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I’m clearly upset!

Hi Everyone,
This one may be short, we’ll see what happens. The other day I was reading someone’s blog (I’m really sorry I forgot where I originally saw this. If anyone knows, please give credit where credit is due.) and was guided to the following link: Intersex Infant surgical abuse. PLEASE watch the video.

It is a sad and aggravating story about a woman that adopted a baby that turned out to be intersex. Not that big of a deal on the surface right. Well not quite so fast. The doctor wanted to do invasive surgery to “FIX” the child and the mother told the doctor not to do any surgery at all. Later, after the mother had taken the baby home, the doctor called her and told her that the baby’s single testicle may become cancerous and they should do a biopsy to make sure. The doctor CLEARLY went against the mother’s wishes and removed the testicle trying to turn the child into a girl. UGGGGGGGG. PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO. I feel that it is very important that everyone watches the video and if you can please pass it on to others.
Why is it so important? Have you heard of Alice Dreger? To quote TSRoadmap, “Dreger is the J. Michael Bailey of the intersex community: someone whose trade is writing and speaking about controversies surrounding marginalized populations.” Read this and maybe you’ll understand. Anyways, its people like this that give make this world so difficult for the intersex and transgender communities. Ugggg. I also believe its attitudes like this “I know better than you” that give doctors like the one in the story above the attidude that they can do anything they want. What do you think?
I said I would keep it short, so I’ll say good night for now. Thanks for listening.
Michelle

Stillettos and Sneakers – Haggard and God

alexandra_59-websizeThe amazing transgender actress Alexandra Billings is an even more amazing writer, in my opinion. She presents her opinion in ways that can really make you see complex issues much more clearly and succinctly. I’ve been following her Livejournal for some time now.

Today I noticed Alex had posted about Ted Haggard’s appearance on the Oprah Show. I like the way she doesn’t take the “He’s just a hypocrite” stance that so many other LGBTQ bloggers have. I like the way she can understand why he says the things he does. I like the way that she clearly makes the point that Haggard and his family could resolve the situation without losing their faith – that it’s the rules of their particular religion that prevents them from doing so right now.

And most of all, I like her last four paragraphs which demonstrate an insight that I’ve not seen expressed anywhere else. Anyone in a relationship in which one partner realizes their sexual or gender identity differs from the one they originally presented to their partner can learn from this, especially if they also have a strong religious faith.

As I commented on the post, the sad thing is that neither Haggard nor his wife are likely to ever read Alexandra’s words.

Remembering Jennifer Gale

Cross-posted from my personal blog:

I know I haven’t written in a while. Life seems to have gotten really busy as of late. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, in fact I imagine the next week or so will probably result in a flurry of posts as I get out thoughts on things I have been experiencing, and I work on my end of year post.

Right now, I want to, I need to, take a moment to talk about Jennifer Gale. For many of you, this may not be a name you recognize. I did not know her name until last week when word of her passing was announced. Who was Jennifer Gale? She was a transgender woman who was a local figure here in Austin. She ran for several different offices in here in Austin and Texas, such as Mayor of Austin, Austin School Board, Mayor of Dallas, and numerous other positions. It seems that any ballot in Austin was not complete without her. She spoke frequently before boards and commissions here in Austin. While others said,”Keep Austin Weird,” She said,”Keep Austin, Austin.” She understood that what made Austin unique and special was worth preserving and fighting for. She was a Marine, and she was homeless. Continue reading

New regulations that could affect transgender people badly.

Hi Everyone,

I have a few very important things (I feel they are at least) to discuss. I would like to bring to your attention of a few new regulations that have been put forth that could have some very disturbing realities for transgender people (Heck, the whole LGBT community for that matter).  I’m on the mailing list of the National Center for Transgender Equality news and this week they sent out two emails alerting me of some new regulations that affect us.  (Both emails are currently available on NCTE’s news page.)  Here’s the first one: Continue reading

A Son’s Perspective

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know that follow my blogs, I’ve talked about the support I’ve had from my kids and wife on my transition. Well, a while back I had asked my son if he would mind writing something from his own perspective on the news of me being transgender. He told me that he would not have a problem at all doing that. I explained that there are many views on this topic and I would like to share his view. So without me getting long winded I hand over the podium to my son Ryan. Continue reading

Who I Am and Why I Do What I Do

I have participated in the Arizona Transgender Alliance (AZTA) since its inception. Like any organization, it has struggled to define itself and its purposes in a way that unites, rather than divides, us. Nonetheless, it continues because people see a need to join together. One of AZTA’s current projects is to produce a calendar with photos and biographies of trans women and men to help educate the public about who we are. I volunteered to participate and wanted to share here the biography I submitted because I think it expresses some of the most important aspects of my transition and who I am today. This is what I said: Continue reading

Standing on the outside looking in ~ a TDoR post

It’s been suggested to me that this would be an appropriate post to cross-post from my blog. For those unfamiliar with great Australian rock bands, the title is a Cold Chisel lyric.

Somehow I let this slip by (TD0R is Nov 20) despite the fact that I read some related posts from other bloggers. Given how much I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon (transgender or GID) this year, I wanted to acknowledge the day. This year I think that some people who are transgender have taught me one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned. And it’s going to sound ridiculously simple in my head as I type it, but here goes: We don’t need to understand something to accept it. Continue reading

intervention and gender

On one episode of the Tyra Banks show they discussed public intervention in situations of need. One section of the show dealt with the different attitudes shown towards couples of various gender combinations. Couples (male and female here refer to their presentation) – one male/female, one male/male and one female/female – staged an argument where one partner was clearly more powerful and more threatening than the other.  The results indicated that:

The male/male couple were largely left alone. The conclusion many came to was that a guy can look after himself and that a domestic violence situation between them was basically a victimless crime. This was in spite of the fact that one man was significantly more burly and threatening than the other. No-one intervened.

The female/female couple was treated like a sideshow and many passersby found the angry and violent exchange (threats/pushing) funny.  The conclusion reached after the comments were analysed was that this reaction had something to do with lesbian couples being sexually objectified and therefore seen as less a real couple. It also may have had to do a with a perception that a woman would not really harm another woman (something that statistics show to be untrue). Again, no-one intervened.

The male/female couple attracted the most attention from passersby. This was the only scenario where someone (a NYC firefighter) stopped and clearly told the male that he had to stop what he was doing immediately. However, when a few police cars arrived on the scene it became clear that others had called 911 after seeing the exchange.

I’m curious to know the opinion of transgender people on this issue. You may have had the opportunity to see both sides of this scenario, particularly in terms of the expectations of other people on you, depending on whether you were presenting as male or female. Did (or do) you see a shift in how you are perceived in terms of your power and whether or not you need to be defended or aided? Did your expectation of assistance or support from others (particularly in situations of conflict) change when you transitioned?

What the heck are we doing?

Hi Everyone,

This week has been an up and down week for me. It seems even with history being made in the election of a new President, which I thought would bring more hope to a lot of the nation (except for the ones who voted for McCain of course). It seems to have also started more divisiveness within the LGBT community (at least within the blogging world), which is sad. I’ve never really been the one to like to talk much about politics because it always brings out the worst in some people (which is another sad fact). I recently came across a few blogs on The Bilerico Project which seem to want to blame the blacks for losing to the Prop 8 proponents. Well, I myself will not go there. I’ve seen numbers that suggest that the blame is not on the black community itself, as many are suggesting. I’m sure that the proponents of Prop 8 are sitting around laughing at us as our community begins this infighting, which I’m sure they hope will tear us apart. I do not want that to happen as the right to marry should be for anyone of age.

Cindy Rizzo, a guest blogger, made what I thought were legitimate suggestions to get our rights back in California, Arizona and any other state that gets attacked by such crap. Here is my response to her blog and the comments she received:

Hi Cindy,
I’m a transsexual who recently found this blog. I’m also currently married to an Asian woman who has given me her support for my transition. This support did not come easy, but with time and a lot of discussion between us we have come a long way. You may say why is any of this relevant. She comes from a very strong Catholic background and without taking the time I did (almost 10 years, mind you, not every day) to educate her on my plight I don’t think I would have gotten her support. If I would have taken the route as some here are suggesting, “In your face, you will do what I say or else,” I’m sure I would not gotten anywhere with her. It seems some here want to force their view of the naysayers. How is that any better than what the political supporters of Prop 8 did and are doing? If we want to build more support for equal rights for all, then we need to better educate the public. It will be a hard fight, because the religious organizations do have a strong foothold in many of the communities that we need support from. Am I upset, YES I am. But to me, just sitting here blaming the Blacks, Latinos or any other group without even trying to have a intelligent dialog, I assure you will not get us anywhere. Education will be the key to our success and I believe Cindy has some valid points. We do have to strengthen our support with our allies and try to build up dialog between the ones that are opposed. If we can’t do at least that, I’m almost positive that we will not ever see any positive change for the future and it could even get worse by other states overturning the right to marry. I have a stake in this too as a transwoman; when I change the sex on my legal documents, they could have easily take away my right to stay married to my wife or any other woman. People, let’s join together and at least start taking a look at what didn’t work this time and correct those issues and do some proper education. Thank you all for your time.

I’ll take it even further. Sometimes people have to meet in the middle – now I didn’t see any of the ads supporting Prop 8 (I live in NY), but I’m sure not everything was true in their ads. What I mean by meeting in the middle is that we push for the right to marry, but not try and force a religious organization to do the ceremonies unless they support the right for the LGBT communities to marry who they like. There are other places to get married than a church, such as the courthouse, etc. The right to marry should be a fundamental right to all and not a select few, so I would not bend on that one, but I’m sure you see what I’m talking about.

Will we ever see the rights returned (especially after they seemed to be stolen from the people of California)?  I hope so. There are some blogs I’ve seen that suggest that they can be overturned because they are not constitutional. I really hope that they are overturned, because I really feel we have been burned by the religious right and many other organizations that supported Prop 8.

As I said in my reply to the original blog, I really feel that more education in the Black, Latino, Asian – hell in every community – is really needed. Things are better than they were 20 years ago, but they can get a lot better. If we continue to only attack the naysayers and not approach them with intelligence and dignity, what do you expect to get back? The same attacks and that will not get us anywhere. I hope we do have a better future with Obama for everyone.

Hugs, Michelle Lee

Sex drive and transition

Hello to all the fine readers out there!

My question today is about sex drive and transition.  For those of you taking HRT, how does transition affect your sex drive?  I have to wonder if your existing sex drive before transition has very much to do with how it reacts to the change in hormone balance, from testosterone to estrogen for the MTFs, or from estrogen to testosterone for the FTMs .

My personal story starts with a fairly low sex drive from before I started HRT.  I wasn’t really too much into sex, although I did have my urges, just not nearly enough for my ex!  🙂   I don’t know, maybe my age and the depression were contributing factors to the lack of sex drive.  Anyway, after about 3 months or so on spiro, I really had a serious loss of sex drive, coupled with a lack of erectile function.  At this point, a year and three quarters into HRT, I have zero sex drive.   About 6-7 months ago, I noticed an increase in my sex drive and guessed that my T level was increasing.  A blood test showed that I was right, my level had gone back up to about 550 at that point and I had to change my dosage levels to bring it back down.  I’m guessing that the T level is back down because, as I said, I have zero sex drive at this point.   To be honest, I don’t miss it.  For me, it was distracting and uncontrollable.  I’m much more comfortable with myself now, although, if I was ever able to get GRS, I’d want to know what sex would feel like from the other perspective.

So, if you care to discuss it, what is your perspective on the subject of sex drive and transition?