Six Months on HRT!

Six months! Wow, how time files!

This month brought a really harsh reality check. Last week I was in Boston, MA on business. I was there from Monday until Friday. I don’t think I passed once while I was there… this is a very sharp contrast from in California.

I am sure that part of the problem was the weather. It was so humid (85-90% humidity), that I had to put my hair up in order to be comfortable. When I do this, I don’t pass very well. I have great hair, but when it’s up, it does me no good… and you can see some of the male-pattern hair recession I have.

By Wednesday I had just given up. It was so hot and humid that I just left my hair up the rest of the trip and quit messing with it. Just stepping outside was so humid it felt like I was in the shower. I was miserable. I was sir’ed the rest of the time. :\

The worst was at the TSA gate. The dude was holding my ID, which clearly says “F” on it, and was circling my name on the boarding pass (which is a very feminine name!) and said “You’re all set, Mr. $LastName.” I wanted to cry.

When I was on the plane on the way home I let my hair down and brushed it out really well. Upon landing back in San Francisco my magical powers of passing had returned! Instantly I was “Thanks Mam” and “welcome home, Miss” the rest of the trip, as I’m used to.

So, for better or for worse, I learned a lot last week. I have a long way to go. It made me appreciate how lucky I am to get to transition in such a friendly environment here in San Francisco.

Reflection: Leaving the Church

[I’ve had something on my mind a lot, so I’m gonna write it down in hopes of flushing that buffer to disk, as it were.]

Leaving the church was a hard experience. The Baptist church was the only world I’d ever known my entire life, and when it was gone, it created a giant hole.

When I was in my dark days, dealing with coming to terms with being transsexual, I was seeing a very good therapist (as I encourage everyone to do). To start I was seeing him three times a week, then twice, then once a week, and finally we got down to once every two weeks. A good therapist never tells you what to believe, they simply encourage you to think about things in a different way and let you discover for yourself what you actually do believe. This was very valuable to me.

I had been dealing with a lot of guilt and shame over feeling the way I did. (That is, that I was born in the wrong body.) My therapist helped me to dig into this and I discovered what the root cause of it was – I had let the church define my inner core foundation, and I was at conflict with what I had been taught.

It seems obvious now, but what I learned about myself was telling. I let the bible be the foundation for all of my worldview. I still think about how I view things as something like the OSI model (sorry for the tech reference), where everything is built on everything else. I had let the church be my layer one – the facts on which I had based everything else. Why did I feel guilty about being transsexual? Because it conflicts with the foundation of my core – that is, that God doesn’t make mistakes.

I remember very clearly when this worldview shattered. I had just finished up a very rough therapy session and was sitting in the parking lot in my car trying to regain my composure. I started driving off, and a light went off in my head that said “the bible is just a book.”

That was earth shattering to me. The book that I had based all of my beliefs on at my core, was just a book. It had no power over me. It only had power because I let it.

Miss BunnyI got super emotional on the drive back to the office… so much so, that I stopped at a small store, got a Coke Zero, and texted my manager and told him I was going to be late getting back to the office. Instead of going to the office I went home, grabbed Miss Bunny, and laid in the bed and cried for a while.

I started reeling for a while as I tried to put the pieces back together again of what was my life. I started questioning everything. It was a rough few weeks. I was very thankful to have a good therapist helping me with this dark time.

I was left with a giant hole. I’d just proven to myself that the thing I left be my core, I shouldn’t have.

Instead, I’ve replaced that core with what I should have been believing in the entire time anyhow, science and technology.

With science at my core, being transsexual is just fine. It’s “just a weird birth defect” as I like to say. I have a female brain, but (had) a male body. It’s a birth defect with horrible social and physical implications, but one that medical science is getting better at fixing every day. The deep inner conflict is now gone.

Once I started realizing that I’m not going to hell for being transsexual (because hell isn’t even a thing), things started making a lot more sense. I’m a lot happier now, for sure.

The months following this epiphany were kinda rough. It happened late in the fall. On Christmas Eve that year I drove by a large Baptist church in Texas and saw that it was overflowing with people, and it made me quite angry. I’m not sure why I got so upset, but it did.

I’m still struggling. It’s hard to overcome so many years of programming.

For example, the church tried really hard to instill homophobia in me. It never really took (thankfully), but there are still times when a little bit of it reaches the surface. Luckily I’ve gotten very good at catching it and I quickly remind myself “that’s what you were taught, but it’s not what you actually believe,” and stamp it out, but fighting against that is hard. Very hard. 😦

Things are, of course, getting better. It takes a long time to overcome having your core foundation shaken up, but I’m recovering. I’m a heck of a lot happier now. Things make a lot more sense because I base it on science, not just blind faith in something that never really clicked anyhow.

Thanks for listening! I feel better after writing all of this down. 🙂

MFM 2014

Mephit Fur Meet 2014 has come and gone! All in all, it was a good con.

For those that don’t know, I’m one of the co-directors there. MFM uses a little bit of a different configuration than most cons – we don’t have a Board of Directors, we have five directors, each with equal power. We each have an area to watch over, but we all have the full authority of Mephit Fur Meet when we act. With the right group (like we have right now), it’s a good system. One bad apple could quickly spoil the bunch, however. In a more traditional structure, it’s like we have five co-chairs and I’m one of them? I think. 🙂

I’m not going to write about the con itself. There will be plenty of that later. This is MY LiveJournal, not the convention’s, so I’ll write about things from my world view. 🙂

I passed with darn near 100% accuracy. I think everyone that came into the reg line greeted me as a lady. If anyone didn’t, I certainly didn’t pick up on. The only people that slipped up are people that knew me before, but I don’t interact with constantly. (ie, other staff members) The other directors were perfect all weekend and I love them dearly for that.

I did my part and tried hard to look feminine all weekend. I wore skirts, pretty colors, dangling earrings, etc. I even left my hair down as much as I could because I pass better with it down. (I have some male hairline recession that I need to address one of these days.) I tend to put my hair up when it’s hot, but it was important to me to pass, so I did. 🙂

The days when I had on a skirt I made sure I did not leave the convention grounds alone. I’d drag someone else with me, and that worked. Here in San Francisco it’s a non-issue (I wear skirts to work on a very regular basis), but I just didn’t feel completely safe there.

I had one bad incident at a McDonalds after hours where a mother told her child I was “a boy that takes girl drugs and dresses like a girl,” which was kinda upsetting, but I just let it go. It wasn’t my fault, and at least she was able to tell I’m trans, which is good! (If you’re ever in this situation, the correct response is “She’s just here to get dinner like we are. Leave her alone.”)

On the drive to and from the con I put my safety ahead of my pride and used the men’s restrooms. I didn’t like doing that one bit, but I just wanted to get to and from the con safely. I think I made the right call here. I didn’t change how I present, however.

I had a funny moment on Friday. Alexander Katz, a friend whom I’ve had many years, said “I’ve been trying to figure out who that chick was on the radio. Finally it occurred to me that ‘Oh, it’s Bunny!'” That really made me smile since I’ve been working on that very hard.

All in all, a great con. I can’t wait for next year. Even if it is a whole lotta work. 🙂