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.


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.


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....


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...?


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.


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.


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...