Happy posts?

So…does anyone like to read happy posts?  Sometimes I wonder if posts about things going well and the adventures that go with it are not as interesting or read as much as the posts about the struggles of transition.  In my case, transition has been pretty straight forward so far, almost like a non-event.  That makes me wonder if I have much to offer the trans community in my posts.  I’d actually rather talk about the fun we have with our hobbies than to talk about going to the bank as Amber and being treated like any other customer, what’s so interesting about that?  Nobody ever shows up with torches and pitchforks, it’s a non event, even going to Home Depot as Amber and dealing with a cashier that has known the old guy for 15 years was a non-event, no reaction at all, just normal customer service.  Nothing to see here folks, just life happening.  Does anybody really want to hear about stuff like that?

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“Being Male”

This is something I wrote in my personal blog, and I just thought I would share it here as well. It is a reflection on how I felt about my life as a “male” and how I experienced that life.

The concept of life as a male, that life before transition and even during transition, has been on my mind lately. I have been considering what it must be like to actually fully experience ones gender, rather than to exist within in the social construct of one’s gender in order to survive.  I think back to my childhood and my young adult years, and I realize that there was so much of life that I was never fully able to enjoy and experience.

There were periods of time, some of them fairly long, where I was able to suppress my dysphoria, but even in those times, I still never fully experienced life as a male. Instead I lived with a constant uncomfortable feeling about what I was expected to do, the things that were going on around me, and even the things that I was doing. I went through the motions, living life the way others wanted me to live it. Never really fully engaging myself in life, unable to fully engage. Instead I was left to look at what was going on around me with the constant feeling that I was an unwilling participant, looking from the outside in, looking in at a life that was not mine, one that I did not fully understand.

Yet, I was able to build a successful life, but the joys of my successes were often shrouded by that constant uncomfortable feeling. The feeling that something was not right. There were periods of time where I acknowledged what it was, I acknowledged my feminine self, but hid it away. Afraid to express my true inner feelings, I hid inside this “male shell” and continued to play by the rules that were set for me, the rules that were set by the gender I was assigned at birth because of the physical appearance of my body. Rules that ignored the relevance of my mind, my spirit, my true self. Even though awareness came around the age of 5, I am sure that it was not something that arose only at that age. Memories before that time are few. I think in many regards I attribute not knowing before this time to not remembering a lot of life before that age.

How does one experience life when they feel so disconnected from it? That is the question that has been on my mind so much. How did I experience life when I was young, fighting the knowledge that my body did not match my mind, fighting the urge to express my desire to break out of the mold that I was expected to fit into. I think about it now more than ever, the desire to break the mold, and all the while the fear that arises with the idea of being found out. I continue to laugh at the male jokes and partially entertain the “male” conversations, all the while thinking that I would not be a part of these conversations if I were presenting as a women. I stand there thinking that, then, I would be spared the low brow humor, the constant testosterone driven conversations, the things that men talk about when they think there are no women around. Sometimes it makes me feel like a spy, like I am a woman disguised as a male infiltrating male culture and observing male rituals.

The reality of it is that I am a woman masquerading as a male, only this is not by choice. I was born with the body, and until my transition is complete I must live with it. I will continue to be the spy, observing, and not totally understanding. If anything, that lack of understanding is what often made life difficult. I never understood why guys do the things that they do, why they behave the way that they do, why they say the things that they say. If someone were to ask me what it is like to be a guy, I would honestly say that after 34 years of living in the male world, I don’t know and I don’t really understand it.

What I do understand is what it is like to feel trapped within a social construct that does not fit with who you truly are in the inside. I look forward to the day when I can live fully as myself, and interact with the world as the woman that I am. I look forward to the day when I no longer have to feel like I am putting on my disguise and venturing out into the male world for more field observations. I can then get out of the spy business, and get on with the business of being me.

There are times when I wonder what it is like to experience life with without feeling this disconnect. I look at men walking down the street, in the store, or out at the park, and I wonder what it is like for them to interact with the world feeling like a man on the inside and being one on the outside. I look at women, and wonder what it is like to have your outside match your inside, to not just be a woman in your mind and soul, but in your body as well. I guess you could say that at times I feel envy for those living in the cisgender world, those who have never had to question their gender, those who have always been able to pursue their passions knowing who they are.

This journey, for me, is not just about aligning my physical body with my mind and soul, but about being able to not have to pretend any more. To be able to finally live life and interact with the world as the woman that I am. I know that transition is not a cure all, and I will, more likely than not, be out about my being trans and probably be an activist, but at least I will finally experience what it is like to look in the mirror and see the woman I am reflected back to me.

iPhone: It Brought Out The Muse, & Me

I like to stare out windows for hours at a time – I always have ever since I was a young child.

Here at my door is where I find inspiration looking at the same things I have many times before. The scene never fails to inspire me as it first did when I looked out, many years ago.

I use to muse for hours in the mirror at night too – trying to see the reflection of “something”. I never understood this and other day dream fascinations.

After many years, I finally understand what I have been looking for…

… a way home.

Yesterday when I took the photo above with my iPhone, I was thinking back to when I use to stand here at this door, and wish that I were a girl – Now, I am.

As of May 21st 2008, I became a fully Post-Operative, fully functional “woman” when I completed my Genital Reassignment Surgery with Dr. Suporn in Chonburi Thailand.

That’s right, I am a Transsexual. I was also born with a Chromosomal variation condition called Klinefelter’s Syndrome or (KS), aka: 47 XXY male.

There are many variations of Klinefelter’s Syndrome.
My KS variant is: “47 XXY Mosaic.

My Room – 2 Months Post-Op

On the surface, this picture may not be special, but it really speaks a lot about where I am at right now, being 2 Months Post-op from FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) that I under went from Dr. Suporn in Chonburi Thailand.

Here, I sit at my PC at night – Blogging, chatting or emailing online to friends, etc… anything to pass the time. It gets hard to sleep some nights. There is a lot of tightness in the scalp and temples. My head really itches everywhere, especially where they grafted in new hair (See photo notes).

This is my room – at least the clean part I am going to let any of you see right now. {giggles}

(Photo Above) Behind me is a long cork board filled with mementos from friends and people touched by my efforts from PinkEssence and my Blogs online. Thanks everyone who took the time – you’ve touched my life too. *sigh*
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I told the boss!

Hi all,

Today, I told my boss that I have Gender Identity Disorder.  It was kinda scary, but I needed to do it sooner or later, and the right opportunity came up.  I had a laser treatment on Monday and I think the doctor used a bit too much power.  My face and neck has big blochy spots on it and a couple of places blistered a bit.  Anyway, he asked me what happened to my face and I told him “this is what happens when the doctor uses a bit too much power on the laser”  “Laser?  What’s the laser for?” he asked.  I said “facial hair removal, I’m having all my facial hair removed.”  We went on to discuss the service calls for tomorrow and I was thinking, “you dummy, it’s the perfect time to tell him!”, so I went into his office and sat down and proceded to tell him about my GID.  He asked me a few simple questions and I gave him basic answers, no sense in complicating it at this point.  I told him that I hoped this wouldn’t affect my job because I like the job.   He said that he didn’t have a problem with it, he likes the work I do for him.  So, we’ll see how the summer goes now that he’s aware of this aspect of me.  It’s one thing for him to know what’s going on, it’s another thing to see it developing.  I’m hoping that by taking it slow, they’ll be more accepting of me as things change.

Amber

Happiness

Ok, so I have finally decided that the time was right for me to step up and say something here.  

Why are so many of us so afraid to feel happy?  It is guilt?  Is it that nagging feeling that everything is in the process of falling, or about to fall apart?  Do we worry so much about everyone else that we lose sight of ourselves through all of this?

Yes, transition is a stressful and often painful thing.  But why do we do it?  To be ourselves of course, but also to find personal happiness.  I find that far too often we spend the majority of our time talking about the negatives of transition and how bad things are either for ourselves or the others around us.  I’m not discounting the fact that many people lose everything to this, but in the end are we not happier than when we began?  And if not, why?

I can truly say that before transition I did not know what happiness really was.  I may have thought I did, but I really didn’t.  If I recall all of the times I thought I was happy, none of them hold a candle to how I feel now.  Now before I go on I should probably mention a few things for those who don’t know.  I’m 33 years old, MTF, been transitioning since September 2007, and have been on HRT for 7 weeks.

In the last week or so I have begun to see the world in a different way, and begun to thing differently about things.  Difficult to articulate all that I feel right now, but the overriding thing has been the tremendous amount of joy and happiness I am feeling.  Granted I have been much happier than ever before since beginning transition, but the last little while has been completely off the scale.  

It feels like living inside joy.  As if joy itself were something tangible that you could just reach out and grab!  I have my share of challenges and difficulties through all of this, but I am so happy with my life now that is doesn’t get me down for very long anymore.  I see my future, and its very bright.

People have often accused me of seeing things in an overly positive light.  To that I say, “Why not?”  Keeping a positive attitude about things has truly saved my life.  I wake up everyday and tell myself how amazing it is to be alive, and how great the day is going to be.  And you know what?  It usually is.

Take today for example.  I was standing in the flower section of my local supermarket looking for fresh flowers for my Mom when I was approached by a very nice man who, to make a long story short, told me I was beautiful and asked if I would be interested in grabbing a coffee with him at the cafe in the store.  Now even though I turned him down, it made my whole day to get that kind of attention!  It let me know that I really have arrived and my path is the right one.

So I say take the time to feel the happiness and joy that transition brings to you.  After suffering through all the dark years that we do, I think we deserve to let ourselves be happy.  Don’t let the fear and guilt stop you.  Life is too short for that.  Don’t you agree?