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. 


26 May, 2008



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.


23 May, 2008


i've been on T for 10 days so far - here are some changes i've noticed:
-more energy (not sure if it's from adrenaline from being so excited about starting)
-urine smells different
-voice sounded different very briefly one day
-i feel "different", don't really know how, but it's positive 
-increased sex drive (!)

*name change update*

i received a letter in the mail today from the judge:

i am in receipt of and have reviewed your application to change your name. according to new york state law, you have a right to assume any name that you choose so long as you are not doing so for fraudulent or deceitful purposes, to evade responsibility, to avoid an obligation, or to interfere with the rights of others.

upon reviewing your application, it is apparent that you are trying to change your name from a traditionally female name ("nicole") to a traditionally male name ("lucas"). the application before me provides no reason for the change and thus, i am unable to conclude that your purpose is not fraudulent, deceitful or being done to evade or confuse your true identity. it is your burden of proof to convince me otherwise.

if you wish to submit any additional information to me in support of your application, please do so within the next twenty (20) days or your application shall be deemed denied.


i am angry. this is a clear case of discrimination and a conservation judge. i've been scrambling around this afternoon, e-mailing, calling, trying to figure out what to do. if i wish to send something "in support of my application" i need to do so by this tuesday. anyone have any ideas?


20 May, 2008


it's felt like a century between this tuesday and last tuesday. i'll be giving myself my second injection of testosterone tomorrow - really looking forward it. i'm going to try to record it visually on my computer and post it on the blog. 

i told my parents yesterday about me starting t. i was worried at first because i really only said anything to my mom a while back about seeing an endocrinologist. my dad was cool with it, didn't say much - just asked how i was paying for it (insurance!) and what changes would happen. my mom didn't sound too pleased, she's definitely having a rough time. she asked a lot of questions about what would happen once on t. she was concerned that i'd look completely different in 2 weeks when i'm supposed to see my grandma. but then she said something cool: "is this something you're happy about?" of course i replied yes and i think she was a little relieved. though she ended the conversation with "are you sure you know what you're doing...?" she's taking baby steps, but i know she'll come around. i'm really glad i told them because it was hanging over my head. i didn't want to be on t for a while and then let me know (after changes have really occurred). i want to be open about this process with them.

today i gave a "trans 101" presentation for my colleagues here at SIT. i sent out an e-mail asking if people were interested and a lot of people replied. i decided it was important to do it because there is so much unknown about the trans community by "outsiders". the overall goals of my presentation was for the participants to gain awareness on the trans community and have resources available to them (i made a hand out). i think about 45 people showed up - i was so surprised - i really didn't expect that many people. i covered a little bit of everything- terms, nurture vs. nature, transitioning, complexities, etiquette and how to be an ally. everyone seemed to be really responsive and enthusiastic about learning. i hope everyone was able to take away something. 


14 May, 2008

happy birThday to me!

yesterday went so smoothly- more so than i ever expected. the staff at the hospital were amazing, really kind and definitely didn't fit the stereotype of someone who works in the medical system these days (cranky, impatient...). so keep this short and sweet, i received my first shot of T yesterday! actually the nurse showed me how to do it and i gave myself my first shot and will now be doing my own injections once a week on tuesdays....testosterone tuesdays. it's hard to believe that this actually happened - i've been reading about it for so long, this process was merely words on a page, but now it's my reality. as matt kailey (author of "just add hormones) wrote in so many words: "trans people transition to LIVE." i am only now at 23 beginning my real life. i am beaming with energy, with smiles, with life. 

i will write more later about my day yesterday, maybe add some pictures. 

for now, peace,

11 May, 2008


i spoke to my father this weekend, who has been fairly quiet, but supportive, about my trans identity. we talked for a while about the npr segments, which he found really interesting. at one point he called me "girl" so i asked him not to call me that and he apologized. he said that it's going to take him a while to change pronouns and names, but he's on his way. i said that i understood that it was a process for him, just as it is for me. it made me happy to hear him bring this up because he's been so quiet about everything.

i also spoke to my brother today and he called me lucas. i was surprised because i really haven't spoken to him much about anything, but he said i have his support. i guess it's calming to get support from a family member who hasn't given me any resistance to me being trans. 

and tuesday is my appointment with the endocrinologist. my good friend martha is going with me and i'm glad she's coming along - extra support. i'm not exactly sure what will happen, but i want to be prepared for the worst case scenario. i'm thinking the worst thing that will happen is that the appointment with the endo will be really expensive and my insurance won't pay for it and that the doctor won't let me start t. i just don't want to go holding high expectations and then be shot down. so updates to come after tuesday!


09 May, 2008

npr part 2

part two from yesterday's segment:

the dad and the doctor in this segment are simply amazing.


08 May, 2008


dudes- heard this on npr today.

i have a great response to it, just have to figure out how to copy it into the body of the post.


07 May, 2008


good people! please leave comments on my blog, i'm interested in hearing your thoughts, whatever they may be, they will be appreciated. 


06 May, 2008

holy vitamin T aka testosterone

in light of me beginning hormones soon (hopefully), i thought i would post something about the effects of testosterone and other imperative information.

changes T therapy will bring:
-thickening of vocal chords and deepening of the voice
-facial hair growth
-increased body hair growth (notably on arms, legs, chest, belly and back)
-increased body masculature
-enlargement of the clitoris
-cessation of periods
-potential hair loss at the temples and crown of head, resulting in a more masculine hairline; possibly male-pattern baldness
-migration of body fat to a more masculine pattern (fat moving from hips, thighs, butt to the abdomen area)
-increased activity of the skin's oil glands (i.e. skin becomes oily which results in acne)
-increase in red blood cells
-change in cholesterol levels ma occur - the "good" cholesterol (HDL) may go down and the "bad" cholesterol (LDL) may go up
-change in scent of body odors and urine 
-skin may become rougher in feeling and/or appearance
-increase in sex drive

other changes reported by transmen:
-the face may become more angular in appearance, with a squarer jaw
-increase in size of feet and/or width/thickness of hands
-increase in energy level
-increase in appetite
-slight decrease in density of fatty breast tissue
-emotional changes: some report shortness of temper or feeling lethargic/down at different stages in their T cycle, others report feeling more even-tempered and calm

other facts:
-most transmen remain on a maintenance level of T for their whole lives, even after they have gone through significant masculinization - these reasons are both health and emotionally related. if your ovaries are still present and functional, the cessation of T may cause the return of certain feminine body characteristics . if your ovaries have been removed or are no longer functional, a body will not be able to produce a "normal" amount of either estrogen or testosterone by itself. also transmen feel more emotionally balanced and at home in their bodies with a maintenance level of T.

-permanent effects of T (if T therapy is stopped): voice (will stay at the pitch level that is has reached at the point T therapy is stopped), facial/body hair (large quantities of facial hair will not grow, growth will continue though. hair may change in texture and growth rate depending on whether or not ovaries are active), clitoris growth (stay at length/thickness it has grown), muscle/fat changes (will revert back to more female patterns if the ovaries are still present and active, but if the person is thin a return to female patterns won't be dramatic), hair loss (varies on the individual),  menstrual cycle (if ovaries are still working, periods will return), skin oils and acne (may lessen), body scent (may change), sex drive (may decrease), red blood cell count and cholesterol levels (may revert to levels that are closer to the prior T levels, also depends on present/functioning ovaries).

-potential side effects of T: increased red blood cell count (may indicate congenital heart disease, polycythemia, or kidney disease), increased hemoglobin (may indicate congenital heart disease, polycythemia or increased red blood cell formation), increased hematocrit (may indicate dehydration, erythrocytosis, or polycythemia), elevated liver levels and potential liver conditions, suppression of clotting factors, elevated lipid profile/high cholesterol, high blood pressure, edema (abnormal buildup of fluid in ankles, feet and legs), acne, seborrhea (skin condition), other miscellaneous side effects include: nausea, headache, anxiety, depression and paresthesia (abnormal burning or prickling sensation generally felt in hands, arms, legs or feet). 

myths and misconceptions about testosterone:
1: taking testosterone will make trans men uncontrollably angry and volatile, or cause "roid rage": this is the most common myth about ftms (female to males) who take testosterone, however there is no compelling evidence to support such a generalization. while some transmen report feeling shorter tempered or irritable, others report that they feel calmer and more even-tempered. 

2: taking testosterone will give you cancer: there is no solid proof one way or another as to the increased risk of cancer in ftm transsexuals taking T. ftm transsexuals as a population have not been studies in a large enough sample size and over enough time to determine the long-term risks of cancer associated with testosterone  use.

3: taking testosterone will make you grow taller: unless you begin T while still in your pubescent years, it will not make you grow significantly taller. bone growth stops near the end of puberty.

4: taking testosterone will make your breasts shrink away completely: T will cause a redistribution of body fat and a decrease in fatty tissue around the breast area, though unless he is small-chested to begin with, this decrease will not be significant enough to make his chest appear male. 

5: if you stop taking testosterone after chest surgery, your breasts will grow back: when a surgeon removes tissue in an ftm chest reconstruction surgery, the surgeon removes glandular/fibrous tissues as well as excess fatty tissue. once a glandular/ductal tissue has been surgically removed from the body, it is gone and cannot grow back. 

6: taking testosterone will make you gay: some transmen find that their sexual feelings and attractions shift after taking testosterone, while others may not. there is no specific correlation between taking testosterone and becoming gay.

7: if someone takes huge doses of testosterone, he will transition faster than at an "average" dose: during the first months of T therapy, transmen may feel impatient waiting for masculinizing changes to happen. dramatically increasing your dose might have the effect of slowing your changes. excess T in your body can be converted into estrogen. 

8: taking testosterone will make you fat: in short no. 

information brought to you by: http://www.ftmguide.org
so hopefully this information is helpful. questions? let me know!


01 May, 2008


so i decided not to wait to hear back from the court about my name change and just wrote something up to send in. here it is: 

Attn: John G. Stone
Supreme Court Chambers
401 Montgomery St., Room 411
Syracuse, NY 13202

May 1, 2008

Re: Name Change Application
Index No. --------
RJI No. ----------

To Whom It May Concern: 

I received a letter on the 15th of April stating that I had the following missing information from my name change application: notification if I am or have been married, notification if I have any children, and a copy of my driver's license. I looked through my personal copies of the petition and order of a name change and could not find any place on these documents to indicate this information. I would like to report to the court that I am not and have never been married, and I do not have any children. You will also find a copy of my driver's license to add to my name change application. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: phone number. 

so, hopefully this will get the job done and things can get rolling on the name change. 

as a side note - is there anything feminine about the name Lucas? a professor referred to me today with this name and then proceed to use female pronouns...i thought a less ambiguous name would help with the pronouns.