29 September, 2009

product reviews

since having top surgery, i've used three products that i really like and seem to work very well, so i thought i'd spread the wealth...

-palmers skin therapy oil (with cocoa butter and vitamin e): i found this at target, but had a hard time finding it at any grocery store or drug store. it can be found and purchased online for about $10. i used this all over my chest as both a product to combat my scars and as a massage oil on other areas of my chest. i used this only after my initial surgery for about 4 months - i applied it about 5 times a week and massaged my chest for about 1 hour each time. i used this product in conjunction with scarzone cream, so i cannot necessarily attest to its effectiveness on scars, however as a massage oil it was stellar.

-scarzone cream (with green tea): i also found this product at target, but it can be found at most grocery and drug stores. it can also be found and purchased online for less than $10. i've used this (in conjunction with the palmers skin therapy oil) after both my initial and revision surgeries. i mainly apply this product once a day solely to my scars when i get out of the shower. compared to maderma scar cream, scarzone works way better. it has sunscreen (spf 15) in it which is important for scars healing properly, especially if you're going to be out in the sun. my scars are pretty minimal, so this product definitely gets my approval.

-scargo scar massage skin lotion: i found this at the natural foods store, but i haven't seen it any place else. it can also be found and purchased online for about $10. i've recently purchased this after my revision surgery and have been using it for the past month. i use this about 4-5 times a week and apply it to my scars and massage my chest/scars for about an hour each time. one particular aspect i like about this product is that it has all natural ingredients. i've been using this on my scars and as a massage oil and so far i have nothing to complain about. while my revision surgery wasn't as significant as my initial surgery, i have been healing very nicely.

has anyone else used these products? what are you thoughts on these if you used them? does anyone have any other products to recommend?


19 September, 2009

anxiety and frustration

this week was my first week of orientation and training for my service with americorps. all in all the week went well and i'm feeling good about my placement. i was however fairly anxious most of the week with meeting tons of new people. while i know that i am perceived as male now (i cannot remember the last time i was mistaken for a female), i am perceived as a very young looking male, probably a young teenager. being seen as a young teenager has been extremely frustrating the past few months and i'm sure will continue to be. in one of my placement interviews for americorps one of the interviewers told me that i looked like a 12 year-old. while the interviewer did try to say it in a light, joking manner, i didn't really appreciate this. i KNOW that i look like a 12 year-old and honestly it really stinks. it is especially a downer when i'm in groups of people who are around my actual age, like this past week, and people just won't take me seriously, listen to me or even acknowledge me. it's difficult to constantly be fighting against others' perceptions of you and to have to again and again establish yourself as an equal, or just someone that deserves respect.

i feel that if my facial hair were farther along, i might not necessarily have this problem. i know there are older men who probably have about as much facial hair as i do, but the other men i'm working with this year have beards and visible stubble. i'm trying my best to be patient and know that in time i too will have facial hair, even possibly a beard. right now i just have to take life as comes and know that eventually my time will come.


08 September, 2009


i visited my folks over the long weekend. they had both been asking me for a while to come home to see them since i hadn't really spent time with them since march. i was hesitant at first since my relationship with both of them has dwindled, but thought that a visit might be exactly what was needed. overall the visit was fine and it was good to see them. my grandma was visiting as well and spending time with her is always a plus. grandma got my name right 100% of the time, which is better than my parents and pronouns about 50% of the time, which is just as good as my parents - major props to grams.

i was outside one day while home, getting something from my trunk when two neighbors came walking down the street. i recognized them straight away - they have children around the same ages as my siblings and myself and we all attended school together. i wasn't sure if they recognized me, but the woman said hi to me and when i turned around she said: "oh i thought you were nate [my brother]". my heart was pounding out of my chest! my head was full of questions - what if they recognize me? what if they call me by my old name? do i respond to my old name? do i come out to them? and on and on...i had no idea what to say, so i smiled and simply said "no" and they continued on their walk. i have no idea who they think i am and am curious to know what they were thinking. i was thinking about it later and thought that an amusing response would have been: "i'm nate's long lost twin brother!" i wonder what type of response that would have sparked...?!

does anyone have any similar stories of seeing people you haven't seen since transitioning?


06 September, 2009


for those of you living in the north east (usa) here are two conferences coming up this fall:

translating identities conference

saturday, october 24
university of vermont, burlington, vermont

transcending boundaries conference

friday, november 20 - sunday, november 22
dcu center, worcester, massachusetts


03 September, 2009

the evolution of little lefty - the nipple that could (warning - post contains gross images!)

initial surgery date: november 4, 2008
revision surgery date: august 4, 2009

9 days post-operative from initial surgery

2 weeks post-operative from initial surgery

3 weeks post-operative from initial surgery

5 weeks post-operative from initial surgery

8 weeks post-operative from initial surgery

12 weeks post-operative from initial surgery

5 months post-operative from initial surgery

8 months post-operative from initial surgery

1 week post-operative revision

2 weeks post-operative revision

1 month post-operative revision

02 September, 2009

pre-transition anger

a good buddy of mine and i were talking the other day about how angry we both were before beginning our transitions. i thought it might be an interesting subject to post about.

i was a very angry and unhappy person during my high school and college years. i was dissatisfied with my life, how i felt and the circumstances i had been presented with. i felt trapped and unable to help myself and thus my anger. i held onto my anger as if it was my key to freedom - i refused to see how damaging it was. when i would get angry, it would burn in my chest, and i could stay angry for hours. it would ruin my days - often times once i was angry, i had a very difficult time calming down. i would punch walls, hurting myself and sometimes i was even verbally abusive towards those around me.

looking back now at my anger, it is hard to believe how angry i used to be. fortunately, as i was able to come to terms with my trans identity, my anger slowly subsided. and now, i very rarely become angry. i am a generally happy, calm, and easy-going person and feel so fortunate to have been afforded the opportunities i've been afforded the past two years in order to begin my transition and embrace my true gender identity.

anyone else have any experiences around anger they'd like to share?