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Silicon Valley Pride: I’m Marching!

I’m really excited about this.

This Sunday marks the return of Silicon Valley Pride, after a multi-year hiatus.

Silicon Valley Pride festival poster.
The festival poster.

I’ve been asked to march alongside the Renegades Bar float during the parade. I never thought I’d ever march in a pride parade, let alone be able to walk alongside the friends I’ve come to call family at Renegades. (Note to self: wear sensible shoes!)

If you’re in the Bay Area, come see the parade at 10:30AM this Sunday. The parade route is on Market St. in downtown San Jose (between West St. John St. & Park Ave.)

See you there!

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VIDEO: John Oliver on transgender rights

One of my favorite TV shows over the past year or so has been “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”.  About a month or so ago, he tackled the topic of transgender rights in a way I hadn’t seen yet done on a major TV network (yes, it’s cable, I know).

I’ve posted this before on my Facebook page, I’m reposting it here because it needs to be watched, and re-watched. Enjoy!

dating, transgender

You Attract Who You Are, Not What You Want

Lately, I’ve had a string of pursuers invade my Facebook page. Not sure if it’s something in the air, or mercury in retrograde, but I digress. Normally, I tend to ignore or politely decline most online date requests (I’m in no place to date anyone, at the moment).

That said, more than a few of these guys rubbed me the wrong way. Why? Because they rattled off a list of things like “oh, I’m a trans-ally!” and “I have trans-friends I’d do anything for!”, etc. etc. Not a minute later, they tell me “you’re so feminine!” and “you’re sexy”. Now, I couldn’t care less about the latter two: that’s typical guy nonsense and it makes me laugh, more than anything. Coupling those with the former, however, irritates me.

For starters, I get the feeling that they aren’t so much interested in being a trans-ally as they are hoping that their “good deeds” somehow endear them as some kind of “white knight” to a trans-woman. That reeks of creepy to me, like our love & romantic interest is something that can simple be bartered for. I’d be concerned for the people they call their “trans friends”.

More importantly, if these guys are hitting up trans-women online while proclaiming they have these trans-friends, one would think they would at least know that we deserve the same level of respect as a cisgender woman does. We don’t exactly take kind to being objectified. Is this the kind of behavior that’s worked for them before? Or (and I’m just guessing here) did they strike out w/cisgender women and think “well, maybe I’ll try my luck over here”? Just…no. We should not be relegated to your second choice when it comes to dating. I’d argue it even shows a basic lack of respect for us.

This brings me to the central point of my post. I’m only speaking for myself here, but I know I work awfully hard at who I am and what I do. I go to the gym. I eat right. I spend a long time working on how I present in public. I went to school and have a career. If you’re not bringing the same to the table if you’re even thinking of trying to date me, well, you better rethink that. I think most people (regardless of how you identify or who you date) would agree: you want a partner who’s independent, intelligent, attractive & funny? Well, you better be that too.

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#BlackTransLivesMatter

  
In 2015, 18 trans-women of color have been murdered in the US. Here are there names, remember to say them aloud.

Papi Edwards, 20. Lamia Beard, 30. Ty Underwood, 24. Yazmin Vash Payne, 33. Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, 36. Penny Proud, 21. Kristina Grant Infiniti, 46. London Chanel, 21. Mercedes Williamson, 17. Ashton O’Hara, 25. Amber Monroe, 20. India Clarke, 25. K.C. Haggard, 66. Shade Schuler, 22. Kandis Capri, 35. Elisha Walker, 20. Tamara Dominguez, 36. Jasmine Collins, 32. 

There is absolutely no set of justifiable circumstances to excuse the needless deaths of these women. I’m not sure what the answer is: educating people, increasing outreach to allow for more job opportunities outside of the sex trade, laws to protect transwomen specifically (along with rigorous enforcement), or maybe a combination of all of these. 

All I know is this: it has to stop. 

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 2

Well, I’m halfway through my spiro & Estradiol prescription for the month. This week almost flew by, between work, gym, the drag shows I’ve been involved in lately, and just keeping up with life. So far, here are a couple of new things I’ve noticed on HRT:

  • The THIRST: Spironolactone is a diuretic, traditionally used to treat heart failure and hypertension. Since it forces you to urinate more than usual, I’ve been waking up in the mornings feeling something like this:
    The thirst is real, everyone.
    The thirst is real, everyone.

    So, I’ve been drinking water like it’s going out of style.

  • Intensifying Emotions: I don’t think mood swings have quite kicked in for me yet. I have, though, experienced that day-to-day things that would normally be given a second’s thought now affect my mood in more pronounced ways. I’ve never been one to hide my feelings well anyhow, but it’s even more apparent if I’m in a surly or bubbly mood. A colleague commented that I left work one day looking pretty bummed out. My friend likens this to an “expanding range of emotion”, which I’m apt to agree with. For now, though, please keep the ice cream away. 🙂
  • Weight Loss: I’m not sure if this is due to my increased activity level, but I noticed a few LBs come off, the past week or so. Either way, I’ll take it.

I’m sure things will get more interesting as the weeks come off the calendar, and I start to notice more noticeable changes. Until then, stay tuned.

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Injections & Pills & Patches! Oh My!

Once I decided that I was going to start transitioning, I had a ton of questions about hormones. Not just “the what” and “the why”, but “the how”. Of course, all my trans friends had an opinion, ranging from “girl, you need to do injections!” to “pills are the way to go”, and so on. That’s not even mentioning the wealth of information you can find online, from message boards to Reddit (hi Redditors!) Frankly, it was overwhelming.

Thankfully, my doctor broke it down for me in very simple terms. Before even doing that, he emphasized that they are all effective, it’s just a matter of the mechanism and its effects.

  • Pills: One of the easier ways to get your hormones. However, there’s a trick to it. You have to let them dissolve in your mouth, either under your tongue or between your lip and lower gums. Swallowing it puts a lot of work on your liver.
  • Patches: Medically speaking, the safest way to go. A sustained, steady dose that’s absorbed through the skin. The only caveat here is that you have to be careful not to let it fall or peel off, like in the shower or unintentionally by removing clothing.
  • Injections: The popular option among transfolk, hormones are injected straight into your muscle tissue. Feels great the first few days, but tapers off as you get closer to your next dose.
  • Gels: Worth mentioning as an option, but not very popular.

After giving it some thought, I decided to use patches to start out with. I’m not trying to rush the process any, and I want to be sure to minimize any negative side effects, health-wise. Hormones are very much like a loaded gun: they are to be respected and handled with care.

Maybe over time, I’ll switch to pills or injections to try them out. For now, though, I’m going with patches: safe, steady and easy.

hormone replacement therapy, transgender

HRT: Week 1

As I lie in bed on my trusty laptop, I gloss over the fact that I’ve officially been on hormone replacement therapy for exactly a week. My, time flies when you’ve chilled out (more on that later).

Now, before I talk about any changes, it’s worth mentioning that I am starting out with a dose that most transwomen are prescribed at the start of their HRT:

  • Spironolactone: 2 x 50mg pills, every day
  • Estradiol: 2 x 0.1mg patches, twice a week

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s talk changes. Be honest, that’s really why you’re here.

Overall, I feel a sense of calm settling into my mood. I’m able to focus more. I don’t get wound up over stuff like I used to. My impulses are under better control (right now, that just means I can resist Jack In The Box after a night at the bar). I haven’t noticed any immediate physical changes, but that’s because I’ve also been actively going to the gym and having laser hair removal done on my face. So, it’s hard to tell whether any soreness I feel or softer beard hair is due to the hormones or something else.

Oh, two things worth mentioning:

  1. It’s true what other transwomen have said: your sex drive plunges pretty dramatically, and immediately. I haven’t had a single urge to be intimate with anyone, or even “take matters into my own hands”, if you will.
  2. My abdominal area has become increasingly sensitive. I assume this is due to my, er, “marbles” shrinking as an effect of the spironolactone. In any case, just sitting wrong can make the entire day uncomfortable.

Well, that’s it for now. Keep watching this space for future updates.