Saturday, 6 March 2010

I've Moved!

I've decided to move this blog to tumblr! If you haven't joined there yet, you should, it's very good.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

LGB - T?

I've been thinking recently about the term 'LGBT'. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered. Some people talk about how the T just gets lumped on at the end there, how it's easier to just include us with the gays, like we're not really a part of them, but we're a bit weird and different too, so it's ok. But then, I see how people in the LGB part of the community act towards the T part of the community. They voice similar predjudices towards us that the heteronormative community so often does. I even saw one lesbian refer to a transwomen as "this transexual guy" "He's wearing a fetching pink dress todayy!". Just a complete disregard for this woman's right to be refered to as female, she clearly knows that the person is an MTF, yet chooses to use the wrong pronouns.

It makes me wonder why the LGB part of the community chooses to act like this towards us, you would think that being part of a minority, a communtiy already maligned by the greater heteronormative communtiy, they would be more sympathetic towards our community. Yet they're not.

So why would this be? When I think back to my time in the lesbian communtiy, there was this feeling of hatred and disdain for anyone encroaching on their community who wasn't an 'Alex Parks carbon copy dyke', this included me. I was too butch for them, plus I was into music like Slipknot, not the dance/pop music that was popular then. So even back then I didn't fit in, I was an outsider, I never got to understand the mentality behind this disdain. But it was there, it was real. I see others, who are members of the Butch/Femme community who, to this day, still experience this rejection from the greater lesbian community.

It makes me think, if the lesbian community (I'm sorry I can't speak for the gay community, I've never really had much experience with the boys) is still willing to reject other lesbians for something as trivial as being 'too butch' or 'too femme' what hope does the trans community have?

So I kept thinking. And then I watched a video by Charles (freshlycharles), talking about his expericenes as a female in a 'rape culture'. And it got me thinking some more. I remember hearing so many coming out stories, where women had said that at first they had sexual experieces with guys before realising they were gay. And it made me think, is there something, perhaps on some subconsious level that makes the lesbian community so guarded because they don't want the effects of this 'rape culture' to permeate? They don't have any sexual interest in men and so why would they want this male influence in their world? Do they view transwomen as really just men in women's clothes? Do they view transmen as dykes who 'sold out'? Deaddogx makes some good points in his video about this too.

When I look at the term 'LGBT', the first thing that comes to mind is that the LGB part refers to sexuality, the T refers to gender. Now, as I've mentioned before, these are two different things. Gender doesn't denote a specific sexuality and sexuality doesn't denote a specific gender. They're two seperate entities, so why are they pushed together like this?

Maybe that's a contributing factor to this 'us and them' feeling? Being a lesbian or a gay man doesn't involve having dysphoria, hormone treatment or surgery. There isn't the same kind of big changes involved with being gay as opposed to being trans. Lesbians are biologically female and female identified, as with the guys, they're biologically male and male identified. They are cisgendered people, who happen to be sexually attracted to people of the same sex and gender.

But then what about all the lesbian, gay and bisexual transpeople? They have every right to be a part of these communities, yet they still experience predjudice. But then I guess this takes us back to my earlier point.

I don't like this feeling of 'us and them', be it between the gay community, the trans community, the LGBT community or the heteronormative community. To my mind, conflict doesn't solve anything. We're all in this together, we're all human after all.

Monday, 22 February 2010

FTM UK - Tranny Chasers

I haven't really had any progress worth mentioning on the transition front, so I'll push on with the FTM UK topics to keep this blog ticking over. Week 7 was 'Tranny Chasers', this term seemed to confuse the guys on the channel strangely enough. Anyway, here we go...

To me, the term 'tranny chaser' counjours up images of a dirty old man in adult book shop. It's not a nice term, it's not a nice thing. My understanding of the term is that it someone who has a sexual fetish for transsexual people, I.E. they fetishise the transsexual aspects of those people. To me a tranny chaser isn't someone who has an attraction to the person, just the physical charactaristics that usually define transsexualism.

I know the term can be banded about far too easily and people in the trans community can be quick to label someone a tranny chaser when it's not the case at all. A friend brought up a genuine point, she was branded a tranny chaser by a group of transpeople because she expressed an attraction to transmen and women. She made the point, by their logic, if a transperson is attracted to another transperson, does that not then make them a tranny chaser? I know myself as a transman who has been attracted to other transpeople, that I'm not a tranny chaser, there's no fetish involved for me and the same is true for my friend.

So what does it make me? Well not a tranny chaser for one. When defining my sexuality, I tend to use the terms queer or pansexual. My primary attraction is to cisgendered females, but I'm not going to rule anything out, so I don't define it too specifically. There is a clear difference between someone who has a genuine attraction to a person who is a transsexual and someone who has a fetish for the transsexual aspects of a person's body.

What my greater concern is, why are we so quick to brand someone a tranny chaser? Why are we so quick to push these people away from our community? To slap this quite frankly derogatory term on them and react so violently towards them? I see the trans community talk about feeling excluded from the 'LGBTQPI' community as a whole, yet when someone from another letter in the acronym shows an interest, we reject it.

I used to see something similar when I was still identifying as a lesbian (a good many years ago!), in pubs and clubs on 'the scene' in Glasgow, the girls I was with branding others as "hettys" and being so disdainful and hateful towards them. I think they felt that it was an attack on their space, there are so many 'straight' clubs in Glasgow yet at that time there was maybe 3 or 4 gay pubs and basically 1 club. Is it the same mentality that is prevailing? A feeling of "us and them"?

Something I'm finding as the trans community comes into it's own, is that with the spectrum of gender identities out there, there's alot of 'gender fucking' going on. The porn that the queer community is producing reflects this, different body types, different genders getting it on and getting off. Where's the harm in that?

Personally, I don't want to be fetishised for those parts of my body. To me, they are abhorrant, and for someone's primary interest in me to be just those parts, it would be an insult to me. On the other hand, if someone was attracted to me for who I was, and who I am because I am trans, well that's just fine by me.

Monday, 15 February 2010

FTM UK - Role Models

I expected a bit more results with this topic, I thought we would all have role models growing up, people we idolised and wanted to be like, maybe it's just me? I'm a big movie fan, I always have been, and I think I've learned a lot from films. Watching how the male characters acted, especially in old films, we watched alot of old films as kids. I think seeing those strong, alpha male, gentlemen characters had a profound influence on me. That's what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I was always a big child, now I don't mean fat, but tall and well built and strong, it's traits that run in my family. But I also tended to identify with male characters who also had these characteristics. The same applied to computer games, with this outlet, I could go some way to express myself. One childhood favourite was Streets of Rage 2. I always went the big wrestler guy, Max.

And as games become more sophisticated and you could customise your characters, I would always go for the big guy. Tall, strong, muscular, everything I wanted to be. But it wasn't just films and games that I had these role models, there was TV too. One program that really sticks in my mind was a TV adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, with Ron Pearlman and Linda Hamilton (some of the older readers should remember!).

I guess this kinda appealed to me as I never really felt 'right', there was something different about me too. Another favourite as a child was a kids' program called 'Round the Bend', I absolutely loved this program, and the main character, Doc Croc, I thought he was brilliant. I think my sarcastic sense of humor was shaped from an early age by the Spitting Image guys.

I don't think I could really say that I had a real life role model that I looked up to. I wouldn't call my dad a role model, we don't really have anything in common to allow us to have a proper close relationship and he's not really one for passing on the things he knows. Pretty much whatever I've learned has been my own doing.

Lacking a proper male role model, I've had to kinda figure a lot of things out myself that normally your father or grandfather would have passed on to male children, fortunately a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of The Art of Manliness, which I've found to be very interesting and quite inspiring. I've still got alot of reading to do on the site, but I think it's going to be quite the influence on me.

The channel's videos -

Monday, 8 February 2010

FTM UK - Public Bathrooms

This was the topic for week 5 on the channel, to talk about our experiences and advice. For the post part, I haven't really used men's toilets alot. It's only really been within the last 6 months or so that I've really settled on the issue of transitioning. I was always on the fence before, and therefore I wasn't really making an effort to pass, including using guys' toilets. The last few months though, have afforded me little opportunity to use mens' toilets. But on the few occasions I have, I've not had any bother. I've actually had more bother using ladies' toilets. Women will stop and stare at you, ask each other if that was a guy, question you directly, it's ridiculous really, at times I have had to argue with women that I'm not in the wrong toilet.

One thing I've found with guys' toilets though is that they're generally pretty unpleasent. If it's a big establishment, like an office building or a hospital, it's not so bad. But a pub or club, they're usually pretty nasty. But then, guy's don't usually need to sit down... you get my drift.

Living at home (thanks recession!) makes it even more difficult to do things to help me pass. I don't know how I would explain to my mother about an STP which she would no doubt stumble upon at some point (my privacy is not top priority in this household).

My advice would be the same as everyone else's really. The men's room is not the place for eye contact or small talk, there's a particular etiquette. There's lots online about this, this is a fun little game you can try to test out your knowledge!

Videos for week 5 -

Sunday, 7 February 2010

FTM UK - Emotions & Moods

As some of you may know, I keep a collab channel running on youtube, it's the FTM UK collab channel. I don't make videos myself as 1. I feel like a complete tard talking to myself on camera, and 2. I don't have a proper camera. So, I was thinking, there's all these topics that the guys are making videos on, and it's things that I myself have an opinion on. So instead of voicing my opinions in a video, I'll do it here. Weeks 1 to 3 were introductions (which I've already done), coming out stories (that I've already covered) and how do you ID? So I'm gonna jump ahead to week 4, emotions & moods.

This was kinda posed to the guys as have you noticed any differences since starting T. Well, as I've not yet started, I'm just gonna talk about my emotions and moods in general. For the most part, I'm fairly laid back, I don't anger easily, I'm even headed in a crisis, I'm not overly emotional in general. I seem to have the basic 3 or 4 emotions, happy, sad, angry, whatever... I'm not the the type to cry at movies or weddings, I guess I don't feel that much. Maybe it's a defence mechanism? I don't know. My mood's usually fairly even too, I don't seem to have much in my life right now that really gets me excited.

Is this a typically male thing? I don't know, my dad's kinda the same and I take after him in many aspects but I think with him it's more stoicism than mellowness.

So that's it for emotions lol, not much to write about! I've got a couple more weeks to catch up on, so I'll do that another night.

The week's videos are below.

Saturday, 23 January 2010


I seem to be surrounded by talk of marriage right now. Whether it's my brother's wedding, Ellen and Portia's wedding, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon's (I'm working my way through Queer Eye Candy just now), FIMG and Holden's wedding (you two look like you were made for each other) or any of the couples' sharing wedding pictures on the site, I can't seem to escape it.

Even though I'm in Scotland, a lot of my queer friends are American, so I hear about the American news, things like prop 8 and all the battles for equality that are going on, and it's got me thinking about marriage.

In Scotland (I think the same applies to the rest of the UK but I'm not 100%), to get married, you have two choices. If your birth certificates states one person is male and the other is female, you can get the traditional marriage certificate (this includes transpeople who have amended their birth certificate). However, if you are a gay or lesbian couple, or if you're trans but have not yet amended your birth certificate, you cannot take this route. You can however opt for a civil partnership, which gives couples many of the same rights as a traditionally married couple. If you want to read a bit more, the government's website is pretty good. Something to note, civil partnerships are not open to male/female couples.

So we effectively have legal gay marriage here. And surprise surprise, the moral fabric of the nation has not be torn assunder by baby weilding lesbians or predatory gay men. Nobody's taken away the rights or freedoms of all the nice heterosexual couples. Nothing much has changed other than alot of LGBT people have been made very happy.

So I don't get what the problem is America? Why is it so important to restrict the rights of so many people in your country? What harm would it do to let two gay people who are in love get married? I see the church here always trying to fight these things. Trying to stop the advancement of gay and trans rights. They view it as some kind of attack on the family, on marriage, on the church, when it's anything but. We're not interested in attacking your way of life, so please stop attacking ours.

A number of years ago, there was Section 28, it was all about an amendment in the law which had prevented local authorities (like the American state system but on a smaller scale) from 'promoting' a homosexual lifestyle, the quote reads:
The amendment stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".
I remember at the time this was happening, some of the mail my dad had received as a minister, from the various christian groups he was a member of. I could not believe some of the stuff I read. It made my blood boil. They would view this as an attack on the church, they wanted to repress education and enforce ignorance. At the time I ID'd as gay, and I remember saying to friends at the time, when I was in school, I knew nothing of homosexuality. It was not taught to us, it was never discussed. I found out there was such a thing as being gay because a neighbour's older child told us. My parent's certinally wouldn't have told us. So where did that leave me? In school, being called a lezzy, or a dyke or a poof or any other derogatory gay name was an insult. We were not educated that being gay happens, and it's not a bad thing.

When I look at things now, 15 years on, how much it has changed, how different people's attitudes towards homosexuality are, I'm amazed. Would I have had the horrific years of bullying and abuse that I did if this law wasn't in place? Maybe.

Another thing that springs to mind from my time reading those letters was that there was to be a change in the law, preventing someone being discriminated against because of their sexuality. Now this particular change meant that the church, on finding that a member of their congregation was homosexual, could not remove that person from the church based on their sexuality alone. Is that not incredible? They were fighting to retain the right to kick the gays out of their church at will. What happened to the true meaning of christianity? When was that forgotten?

This is a big conflict I have with the church. I am a christian, I have my faith, I have my beliefs but my church doesn't always agree with me. I've yet to witness their views on transsexuals.

I don't know where I'm going with this, it's just a load of thoughts that have been swirling around up there.

On a side note, I've met someone. I'm not saying too much just now, I'm keeping this one under wraps for the moment, I'll end with this point though, my jaw muscles are getting sore from all this smiling...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Endless questions

I made a post the other day about cramp pains and problems, a friend made a suggestion that it may be endometriosis. Having never heard of this before, I wiki'd it and was both relieved and worried by what I read. The symptoms that it lists, I have quite a few of them.

One of the things that it mentioned was needing to urinate frequently, this is something I've had since I was a kid. As a kid, my mum took me to the doctor who said I had a 'weak bladder'. Now I'm wondering if that wasn't the case after all.

In my last job, my boss regularly made snidey comments about the fact that I was frequently visiting the toilet, he thought I was just skiving, but considering I did more work than any one else in the team (including him) despite the toilet breaks, I don't see why he had reason to complain. This was actually a contributing factor to me leaving his team and moving departments, which then went belly up (also due to a toilet breaks issue) and I ended up quitting the place altogether. It actually quite angers me to think that I put up with all that bullshit and subsequent hardship because of something that may yet turn out to be a genuine medical condition.

In the same vein, it also annoys me to think of the number of times my mother has given me a hard time about not wanting to do anything when I do get cramps, or being given a bunch of pain pills and sent off to work or school, feeling utterly miserable and in pain.

Now my dilema is diagnosis and treatment. I do not plan to start transitioning while living in my parent's house. However, one treatment for this is a hystorectomy, another is progesterone, both parts of FTM treatments. My concern is, if I go to my doctor and am diagnosed with this, what would they do? Could I ask for a hysto? If so, would I need to start HRT after? Would they start me on E? Would my body produce enough T to keep me healthy naturally? How would I explain to my parents that I chose a radical hysto over pain meds?

Another problem is that I can't afford time off work to recover from a hysto while I'm trying to sell my flat, I'd need to wait untill that's all finished and I'm in a better position financially. But what if I start a job and a month later, I'm off work for several weeks recovering from surgery?

Or do I just keep suffering it? For the sake of keeping everyone else comfortable?

Why am I constantly confronted with this question?

Why can't I just be selfish about it?

Why can't I just catch a fucking break for once...?

Friday, 15 January 2010

Southern Comfort

A film everyone should see.

You don't know jack

My mother can be such a cold heartless bitch at times. My parents have this work ethic which quite frankly borders on ridiculous. You go to work/school even if you're sick, unless it's something like a broken bone or swine flu, you go to work. You made a commitment to that establishment and you have to uphold it, even at the detriment of your own health and potentially those around you. My mother actually cracked a rib (she fell off a foot stool and hit her back on the kitchen worktop) and still insisted she was going to work, the doctor, my brother and I all told her otherwise.

My mother is a civil servant, she works for the government, this means she has alot of protection in her job, she won't be fired just because her boss doesnt like her. She was a house wife when we were growing up, so this is like her first career job which shes been in for about 12 years now. As I've mentioned before, my dad is a minister, he has been for almost the entirety of his working life. He had small jobs when he was a student, but for the last 30 odd years, he's worked in churches.

So neither of them really have any concept of what it's like to work for a commercial business. They've never been fired from a job to take the blame for their boss' mistake. They've never been fired because the boss doesn't like them. They've never had their wages messed around with. They've never been 'just a number' which some guy behind a desk in London could score a line through their name and they'd be out of a job. I have. I have experienced the 'real world' of work in today's society. I've worked for companies that do not give a fuck about you or your safety or your wellbeing in the workplace. I have been just another number.

So why should I have any great loyalty to a business that holds no great loyalty to me? I don't, I value my health and well being above company profits. And it's for this reason, I don't have the same retarded work ethics that my parents do. If I am genuinely sick, I'm staying in bed until I'm better.

My parents of course disagree with this and as you may have noticed, aren't shy about voicing their opinions to me. So when I'm lying in bed with real pain, real sickness and diarrhoea, real discomfort, I don't apprecite being bollocked for not getting up and being a productive member of society, or not going to work.

My mother came in today, from her work and gave me a row for being up all night (due to the pain) and making excuses for lying in bed all day. 'I get them too, I know what it's like and I'm fed up of your excuses'. I find it incredible that this women knows exactly what I'm experiencing physically. Another favourite is when she tells me that she also knows what I'm thinking and feeling.

She has no fucking idea just how wrong she is.