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gymnast_sara [userpic]

True Colors Conference

March 16th, 2009 (01:57 pm)

I attended the True Colors Conference this past weekend and the experience was a bit more than I expected.  I got loads of information from the various workshops, saw a drag show, saw "Good Asian Drivers" perform an awesome concert, and most of all I got to let my hair down and wear whatever I wanted without being terrified of people staring and me or smirking or whatever.  I think seeing so many who are of the GLBT community assured me that I wasn't necessesarily the only one going through what I am now.  I know in the back of my mind that the community is huge, active, pro-active, etc... but I guess I needed to actually experience being with the community and in the community to know how I fit into it.

There is still so much fear inside, but all in all the confidence is coming and the desire to be more out is growing.

I know that I am becoming more fed up with the hiding and shying away. 

At the Conference Ball, I danced beyond my abillity and probably pushed the limits of my age, body, and metabolism, but all in all there was a great feeling in dancing with someone identified as lesbian.  Labels don't matter much to me, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, we're just having fun and it doesn't matter who we are or what we are.  If I was gay, she danced anyway.  If I was straight, she danced with me anyway.  Clearly she saw what I was wearing and how femme I was trying so hard to be, and thankfully she danced with me anyway.  Which I think is what the Conference was about- going beyond labels to just plain ol' acceptance.


gymnast_sara [userpic]

Finding My Look

February 19th, 2009 (04:33 am)
















gymnast_sara [userpic]

BEM Gender Inventory Test Results

December 16th, 2008 (09:26 pm)


I scored 56.667 masculine points
I scored 81.667 feminine points
I scored 63.333 androgynous/neutral points

So basically, when I say I am about 80% female inside, I ain't kidding myself.  I am more femme and gender neutral than masculine.
I am not surprised by these results at all.

gymnast_sara [userpic]

The Test

December 16th, 2008 (08:59 pm)


The
COMBINED GENDER IDENTITY AND TRANSSEXUALITY INVENTORY
(COGIATI)


Your COGIATI result value is: 130 Which means that you fall within the following category:
COGIATI classification FOUR, PROBABLE TRANSSEXUAL
What this means is that the Combined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Inventory has classified your internal gender identity to be essentially feminine, but with some masculine or androgynous traits. It is very possible that you are a candidate for a diagnosis of transsexualism. You show a strong degree of gender dysphoria. At the very least, further investigation should be undertaken. Your COGIATI score places you among the majority of those diagnosed as transsexuals, the 'late onset' tanssexual.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION:
Your situation is potentially serious and indicative of a probable inborn gender conflict. It is definitely recommended that you pursue further action.
The suggestions for your circumstance are several.
  1. It is recommended that you seek help from a sympathetic counselor or professional about your gender issues. It is very possible that over time they will become increasingly difficult to cope with. Early determination of what you really need and want is vital. You need to determine if you truly are transsexual. Keep in mind, thought, that many alternatives exist other than complete sexual transformation. Partial transformation and many other way of existing are available. While you are very possibly a transsexual, COGIATI has determined that this is not absolutely certain. While time is an issue, being certain is more important. Proceed with investigation of your possible transsexuality or transgenderism, but with caution.
  2. Some actions may help you to define your needs more clearly. Experimenting with living full time as a woman, taking hormones for a short time under supervision, or taking testosterone suppressers to observe how you feel are all viable options. Keep in mind that while it is very likely that you might be a transsexual, it is not certain. Do not take severe or permanent actions without long thought and the help of counselors and professionals.
  3. Your gender issues are real, and should not be ignored. Neither should you rush into acting on them, however powerful they may feel. You do not fit the full criterion for the rarest classification, classic transsexuality, and so should be cautious, and open to possibilities. You may yet end up undergoing transition, and the path of the transsexual may well be your salvation. Be very careful, but do not ignore your issues.
  4. If you have not already, consider joining any of the thousands of groups devoted to gender expression of various kinds. There is literally a world of friends to discover who share your interests. There are also publications, vacations, and activities that would expand your gender expression.

gymnast_sara [userpic]

Update

December 16th, 2008 (08:20 pm)


Well, 3 exams done, 1 more to go and so far I am feeling pretty psyched about how I did on them.  I am pretty sure my GPA will get a little boost this semester-- at least I am hoping so.

I am also looking forward to the holiday break because then I get to do a little travelling to Michigan to see my brother and to chill out.  I may also see my friend back from graduate school in the UK.  

As far as everything else is concerned, I am not all too happy with the direction the counselling is going here at Eastern.  Seems I am getting no real support from this end.  By now though, I am not surprised, just disappointed.  My own efforts to branch out and meet people in the transgender community has been mediocre and there's no candy coating it.  I have found it frustrating that I can seem to make any connections with others closeby.  I also find it frustrating that I am not secure enough to go out and meet people.  I don't know what I am afraid of, but there is that fear.  I also just know that when I do meet other MtF's, all I generally see is a man trying to be a woman... I just don't see enough female for me to let my guard down and relax.  It's the same when I look at myself in the mirror.  I don't see enough female to where I feel like I can present as such.  I can feel feminine on the inside, but the dominant male presentation is just frustrating me and totally undermining my own sense of who I am.  I see more and more disconnect between the person I see and the person I feel I am.

I recently joined some more online communities in Connecticut in hopes of making more connections and meeting people in the area.  Possibly I will find some networking opportunities and meet people with similar issues and so on.  That's about all I can do for now.

 

gymnast_sara [userpic]

The Latest News

November 17th, 2008 (01:03 am)

Alright, I know it's been a while since I poked this journal, but I figured I'd wait a while to see how things panned out.  Basically I have a new therapist/counsellor... this is my 2nd one in about a year.  She's more knowledgable, but all in all ineffectual.  Basically she is telling me that the kind of help I need is beyond the scope of what the school's counselling services can offer.  She is basically saying that I am at this stage now where I am smack in the middle of figuring myself out and deciding how/when/and to what extent I want to transition from David to Sara or some femme identity.  Even though I know it's all up to me anyway, I could have used more insight and suggestions from her-- but she claims that's more for what the community can offer rather than her.

Her only definitive advice seems to be for me to go out there and find the LGBT community and make some connections.  To my surprise, of the friends I have talked to about my situation, quite a few of them are connected to transgendered folks (some FtM's mostly, with a few MtF's).  I have yet to meet anyone yet in person, but am trying to free up some of my schedule for that.  The counsellor did recommend I try visiting the Rainbow Center at UConn and sort of circulate there if I can get transportation squared away.

Of course things have been crazy with my grandfather being in the hospital for clogged arteries and kidney issues and so on.  He's not exactly in the best of shape.  His screwed up diet and smoking have finally caught up to him I guess.


gymnast_sara [userpic]

Back From Vacation - Back on Campus

September 11th, 2008 (11:17 pm)

Back on campus from the summer of total isolation.  Imagine a world with no cable television, no phone service, and no internet.  That world was mine for 3 months.  When I got back on-campus, the school's network was in bad shape.  No telling when I will be able to use instant messenger or go web surfing in the privacy of my own room again.  It could take months someone said.

My classes look easy enough as I plan out my graduation or graduate options.  I am still gearing up to be a teacher still- only question is where will I teach and how soon.  I for one would love to teach in Japan!  I am working towards that goal as I continue to work on other goals like self-improvement and self-development.

On that topic, my therapy is not going in the directions I was anticipating and I am feeling the need for a fresh start and fresh perspective.  I need a therapist who can handle my specific needs and has real experience working with transgendered indidivuals.  I just cannot compromise on that.  I feel I have to be tough in that regard.

I am also poking around various communities and websites for more information (and online shopping for pretty tights and things).  I am trying to decide some things related to broadening my circle of friends and broaden my understanding of being transgender.  I am a little disappointed that I am feeling alone in all this and that my friends are generally backing away from me as if I had the plague.  But, I am pre-hormones, pre-surgery, and in 99% of the case pre-everything else.  I don't look femme at all.  Only on rare occaisons when I have total privacy might I "girl it up."

On the subject of privacy- I am having an internal debate or argument over the prospects of off-campus housing versus the convenience of living on-campus, close to where my classes are and everything else.  Off-campus housing may or may not be cheaper... off-campus would likely mean high cost utillities and internet service... a commute to classes in shady neighborhoods... but total privacy would be the bonus.

I figure I have to start looking for a place anyway if I am doing graduate school in a year or two. 

So much to do, and so little time it seems.

Sara

gymnast_sara [userpic]

Summer Break Coming Soon

May 9th, 2008 (02:27 am)

The likelihood of me having internet access over the summer is looking kind of slim- so if anyone reads my journal and wonders where I am, I'll be home generaly feeling even more frustrated and isolated and likely depressed.

Usually during the long 3 month break, I tend to either hunt for work, focus on my writing, or find something to do to distract me from the fact that I generally have a house to myself while my Mom is at work.

I think during the summer I will try and do as much soul searching as I can and probably write a lot of things down so I can post a big update when I get back on-campus.

Looking back, this semester has been the toughest for me.  Between dealing with some tougher than expected classes and begining to come to terms with being transgender or at least not necessarily all male like I supposedly should be... I am generally surprised I haven't flunked this semester.

In looking back, it is hard to believe that I managed to pull through these last 3 years of college with a decent 3.24 G.PA.  My lowest grade in any class so far has been a C+... and to date, I only have 2 of those.  I've earned quite a few A's in my time here and made Dean's List one Spring Semester.  It hasn't been all bad, but I know that the real challenges have yet to come.

And I think the big reason I find myself questioning my gender identity and spending time on it is because I don't want to spend any more time wondering or missing out on a life I could have.  I feel like I missed out on lots of things I would have loved and been passionate about had I been born a girl.  And its not like it is easy to just say, "well why can't you just do those things as a guy?"

Try rythmic gymnastics or artistic gymnastics as a guy... try to do the women's apparatus you really want to do as a guy... see how far that gets you.  Try getting taken seriously as a guy who wants to wear leotards, do floor excersizes, uneven bars, balance beam, and twirl ribbons and dance femininely.  Guys do gymnastics sure... but not the gymnastics I would love to participate in.  And the same goes for ballet too.  

As a guy now, I am boxed in by stereotypes, societal expectations, gender-specific limitations, etc.  I don't feel like I am free to express myself.  I feel mostly embarassed and fearful of expressing elements of msyelf more femme than masculine.  

And think about how transgender persons are generally percieved in society these days.  "He-she", "freaks", the subject of jokes and ridicule... the subject of hate and discrimination... totally rejected or shunned because somehow they don't fit into what society has defined as "normal".  And it doesn't help anything when the media feeds the public inaccurate portrayals "Jerry Springer-style" or turn things against the transgender community as if trying to be honest with yourself was a crime against humanity.

How do you think I feel sometimes waking up in the morning (or afternoon actually) only to look in the mirror and react in one of two ways:

1) I look disgusting... I hate the way I look... I'll never look or feel attractive... Why do I even bother getting up?

2) Who am I really?  Why do I feel so out of touch with who I am?

Actually there are countless reactions I have to myself and most are generally boiling down to discomfort and doubt.  When I think of myself as eventually growing old and venerable or ancient, how do I want to be seen?  If I do nothing and remain as is for the next 40 years... will I be happy with myself or hate myself for not doing enough to find the answers or become closer to my true self?

If I do anything, I want certainty... I want what I choose to do to feel as natural and seamless as possible... like an extension of my past bleeding into my present.  Some new things I do now for myself have felt like they have always been a part of me... and the more of these changes I go through, the more I wonder what else will feel more natural... what else about me has been penned up or kept so bound up and hidden?

I am hoping to do a lot of self-exploring this summer.

 

gymnast_sara [userpic]

Seeing Old Friend

April 28th, 2008 (01:58 am)

Saw my old friend that I haven't seen in about two years.  He knows I am transgender- At least I am sure he knows I have mentioned it- whether he knows what I mean and understands what I have said... well that remains to be seen.

One thing I do know is that after spending the weekend hanging out with him "Guys being guys", I guess I see some differences in myself while also fully aware that I have tendencies, quirks, habits, or whatever that just won't change no matter what gender I feel I am.

I also know that not many in my family will accept, understand, or see me in very welcoming light if I came out fully to them as a MTF transgender person.

I think my situation becomes more tense and frightening the more I think about how few people have actually offered physical support.  I may end up very much alone in my situation with little or no support system.  I think as it stands, the friends I have told have basically stepped back- being unable to grasp that regardless of gender identity, I am still very much the same person inside as I have always been.  I am still their friend and still the same person- only differences I can admit are differences in how I want to express myself.

I am more afraid of how people will view me if I transition.  I am afraid of what people will do and how hard things will be if I try to transition.  Yet, the more afraid I am, the more I gradually feel that something isn't right and something needs to be done.

So what needs to be done?  I am still in the process of finding that out.


gymnast_sara [userpic]

Thoughts of the Day

April 21st, 2008 (09:54 pm)

More and more subtly I am warming up to being a girl.  There is a lot of fear though- mostly about transitioning and how people will react if they know I am transgender or see me present myself differently than what they have grown used to.

A part of me feels almost guilty for wanting to change.  But a good part of me feels it could be a good thing to at least try some things and see how they feel.  I would think that I would know right away if something doesn't feel natural to me or not.  And I am not talking surgery or hormone therapy- I am just talking about clothes and little things like that.

I probably wouldn't be as afraid if I knew that I could pass more fully as a female than male.
If people were to already see something in me that was much more feminine than masculine, it would help.

I am definitely feeling a bit intimidated by the idea of presenting myself to men as a girl.  I am not homosexual and have no interest in men whatsoever.  If by homosexual you would say lesbian- then yes, I would be a lesbian in that sense.

I would almost feel intimidated with the idea of not being feminine enough to pass among females.  I know some people could be very petty and vicious- I would not expect it, but know it could happen from all corners.  Women size and appraise each other up all the time- I've seen it and observed it so often.  It's like a psychological game they play.  I don't want games- I just want to be who I feel I am.

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