29 December, 2008

home.

so i ended up going home for a few days to be with my family. i was super anxious about going home because i'm not out to my grandma and i thought i'd be throwing myself to the wolves. i was so anxious that i thought about not going home. but i did and my time home and with my family went a lot better than i thought it was going to go.

for the first time i felt like i could really be home and be comfortable there. i think a lot of it has to do with my parents finally coming around. although my mom and i have being fighting a bit lately, i feel like her and my father are finally beginning to see me how i want to be seen and how i see myself. one night they both gave me really big hugs and both said something about how they were happy i came and how they loved me. i'm really glad i decided to go - i think it was a pivotal trip home - something that i needed to do and something my family needed to experience. my body has changed a lot in the last four months since i'd seen then last and i'm growing more comfortable in my own body and i think it helped for them to see all of that.

i also had a good talk with my brother one night about surgery and transition. we don't talk a whole lot, so i'm glad we got time together. i saw some good friends also, which was great. one friend mentioned that she told her mom about me and her mom said she really wanted to see me and reconnect. i guess that's really what i feel my experience at home was - reconnecting. now that i'm finally coming into my own, finally living in a body i feel somewhat comfortable with, i'm beginning to be more comfortable with myself, i feel like i'm reconnecting with friends and family in this new body. not that i didn't connect before...but there was a lot going on, a lot of discomfort, self-hatred, confusion, fogginess. everything now just feels so much more clear, so much lighter.

peace

17 December, 2008

old man.

just a bit of randomness.
saw neil young in concert saturday night - simply amazing. at 63 this dude is still rockin' hard. my favorite song of the night - cortez the killer.

my birthday is thursday - according to the 365 days per year calendar (damnit what's the name of it?) i'll be 24. however, i really don't feel 24 - whatever feeling 24 is supposed to feel like. maturity wise i feel like i'm in my late 30's.
hormonally i feel like i'm 12.
intellectually i feel ageless.
emotionally i feel everywhere between 12 and 50.
what a strange thing age is.

here is my rant on work. work sucks.

i started to work on my thesis again (had to put work aside because of surgery). my deadline is april 1 and i am determined to finish. upon finishing and getting it approved/passed i will have my masters of arts in teaching (MAT), specifically in teaching english to speakers of other languages (TESOL). this is my ticket out of retail. i'm hoping for a teaching job for next fall - where? who knows...wherever a job takes me i guess - i'm up for an adventure.

peace.

09 December, 2008

this and that

before i forget...an interesting article about MTFs in Mexico: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/weekinreview/07lacey.html?_r=1

i thought i would do a little update since i haven't in a while....
today is my 5 week anniversary since my top surgery. my right side is all healed and looks great - i've been using maderma and palmer's therapy oil on my chest two to three times a day to help with the scarring and scar tissue. my left side is looking better, though it appears that somehow half of my nipple graft has died - there's a mass of black tissue hanging that looks like it will fall off any day now. i'm waiting to see how it will heal and it will take some time. while i'm not happy with how the left side has healed, i know there's nothing i can do about it right now other than let my body heal. i know eventually, possibly after a revision, my chest will look the way i want it to...just some time and patience. i will post pictures of my chest today on my website.

oh yea and i'm coming up on 7 months being on testosterone this saturday. i think the biggest change this past month has been HAIR. my facial hair is growing in faster and i now have to shave my face twice a week. my happy trail is definitely visible now and the rest of my body hair continues to grow also. i'll do a more detailed update on my site soon, but really the biggest change has been the hair.

so i sent my coming out letters to most of my extended family (not my grandmas) last week and my parents decided together that a phone call would be less of a surprise than a letter (...i'm still trying to figure this one out). so i'm out! from what my parents said about their conversations, everyone sounded for the most part supportive - of course i have yet to speak to any of those people about this. i did receive an e-mail from one of my aunts, which was supportive and caring. i know it'll take everyone time to be comfortable and to understand this and i'm willing to give them all the time they need. i'm just happy to have this off of my shoulders.

i'm going home in a few weeks to spend time with my family for the holidays. i really want to go home to just relax and spend time with the people i love, especially since i haven't seen them in four plus months. but the more i think about going home, the more i think i don't really want to go home. my grandma is going to be there and i'm not out to her and i'm just concerned that my time home will be awkward and uncomfortable for me (and i guess in some ways i expect this). i don't things will be uncomfortable with my gram, she's awesome, we always just have fun together - but since she doesn't know everyone will have to use my old name and female pronouns and THAT will definitely be awkward. and i know it'll feel like i'm hiding something from my gram, because i am....i guess i just hate censoring myself, especially when it is something as essential as one's identity. it's stifling and i know in some ways will put me on edge. i'm just hoping that i can find some type of middle ground when i'm home where i can feel somewhat comfortable.

peace.

04 December, 2008

national public radio

yet another reason why i love npr:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97591676
check it out.

01 December, 2008

changing my birth certificate and passport

just a quick note...
i started the research on how to change my name and gender on my birth certificate and passport. i was able to find a lot of information about changing my b.c., but also sent an e-mail to the vital records department asking for specific information. luckily new york allows you to change your gender on your b.c., so i'm happy i was born in a state that lets you do this. i was reading that the process for changing your name and gender is a bit more lengthy in new york than in other states and if the information i found is correct it looks like i'll need some more paperwork.

and as far as my passport. i found stuff concerning a name change, just couldn't find anything about gender, at least on the government webpage....so i sent out an e-mail asking for specific information. but i'm fairly sure i just need to send out my name change paperwork and the letter from dr. fischer. i'm just worried i need to send a b.c. also and i definitely don't have that.

i'm happy to get this process underway because it looks like i'll be traveling - where has yet to be decided - next summer and might need my passport.

tomorrow is four weeks since my top surgery. i've been updating my website a lot with everything that has been going on and trying my best to update here. i had a crazy fever last week and called dr.fischer's office about it and they put me back on oral antibiotics. my chest is looking good - well the right side...the left side is taking its time healing and i still have a scab on part of my nipple/areola. i've been using the antibiotic cream twice a day on it. my energy is definitely back up and my range of movement is coming back. i'm getting really impatient about the limited physical activity piece of recovery, but know it's for the best.

happy december.
peace.

24 November, 2008

my dad

my dad was away all last week on business, so i didn't get a chance to talk to him about coming out to the extended family. today i finally got a chance to talk to him...

he gave me his opinion without screaming at me or degrading me and basically said think about what you're doing and who you're coming out to - if you love these people, come out to them, but know that not everyone is going to react positively. he said that it didn't really matter what he and my mom thought and that at the end of the day i need to do what i need to do.

we continued the conversation and he was saying that it is hard for him - he has good days and bad days and slips up on names and pronouns and that it's going to take some time. and he also commented that my mom is definitely having a hard time with everything.

it's amazing how much easier this conversation was with a rational human being...not that my mom isn't rational (well it seems this way to me at times...) but, i guess in many ways i feel way more respected as a human being by my father than by my mother. and in this way it's a lot easier to have conversations with him than it is my mother. i really appreciate his honestly and i suppose that my mother was honest too because she told me her opinion, but nothing is ever straight forward with her, she'll never just come out and say "look this is how i feel" - everything is smoke and mirrors with her. so i guess that's that.

i suppose i'll be sending some letters out soon - now if only i had the addresses...
if people are interested i'll post my letter in my blog.

peace

21 November, 2008

holy nipples batman!

so the steri-strips, which i guess are really just fancy pieces of surgical tape, that were around my areola fell off in the shower last night - but only on the troubled left areola/nipple. and i freaked out, i almost fainted and had to sit down. man i don't really mind seeing gross stuff, but when that gross stuff is on YOUR body, it's weird...suddenly i become effected as i realize it's my body and not some stranger's from the tv. so i have holes around my areola, like where it should be CONNECTED to the rest of my chest. the one hole is small, but the other one i can fit the head of a q-tip in - i didn't actually try to do this, but was able to guess the size when i was putting on the antibiotic cream on.

so i took pictures and sent them to fischer, along with an e-mail and she called me back while i was at work today. she assured me that it actually looked better than it had before and that the holes would fill in and to continuing using the antibiotic cream. while i have faith in my surgeon, it's difficult not to freak out when i see holes in my chest. my biggest concern is that my areola and nipple are going to fall off and while i don't think that is going to happen, i'm still paranoid it will.

anyway. just my paranoid rant.

peace,
luke

20 November, 2008

National Transgender Day of Remembrance

i feel a bit bad i'm not doing anything special today for national transgender day of remembrance, like going to a vigil or something. but i'm going to take some personal time this afternoon to meditate on what today means. i hope others are getting a chance to get out and be part of all of the activities taking place today.

i know HRC doesn't have the best rep. with trans folks, but they made a cool video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbflAsIdos4

here's another, longer video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s05LdQTUk6k

peace,
luke

17 November, 2008

moms, work and awesome surgeons

tomorrow will be two weeks post-op for my top surgery. i'm going to take pictures sometime tomorrow and post them on my website. my right nipple and areola look great - a bit of swelling and bruising, but overall the right side looks awesome. my left side still looks gross. my nipple and areola are black, but i'm fairly confident that it's a scab. there's a bit more swelling and bruising on my left side than on the right - but overall there isn't much swelling or bruising. i massaged my scars where the drains were tonight for about 5 minutes each - i can already feel the scar tissue, so i want to make sure i take care of them so they heal properly.

i was worried and still am about my left nipple and areola so i was able to speak to dr. fischer today. first off how many people get to speak directly to their surgeon? she assured me that my nipple/areola would be okay and that it is most likely a scab and prescribed some silvadene cream that's used to treat infections. so i'll use the creme twice a day and it should help my nipple/areola. we were also talking about how we didn't get to see each other before i left because when i went to get my drains out she was in surgery - and i told her i wanted to thank her and that the surgery meant a lot to me and what she's doing means a lot to me and many other people. she said my words meant a lot her and she was happy to be what she's doing. she said she feels like it's her calling in life. dr. fischer also mentioned that she's going to court next week to help an FTM get his gender changed on his birth certificate. i thanked her again and she thanked me again. wow, just what a great, inspiring, and passionate person. she's my hero.

today was my first day back to work (i work in retail selling camping equipment). i was a bit worried about standing around for 8 hours, but it wasn't that bad, i was pretty tired and am tired. i told my one boss about my physical limitations and he was cool and my other co-worker was cool with doing some reaching for me today and cool with me sitting down for a bit. but, of course i wouldn't do anything i don't think i should physically do. so mondays are pretty uneventful days and i thought it would be the perfect day to come back. but around 3 pm the ceiling near the main entrance and stairway started leaking water and it leaked for about 30 minutes. and once it finally stopped leaking the paint on the ceiling started falling off. so i had to block off the main stairway and help clean stuff up...it definitely made for an eventful afternoon.

so my mother. ugh. i don't even know where to begin. so i've been wanting to come out to my extended family for quite some time now, but keep thinking there is a better time or get scared. but lately i've been thinking a lot about why i'm waiting and really there is no reason. and how it really sucks being in the closet and not being honest with myself and with those i love. so i told my mom that i wasn't asking her permission to come out, but asking her if she wanted to be a part of this, if she wanted to support me through it. i wrote a letter a few days ago and have been editing it since then and read it to my mom. she told me it was "too graphic" and that there was too much in the letter. i wanted to write a somewhat detailed letter because i know people will be confused about things and want to try to make sure that there isn't too much confusion.

and then she asked if i wanted to tell my grandmas and i said yes, but wanted to write separate, more simple letters for them. she told me that she didn't want me to tell her mom and that if i did tell her the news would kill her. she actually said that, she said that i would kill my grandma. i couldn't believe she said this to me and i told her that i couldn't believe she would say that to her own child. and she replied that she thought it was true.

she went on to say that my dad's family is really conservative and that they wouldn't understand. i told her that i wasn't expecting everyone to be accepting and/or understanding and that it was important for me to be honest with myself and with others. then she told me i'm trying to change people, to which i replied that i didn't think i was going to change anyone, but looking to challenge people, yes. she told me that they didn't want to be changed or challenged and that they didn't care what i had to say. i replied that challenging people was important to me and to human beings because if we're never challenged, we'll never change and we'll never progress if we never change.

she then told me that i'll never see most of these people again anyway, so why did i have to come out to them. i reiterated that it was important for me to be honest with myself and with others. she repeated herself - that i'll never see most of these again, so what's the point? i told her that she didn't know if i was going to see them again or not (what about a funeral - i gave my dad's mom as an example and she told me that she thought that i wouldn't go to her funeral anyway....wtf...) and then she kept repeating herself. i got so frustrated i asked her what she was scared of, what she was so scared of that she didn't want me to come out to people. she didn't say anything and i asked her again and asked her if she was scared of losing friends and family. she said yes and then i asked her if she would really want to be friends with someone who thought her child was "fucked up". she gave me a weary no.

my mom then went on some rant that i hadn't listened to anything i said and that if i was all about preaching tolerance, i wasn't being very tolerant. i reminded her that despite my yelling (i couldn't help but yell, i was pretty worked up, not necessarily angry yelling, i'd like to think of it as passionate yelling) i had listened to what she had to say and reminded her that i wasn't asking permission. i also told her that i was disappointed and discouraged about what she had to say to me. i knew this wasn't going to go over well, but really did not expect the horrid responses she gave me. i told her that she was my mother and i loved her and look up to her, but was really surprised by what she was telling her own child, that those words would come out of her mouth. honestly i am pretty appalled by what she said, i really just can't believe she would say some of that crap. she's a smart woman, but damn she said some ignorant, close-minded and pessimistic stuff. i'm not disappointed in our conversation, but more disappointed in her. i feel like sometimes we hold people to such high expectations and make them out to be people they aren't.

i'm sitting here on my couch topless. i must say it's pretty awesome, no shirt and all. enough for tonight.

peace,
luke

13 November, 2008

6 months

i almost forgot that today is my 6 month anniversary since starting t - wow....where has the time gone? i don't think i made too much progress this past month, especially since i was off of t for about 2.5 weeks. the most noticeable changes are my facial and body hair growth (definite increase), my jawline (continuing to look more masculine) and my weight (i've put on about 15 pounds, mostly muscle, since september). so that's all i'm going to update here, i'll post a more detailed update on my website.

i updated my website a bit today - added some pictures of my chest, some trip photos, costs...i'm hoping to add more pictures tomorrow and some stuff about my experience. i'm feeling better today, more energized and a bit more like myself.

i saw my therapist today (she's awesome by the way) and i was talking about coming out to my grandma (this subject will be its own entry...quite a long one) and she brought up harvey milk, whom i've never heard of. she talked about one of the speeches he gave, where he inspired people to come out. so i searched him on youtube when i got home and watched this 1.5 hour video on him - he was an intriguing and inspiring man. the video i watched is a 10 part video entitled "the times of harvey milk" - definitely check it out.

peace,
luke

12 November, 2008

back, back, back

arrived home yesterday around 5:30 pm. it was only about a 5 hour drive from new jersey, but i was just super tired and not that comfortable. not to mention being in the car since about 10 am (it was about a 2.5 hour drive from MD to NJ - liz drove). but i'm glad to be back in vermont and be around my friends.

i'm feeling super tired today. i took a long nap this afternoon, which didn't seem to help. i'm a bit worried about starting work on monday, that my body won't be ready for 8 hours of standing around - but i'm going to try to rest up as much as i can these next few days.

i took my first shower since the morning of surgery this morning. it definitely wasn't as great as i thought it was going to be, but it was nice to clean up. the nurse told me yesterday to take some of the dressing/padding off in the shower and it made me kind of nauseous because it just looked really gross, along with my left areola and nipple looking gross - so that wasn't fun. but my chest is looking good for the most part. my right side is great, really no bruising at all, the areola and nipple are already a natural pink color. the left side is a bit swollen and the areola and nipple are bruised and pretty indistinguishable at this point.

i got my drains out yesterday morning. shannon, one of dr.fisher's nurses, took them out for me - she's been a great help throughout this whole process. getting the drains out didn't hurt really, it just felt strange really, it's difficult to describe. the only thing that somewhat hurt, more like stung, was when she removed the sutures that were holding the drains in place.

overall, i'm not in much pain - like i've said before just tired and uncomfortable. my chest has been really tender the past few days and i feel really protective over it. i think if someone went to touch it, i'd want to punch them or something. it's just really tender/sensitive and want everything to heal okay.

oh yea, big props to liz, my good friend who took care of me the whole time in maryland.

nurse liz


hopefully i'll be feeling more energetic these next few days and update my website.

peace,
luke

10 November, 2008

quick update

post-op day 6
i was hoping to be able to go home today, however i spoke to dr.fishcer's nurse this morning and she said i could get the drains removed tomorrow if everything is looking good. i can't wait to get the drains removed because they're just bugging me now and it feels like they're tugging on my skin all the time where the enter underneath my armpit. the left side of my chest definitely hurts more, but i'm really in not much pain, just mostly tired. so if all goes well i'll get the drains out tomorrow and be on my way back to vermont. thankfully i don't have to be back at work until next monday, so i have the rest of the week to relax. i'll update later this week.

peace,
luke

08 November, 2008

post-op day 4

i think it's post-op day 4....my memory is a bit foggy because of the drugs. fortunately i haven't had to rely on the drugs - i'm still on antibiotics and i only take a pain reliever and sleep aid before bed (i've discovered that taking the two together makes me incredibly incredibly dizzy, delusional and fall asleep in record timing).

everything has been going well so far - i've been feeling well, no pain really, only discomfort and i've been pretty tired. i've been sleeping a lot and mainly sitting in front of the tv, which is getting boring (i'm not much of a tv person) and i'm looking forward to my recovery so i can increase my activity. the weather down here has been great, not too warm, not too cold. i went out the past two days and it felt great to get out and get some fresh air.

my drains (placed in the bottom part of my chest -in order to drain any fluid and help healing- exiting underneath my armpits - i'll post pictures later to better explain), both left and right, have been draining about 25 ccs of fluid a day the past two days, which means that i'll hopefully get the drains removed on monday. i'm planning on leaving on monday, however that's all dependent on if dr.fischer will remove my drains then. if not, i'll probably only have to stay an extra night. thankfully the compression vest isn't too tight and only covers half of my torso, but it is definitely getting annoying. it has been shifting on me and the elastic on the arm holes is somewhat cutting into my under arms - just mostly uncomfortable.

i also gave myself my t injection yesterday! i'm so happy i was finally able to do that - the nurse suggested waiting 72 hours. i'm hoping i'll be feeling better with more testosterone in my system now. i updated my website a bit yesterday and plan on doing a lot of updates when i get home, so make sure to check it out.

i think i'm going to try to shave and wash my hair today with the help of liz. i'm feeling a bit greasy and i think cleaning up will make me feel better.

peace,
luke

03 November, 2008

surgery is...tomorrow!

one last blog before surgery...
finally arrived in timonium, maryland last night around 8:30 ish. i left vermont around 9 to pick up lizzy b. in new jersey (dirty jersey...the armpit of america...). after a twenty-minute detour and a missed bus, we met up around 3ish. we had to pick up liz's car and stop for coffee and gas, so i don't think we were on the road until sometime around 4. then there was a horrible accident on 95 south and it took us almost 2 hours to pass it....so i spent the WHOLE day in the car.

this morning i went to dr. fischer's office to get pictures taken and get fitted for my post-surgery vest. i was supposed to have my consultation this morning, but it got changed to tomorrow morning before surgery because dr.fischer is out of town today. the nurse also explained the drains and liz got a little green, but i'm sure i'll be fine draining them myself. got the prescription for pain relievers also, so everything today went smoothly and bonus that the nurse was a) super nice and b) cute as hell.

we found a wegmans (for those of you unfamiliar with wegmans, it is an awesome grocery store, they have their own brand, their food is amazing, their stores are huge and there is always lots of freshly cooked food)! totally the highlight of my day and we went grocery shopping because we have a kitchenette (large fridge, microwave and two burners). not much to say about timonium - lots of strip malls.

so tomorrow i'm going in at 7:30 am for my consultation and then surgery. i'll update later this week. don't forget to VOTE!

peace,
luke

30 October, 2008

the barber shop

so i decided to clean myself up before surgery and get my hair cut at the barber's instead of doing it myself like i usually do. i don't think i do such a bad job, but i definitely look a lot more cleaned up when i go to the barber's. so the last time i was at a barber shop (last fall) the barber told me he couldn't cut my hair because i appeared female to him. i completely wasn't expected that reply and told him i simply wanted a hair cut, he kept refusing, so i left - hurt and angry. so that incident is the one of the main reasons i took to cutting my own hair and also that it's way cheaper to buy a pair of clippers than to go to the barber's once a month.

so i went tuesday and was super nervous. i was afraid that the barber would perceive me as female and get angry or confused or something as to why i was there - especially now because i've been on a low dose and no dose of t for the past month and my facial hair hasn't been growing as face and my voice is getting a bit higher. but it was totally cool. the shop was totally old school and the barber was nice. i was just so nervous i didn't know if i should talk and what i should have said. regardless, i got a sweet haircut for $14.

finally got all of my surgery paperwork squared away. i don't know what took so long, but my doctor's office here was having trouble faxing the paperwork to dr.fischer...and for some reason that took two weeks. but i just called and everything is all set - sweeeet. i'll definitely post an update before my surgery on tuesday.

peace,
luke

25 October, 2008

saturday morning update

it's been quite a week for me. being off of t has proven to be difficult - i'm so damn moody. i don't know how women do it, or how i used to get by, but props to the ladies. i feel so much more stable and me when i'm on testosterone. luckily i'll be able to resume injections after surgery - i'm hoping the day of or day after.

a friend and i were talking earlier this about about how she was explaining my trans-identity to one of our friends from Africa. she was explaining to him that i changed my name and i think he had a hard time understanding that i would change my name. where he's from changing his name essentially would be disrespecting his mother, family and possibly his culture. i think she said she was trying to tell him to think about if he knew something about himself was completely off. for me this was an intriguing conversation because i went to school with many international students from many different cultures. this made me think about how a trans identity is perceived in different cultures and if it even exists in some. i would love to do some type of research project on how trans identities are perceived outside of the american perspective.

and lastly i told my dad about surgery. i was nervous to begin with because i knew he'd be skeptical.....so this is how it went:
me: i'm having reconstructive chest surgery
dad: huh?
me: i'm getting surgery on my chest to make it more masculine.
dad: why would you do that?
me: there's no need for sarcasm here.
dad: you don't need surgery, your chest is fine.
me: i want to feel comfortable in my body.
dad: it's going to hurt.
me: i know, it's worth it.
dad: how did you pay for this.
me: loans.
dad: you'll be poor, i want you to live comfortably. maybe you should rethink this.
me: everything is already paid for. i'm already poor.
dad: the risk of getting an infection is really high. you could die.

....i feel like he didn't even hear me. i guess what really hurt is when he asked why i would even get surgery. i know that somewhere my father accepts me, but understanding seems to be a whole other realm. of course i want people to accept me, but i also want them, even if it's just in the slightest way, to understand me and this part of my identity. things feel mighty lonely when you feel like no one understanding you. it also hurts because i really look up to my father, he's always been my hero, but here he was just kind of a dickhead. i know in some ways he's looking out for me and trying to be a parent. however, the way he went about it just did not feel loving in any way, shape or form. my mother and him seem to be changing places. i actually cried (just a tiny bit) after we spoke - first time since probably last spring - and it felt good to just get it out. it's weird to think i haven't cried in that long, but i definitely feel "man-enough" (ha) to cry once in a while.

peace,
luke

21 October, 2008

"if you were born a boy...."

i had an interesting conversation with a friend last night and somehow we got to talking about my name and if my parents like my name. i think my parents like my name, but i did everything so quickly, they kind of had to jump aboard. so i called my mom this morning to talk to her about my name. she said she likes my name and she sounded honest, so i believe her. and then i asked her what her and my father were going to name me if i had been born male. she said they had a hard time remembering, but then remembered that they wanted to name me after my dad's father "Nicholas". just thought this was interesting....

peace,
luke

18 October, 2008

work and such

today at work, one of my co-workers began asking me about the difference between the terms "cross dresser" and "transvestite" and then continued with "transgender" and "transsexual". i was a bit nervous where the conversation was going, but it seemed harmless and my co-worker seemed interested in understanding these terms. it was pretty cool to be able to tell her the differences between everything - kind of schooling someone about my community (but not having them know i'm even part of the community). i was worried she was going to say she found my website, i wouldn't be surprised if someone did, all you have to do is google my name....that is if you can spell my last name.

i've also been thinking about work at lot lately in terms of me constantly being in the public eye - whether that eye is my co-workers or customers in the store. honestly, for the most part i don't care what others think of me or how they perceive me - i'm a work in progress and going through a lot of changes right now. though sometimes being in the public eye so much can be a bit stressful - the looks some people give me are terrible. and to know that people are constantly judging you based on how you look isn't quite comforting. at least for me right now it's not. i know who i am inside, i know that person well, but i don't exactly see that person on the outside and am still waiting for him to shine through. i know as time passes and testosterone continues its effects, i will look more like how i feel.

lastly, i've been thinking about work in terms of me being stealth. i am fairly positive no one at work knows i'm trans. i could be wrong, i don't know. i suppose it's just strange hiding that part of myself right now when it seems to be the thing that is taking up so much of my time and energy. i can't say that i would feel completely comfortable disclosing my trans identity with my co-workers - unfortunately many of them seem quick to judge and criticize. although, it is difficult keeping everything hidden that may indicate i'm trans (e.g. what sports i played growing up...etc). i guess at this point in time i feel incredibly vulnerable and simply don't feel comfortable disclosing. maybe it would be a different story if i worked with different people...?

peace,
luke

17 October, 2008

new hampshire journey

yesterday i had to venture over to the great state of new hampshire (state motto: live free or die) for a doctors appointment, in which i was getting clearance for surgery. one point of interest, immediately after i crossed the boarder there was a huge macain/palin poster...scary. anyway, i was a bit nervous about my appointment because i wasn't necessarily sure if the doctor was trans-friendly. i tried to get an appointment with a doctor who i knew was trans-friendly, but she didn't have any appointments. but the doctor was really awesome and amazingly attractive (i definitely drooled all over myself) - there's just something completely sexy about a woman in power. but the funny thing was when i told her that i was have top surgery, she goes "oh you're getting implants...", i just started laughing and said "hell no, i'm getting them chopped off"...so i guess i pass well. ha. i was at the medical center for like two, two and a half hours getting all of these tests done - EKG, chest x-ray, bloodwork. the EKG was fun too, i had no idea it was a topless kind of test. the woman goes "okay take off all of your shirts" and i just stand there and then i say "um you want me to take off everything?" and she's like "yea come on" and then i explained that i'm trans and still have a female chest and she was totally cool too. so major props to the staff at dartmouth-hitchcock medical center. so good news is i'm cleared for surgery. i sent out all of my paperwork yesterday and am pretty much ready to go.

peace,
luke

10 October, 2008

more dreams

i've been having a lot of wacky, but relevant dreams lately.
the one from the beginning of the week was about my top surgery. i think i was with friends at the place where i was getting surgery. we were walking through the place and it was kind of old school. all i remember is that i was getting surgery.

then my dream from last night was definitely interesting. i was with my friend mary and we were at this huge concert- i think it was kinda of like rothbury- and we were in this room with tons of hippies. i was giving a speech or reading something i wrote to everyone in the room, i think it was somewhat serious. and then mary and i left, and for some reason we left sliding down a rope and as we were leaving i saw two women i went to high school with. i said hi to then and they looked at me funny and said they didn't know me. i said their names and started telling them things i knew about them. i asked them if i looked familiar. i think i woke up after that because i don't remember anything else. i think i was about to come out to them or at least thinking about it in my dream.

top surgery is coming up in 25 days. i'm definitely excited, but also nervous. i feel like someone can prepare and prepare and prepare themselves for something like this, but also in a sense never fully prepare themselves for a) a major surgery and b) a surgery that will greatly enhance the quality of someone's life. with that said, i've been busy trying to get stuff ready for surgery but i always feel like there is more to do. i'm also trying to relax as much as possible to keep my stress level down so i don't wear myself out. it's been difficult this week because i've had to lower my testosterone dose for surgery - i feel crabby already and it's only friday. another week on the low dose and then two weeks without t...i fear for those around me....ha, just joking, but i'm definitely not looking forward to it.

peace,
luke

02 October, 2008

can you spell that for me?

just a quick post...
so i picked my last name because it was my family's original last name, way back when they were from serbia/croatia. i've always liked the original last name and even before i even considered my trans identity though about changing my last name. i'm in a way and in the process of discovering and learning about my roots.

i've been doing a lot of leg work for my upcoming top surgery lately, making a lot of phone calls, appointments, etc., which of course requires me to continually spell out my last name. as soon as i say my last name, i automatically get a "huh" response and then a "ummm, can you spell that for me please", and a "was that 'v' as in victor, or 'b' as in boy?". i guess recently i've been finding this somewhat amusing because i was incredibly happy (of course and still am) about changing my last name and now i'm finding out how much work a 10-letter last name is!

also a woman i was speaking to on the phone today (someone who i had to spell my last name for) told me after i spelled my name: "wow, you must have had trouble learning that as a kid!" i just wanted to laugh and say: "no actually, just got it, learning now....".
just some thoughts...

peace,
luke

30 September, 2008

last night's dream

just real quick, already had a surgery nightmare...
this is the only part i remember of my dream: my parents were with me for my top surgery and we were waiting in some office or lobby. i suddenly realized that i missed my consultation and that my surgery might get canceled because of that. i got upset and started crying, but my mom calmed me down and assured me that everything would work out. that's all i remember.

i woke up this morning intrigued by this dream for several reasons, one being that my parents were with me during my surgery (that they would take such an active part in my transition), two that i cried (i don't remember the last time i cried, definitely has been a least half a year) and three that it was about my top surgery. i dunno, just something to think about.

peace,
luke

28 September, 2008

my new vermont state driver's license

so, i decided to change everything over to vermont stuff - driver's license, plates, etc. because i just bought my friends car and it's honestly easier to change things here than driving an hour to new york and changing things there.
so last week i went to the mobile dmv (it's really not like a mobile home or anything, not like the ones they had in NY, more like the dmv workers are mobile...) to get my driver's license changed over. just had to fill out a few forms and show a few documents for proof of id, not really a big hassle. since my NY state driver's license had an F on it, i believe i am legally bound to fill this out on my paperwork, so i marked an F for sex. i wasn't too worried about it anyone because of my upcoming top surgery - i'll be able to get paperwork to change my gender afterwards. the woman didn't say anything about it and when she handed me my license, she told me to look everything over to make sure the information was correct. name, height, weight, address - everything was correct and then i look down to the sex marker....a big fat M.... i look at the woman...."yea, everything is good, thanks". sweeeeeeet- totally the best mistake that's ever happened. ever.
i actually spoke to someone the other day and he said that several other trans guys who were from out of state and changed to a VT license also had the same thing happen. i'm wondering if the dmv workers think that people keep screwing up on the sex part or if they actually know what's going on and are just trying to help us out....? the only thing i'm worried about is if, for some reason, this "mistake" shows up somewhere (because of the crack-downs on IDs) and they make me change it back. but i guess even this wouldn't be a big problem because soon i'll have my paperwork to change my gender marker.
just wanted to relay some tubular news....

peace,
luke

21 September, 2008

progress and surprises

i've been mulling over how i'm going to tell my parents about my top surgery since i started to think about getting surgery and it seems like there's really no great way to tell them...other than to just be honest with them. and i've been trying my best to be open and honest with my parents about my transition because i know this is difficult and confusing for them.

so i called my mom yesterday morning on my way to work just to say hi. she was asking about me coming home for thanksgiving and i told her i was unsure if i could take time off because i had an "engagement" prior in the month that i would need to take time off for. she asked me what it was and i knew i couldn't lie to her, so i told her i was getting top surgery. i don't think she necessarily understands the specifics of top surgery, but definitely understood what i meant. and i was surprised because she didn't sound her usual disappointed as she normally does when i tell her something about my transition. she asked me how i was paying for it and i told her about my loans, which i don't think she's thrilled about because i already have out a lot of money in loans. she also asked me if i wanted my father and her to come and take care of me after the surgery - this surprised the hell out of me because my parents have never been an active part of my transition.

and then more surprises. she told me she read several chapters in a book i gave my parents when i came out to them ("Understanding Transsexualism for Parents, Friends...."). i didn't think she'd ever pick up that book. she continued to say that two things she read really helped her: (1) why would someone turn their life up-side-down for no reason, if someone is going through such a difficult process it must be significant.... and (2) if you change the cover of a book, it is still the same book on the inside. this really made my heart happy, hearing all of this from my mother. dealing with her through my transition has proved by far to be extremely difficult. i've been very patient with her and hearing this from her is kind of like a reward for my patience and a sign that the tables are turning and she is slowly beginning to understand and accept me.

peace,
luke

15 September, 2008

updates

so i just hit my four-month mark for being on t!
notable changes this month:
-increased hair growth, specifically on my legs, stomach and face (no sign of a beard yet, only a crustache)
-my jawline has really squared out
-increased acne (face and shoulders)
-muscle growth (arms)

i think those are the most obvious changes this month, of course on top of all of the less notable changes that occur. check out my website for an in-depth analysis of this past month.

i also recently signed up for health care through my employer. i was pretty worried about what gender i'd put on the forms, but decided to put female because insurance fraud at 23 just sounds terrible. i thought the woman who handles the paperwork would say something to me, but she didn't. i suppose she either (a) didn't notice what gender i put, (b) didn't even look at the paperwork, (c) thought i messed up and fixed it for me.... or (d) was just really confused. whatever at least i'll have insurance as of october 1.

and big big big news.......
set my date for top surgery today! i decided to go with dr. beverly fischer (who works out of maryland) because i didn't see traveling to the west coast as an option and i've seen and heard nothing but good things about her work. so my consultation for surgery is monday, november 3rd at 1pm and then i will have surgery on tuesday, november 4th at 9am. the surgery is about 4 hours i believe and after the drugs wear off, i'll be hanging out in a hotel room for a week with my good pal lizzy b. i'm really excited about it, it's coming up really fast too. it's hard to believe for me that i'm actually to this point now. i guess it's similar for me when i started t, just kind of hard to believe that this is becoming a reality.
for those unfamiliar with top surgery, check out this link: www.ftmguide.org/chest.html

i'm going to try to update my website this week and i'll be making a new page to follow my progress through top surgery so make sure to check it out.

peeeeeaaacccee out,
luke

04 September, 2008

where are the dudes?

just some thoughts as of recently, trying to update more frequently...
i have very few male friends and come to think of it, i don't think i have any here right in brattleboro. i was hanging out with a few friends the other night (all women) and for a bit i felt completely out of place. they were talking about makeup and something else and i was really couldn't relate at all. though, i didn't really relate that well to females before, especially really feminine ones.

it was kind of a bummer because it was just a reminder that i don't have any male friends here in VT. i guess what i've been looking for as of lately is just some guys to hang out with, as one can see i've been having a more difficult time relating to my female friends. i can't even say that i'd be able to relate to the guys better. i just have this desire to chill with some guys. maybe it has more to do with how the testosterone has been affecting me - i definitely feel like a teenager and have been acting more like one recently - goofing around a lot more than usual.

there are a few guys at work and i've been feeling somewhat more comfortable with them lately. sometimes i'm pretty tense because i'm terrified that someone is going to be like: "hey you're not a real guy", but i guess that really wouldn't be that bad, unless they were super transphobic. though, i was socialized female and am trying so so so so so hard to be social around the guys at work, but i'm definitely have a terribly difficult time. to me being myself is enough, though sometimes there seems to be this barrier that i just can't break and i never seem to get in on the action or conversations. but maybe part of it is that i'm just too damn tired and bored at work to care about much.

peace,
luke

27 August, 2008

almost september....?

hey everyone - my apologies for not posting in a while, august has been busy. so updates.....

-everything with testosterone is going well. just had my appointment with my endocrinologist last thursday. he's a really nice guy, really down-to-earth, and interested in my experiences. we decided to up my weekly dosage to 75 MG (versus 50 MG) which I am happy about. i've been really tired lately and feel like a surge of hormones is raging in my body. we're hoping that increasing my testosterone will help even out my t-levels and eventually rid of this hormone storm.
-went home yesterday. parents were alright, got to do some sailing with my dad which was great. they're calling my lucas, but still using female pronouns, though i did my best to correct them. i played some of my voice recordings for my mom and she didn't really say anything. though, she was amazing at my muscle growth.
-as far as changes this month: my facial hair is definitely coming in, dark hairs above my upper lips and my peach fuzz is coming in thicker and more coarse on my face. my acne has definitely gotten worse and i'm thinking i may have to start using something a bit more serious than normal daily face wash.
-i decided that i'm definitely going with dr. beverly fischer for my top surgery. i put in my paperwork for loans and am waiting to hear back. along the same lines i've decided that i'm going to finish my work for my degree for the november deadline and get surgery in the beginning of november.

can't think of anything else right now, but will try to update at least once a week. check out the website: www.lucaskovacevich.com

peace,
luke

11 August, 2008

this and that

i will have been on t for three months as of this wednesday. can't believe it's been that long already. some more changes i've noticed (on top of already mentioned changes):
-my face structure has definitely changed - more masculine looking jawline
-muscles - despite the fact that i haven't been very physically active lately, i'm gaining muscle
-facial hair - a little more showing up each day

i'm definitely perceived as male a lot more now, probably 80 to 90 percent of the time. it's definitely different being viewed as male by other males, of course since i was socialized female. the way males interact with me, when they view me as male, is completely different from how males interacted with me before. i'm s l o w l y learning what it means to interact with males, but of course at the same time be me.

what i've also found interesting is that now that i am mostly being perceived as male, i've realized that i have no past, or that my own history as male is short (i suppose this all has to do with how i am perceived publicly and not how i view myself). that is to say, some memories and experiences (as i have learned through attempting to tell stories from my past) from my past have at least something to do with my birth sex. and if i do not desire to come out to certain people i either have to exclude these memories or lie about certain points. i suppose this mostly relates to not revealing my trans identity. i cannot say for sure if i will or will not reveal my trans identity to certain people, but i see myself as an advocate, someone who is working for social change and social justice and of course would like to be open about my trans identity with my community in order to spread understanding and acceptance.

the website is almost ready! i'll post the link when i have everything up.

peace,
luke

26 July, 2008

top surgery

just another brief note...

i've been doing a lot of research lately on top surgery...reconstructive chest surgery...getting a male chest (confused? check out this link to learn more: http://www.ftmguide.org/chest.html). i don't know how soon i will have it, but my chest gives me a lot of anxiety and i am hoping that i can have surgery within the next year. despite the fact that i will most likely have to take out more loans (i already have loans out for graduate school) i think the money is worth it and would rather spend the rest of my life paying off surgery loans than having a female chest. so i've been doing a lot of research lately, i've found a lot of dirt on doctors. i'm seriously looking into dr. beverly fischer in maryland - i've heard and seen a lot of good things about her. i just e-mailed her with some general questions, so we'll see what happens. just an update...

peace,
luke

sir and "passing"

just wanted to write a bit about how i'm perceived in public.
the past few days i've been viewed about maybe 80 to 90 percent of the time as male, which is awesome. i definitely have anxiety about how i'm perceived, about someone calling me she/her/miss...and how other people would react to that, specifically my co-workers because they all perceive me as male. i actually got "sir'd" the other day for the first time and it made me smile. it just felt really good to be read the way i want to be read, the way i feel inside.

it was interesting also because i thought i heard someone call me miss or some feminine thing the other day (they were mumbling, so who knows what they actually said) and i immediately got upset. i was really surprised by my response because i almost used to confusing people and at times being read as female. it's amusing what being read as male most of the time can do to ones mentality and maybe a bit of testosterone.

i've been thinking a lot lately about the word "passing" - some use as a verb to refer to them being read as the sex they wish to be read as (for example, an ftm: he passed as male at work.) i think this is a somewhat controversial word though because some feel that it implies that the person is hiding something, for instance their birth gender. however, many trans people feel the gender they desire to be is their true gender and therefore are not hiding anything. i don't mean to generalize or put words in other peoples' mouths - i'm a bit tired and having trouble typing and thinking. so, i've been thinking about this a lot lately and definitely agree that passing is a term i don't really like anymore, well at least when referring to myself.

with that said....a friend was telling me how her sister's babysitter (whom i had met briefly a few weeks ago while we were visiting the friend's sister) was inquiring about me and used masculine pronouns. she made some comment that her sister was excited that the babysitter thought i was a guy or something like that, something about passing (the sister knows i'm trans, the babysitter does not). and all i was thinking in my head was "yea i am a guy...". it's difficult responding to comments like those because i am early in my transition and of course don't get perceived as male all of the time and don't expect to. though, i suppose it also has something to do with how i perceive myself and despite my biology, i see myself as male.

peace,
luke

24 July, 2008

name change update

i don't think i ever gave an update on my name change. but i think as most of you know, it was legally changed in june (i believe). after it was legally changed, i had to change every other place and what a task that has been. so far i have changed my name on:
-driver's license
-social security card
-bank accounts
-undergrad and graduate schools
-health insurance
-doctors office
-student loans
-AAA
-car insurance
-prescriptions on rite aid
i'm sure i'm forgetting some....

the last two places i have to change my name are:
-on my passport (waiting for the money)
-my birth certificate (still trying to figure this one out)

it certainly is a lot of work changing your name, but well worth it - definitely a learning experience. if anyone needs any help with this process let me know! more updates to come, i'm slowly working on my website and hopefully it'll be up by this weekend.

peace,
luke

18 July, 2008

hair!

so one of the most noticeable changes since being on T, other than my voice, has been all of the hair growth. more hair on my legs - darker and coarser on my calves and new hair growth on my thighs (didn't have much/any hair on my thighs before). the hair on my arms is actually getting longer and i'm getting hair on my biceps/triceps, which i didn't really have before. seeing a bit of hair on my back - well where i can see it (on my shoulders). my sideburns are coming in coarse and the hair above my upper lip is coming in dark - i have to shave every third or fourth day. last night i found more hair! surprise, surprise. my happy trail seems to be getting happier and i found a trail to the right of it, kind of following the natural contour of my body that is coming in dark, but not as dark as my happy trail. it just amazes me how fast hair grows - i just feel like i find new hairs everyday. more hair updates...next week probably.

peace,
luke

16 July, 2008

work

just a quick update about work. everything has been going fine, selling camping equipment and other cool stuff so nothing really to complain about. but the cool thing is that i have been passing with my co-workers. i think my low voice, 2 months on t and masculine name definitely help, i am thankful. i was pretty anxious about starting, but everyone seems to be pretty low key. i get referred to as he/him, what more could i ask for?

peace,
luke

12 July, 2008

....

so i desperately need a job and have been waiting around quite a while after apply to several full-time teaching/admin jobs. i decided to go into town the other day and see if the sporting goods store was hiring. they were, so i filled out an application. after handing in the application, the manager asked me if i had a minute and he took me to his office for a very informal interview. he just basically asked me if i could work all the time and i said yes because i am broke and need to support myself. i wasn't sure how he perceived me, although i wanted to say that by his strong handshake he perceived me as male. i wasn't sure though.

so i went back yesterday to fill out some documents and i was certain that he perceived me as male - which is awesome and of course what i want - the strong handshake again, he made a comment about me wearing a tie and i feel treated me male (whatever that means). i was super excited about this because i don't think i pass 100% of the time, although my deepening voice is helping. and then right before i went to bed last night i realized that i had given him my driver's license for a tax form and that it says i am "female" on my license (can't change this yet unfortunately). so now i'm wondering if he saw this and if he's just really cool about me presenting as male or if he didn't notice it, or maybe he doesn't perceive me as male at all. who knows. i essentially would like to be judged on my personality and not my appearance or perceived gender, but i do want to be perceived as male. so we shall see how work goes next week, i start on monday.

peaceee,
luke

09 July, 2008

8 weeks

time for an 8 week update! here is what i've noticed:
-gaining muscle in my arms
-new hair everyday, darker and coarser (legs, arms, stomach, back...everywhere...)
-my voice has really dropped the past week and a half
-facial hair is growing in faster and feels more coarse
-increasing libido
-i think my facial structure is beginning to change
-sweating more
-a bit of acne on my face and back
-slightly less patient

just got back from michigan last night. had a great time with maria. the rothbury festival was awesome- lots of good music, nice people, ecologically-minded, camping, laughing.....pictures to come.

peace,
luke

29 June, 2008

almost seven weeks

went to the graduation party yesterday. not so bad. i knew it wasn't going to be bad. i think my mom just likes to make a bigger deal out of things than they really are. nothing crazy happened like she probably thought. i didn't even speak that much to my mom because she was so busy getting her drink on. i spoke to her a bit this morning, but didn't really feel like shooting the shit with her, so we didn't talk much, which is fine with me. less talk = less momma drama (at least right now). there were a few awkward situations, like me pausing for a minute when someone asked me my name and then someone asked is lucas is a guy's name and if i was brothers with that boy over there. but all in all, it was fine. got to see my good buddy and that made my heart happy.

this tuesday will be seven weeks on t! several new changes i've noticed in the past two weeks: MORE hair, pretty much everywhere, but mostly on my legs. my voice made quite the drop this weekend right before the party (perfect timing). and in terms of my mentality i definitely feel like a teenager going through puberty (again) - mood swings, wanting to be alone, feeling awkward. i'm definitely not enjoying this teenage mentality part of being on t and hope it's just passing through.

going on vacation this next week to MI for the Rothbury music festival - super excited, tons of great groups playing and doing some camping along the way. i'm going to get my website started up after i get back, stay tuned for details.

peaceeeeee,
luke

26 June, 2008

and again...

i called home yesterday just to say hi. my mother immediately asked me why i called - i could tell she was upset about something, who asks their child why they called? i told her i just wanted to say hi and for some reason she thought that was strange. we exchanged a few words and then she got down to what was clearly bothering her. she was upset that i came out to our family friends via e-mail and said that i should have done it by phone. i told her that i felt it was best that i did it through e-mail. she asked me who told me to do it that way and where i sent it from, and i asked her why that matted and she didn't answer. she kept saying that i should have called and told them and that if aunt so and so died that i wouldn't have e-mailed them to tell them. i told her that was different and she said no it's not. at this point in time the conversation was getting heated and i was getting really fed up with her bullshit. unfortunately i let her get the best of me and began yelling. she kept saying that the phone was more appropriate and i said that i would tell everyone from now on on the phone as she wanted me to because she knew what was best (note the sarcasm). then she said that she can never be right in my eyes and that she's always wrong. and i told her that this was exactly what it was about and didn't want to continue the conversation. i asked to speak with my father and she kept asking me why and wouldn't let me talk to him and kept trying to continue the conversation.

my mother is driving me up a wall. i am so glad that i decided to go to the party on saturday instead of a day early because this means one less day with her, but unfortunately one less day with my friends. i'm really not worried about anyone else at the party, except my mother. maybe her seeing other people being comfortable with me will be good for her. i really don't know what to do anymore, how to approach her, how to make her see that what i am doing (pretty much everything i am doing) is for the best and even how to effectively communicate with her. ugh.

peace,
luke

25 June, 2008

this guy needs a head check

a friend sent me this article yesterday regarding northampton's trans pride parade. get ready to be angry: http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=67813

...in other news sent an e-mail out to those family friends who are going to be at the graduation party this weekend. i received a response from them yesterday and they were awesome - they said they were happy for me and that i have their support. so that's some sweat off my forehead.

peace,
luke

19 June, 2008

my mother

it seems to me that my mother is having a terrible time coming to terms with my trans identity. we've been talking a lot recently because of this party i'm supposed to go to next weekend, seeing our family friends there and coming out to them. obviously my mother is uncomfortable with me being trans and this fact being out in the open to our friends. 

so we spoke the other day on the phone about the party and she said she spoke to my father and my friend's mother (who's hosting the party) about everything. i don't think my dad said much, but she said she told my friend's mother that she didn't want it to be uncomfortable for other people and didn't want me being the center of attention. of course i don't know exactly what was said, but i think she mostly agreed with my mother - though my friend's mother was the one who brought this all up, being concerned that it would me uncomfortable for me (half of the party knowing me as "nicole" and the other half knowing me as "lucas"). 

when my mother and i spoke she was pretty short with me and she said that she didn't want anyone talking about it. i asked her to clarify and she said that she didn't want me being the center of attention. i reminded her that this is not what i was aiming for or wanted or was attempting to do, but if someone brought it up i would not ignore it. she again made a comment about me being the center of attention and i reminded her that it the party is a graduation party and not my party and that it would be exactly that. she sternly said that if anyone asked her about my trans identity she wasn't going to say anything. i told her i didn't expect her to say anything, nor should she have to. 

hearing this from my mother is difficult. i know this is really hard for her and that of course this is going to take some time for her. though i feel like she's putting up so much resistance, trying so hard to deny this reality. it's hard for me because my parents have always been there for me, have always supported me and now i'm finding that this in some ways is not the case. i want to be able to share all of these little victories i've had with them, but i can't. i want to say, 'hey this happened today and it was really neat', but honestly they don't want to hear it, nor care about it. i also understand that this will all take some time for my parents, especially my mother and that i just need to have a lot of patience right now. on the other hand, this resistance i see my mother putting up is not a good sign to me. 

i am home right now for a few days, finishing up some paperwork for my name change, and my mom has been so passive aggressive about everything. no matter what is bothering her, she'll say she's fine. she never talks about what's bothering her or what's on her mind, but i know that something is bothering her. she like to sweep everything under the carpet and pretend that everything is fine. i don't understand this, well i do in the fact that she's in complete denial and of course this communication style makes sense to her. though, how can we make progress, how can she come to terms with this, come to understand and eventually accept this if all she wants to do is pretend everything is okay, ignore everything when she is obviously deeply bothered by it? so this is my mom and where things are at with her right now. 

peaceeee,
lucas

15 June, 2008

poem

once a young woman asked me,
"how does it feel to be a man?"
and i replied,
"my dear, i am not so sure."
then she said,
"well, aren't you a man?"
and this time i replied,
"i view gender as a beautiful
animal that people often take for
a walk on a leash and might enter
in some odd contest to try to win
strange prizes."
my dear, a better question for Hafiz
would have been,
"how does it feel to be a heart?"
for all i know is love
and i find my heart
infinite and everywhere
-Hafiz (sufi mystic, 1320 - 1389)

14 June, 2008

life

i was at a friend's house this weekend and around several people who didn't know i'm trans. i was introduced as lucas, but not sure how i passed (didn't get any funny looks or anything...). sometimes i wonder if people actually think i'm a biological male, but just look feminine. i guess it was just an interesting experience because i haven't been around a lot of people lately that don't know i'm trans.

going home next week to hand in the final round of paper work for my name change and change my other ids - ss card, driver's license, bank. changing my name on the other ids looks fairly painless and i'll finally have an id that has my REAL name on it...it's always awkward introducing yourself as one thing and then handing someone an id with another name on it and then having them give you a funny look.

talked to my sister thursday for the first time in a long time. i think she was lonely, otherwise we don't really talk. i think sometimes she just calls me because she's lonely and not necessarily because she misses me and wants to talk to me. she's moving to georgia with her boyfriend the end of the summer and sounded excited about that - had a lot to say. i briefly mentioned my name change and starting hormones and she didn't say anything, just changed the subject. i'm not surprised though with the way she's been handling everything that's been going on with myself. seems like she's handling the situation similarly to my mother, which part of me doesn't understand because she's such an open, understanding and accepting person. there's only so much i can do though and this is a process for her just as it is for myself. i can't force her to do anything - in the end she'll do what she wants to do and follow the path she wants to take.

trying to get my new website underway soon. looking forward to my next injection on tuesday.

peace,
luke

10 June, 2008

censorship

so my name change is getting published in the syracuse post standard TOMORROW!...which means it's legal....TOMORROW. now all i have to do is change my name on everything else and i am set.

i'm supposed to go to a graduation party the end of june and some family friends are going to be there who i am not out to. my friend and her mother - the people who are throwing the party - suggested that i come out the the family friends who are going to be there. i hadn't even thought of that and didn't know they were going to be there. they were/are concerned about me being comfortable there - how amazing are they? so i thought it would be considerate of me to talk to my mother about this, since she seems to be the most uncomfortable with "the gender thing"(as she likes to refer to my trans identity as). i told my mother i couldn't go to the party without coming out to our friends and that if it made her that uncomfortable that i wouldn't go to the party (however would still come out to them). she wondered if this was the right time and if it would make everyone else uncomfortable and that she would have to "think about it". i began to wonder why i had even called her in the first place because i plan on coming out to them, i guess i just wanted to give her a heads up, but she took it more like me looking for approval. she told me this was difficult for her, asked if i was sure if "it is really a gender thing"
and asked if i'm still seeing my therapist (who i think she blames in the back of her head for me continuing with my transition). i replied that it's difficult for me to continually censor myself in front of family friends, that i couldn't do it anymore and that i am coming out to our friends regardless. i didn't even bother to reply to the "is it really a gender thing" question...i don't even want to know what "it" is referring to. i told her to talk to my friend's mom about this because things are better left said than being swept under the carpet. my mom lives in stealth mode and never likes to tell anyone what's going on, not even her own sister. so i fear that she won't even talk to my friend's mom. i'm hoping to send these family friends an e-mail sooner than later so they can know what's going on with me and have time to think about things before, hopefully, i go to the party.

oh yea, today is my one-month T anniversary - yay.

peace,
lucas

06 June, 2008

finally!

just received word from the court this morning - the court approved my name change! i still have to post something in the newspaper and change my name with ALL of my other ids, but i'm on my way. i'm super excited. i'm on my way out so i will post more later.

PEACE

05 June, 2008

almost a month

i came home for a few days to see my grandma, who is visiting from pittsburgh. it's difficult to be home because there is so much censoring of my identity. my mom definitely did not want me to say anything to my grandma. i don't even know how she'd react, i'm not so sure she'd even understand. she asked me why my hair is so short and then if all the girls cut their hair short. i told her i cut it short because i like it that way. she didn't say anything else. i think i overheard my mom using male pronouns, maybe a few times, which is amazing and calling me a boy. my brother even called me his brother. progress, slowly but hopefully surely.

it's almost been a month since i've been on T, this coming tuesday will be a month (well how many weeks in a month, 4 or 5?). regardless, i will have been on T for 4 weeks this coming tuesday. so other changes i've noticed, other than the ones i've mentioned before:
-i think i'm gaining more muscle in my arms
-looks like my legs are getting hairier or the hair is getting darker
-my energy continues to increase, along with my libido
-my voice sounds different off and on
-mary claims that my ears look more "manly"
-my facial hair is growing in faster and feels more coarse

still no word on the name change, although i did only send my documents in a week ago. if i get denied again on the basis of "traditional female and male" names and evading my true identity, i'm going to find a lawyer. so we shall see.

i'm in the process of creating my own website, so i can go into further detail about my transition (pictures, voice clips, more information, resources...), stay tuned for the address.

peace,
lucas

30 May, 2008

civil liberties...

finally sent out some documents to the court about my name change. my therapist was nice enough to write a letter, my doctor wrote one (i think), but i couldn't wait any longer for it because i have a limited amount of time to respond. here's the letter i wrote:

To Whom It May Concern: 

I received a letter dated the 16th of May stating that the court was unable to conclude that the purpose of my name change is not fraudulent, deceitful or being done to evade or confuse my true identity. I would like to report to the court that I am transgendered; I was born female, but I am now identifying as male. I see this name change as an essential part of making my transition from female to male. Since I feel and have always felt male, I do not see this name change in way to be fraudulent, deceitful or being done to evade or confuse my true identity. I am currently seeing a therapist (Joyce A. Sullivan, MA, LADAC) to make my transition as smooth as possible, and a physician for hormone treatment (John H. Turco, MD). I have included a letter from my therapist to further support my name change application. If you need any more information or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me: (my phone number). 
_______
so i sent that out this morning, should be in syracuse by tomorrow, which is before the 20 day deadline. i'm not sure what will happen, but i am hoping that this is what they're looking for and i can continue forward with this process. i think if i get another denial letter, i am going to look into getting a lawyer. 

moving out this weekend and eventually into my new apartment. it'll be good to have my own place, i'm definitely feeling the need for privacy. i think having privacy will be good as i continue my transition. going home next week - not necessarily looking forward to that, but i'll get to see my grandma. my mom thought i'd already have facial hair in a month, like a beard, and was worried about me visiting with my grandma. i laughed and told her to take a look at the resources i had given her. 

peace,
luke

26 May, 2008

thanks

dudes-

just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have been helping me the past few days with trying to figure out what to do about my name change. your help and support is much appreciated. i am going to make some calls tomorrow to my endocrinologist and my therapist and see if they can write something up for me. updates to come.

peace,
lucas