out-and-about, transgender

Truth, Purpose & Letting Go

Hi friends. It’s been a little while since my last post (I feel like I keep saying that).

For what it’s worth, I’ve been struggling to find the right topic to write about. I always have a tendency to write about what’s top of mind for me, but there’s been so much going on lately that it’s hard to pick just one thing. So, to get back on track with regular updates, I’ll share my thoughts on a pretty big moment for me.

This year, I was asked to be part of the entertainment lineup at San Diego Pride. Specifically, I would be one of the DJs at the new Free Rainbow Zone area. This was a big deal for me. To come back to my hometown, do what I love to do, and represent the trans community in a very public way? How could I say no to that?

Word got out quickly, and I was contacted by a journalist from the San Diego Reader. He wanted to do a profile ahead of the festival, on one of the performers, for the print & online edition of their publication. Being trans, a DJ, and originally from San Diego, I seem to fit the bill. However, in my conversations with him, it became clear that I would need to do more than talk about myself in the current sense. I’d have to reveal my past – who I was, where I’m from, my old name, etc. I’d essentially be doxxing myself. People from my past would know where I had gone. My past, my innermost feelings on transitioning, even where I went to high school; it would all be there for public consumption.

Most trans-people that I’ve met choose to live a private life, and for good reason. They struggle so much with just being accepted and getting to a place in life where they can live day to day without harassment and scrutiny, a quiet existence blending into the crowd sounds like bliss. To some degree, I had managed to accomplish that. While my friends all knew about my past, the general public would see me and not assume much beyond my short stature. Why risk that all now? Why put it all out there, and put myself up for open discussion this way? Why give up control of who knew what about me?

I did it for a reason bigger than myself.

If you read most media coverage on transgender people, you’ll often notice a recurring theme. We’re often portrayed as down-on-our-luck outcasts, living in the shadows. I wanted to do my small part in breaking that narrative and show everyone that being who you truly are is not an automatic sentence to a lifelong, personal hell.

Perhaps more so, in coming out, people who know me now have a personal stake in the struggle for full equality for the trans community. It’s often said that people don’t pay much attention to an issue unless it affects them personally. Sharing my story connects everyone who knew me before, and now knows about my transition, to the struggle in some way.

A fellow DJ at San Diego Pride asked me if I would let her share the article on Facebook. She revealed to me that she has a transgender stepchild, and she wanted to show that trans people can be successful, and can live openly…proudly.

Right at that moment, I knew what I had done was worth it.

(If you’d like to read the story, click here and take a look.)

 

out-and-about, transgender

My First Swimsuit

Hi friends!

This past weekend felt like a rite of passage for me, as I attended my first bachelorette party with some of my very best friends, and maybe a little too much fun was had by all (note: is there a thing as too many mimosas? ) Of course, we did the typical things. We all got dressed up and went out for drinks. We got up and drank a restaurant out of all of their champagne. We all wore matching tops. However, one of the planned activities had me nervous from the moment I heard it would happen: we’d be hitting a hot tub during the day. That meant I’d have to wear a swimsuit and not much else (well, maybe sunglasses).

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hormone replacement therapy, transgender

My 9-Month HRT Follow Up

Hi hi!

Today, I paid my doctor a visit to evaluate my hormone levels after 9 months.

I actually hadn’t seen the lab report from my 6 month follow-up, so I was interested in seeing how I was doing. After a little chit-chat and catching up, my doctor prints out my report and breaks things down for me.

The Good
The report mentions the “reference interval” range of testosterone for average adult males up to 40 years old is between 348-1197. Mine, by comparison, is at 8. So, my testosterone levels are minimal. I joked “doc, I could’ve told you that before I transitioned.” *rimshot*

The So-So
My estrogen level was at 46.5. My doctor tells me that the average range for women needs to be in the hundreds, so I’m being bumped up from 2 patches, twice a week to 3 patches, twice a week. To think I was moody before…

The “Let’s Keep An Eye On It”
The most notable thing my doctor pointed out was that my prolactin level was at 26.3. As a preventative measure (he assured me it’s rare that someone at that level would show anything concerning), I’m being sent to get an MRI. This is to ensure that my pituitary gland looks ok and has no abnormal growths. Am I a little nervous? Sure. However, he assures me that there are plenty of options for treatment should anything arise.

As a bonus, my doctor rewrote my prescriptions with my new name. That was nice.

I’ll be posting another update once I hear the results of my MRI back. Until then, be good to each other and GO SHARKS!

out-and-about, transgender

HRT Update: 9 Months

Hi friends!

Today marks my nine-month anniversary since I started hormones and began the transition into who I am today. I’ve been back at work for over a month now, and it’s been just under two since my name and gender legally changed. What’s changed since my last update?

To be honest, while I don’t hide it, I tend to forget about the fact that I’m a transgender woman half the time. Life feels normal now.

I take my pills during the morning & evening, and switch my patches out twice a week just the same as I would stick to any maintenance meds (like my asthma inhaler). I get up, make coffee, put my makeup on and head to work, sit & work at my desk 8 hours a day, and come home to make plans w/my boyfriend or friends, stay in and watch a movie, or run errands like anyone would. The “newness” of it has subsided and, while a core part of me, being trans is just another component of who I am, right along w/my job, family & interests like music, movies and sports (Let’s Go Sharks!)

If anything, though, I have to acknowledge that a big reason why my life feels normal is the amazing group of people I call friends, colleagues and family that have accepted me as who I am, no questions asked. I owe them a huge debt for helping me get to this point.

It all seems like a dream. More than that, even. Yet, here I sit…a woman in her late 30s, writing a blog and enjoying her life.

Enjoy your week, friends, and be good to each other.

 

out-and-about, trans-rights-now, transgender

US Department Of Justice: HB2 Violates Civil Rights Law

I knew this day would come, but I didn’t plan on how happy it would make me.

News broke today that the US Department of Justice has contacted North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, to inform him that the much-publicized House Bill 2 (better known as HB2) is in violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

According to the letter sent to Gov. McCrory, HB2 is specifically in violation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual on the basis of sex and from otherwise resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights“. Furthermore, their statement today said:

Federal courts and administrative agencies have applied Title VII to discrimination against transgender individuals based on sex, including gender identity.

Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment. Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII…

Rather than copy-paste the whole article, I encourage you to read the full story on the North Carolina Observer website. Then, imagine me reacting in a fashion similar to this…

Today has given me a lot of hope.