Oct 7, 2010

Reposted from my facebook account

Some thoughts about bullying, and recent events

I've been watching Facebook this week and seeing a lot of awareness posts in relation to the Rutgers student Tyler Clementi who committed suicide. In fact these past few weeks have been flooded with the issue of people being harassed and bullied causing them to take their own lives; while I find it touching, it saddens me to think it has taken so long to get to the point of finally recognizing it

Just a few short years ago a young teenager took his life after being bullied due to his gender ambiguity. Then there are the stories of Teena Brandon, Gwen Araujo or even Matthew Shepherd whose murder was the basis for the current hate crimes law to protect GLBT people. It's not a new problem, just one that has been made apparent recently by the sad death of a prominent student.

On an Internet board I frequent in relation to my work this week a thread started discussing this very incident. Sadly the majorities of the people on this board live in the Bible belt and are hard core bible worshipers. In most incidents these people didn't blame the perpetrators for their actions but they blamed the victim for his lifestyle. In fact a few have even stated that most should be forced back in the closet with one stating that homosexuality should be a crime punishable by death. To say it was disturbing would be putting it mildly. Unfortunately this is the mentality of a lot of people in this country, believing that we are all doomed to live be their own gods religion and rules. Religious freedom to these people only exists in one form, theirs!

As most of you know I'm transgender and chose to transition in late 2005 to save my own life. I can't say it has always been easy, I still deal with my own insecurities about who I am, my appearance, how people see me and so forth. I can say however that I've been incredibly lucky. I've not lost anyone in my life who cared about me and I only know of 2 people who were distant from me have a hard time with it.

In transitioning I learned this statement bears some truth and to this day I continue to use it when I encounter hatred such as the Tyler Clementi story.

"I spent a long time and a lot of therapy learning to finally love myself just so other people can hate me"

This one-line sum up anybody's feelings who have decided to take control of who they are and live their own lives being true to who they are. I actually coined that phrase on the first day of my change at work when everyone finally knew what was going on with me. I had a very positive reaction with the exception of one person and because of that, that statement was born.

It's never an easy thing hiding who you are and it is even worse being afraid because other people have dictated who you should be. I'm not sure just why people who have no emotional vesting in a person feel they have the god given right to have ownership of that person's identity.

When I see stories about trans-people I generally make one big mistake. I always seem to get caught up in reading the comment section and nine times out of ten, I end up disappointed in people. For instance one of the biggest things that's thrown around about people like me is our possible birth genetics.

IE: You're born a man, you should be happy and stay a man.

IE: It doesn't matter what you make yourself looks like your DNA still say's you're a man!

I find these statements funny and degrading all at once. Funny because most people who would make that statement have never had to question or hide who they were. Or what I was like before I worked to fix myself. It is degrading because they take ownership of my identity and expect me to be miserable and usually follow their religious beliefs.

Sadly, to see me most people would never question my appearance. I never get sir'ed even if dressed in gender neutral clothing. But for some that isn't the case. No matter how hard they try they will still not be able to escape the masculine or feminine features they were born with. Still, they have a right to live and be happy but because they are more obvious they are picked on, ridiculed, pointed at, started at, beaten, abused, denied certain rights and so on. The same rings true of a gay man who appears to be more feminine or a tomboyish woman who appears to be more masculine. It doesn't matter what their orientation is, they are labeled and ridiculed. Even as simple as being forced into typical gender stereotypes. It affects all of us!

So to close this long writing out I wanted to say this. It's great to see all the support and caring for such a sensitive subject. Please make this the beginning of positive change and not something that is just the current fad. The people who need support really need it, they need you. They need you to be nonjudgmental, accepting and loving. They need every one of us to stand up and say that the are not only valued but they are equals. Whether it be DOMA, DADT, ENDA or simple everyday life, please keep the ball rolling and make this world more tolerable for all of us!! We may see it as a rainbow but at the end of the day, we all bleed the same color!


Edit: For those who may not know the acronyms..

DADT= Don't ask, Don't tell (requiring homosexuals to serve in hiding)

DOMA= Defense of Marriage Act (Banning same sex marriage)

ENDA- Employment non discrimination act (Banning the discrimination of GLBT people in Employment)

Until these things change, we are only a free and equal country for some of our people.

Sep 23, 2010

March 22nd, 2011

All I did was post a date a few weeks ago. I needed time for it to sink in and time for the vacation we were planning. Diane and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on Sept 15th. While it seems like a huge milestone and I know it is, we have actually been together 27 years this year. Still it was something to be happy about and we celebrated with a vacation in Florida at Disney. We have a beautiful hotel, great weather and a park that was a tad slower because school was back in session.

Now that I'm back and have had time to start absorbing that date let me start by saying March 22nd 2011 is the date of my surgery with Dr Brassard in Montreal. It's kind of funny because the people around me are all wondering why I'm not excited about that. So let me start by saying, I am excited about it. I'm also very very nervous, a tad scared and very anxious.

While I knew that the "goal" of this was to be able to be comfortable with my body and live my life in a more normal way, it took me a long time to get to this point. I deliberately took my time to make sure that every decision was the right one. Not only for me but all the closest people to me. In my heart I know it is the right decision and yet that didn't prepare me for the wave of emotions I've been feeling.

When I took those first steps notifying a TG friendly therapist, going into counseling and making the decision to transition from male to female, I hadn't been prepared for the roller coaster wave of emotions that would hit me in those first early months.

Fear, elation, worry and so forth were just the tip of the iceberg. There's a certain amount of emotion that overcomes you in realizing that everything you knew about yourself and needed was finally coming to fruition. Annah Moore told me this was normal to feel this way, she had dealt with the same feelings in her own experience. Eventually those feelings and emotions leveled out to a sense of normalcy and life because a lore more steady for me

2 weeks ago I opened my email to find a note from Dr Brassard's office confirming that they received all my paperwork, that it was in order and that they had a date available asking if I would like it. As soon as I read March 22nd, 2011 I can say that my whole body started shaking and I felt as though I was in shock. I wrote back and told her that YES, I'll take that date after consulting with Dee.

Once things started to settle in the whole wave of emotion that hit me in late 2005 had come rushing back. It was most certainly not something I had prepared for and yet when I told Annah and my friend Cyn about it I was assured that they had dealt with the same thing. In fact I believe Cyn is enjoying reliving her experience through me ..lol.

Anyway that's the BIG news and I am quite happy about it. Now just the anticipation … lol


Sep 10, 2010

The point of this blog is here

~March 22, 2011~

Sep 7, 2010


I got read this past Saturday!

Not by a store clerk or a waiter, not by a passerby at the mall, nothing like that at all.

I got read Saturday, by a 3 year old at the family cookout!!

I generally move through life without issue. If it's brought up it is usually because I've brought it up to someone I trust. Heck I've had people I didn't know hang with us and then find out later that I was trans and they had no clue. Couldn't get it past the 3 year old though!

When I first started I was told by my counselor that generally kids figure it out. Adult just kind of don't pay enough attention. This little girl just walked right up to me with a curious look on her face and with conviction asked "Aren't you a boy?"

I must admit I was pretty surprised and a bit dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say because it was so unexpected! If you ever get honestly, it'll surely be from a 3 year old, and boy it doesn't sting any less from the age of the person.

I got F'in read on Saturday!!


Sep 5, 2010

Wow ..cobwebs .. need to clean up in here

Been a loooong time since i have felt like writing or sharing anything. Like most people in general and especially trassexual people I've had my share of ups and downs over the last year. Funny enough most of those down are do to my own thought process of just overthinking and beating everything to death. Somedays I am my own worst enemy.

Life today is as normal as it can be. Dee and I have had a rough 8-12 months with the ilness of ehr brother in law and ultimately his passing on July 27th of this year He fought a 9 year battle with a brain tumor. As tragic as itwas the one good thing is that it brought her family together in a much tighter way. She finally has a great relationship with her little sister and I'm happy to see that happen. The other thing that came of it was that my nieces were finally told of their uncles changes. They now understand why I wasn't "Uncle Kevin" anymore but now KK to them.

I have to admit out of everyone the kids were the ones that weighed on me the most because I didn't want to do anything to hurt them, I love them way too much and it would tear me apart inside if I had. Thankfully they were very cool with it and in some wierd ways have pushed and embraced it. Not bad for a 9 and 12 year old. I'm so thankful for them and their love everyday.

So after all this time is there any big news? Yup, my official letters and paperwork have been sent to Dr Brassard's office for surgery. I'm not waiting on a date.

The big question thateveybody seems to ask is if I am excited and they are shocked when i say I'm not really. But you really have to know my reasoning and have actually paid attention to the manner I transitioned in to really understand that.

In my letter to Brassard it states that I approached my transition "slow and deliberate." I never jumped in running full bore for the finish line. I worked on aspects of myself slowly and with purpose so i would know that anything I did was not mistake. I can honestly say that internally I have never ever been more at peace with who I am. Externally has been a huge adjustment. playing in bands, running a high profile guitar website and travelling for it help support an extroverted ego to some point. I never worried about fitting in or being able to be friendly and outgoing with people. That all changed with transition and I suddenly hit the opposite side of the coin having to relearn who I am and how I fit in. I can honestly say I'm slowly getting there and life gets easier and easier.

The other part of not being excited is simply because I'm scared to death and very anxious. I've never EVER been good about doctors and surgical procedures. I had some bad experiences as a kid that never quite left my mind. So while I can help other people with blood and guts type stuff, it never sat well when it was me. So it'll be a long wait to get to Montreal .. lol

Well I need to getready for a family cookout. Hope this post finds all my friends well. That is IF anyone actually reads my writings anymore. I've been so lazy I don't blame anyone about forgetting about me ... lol

Cheers people ~K~

Apr 1, 2010

As much as things change, they stay the same

It's been a while since I wrote anything regarding my transition let alone anything here to my blog. I don't even know if anyone even stops here anymore to check up. I'm not sure if life has just become complacent or I'm just living normally and I don't have anything of substance to add here. God knows there's been a lot of news on Trans rights, Health etc. For me life is just life, and while that's a good thing for the most part but it certainly doesn't mean I'm done or do not have any more moments.

It's gotten to the point that I'm just Karyn now and that's cool with me. I still however have my moment in public worrying that I'm being read or someone is simply seeing me as a boy. I've often told my wife I don't thin I'm feminine enough for this and she laughs at me. I'm not totally sure why but considering she tends to be tomboyish I can probably guess. I do know that when I'm out and get into a worrying mood that all it takes at times is to see my reflection in a window or mirror. At that point I'll usually wonder how anyone could possibly see a boy anymore. That is except the people who have known me for a long time. Yes people, it still happens.

Upon a recent trip to a local dollar store with my mother and father in law there was an elderly gentleman asking my father in law questions about ipod touch accessories. He called me over and told the man that "this guy right here can help you, he's good at this stuff" I thought to myself that not only will I never get out of Kev's shadow, but I wonder what kind of a disadvantage I am at by being outed in that manner. I did my best to help the man and explain things so he could understand them, I even called my wife over for reference on something. When the gentleman walked away he looked back and said thank you ladies, you've been a bog help!! Have a great day ..

Score one for the girls! YAY!!

It's kind of funny to think that even being "outed" by my father in law that my appearance is so girlish that it didn't matter what he told the man.

As we were walking around the store my father in law made mentioned to Dee's mom that he had me help the man and he referred to me as "he" when he pointed at me. My mother in law spun around quickly and quipped "She's not a HE, she's a SHE"

God love her! She has been so awesome to me and I see her so much differently than I did 20 years ago. She's such a sweetheart.

As much as things change, they stay the same. I'm learning that people will make mistakes and some people refuse to see it at all. Doesn't mean we aren't loved but it definitely continues to sting. For now I guess I'll take what I can get! :o)