aidenonymous: (gender)
I've had a roller coaster of a week and really didn't want to write this, but I'm hoping I'll feel better getting it out.  tl;dr I've once again blown an opportunity to have gender not be a big deal in every aspect of my life and am not happy about it.

cut for abusively negative self-talk )

I did a lot more self-care today though.  I cooked two (vegan) meals for myself with enough leftovers to get halfway through next week without spending too much money and eating things I said I wouldn't.  And I got a new binder that's a lot more comfortable for long days and looks like an undershirt so I don't need an extra layer under my grown-up clothes in the heat.  I'm going to go to work tomorrow because I know being a badass at science will make me feel better about myself.

EDIT: update )


May. 19th, 2014 06:18 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
Last year, I judged a science fair, and the experience made me doubt my own sanity.  I judged the same fair this year, and it to some extent restored my faith in humanity, or at least in middle school science teachers.  At the same time, it made me question my own misogyny.

The way this fair works is that all the students have qualified in a local fair so they all get a prize, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at this fair.  There's no limit on the number of students who can get each ranking, and they're not judged against each other; rather, they're judged by their adherence to objective standards.  They get 1st if they exceed the standards, 2nd if they met the standards but were no better than that, and 3rd if they really didn't meet the standards.  There were five girls and four boys in my morning session of 16-year-olds; the boys all got first, and the girls all got second.  There were five girls and five boys in my afternoon session of 13-year-olds; one boy and one girl got first, but the two who got third were both girls.  Small number statistics, I know, but something isn't right here, and I'm not comfortable with my role in it.  Also, not sure how relevant it is, but the two first place 13-year-olds were the only two in the bunch who clearly hadn't even dipped a toe into puberty.  I wonder if being a late bloomer contributed to being a science whiz because I wasn't distracted by sexuality.  That being said, I wasn't nearly as far behind my peers as those two were, just very small in general.

I had a nice chat over lunch with a graduating senior who wanted to be a middle school science teacher.  He thought I was another contestant but accepted me as male even after knowing my age.  I encouraged him and generally felt like a good person.

I expressed so much optimism in therapy.  I've been more outgoing at work since coming out.  I scheduled a meeting with a speaker to talk about science.  Career advice in my field often includes something about initiative, especially the suggestion of making appointments to chat with speakers as a way to be remembered as having come up with some ideas they'll take with them or possibly making a connection with a collaborator.  I never did it before because I was shy and felt that I didn't have anything to contribute or that my questions were stupid or because they might remember me as a girl.  I didn't let myself worry about that this time.  I scheduled the meeting and talked for half an hour back and forth about some crazy ideas for science that could be done with this guy's data, and potential problems with some applications of it, and how we could collaborate in the future.  He even told me some of my ideas were really good and that he hadn't heard them before, and I promised to send him the draft of the paper I'm working on when I submit it in a few weeks.  So, yeah, lowered inhibitions at work can be a good thing.


Apr. 9th, 2014 04:49 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
Aah, another entry that I meant to post before I fell asleep last night!

cut for boring )


Apr. 6th, 2014 11:40 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I think I just got hit on by a guy as a guy for the first time.  I don't really have any hard evidence, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened.  I didn't like it any more than being hit on as a girl to be honest, but maybe it was the context.

In other news, I've been applying my T on an every other day basis since Thursday.  My voice was really ridiculously low on Thursday night, so I didn't apply it Friday.  I did apply it Saturday, and both Saturday and Sunday my voice felt really strangely deep.  Have I said "really" enough yet?  Anyway, it's not that I don't like where it is, but I'm kind of concerned about it changing so much at the inauspicious time of ten-ish months on T after previously seeming to settle down.  I know there's no "right time" to come out, but it will be a significantly better time once the semester ends.  I've already reached the point at which I can no longer pass for female at work, and my voice going into overdrive is not going to make the next month any easier.  I am not, however, considering taking a break again.  That was no fun at all.  So, ummm, awkwardness?

About Time

Oct. 12th, 2013 01:17 am
aidenonymous: (gender)
Today (okay, yesterday) was a day I'd been anticipating since I started T, the first time someone I didn't care to come out to with no knowledge of my gender identity noticed a physical change.  There wasn't anything awkward or uncomfortable about it, although I didn't really say anything that would have made me feel awkward or uncomfortable.

I had a brief meeting with a professor for whom I grade, who for the record has heard plenty of my voice pre-T and throughout the past five months.  As soon as I started the conversation, he interrupted me to ask if I was okay.  I replied in the affirmative and asked why he had asked that question.  He asked if I was sure I was alright, and again I responded in the affirmative and gave him a quizzical look.  He said my voice sounded like I was sick (a cold was implied).  Smiling, I repeated that I was fine and got on with the meeting.


Jul. 1st, 2013 12:03 am
aidenonymous: (gender)
I rudely walked out of playing games with people today because I couldn't handle them referring to me by my birth name (there are exactly three people in this town who do that, due to meeting them before I decided to go to school here) and making jokes about me not having a dick.  I am in a weird place right now where I'm wallowing in isolation, but taking every action to isolate myself further.  I've been having recurring dreams about my dead friends.  Why are so many people I cared about dead?  I'm sleeping a lot but not really aware of feeling depressed.  I feel a lot of pressure related to my research and a lot of fear of having to teach again, but I can't identify other sources of stress in my life right now.  I'm just more interested in escaping real world problems than facing them head on.  It's like the better I feel about my body, the worse I feel about everything else.  I got drunk two nights ago, for the first time ever, just to see what it was like -- a balance between fun and uncomfortable -- and am glad no one but my partner was there to see it happen.  That was the day after I made the conscious decision to indulge irresponsibility and flake out on a commitment without reason or warning; no one called me out on not cleaning the kitchen on my assigned night at the house, but I apologized today nonetheless.

EDIT: I can't honestly claim I was drunk, just drunker than I've ever been before.
aidenonymous: (gender)
I feel guilty that I haven't been posting recently.  I've been tyring to let work take over again but I keep getting sucked into mindless web browsing (mostly Reddit).  I'm feeling really unmotivated even though I'm consciously excited about my work.  I've also been dealing with my best friend outing me and trying to repair the damage to our relationship and my relationship with his parents.  That's really a matter for a separate post.

I also filed my passport application yesterday, although things hardly went as planned.  The postmaster didn't even notice that I'd checked the M box and never asked for my letter.  He also didn't notice all my ID was expired and made sure to comment on how "pretty" I am and address me as "miss" at least once per sentence.  I called the State Dept. afterwards and they said they'd contact me if anything was missing, and I'm worried that it will delay my passport application by enough that I can't go.  The silver lining is that I was approved for funding for the trip.  /-:

The past week or so has been awful for dysphoria.  I've been down on myself about my body -- I'm not gaining weight, but I am gaining body fat due to not getting out and doing anything. The rate of misgendering has skyrocketed, although that could be due to a combination of office drama (and horrible officemates who love reminding me that they think I'm female), the process of changing documentation (and interacting with godawful bureaucrats who don't even notice the sex marker I select because I'm so obviously female to them), and a general loss of confidence (which has led to a feedback loop).

I'm sure it's not helped by the fact that I haven't even had the spoons to bind regularly -- I'm small enough at this point that it can't be the biggest reason why I'm not passing, but it must contribute -- and have been going home early just to get out of having anything more than an undershirt on.  Just having anything on my chest is making me think about it too much to focus on anything else, and as long as I'm alone and not moving, I don't even notice that anything's wrong with it unbound.

On top of everything else, it's been really hot here for the past week, to the point that I'm arriving at work drenched in sweat.  If AndroGel can't be washed off for 5 hours after application in order to be fully absorbed, I'm pretty sure my effective dose has decreased.  This could explain my voice plateauing higher than its lowest so far (although definitely lower than when I started), something that's been bothering me a lot and contributing to the problems of the previous paragraph.

I ran the idea of doubling my dose by my partner, and he was really not happy about it.  He thinks I've had more emotional issues since starting T.  I was afraid he meant anger or mood swings, but he clarified that he meant my ADHD has worsened and I've been practicing more avoidance of responsibilities.  I talked with him about it and he was reasonably understanding, mostly because double my current dose is the same as the dose I was actually prescribed, but he still wanted me to wait until I talked to my therapist.

However, today was especially difficult due to having to interact with my peers in my home department, and the dysphoria was keeping me from getting any work done.  So, starting today, my 51st day on T, I'm taking the full 2.5 g.  Since today is also my 9 year anniversary of dating my partner (yeah, we got together really young, definitely not expecting this relationship to last so long), I wanted to talk with him first and make sure he could handle me doing this now (and he said he'd be okay), so the doses are about 8 hours apart.  Until it cools down enough that my sweat won't immediately wash off a decent fraction of it, I'll be applying two pumps in the morning. 


Jun. 14th, 2013 02:38 pm
aidenonymous: (gender)
I talked with my endo on the phone today.  (She's actually going to send me the letter for my passport, this time.)  My free testosterone level a couple weeks ago was 180 ng/dL, quite a bit less than my hopeful guess of 300 ng/dL.  The real shocker was what my pre-T level was, 21 ng/dL.  I mean, I knew it was supposed to be in the female range, but I can't believe that I was at the low end of it.  I thought for sure I had high T levels because of the facial/body hair and low body fat.  Not sure what to make of it.  In any case, based on this information, I would have guessed my on-T level as 271 ng/dL, still higher than what was observed.  I don't know why I'm getting hung up on the number when I'm happy with the rate of changes, probably some macho bullshit about wanting to be in the male range.

Oh, but there's more!  My best friend outed me to his parents.  He told me over text, and I didn't indicate that this was a major problem then because I wasn't sure how to say it.  After letting it keep me up all night, I'm ready to start thinking about productive ways to tell him that was not okay.  He was so good about stuff that I didn't realize he didn't know that was a no-no.  I'm upset that I let down my guard, even if it was for my best friend.  I don't think he understands that other than medical providers, he is among four people I don't sleep with who know about my medical transition.  I consider myself to be close to his parents, and it was my secret to tell them on my own terms, not because he felt like telling them how his week was going, oh, and by the way [girlname] came to visit but now he goes by Ilan and takes hormones. 


May. 17th, 2013 11:12 pm
aidenonymous: (sulu)
Okay, that really good feeling is coming back.  I just saw the new Star Trek and am feeling euphoric again.  Yes, it exceeded my expectations and was actually really good (and sufficiently nerdy), but what was really good was hanging out with someone from work that I have not been getting along with lately because I think we moved past our problems and can almost maybe be friends.  And that was enabled by me functioning socially at a level I rarely achieve.

I'm no quicker to find words, and I'm not much better at knowing when to break into conversation.  I don't exactly feel more confident, but something is different.  The word that comes to mind is "grounded," and I've never felt it this strongly before.  The last time I felt anything like this was when I stopped shaving my legs and underarms in 2008; suddenly I was connected to the immediate surroundings of my brain, namely my body.  My limbs became an extension of my head, and then I felt like I could do things with them, and that's when I started doing yoga, because I had posession of a body capable of it for the first time.

Now, it's more than just an immediate connection to my body, and in fact that's not really consciously part of it at all.  I think it might be a connection to my voice, and since hearing is an entirely different sense and making sound is its own sensation, I guess that's why I'm experiencing groundedness in a new way that's manifesting socially.  I'm not really feeling much social anxiety anymore, even though I'm still perceived as female among most people.  I honestly don't know if it's because I no longer care how I'm treated. . . I'll have to think about this more.

My roommate made a reference to me being on T to a housemate and her girlfriend, in my presence, and I didn't mind at all.  I don't know when people from work will notice my voice, since it's changing remarkably fast, but I'm not feeling anxious about it.  I mean, I should have a plan for what to tell them, but I'm not sure I want to do some kind of formal coming out.  I already go by a gender-neutral name, and I've all but disappeared.  I don't think I'll necessarily mind feminine pronouns if, if, if I'm not sure what, but I think I'm approaching it on this path, although I don't know at what distance.  I just feel right in a way I can't recall feeling before, and I'm okay with other people knowing.  How to get that knowledge to them in a way I'm comfortable with is something I really should think about, because I'm pretty sure it's not going to be easy.  But that's a problem for another night. 
aidenonymous: (Default)
It's been five days since I got here, and I have to say, I'm a lot happier than I expected to be.  I love love love the house and the people in it.  I had really high expectations, and they've pretty much all been met.  The other folks like me, too, and they're working on finding a way for me to continue living here next year. . . but I'm still not sure what's going on with my partner, whether he'll want to move here at all if he can't live in an apartment with me.

I know the town is different in the summer when no one's around, compared to during the year when it's swarming with drunk undergrads, but I've found a lot to like.  There are lots of locally-owned coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores, and the downtown actually feels like a real downtown in terms of density.

Work is another story.  After dealing with a bunch of administrative bullshit (which I believe is normal for a school this size, no hard feelings, really), I'm finally starting to run into problems with my name on departmental stuff.  I'm okay with the government, doctors, and banks knowing me by my legal name, and I thought I'd be okay with my department being in that category, too, but I was wrong; in essence, this place is too small for me to isolate work from everything else, and I don't want to have to cave and give up being myself the rest of the time.

There are still a couple social issues I need to work out at home, namely that everyone seems to have made up their mind to use feminine pronouns for me, and I'm going to have to make some kind of announcement to get them to stop.  Aah, I knew there were drawbacks to not having an unambiguously male name!  Anyway, the name itself is somewhat of an issue because two people who work in my department also hang out at the house, and I've been failing at having an actual conversation with them for a couple days.  What I want to do is ask them to call me Ilan in the house and by my birth name at work, should it come up.  The real answer, I think, is to just be open about things at work, letting the faculty and other students know that I'd prefer to be called Ilan or that I may go by either name depending on the situation. . . so I'm going to talk to the director of the Pride Club here and ask for advice tomorrow.
aidenonymous: (Default)
Gaah!  Reading about this made me feel a little ill just now.  I actually love the idea of this event, giving cis folks (and maybe binary-identified trans people) an idea of what it's like to be transgender, and especially non-binary identified.  But when I read the description, it reminded me of my own cowardice and the toll taken by "the path of least resistance."  I would not be able to take this challenge right now!

rambling about bathrooms, locker rooms, and pajamas )
aidenonymous: (chekhov)
I swear I'm trying to do something to get myself out of this rut.  I was supposed to go to the psychiatrist I wasn't crazy about today, but her receptionist canceled the appointment because she's apparently sick.  They rescheduled me for just before New Year's.  That's a long time from now!  I've been sleeping all day every day for weeks, and I can't seem to stop.  I don't know how much longer I can wait.  Although that's not really related to the shrink, as I wasn't keen on talking to her about any actual problems anyway.  I thought about it last night and couldn't decide whether to try to come out to her or to just try to keep things focused on the stuff I'm being medicated for.  Trust issues much?  Yeah, I'd say I'm working on it, but that'd be a lie. 

Anyway, I haven't really felt like posting lately.  I have things to say, but I don't feel like they're worth writing down.  I can't seem to get any work done, but I don't want to engage in my normal time-wasters either.  I may take an official hiatus when I go back home, even though that's when things will probably get better and I'll have lots to say.  I might just save it up elsewhere and post it all at once when I get back.  And, yeah, first thing when I get back after my trip home, there will be therapy, oh yes, lots of it.  I'm going to liquify myself if I keep trying to hold it all in.
aidenonymous: (Default)
No, I'm not really that much of a humbug.  I wanted to write a summary of this year, because it's been a rough one for me.  But, some parts were so bad I couldn't write much about them.  Stupid emotions!  So, here's the short version. . .
lightning-speed summary of 2010 )

Anyway, the start and end of the school year is a much better delineation between years for me, so I can pretend it's not that big of a deal that I can't get my shit together about last year.  More seriously, that's actually the reason why I'm not making many New Year's resolutions, because I've already planned a bunch of big changes for when I have less on my plate during my gap year, after I graduate this spring.  I only have one resolution, and that's to get into gender therapy, because I'm a mess right now and need some outside help.  It doesn't sound like much, but with my insurance and history with therapists, it could take most of the year. . . wish me luck!
aidenonymous: (Default)
I think I accidentally came out as masculine-leaning genderqueer to my mom yesterday, and it went really well!

Some background: I'm home for a couple days for jury duty and am staying at my mom's place.  We got called for jury duty at the same time, so we spent all of yesterday and will be spending all of today together.  My folks have told me since forever that they didn't know my sex until I was born because they wanted a surprise (and boy did they get one).  They picked out a gender-neutral, common name for if I'd had boy parts and a feminine, uncommon name for if I had girl parts.  I've really appreciated my unusual name, but I hate how it's immediately recognized as female, and I always wondered why I didn't get the gender-neutral name that would have been a better fit.

And yesterday during our shared lunch break, I found out why.  My mom didn't know that the "boy" name could have been a "girl" name, too.  English is her primary language, but apparently at the time it wasn't used much for females even though it is now.  Come to think of it, all the girls I know with that name are my age or younger, or from Europe, so it's possible the trend hadn't reached her yet.  Anyway, now I know why.

The topic came up because she said she should have given me the "boy" name.  She's apparently picked up on the fact that I haven't worn girl clothes since I stopped playing dress-up games, and she might have noticed a couple times that morning in the court buildings when people (in bathrooms, checking IDs) were puzzled by my apparent gender (or lack thereof). 

My response was to tell her that I would have appreciated the name, but I won't hold it against her.  However, I'm now thinking that if I change my name, I'll use Ilan day-to-day, but the name she would have given me will be a middle name.  It would nearly allow me to preserve my initials anyway. 


aidenonymous: (Default)

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