off a whole 24 hours to nap and force myself to stay up from 2300 to, well, now at 1100 and I should be sleeping soon--which has been great for a few things. Caught up on reading, got a bit further with writing (which I love, honestly, because I've been feeling a bit of a jerk for leaving one of my WIPs a WIP for so very long), and caught up a wee bit with my old favorite trans blog-and-vloggers.

Freshly Charles posted something about going off of hormones back in, lord, March. It's great and interesting for how he speaks about what the medicalization/essentialization of gender identity sort of mucks with how you see the world. It's interesting for me, personally, because I've been low-dosing since March myself. I got my new shipment of hormones in this last Friday. It's a two-month supply, and it only pointed out the fact that... man, I picked up my last batch in March. A two-month supply.

I feel like I've been doing just fine on the lower dose, but it's difficult to tell. I'm not going to lie, I still dislike parts of my body--parts that would actually change with a proper level of hormones. I wish I had more than a scant amount of facial hair, I'm still avoiding looking directly at the better part of my torso. But I wonder--like FreshlyCharles asks--how much of transition is a pursuit of a goal? I identify pretty strongly as male, yeah, but I identify as trans, too. I like the transition, and I like to embrace that all of our lives are spent in transition (not just gender-wise, but in how we relate to our families, in our health statuses, in our abilities and our ways of feeling). I wonder, quite a bit, how much of my willingness to slack on my hormones is informed by my being-okay-with the gradualness of one's journey rather than how economically ridiculous a two-month supply of hormones can get...

Speaking of which, though, thank goodness I got coordinated enough to call up my old doc and get the prescription rewritten for a formulary. Masculine-leaning transfolks take note: two-month supply of Androgel (brand-name transdermal hormone)? $650 USD in Washington State. Two-month supply of Strohecker's compound testosterone cream, at a 100gm/day dosing? $80 USD, including shipping. Yes, I'm a bit chagrined to have forked out for the former in March, but I was in a time crunch, and if we're counting I really ought to be able to jam a needle in my thigh by now.

I'd also been using the injectable testosterone I had subcutaneously during this time, in case I'd forgot to note. It seems to work just fine, though (for me at least) the deposits are sort of an annoying level of sore after. It's at least doable, as subcutaneous injections are; medical research on how sketchy injecting this way is rather vague, as research on hormones is.

From here on out--or at least for the next month, before the supply appears too low and I recall that the number of refills is logged firmly at zero--I'm going to attempt to Use As Directed. I'm really not looking forward to finding a new doc down here. I'm really not that concerned that my gradual decent into hermitude is informed by my relatively low levels of any hormone, as FreshlyCharles is in his vlog. I just hope, with the paranoia of someone who's been medicalized, that the docs aren't on el jay and decide to point out that this means I don't need hormones at all, haha.

Also in trans news, I've been thinking a bit more about chest surgery. Mainly it's as I've been binding for longer and more consistently. It's become a lot less painful, probably because I've lost a bit of weight from one thing and another (working too much, biking all over, etc), but it's still not entirely pleasant. I've got a lot of back pain lately, probably just from work, but the morning squirm into dual-panel compression can't be helping and the reality of August in the desert in several layers of MAXIMUM FORM CONTROL isn't all roses, either. I don't know when I'll have time to get off work next, but--given how lovely my job is--the temptation to save up and just quit and depend on the kindness of friends for rehab is honestly fairly high. Nine grand isn't that much in the scheme, and I can't help being annoyed at my own tendency towards an ideal of "fiscal responsibility." There's loads of folks who have put their surgeries on credit, and rightly so, while I'm still living by the memory of my parents' bankruptcy and thinking "well, after I pay off this student loan, maybe."

I also just generally am tired of hollowing my chest and hiding every time I answer the door unbound. I guess probably it's unnecessary, just old habit and paranoia. But still.

Oh, and, in more serious news: YOU GUYS. COCKROACH. KITCHEN. LAST NIGHT.

IT WAS AWFUL.
redders: (maka maka - bwee!)
So I decided to wisely spend money on fine art, care of [livejournal.com profile] froggie. And... and everything turned out EVEN BETTER THAN EXPECTED.

The following el jay cut contains art that is perhaps ludicrously NSFW. And that is ludicrously hot. And contains FISTING? Hello everyone! :D

Cut for dudes! Hot dudes! Amazing fisting hot and trans dudes! No really this is so NSFW it's silly. )
redders: (america's pasttime)
Starting to get more cozy with the bike--which needs a review in and of itself, one of these days--so I've been riding around town to Do Things a bit more lately, and today I finally got over to one of those mall megaplex joints to see X-men: First Class.

I, uh, wound up sticking about afterwards to see Thor as well. Hey, it's sort of a haul--and on a crazy non-bike-friendly street, and X-Men got out at 2pm which is quite inhuman for pedaling on asphalt--and it was only an hour before Thor was gonna show, anyhow. Despite my Movie Magic Experience being somewhat impaired by nearly constant fretting about my only means of transportation being jacked by someone, oh my god it was a Tuesday well-spent. You know, well-spent with a few breaks to walk clear back outside to pet my bike, poor dear. Despite the theater being in the city limits, my paranoia is likely fueled by the fact malls are inherently suburban in nature, and NOTHING sets off Red's spidey sense like the hellish waters of suburbia (seriously, I had my ride locked up downtown at night for three hours on Monday, and not a single fret?).

But back to movies! Spoiler-free reviews: Thor was fun, worth seeing, and had a preview for COWBOYS VS ALIENS or something like that. X-men?

C-can we say... turtlenecks? Mods? Lots and lots of UST? ULTIMATE HEARTBREAK OH MAAAAAAN. I've got complaints (but don't I always), but mainly you should watch Magneto be pretty. Why else do you see an X-men movie?

Cut for spoilers, though some are pretty obvious! )

Also: I didn't know til recently that a PG-13 film can only have one instance of the word "fuck." This movie uses it up pretty well.

In further biking news, I made the five-mile trek to downtown to attend a transfolk meeting on Monday. I was never really involved with the in-person queer community too much in Seattle, because I was sort of... just living in a queer neighborhood? But now I'm surrounded by the stanky press of heteronormativity, and I have to do something before I go mad. It was an awesome time, and despite being Afraid of Crowds, I even said words and things. Amazing. There was a pretty good talk about the whole brain-mapping/genetic link to transness thing, so I decided to voice my contrary opinion (being: unless it's of some great import to you personally wtf does it matter, hatters will still hat, and even if I chose to be trans it's not infringing on anyone else's parade, thanks). Which in retrospect is somewhat relevant to the movie conversation?

...But seriously now Azazel and everything. You should go.
redders: (PW - hobo tyme)
While I realize I put off this post far too long, I have prepared a chart to explain myself.

In the interim of this week since my one-year-on-T-anniversary, I have been:



But I'm all prepared to type now, and tell you all about my uh... manliness?

Cut for the usual tales of acne, social awkwardness, public restrooms, and other reasons why I loved puberty so much I decided to go through it twice. )
redders: (cindy sherman - worried)
Perhaps not a perfect post, but reading little light's clamavi ad te on Questioning Transphobia has made me want to link it all over. There's a million little lines that are perfect, especially with the It Gets Better-verse that's going on, like:

If you or the people around you are using words that make you feel like a thing; if you are frightened to have basic bodily functions in public; if you talk about yourself like a disease, not a person; if you see nothing ahead in your old age but the bleakness of despair, isolation, and abuse; if your youth is a neverending desperation to get out and away to somewhere you cannot trust exists... (emphasis mine here).

The opening's statistic is so ridiculously large (and, though I'll concede that statistics on transfolk are usually a bit crap due to small sample sizes and largely inept researchers, I think this is a conservative figure) that I think it gets forgotten: over half of living trans folks have attempted suicide. Youth anti-suicide campaigns hardly target trans youth, by and large. Some extent, I think they'd find it difficult to know quite what to say. How can you guarantee things'll improve? How could you promise--even best-case-scenario in today's terms (for many: hormones, therapy, surgery)--that life will be perfect, that families will be accepting, that a kid will figure out how to let go of that core of guilt they've built so meticulously?

It pisses me off, sometimes, because (as the author says) this isn't some self-help, you-need-therapy, here's-a-help-line issue--though of course, these resources are necessary for many. This is a social issue, a you-need-a-sea-change issue.
redders: (katsuya - errr...)
I'm sure a lot of you have seen this, but for those who have not: the tale of Deviantart asshats winning awards in asshattery at the all-state asshatatron is definitely worth a read. I mean, everyone expects cisgendered programmers to offer limited choice radio buttons for data completely irrelevant to the service/community at hand, but the customer support in this case is particularly excellent.
redders: (vila - space chess)
Well, somehow the earth continued to rotate around the sun at the usual rate this year, and we've somehow wound up hurtling irrevocably through time. I also managed to roll together the funds--thanks to these awesome folks--to buy another six months' worth of T just in time for last week's shot (which... I'd though I had more than 0.1 ml in the last vial, and probably did, but it's a bit hard to shake a small glass vial full of what is essentially thick cottonseed oil like a bottle of stubborn katchup) so I'm happily at six months of uninterrupted hormones.

I just noticed I haven't done one of those how-I've-been-doing-and-what-I've-noticed things for three months. This is half because I was being consumed by my final semester, but it's also because my voice likely won't ever get any lower, and that's the only change I really ever notice. I guess it's hard to tell if some of the other stuff I've been up to--gym, graduating, the two months of sun we get up here causing my body to go into a frenzied state of overambitious seritonin production from which I'll crash when I start basement living in October--is also responsible for any changes I notice. So that's about three half reasons there. But still, six months is probably some sort of super exciting milestone or something, so I might as well try and write about it while I'm on about five hours of sleep because my brain keeps finding extra energy and trying to get me to clean all the things.

So, el jay cut! Six months on T and five hours of sleep! It's a fiesta! )
redders: (vila - sittin' time)
I've not been very good at remembering I have a Life Journal lately, it appears. Rest assured I've done nothing interesting. I got older somehow (being 27 is about as exciting as being 26, and my brother phoned to tell me that I'll enjoy the same level "eh, it's twenty-and-something?" feeling for the next two years), and visited my folks to watch my niece escape high school, and have been studying for finals and freaking out a bit about job applications.

However, I realized I forgot to do my "three month update" entry completely. As I have some weird digestive issue (probably due to the abnormally high fat content of the food in my hometown--my body has decided to stop digesting foods which are over 50% saturated fat, having been off of the deep-fry for so long) that makes concentrating on reading about digestive issues a bit more difficult than usual, I figured, eh. Better late than never?

And nothing too TMI! I promise! So mostly yes, boring navel-gazing ahoy. Three months, one week, and change--or 94 days--on T )

I think that's the most of it, anyway?
redders: (bored lou reed)
Those of you following any mainstream news (well, "mainstream" in a broad international journalism sense, not an "American television" sense) have likely already read about the Malawi couple sentenced fourteen years with hard labor for "gross indecency." And those of you doing any following of trans news/media-analysis blogs have likely already read about the severe problems with the international coverage of this case.

Almost without exception, all the media reports the couple as being two men, no-questions-asked; on the few occasions where gender identity comes up, it's almost as an off-hand comment: this BBC article has the glancing paragraph, Our correspondent says Mr Chimbalanga, 20, who dresses in women's clothes, acknowledged the crowd with a wave as they shouted: "Aunt Tiwonge, Aunt Tiwonge", and the NY Times has the particularly stroke-inducing line, He said he considered himself a woman and had been eager to dress as a bride. The Guardian at least seemed to put forth a vague attempt at mentioning that this horrific human rights violation might involve something else than a cisgendered gay male couple.

But it's always male pronouns, no matter Chimbalanga's perception of her own gender identity. More about this case and the media representation thereof is here and here (and likely elsewhere) by those much more talented at actual blogging than I. What I'd like to be annoyed about (and as a result type ceaselessly) is a sentiment I've seen blog comments, and in this February NY Times article--that Chimbalanga's claims regarding gender identity are merely "the imagined claim of a gay man in a repressed society desperate to think himself a woman."

Gender, objectivity, and those pesky societal influences: or, You're Only Real if You're in a Void. )
redders: (sga - video games)
Kind of slacked on doing this on Friday (which was the day of shot nine), as I was studying. Technically I should be studying now, as well, midterms being tomorrow, but my brain has reached critical mass.

You know the drill. I am on testosterone. It has been two months. I am experiencing some SERIOUS PUBERTY, and have NO INTERNAL FILTER regarding writing about my body. )
redders: (holmes - book)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] deadtrain and I got out to see Kick-Ass. Without all that teen romance and bad mafia omg! stuff it might have been pretty awesome; certainly it would have been a lot better without the homo- and transphobic comments (which to be honest, such comments are so endemic with pop culture that it seemed to be artistically honest to have them in there on a certain level, but really filmmakers thanks for being part of the problem!). Actually what would have been great would have been two hours of Big Daddy and Hit Girl, continuously pressing my "Single Slovenly Dad with Tragic Past and Also Zany Daughter" button as hard as Persona-or-GS-4. I also like foulmouthed bloodthirsty children in film. Judge if you like! If you really like that sort of thing, maybe sneak in for the parts where that occurs?

Also the lead starts to look a bit like Tarrant (well with 30% less teeth) after he's been punched in the face a few times. I mean they're a bit similar when bloodied up, not that punching that kid makes him look like a non-bloody Tarrant. Mainly, however, you will just be seeing that same story about Some White Geek Boy Is Actually NOT GAY And Look He Is Now Dating The Prettiest Girl Dude Dating In High School = NOT GAY, which is kind of ehhhh. It'd be nice if a movie dealt more with actual themes of what it means to be perceived as queer and maybe about how hetero/cis folks can also be very much screwed by systemic homo/transphobia. It would also be very nice to have a movie about Big Daddy getting married to his old partner and having them argue about how to raise a child less irresponsibly, with lots of knife fight scenes, but that's not going to happen either.

Afterward we got beers and proceeded to figure out last week's movie fiesta (we'd gone to see The Cremaster Cycle--yes the whole thing, all 8+ hours--last Sunday) and I got very drunk and played with some cats and passed out, and the next morning was bummed because I thought that this one certain post was gone from a comm. Not that I actually have anything to add to it, unfortunately, as at the point I'd make commentary, it's driven the car way off the Cliff of Staying On-Topic. But as I seem to have thoughts in my head and it's something I feel like writing about I will do so in my most special lifejournal.

Like everything else, it's all a problem of definition. Slash, sexuality, queerness, and the folks who love to attempt describing them. )

In conclusion: angst is fun and all, but I don't think a H/W with an asexual Holmes needs to go there, and honestly reading something where there's some cuddles and Holmes being like ARE YOU DONE IN THE BATHROOM YET FFS would be awesome?

Daaang

Mar. 25th, 2010 03:15 pm
redders: (ekichi - bleaah)
Man, one thing about being cleared to self-inject: the phone call from the pharmacy saying "hi, we have to special order this!" and "oh sorry, your insurance doesn't cover this at all!" At least it'll be in tomorrow for my next dose, and at least I've been budgeting figuring on non-coverage (and at least testosterone is relatively cheap... unless I misheard $105 and it's really $1050? Nooo...) but still. Now I'm nervous about non-coverage on all those office visits! Come on insurance, continue to not-bill me!

Also, still totally not on the ball with telling my mom I'm on this stuff. She knows I'm trans, but I know it'll be a whole new freakout for her, knowing I'm actually doing something about it? I realize it's kind of my life and all, but it's hard not to constantly update the mom. And I've still not totally come out at school, though a lot of folks know... Telling people is just a hassle, I don't know. I'm just not really down with folks paying attention to me, unless it's to how exceedingly brilliant I am, and to a large extent I'm still occasionally saying to myself, "is this really worth it?" I'm cool with it taking all my money, I'm cool with strangers being weirded out by me, I'm cool with having to jam a needle in my leg on a weekly basis. But thinking about talking to my family... I don't know. I have such conflict-avoidance issues that I'm always half-willing to live an intolerable life as someone I'm not, at least until all my family dies and I can't worry them with my petty issues any longer. Ugh, go self-doubt and fear of conflict! They are like my superpowers I tell you.

Progress!

Mar. 17th, 2010 11:27 pm
redders: (holmes - bath)
Today I finally was able to get cleared to jab needles in my legs without adult supervision. Only took three injections to get there, not too long, right? But yeah, it feels amazing to be free of lab fees. Save for that every-fifth-injection blood draw.

I'd been considering whether or not to make the sort of "guys look at my transition diary" entries flocked or not. I consider my experience with this to be a bit like my experience with school or doing taxes: so boring one should only inflict posts on the subject upon those who were unwise enough to hit "friend." After thinking about it, though, it's really best to keep them open. I do hope no one ever takes yours truly as any sort of case example, but I know I was always happy to find folks talking about their experiences on The Intertubes. So if it helps, folks can read a bunch of TMI? Yes? Anyway.

No really, I sometimes just start talking about my junk. And how much I jerk off. And my period. Basically okay it is a big story about my whole general pelvic region. 13 whole days on T, and not a lot has changed but some stuff has I promise. )

Also today: haircut! It is shorter than I've ever had it, accidentally so. I don't like it much, I think my face is a little fat for it. :( EMO EMO EMO.
redders: (utahraptor - gender)
TESTOSTERONE, CHECK YES.

Dude, okay, Internet and society! Thank you for amping me up to think I would have more hoops to jump through and more gatekeeping to deal with, because I went to that appointment--complete with hacking cough--thinking "oh it'll be fine, I don't need to schedule the mandatory t-day party anytime soon. I will surely need two office visits for the doctor to even think of giving me anything."

And then he basically said "so... what's your story? Oh, therapy for two years? Okay, go take this paper to the lab, they'll do a blood draw and help you self-inject."

WHAT. It was kind of confusing. I felt like writing a strongly-worded letter: "Dear physician: things are not supposed to go that well in my life! I demand for more thwarting of my hopes and dreams. Thank you."

I still almost can't believe it. Maybe it was all a Theraflu-induced dream. I'm vaguely bummed I got my first jab when so under-the-weather--I'd always thought it'd be fun to make a huge party-that-day deal out of it--but really, it's just like the rest of this process for me. Even though I get plagues and all, things have been rolling along fairly organically: it just felt like the right time to start testosterone, so it happened. Hardly fair to put on hard breaks just for insufficient lung function. And besides, I didn't want to pay for an extra office visit. When faced with the possibility this all might wind up out-of-pocket, you just gotta roll with it!

At any rate, despite hacking it up, I still got a bit of celebration in--aced a test (okay I suppose that is not actually celebrating, but I thought it was fun), went out for vegetarian barbecue with a few pals, and bought a houseplant I've been ensured is "nearly immortal" in some sort of "I suppose I should have something commemorative... like a houseplant???" moment. The rubber tree has survived thus far, I have high hopes for this... whatever the shopkeeper said this was. It's green, if that helps.

My pals have already been asking if I feel any differently, and it's true that a lot of guys do feel something right off. For me, it's hard to say. I'm ill, so I just feel wonky in general, but after the first shot I did feel better. I'm a bit of a skeptic and think it's just psychosomatic, though. I also felt VERY VERY HUNGRY about an hour after the shot. And then I remembered... oh yeah, my stomach only contains two shots of espresso and some hot water. My friends also gave me shit for saying "wait... is this about the final? Can you start again, I wasn't listening to you at all," because I was sort of hyper-focused on vegetarian barbecue at the bar. I, however, felt it was a natural reaction for any gender. Come now, we are talking about barbecue here!

Apologies for the wonky entries lately, I'm not brain work so good currently. But dude, life is good. March is starting with lung-rot, but at least it's still promising to be a great month. Testosterone! Nimoy! Arizona!

...Actually, it looks a bit crazy when I type it all together like that, but still.
redders: (bored lou reed)
Red, explaining where he was when calling his mom back: Sorry I didn't answer earlier... I was on a date.

Red's mom: Oh, okay. Was she nice? Was it one of the gals from the other week?

Red: Yeah and yeah. We had a good time watching this really campy vampire movie.

Red's mom: Well, that's nice... But why would anyone want to date someone like you?

Red: Uh, I... *stunned silence*

Red's mom: Or is that a rude question?

Red: Well. Kind of.

MY SELF ESTEEM IS FINE MOM, BUT THANKS FOR THE BOOST.

Anyway, Daybreakers is pretty much exactly what you'd expect: every vampire cliche ever, gallons of fake blood, Willem Dafoe lugging a crossbow, zany corporate evil antics. But it's one of those movies that's ultimately pretty fun for all that you can predict the "plot", and the filmmakers never seem to be trying to be taken seriously, which is a plus.
redders: (katsuya - errr...)
I posted this earlier to [livejournal.com profile] tranny_rage, but as it's comm locked I thought I'd share. This is of course directed at no one on the flist, so no worries there. It's just some fun times with AMAZING QUESTIONS like those I mentioned in this week's TBoA.

So, to other friends and former lovers:

It has come to my attention that you would really like to be supportive of my transition. That's great! But some of you seem to have a tragic condition in which every time you open your mouth to say something "helpful," total inanities spill forth. So I've put together a few of those phrases (with some responses) to help you on your journey of healing. Knowing is, as GI Joe always taught me, half the battle.

And cut for a brief q&a, mainly just to narrow my own friends list read, heh. )
redders: (jarvis cocker)
I usually don't pay this date much mind. But on thinking about yesterday's therapy, and on gearing for this post, I did notice that today is, coincidentally enough, National Coming Out Day.

And it gets a little long in here. Thoughts on therapy, mom, my ability to have multiple heart attacks over nothing, and where I'm at right now (and for once I mean 'in life,' not 'in Devil Survivor') )
redders: (house - red converse)
Sorry I've not been updating as much. Busy being driven nuts by school and having my therapist leave me (seriously! Private practice! The nerve!) and maybe pretending going to barbeques = working on writeups.

But I have had time to get to school and catch up on INTERNET VIDEOS, two of which I have to share. One was stolen from [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi. The other was stolen from somewhere on my mid-study angstathon about deciding which bathroom to use at the library, as my campus Does Not Believe in Unisex At All and I'm at the awkward duckling phase of "could maybe use the right bathroom if everyone was drunk and it was very poorly lit in there." I'll leave you to decide which is which!




Bathroom Gender Benders: All Signs Point To Androgyny - The most popular videos are a click away

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