How do we get to a place of mutual understanding?

I hate to keep going over an issue that really seems to get little coverage on transgender blogs but,when you have first hand experiences that affect you in personal ways it’s something worth mentioning.

What you say am I talking about? it’s the distance between the lgb and the T as much as anyone wants to say that we are somehow in locked arm on issues that concern us all it’s really just an illusion,with most Gay people and particular,those on the male end of the spectrum.

They really have about as much understanding of Transgender persons for the most part as Cis people do.While this isn’t true for all, it tends to be more than not.My peronal dealings with a great many of them,leaves me feeling that they are for the most part a very self centered group of people intrested in moving their own interests forward regardless of what is truly the civil rights movement of our time.

I don’t make these claims lightly  it’s the culmination of years of interaction with gay men,I don’t however find this to be true of  the lesbian community,guess it’s just a girl thing,can’t pin that down for sure,but they just seem more tolerant than their Male counterparts.

Most of you who have followed me for any length of time know that this has been an issue that has had a cumulative part of forming my way of thinking in regards to the LGB—-    T,experience .

Personally I find a gap that lacks very much respect in most of the male gay community  and those of us who are Transgender definitely the struggle is much different for lots of obvious reasons.

I don’t expect this gap t close anytime soon as the goals are far apart,in reality.

As for me I will try my best to close the gaps between all people regardless of their preferences in life.

But I often find some of the LGB   T community out of sync with the real goals of humanity at large.

thanks to all

Butterfly

Advertisements

Confused Shelle

526778_10151310784650765_713844030_n

This change to the way we used to be diagnosed really only make things more blurry for me;

DSM-V To Rename Gender Identity Disorder ‘Gender Dysphoria’

The newest edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual will do away with labeling transgender people as “disordered.”

 

The newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, will replace the diagnostic term “Gender Identity Disorder” with the term “Gender Dysphoria,” according to the Associated Press.

For years advocates have lobbied the American Psychiatric Association to change or remove categories labeling transgender people in a psychiatric manual, arguing that terms like “Gender Identity Disorder” characterize all trans people as mentally ill. Based on the standards to be set by the DSM-V, individuals will be diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria for displaying “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.”

“All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context,” said Jack Drescher, a member of the APA subcommittee working on the revision. “We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories. We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”

Homosexuality was diagnosed in the DSM as an illness until 1973, and conditions pertaining to homosexuality were not entirely removed until 1987. According to Dana Beyer, who helped the Washington Psychiatric Society make recommendations on matters of gender and sexuality, the new term implies a temporary mental state rather than an all-encompassing disorder, a change that helps remove the stigma transgender people face by being labeled “disordered.”

“A right-winger can’t go out and say all trans people are mentally ill because if you are not dysphoric, that can’t be diagnosed from afar,” Beyer told the AP. “It no longer matters what your body looks like, what you want to do to it, all of that is irrelevant as far as the APA goes.”

From a legal perspective, the classification of Gender Identity Disorder is extremely harmful to some trans people, but surprisingly beneficial to others.

In one legal case, says San Francisco psychiatrist Dan Karasic, a trans woman from Utah risks losing the children she fathered before her transition. Because she is trans, a lawyer has argued that her GID is a “severe, chronic mental illness that might be harmful to the child.”

But in other cases, a GID diagnosis justifies insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery and other medical procedures that sometimes accompany a transition. Having a diagnosis is the difference between a necessary medical procedure and something that can be perceived as cosmetic surgery that insurance won’t cover, Drescher says.

Others argue that GID should stay in the DSM in some form because it provides a solid legal defense for transgender people who have experienced discrimination based on their gender identity.

“Having a diagnosis is extremely useful in legal advocacy,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “We rely on it even in employment discrimination cases to explain to courts that a person is not just making some superficial choice … that this is a very deep-seated condition recognized by the medical community.”

Mental health professionals who work with trans clients are also pushing for a revised list of symptoms, so that a diagnosis will not apply to people whose distress comes from external prejudice, adults who have transitioned, or children who simply do not meet gender stereotypes.

I understand that there are legal issues that brought this to a change but it has further confused what has always been a very black and white issue in my life. A recent conversation with the person who runs the local transgender program at our pride office here left me further confused. This was the description of transgender offered by this person.

Well, for example, for me, I do not identify as male or female. I identify completely outside of the spectrum of male or female and the way I think about my gender changes a lot from day to day. I am not confused about how i identify, it just changes frequently. I consider myself trans* masculine and genderfluid because I typically identify and present myself more masculinely, but I do not identify as “male”. I never want to go on hormone therapy or get genital altering surgeries, but I would like to get top surgery and have a flat chest.

This description of being transgender really has me confused more than I thought I could be on the subject. but we have fallen under the umbrella of more and more different forms of transgenderism,now to include people who Identify as genderqueer and genderfuck,and on and on it seems who ever is outside the LGB spectrum is now included as transgender.I thought my issues were confusing enough as they were but now my once black and white issues is more confused than ever.

On the negative side, the proposed diagnostic criteria for Gender Dysphoria still contradict social and medical transition and describe transition itself as symptomatic of mental illness. The criteria for children are particularly troubling, retaining much of the archaic sexist language of the DSM-IV that pathologizes gender nonconformity rather than distress of gender dysphoria Moreover, children who have socially transitioned continue to be disrespected by misgendering language in the diagnostic criteria and dimensional assessment questions. There is very plainly no exit from the diagnosis for those who have completed transition and are happy with their bodies and lives. In other words, the only way to exit the GD label, once diagnosed, is to follow the course of gender conversion/reparative therapies, designed to shame trans people into the closets of assigned birth roles. While supportive care providers will continue to make the diagnosis work for their clients, intolerant clinicians will exploit contradictory language in the diagnostic criteria to deny transition care access and promote unethical gender conversion treatments.

This person ask me to describe what I thought being transgendered was  I referred to the diagnosis given me by my therapist,apparently the professionals don’t keep up with what the people in the LGBT community describes as transgender And I’m not what I thought I was at all I’m mixed up now more than ever,I thought I and the professionals  treating me had a handle on my identity but now I’m not sure any more.

Living somewhere in la la land  a confused Butterfly

Facing Reality and Moving On

243601_183599655147966_1837600750_o

Well here we are a brand new year a clean slate to begin a new piece of life art,in that spirit I have to take a long hard look back and then turn back around and see if I’m not seeing things in my future which surely should be left in my past.Truth is I see things that I mistakenly let myself indulge in that just don’t have any foundation in reality I fooled myself into believing that I had somehow eclipsed some precipice and could just go forward thinking I had somehow left behind the reality of what I am and live a normal life as a woman the bare bones truth is I can’t while in my everyday life and dealings with most people I interact with it works like that,but certain of my relationships will never let that be anything near the truth I just have to face the fact that I am what I am and it will never change.I can never enter into a relationship with anyone man or woman ever in my life without this truth being  the focal point of the picture so I must learn to live with the fact that there will always be an asterisk beside the person I am and learn to move on from there and find the positive things that come from  my special God-given character.So I must realize that as I am a woman I’m a very unique kind of woman not one offered that gift by birth but one who took an inner strength that I was born with and turned it into a remarkable gift I can share with the world.Here in front of all of you is where I belong sharing with you my special life and my  failures and successes as I navigate this complicated journey that is  real and all me and all those like me instead of setting my sites on things that will never be I need to celebrate what is my reality and know that it is a gift to some and to me that goes far beyond my here and now understanding something that’s growing and continues to bloom in the springs of life.I’m obviously horrible at finding a relationship that bears the fruit of my life experiences but maybe that’s because I haven’t yet learned to present it in way that is palatable to the right person I’ll work on that,I was born full of passion and passion can be a great tool there are many kinds of it the kind that drives us to better and loftier things and a kind we can share in a very intimate way with someone or many others,all this is the real me and I will learn going forward to share it in the spirit God intended.

Butterfly

The Reverse Purge

1000530_542899382433457_1602560682_n

Throughout my life I from my early years as a child and right through to near present times I  collected feminine clothing articles and for most of my life secretly used them to satisfy my need to dress in what I knew was the appropriate way for my gender. As a child I would first borrow items from my sisters and finally my mother wear them and then carefully return them as stealthily as I could hoping never to be caught or have my secret revealed. Time went by and I began buying my own things and hiding them after dressing, these moments when I was able to slip away and be alone as my self helped over time to give me times when I felt  somewhat whole in my mystery world that no one knew of. It also began a cycle, one that many like me have experienced I would go in and out of periods where I felt I could purge these items from my life and live as what the rest of the world saw me as,but alas it never lasted long before I would begin to again start a new wardrobe and cycle would begin anew, this went on and on many times in my life until I finally made the commitment to let my secret out and live my life as Shelle,even then I found myself looking back  even going back living between the two lives a blurred line that kept me with one leg on each side of the fence.

But soon the Hormones began having a very strong influence on my thinking something I was really not expecting,I had for certain thought that some good physical changes would occur but had no idea of the mental changes that would take place.It seemed that all my thought patterns were becoming  more feminine and many things I was interested in most of my life were falling by the wayside and being replaced with other very powerfully driven female interests, things I dreamed about in life were becoming a reality no longer just hidden thoughts in the back of my mind.As this continued to manifest I began to realise that to have one leg on either side of the fence was not part of my end destination and that if I continued to enable myself to indulge in this I might again spend more time than necessary to achieve my goal of being a woman full time. And so began a new period in my life one I will call the ” reverse purge” I began a systematic program of ridding my life this time of all my male clothing articles,some I gave to friends who fit them and some went to Goodwill,until finally it was all gone and the thoughts of looking back finally faded with them,this purge seemed so right and I had no ill feeling like with my others that I would soon be wanting to replace it.I realised that I had released myself from that life and fully embraced who I had been seeking in this lifetime journey,It came with a lot more work everyday but work I should have been focussing on more anyway.

Finally I had crossed a barrier that moved me a long way down the road to my true self I found it one of the most liberating moves on my journey right up there with coming out to family and friends.transformationFreedom is not easy for anyone it always comes with sacrifice and hard work,but the prize itself is so sweet.

Butterfly

Guarded Acceptance

exploding_head_3

 

I have spoken on other posts about being accepted by people but I’m still having problems with the level of acceptance I receive from my son  while he accepts me in private when others cannot find out it’s fine but in his words this is my reality and it shouldn’t affect him in his relationships with others.

It all makes my head want to explode,his stand on this prohibits us from having a “normal” relationship we can no longer go to a football game or basketball game together because we might be seen and questions may arise if someone who knows him or both of us would happen to see us.Noting that there may not be any such thing as a normal relationship with a transgender. I can no longer participate in holiday gatherings with them,because being who I am is far too controversial for these situations,essentially I’m just unable to be part of his life anymore.

While I understand he doesn’t wish to be taken out of his comfort zone for the likes of me I find it an untenable situation and don’t find this to be acceptance at all.

He doesn’t read these posts as he wishes to just keep thinking of me as I was in his youth,he won’t friend me on facebook as this too would move him from his comfort level,because people would ask questions,I do not live my life in hiding it is open to all who choose to face me he could easily just say please speak to her about this.

I can’t discuss with him the most intimate details of my life without him making an excuse to end the conversation,I have great things happening in my life now and can’t share them with him it’s most frustrating,he will likely be the last one to know I’m getting married and moving away to live with my husband.

I am at wits end with this whole thing,but will honor his wishes if he chooses not to participate in my life accept at arms length it is his choice,so I feel I will just move on without his blessing.

My happiness is at stake in this as well and he should realize I can’t give up my dreams and my life to make him comfortable always.

Rejected Butterfly

First experiences

431074_179838915465113_1997123693_n

 

Yesterday I saw my oncologist for the first time since my transition began,I had seen her Nurse practitioner,On my last few visits partly because she has me alternate visits with herself and nurse Becky  in case of emergency there is always someone available who is familiar with my case.In particular the last few visits she was not available so I saw Becky and there was a time span when the state took my mediciad benefits away.and then I waited until my medicare came into effect before returning.

I have always been extremely happy with my doctor there she is a very caring person who always treats as you her only patient, plus she has her office covered with butterflies imagine me liking that! also the people in the office and Dr. are huggers so I always get hugs and feel special there.(My son hates going with me for that reason he is not a hugger and finds it not to his liking).

On yesterdays visit her nurses and staff got me ready to see her updated my medications and paper work as needed and informed I was no longer a male patient but a female one,so along with my usual examination we drifted into a conversation about my new journey in life,she ask some great questions and commented in the end that she was proud of my courage and thanked me for sharing my story with her,and said I was her only  transgender patient.

Now on to the first experience during my exam she also did a breast examination,she ordered some blood tests,and a mammogram,which I will get on the 24th of the month. I knew that at some point in time this was likely to come up as a part of my treatment,either by her or my General practitioner.Well this is certainly a true first in my life and likely a memory that will become indelible in my mind.

I’m a little scared by it all but at the same time I know all involved are professionals,I guess we are always a bit scared of the unknown but after Oct,24th It will no longer be an unknown to me.

I will update all on the experience then.

 

Butterfly

Imagine

935921_543016582421737_1645306272_n

 

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
A woman who listens to her needs and desires.
Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past’s influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

 

I try to live like this,

Butterfly

Why?

1001093_603778943027149_578480952_n

I am repeatedly ask by people why did you wait so long to transition,I have ask myself the same question a thousand times,I can only guess that like most people like me I thought that if I practiced “immersion therapy” I could cure what seemed to be wrong in my life.I like most trans women of my age group thought that by immersing myself in in the hyper-masculine world I  would be somehow magically cured that it would rub off on my psyche and cure the fact that in reality I was a woman,But with little support and few coping skills the whole sharad only proved to be a complete failure and things just continually got worse all my life not better or less confusing but more and more the focus of my everyday thoughts.It wasn’t until around 17 years ago when I met my last wife and shared from the beginning who I was with her and she in turn was not only supportive but with her love and everyday help I began to feel emboldened and the fog I lived under began to clear I saw a more clear path to  the person I needed to become to finally have some sense of peace in my life and really begin to grow again.

This question of why is not easily answered even with my limited knowledge of who I really am I’m a work in progress and likely will be for the rest of my life,I think that is really true for all people not just those of us with gender Identity issues.Even still though the disconnect between one’s spirit and body leaves you feeling isolated,depressed and alone at best  but as you traverse this vast uncharted area that lays before you you do pick up new skills and learn as you go, that the journey to join your spirit and body is worth whatever hardships befall you.

I’m sure that for many who have never had to struggle with  identity issues  it is hard to understand WHY indeed we do this late in life, I guess my best answer is to free a soul incarcerated for years in a tomb of confusion.

Still finding your own freedom in life comes with very painful decisions about the lives you affect with your choice,only the very bravest of us ever escape the fear of hurting people we love with our quest to be whole people.

The WHY becomes more clear when you engage with us on an ongoing basis can I give a short answer that clears the air immediately no but I can live among you and answer with my life.

Butterfly

Our History

971367_540269576029771_2071187850_n

 

I encourage you all to read this great article about transgender history,we are all an ongoing part of it.

http://books.google.com/books?id=kEfZ1knAguMC&pg=PT51&lpg=PT51&dq=Cercle+Hermaphroditos&source=bl&ots=Rp7hMcAyz3&sig=K8rpo7sP-JInUVucixz33CV1oaY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tqswUv2uBIep2gXXpYD4Cg&ved=0CFkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Cercle%20Hermaphroditos&f=false

 

Okay say that Again it sounded like something I always wanted to hear.

1002409_547946581928737_1401809507_n

 

Today  I stopped by the Doctors office to make an appointment as I have been having some problems for a couple of weeks.

When I explained what was wrong she sent me to the hospital to get blood work and urine sample. I left her office and I went straight away as I have been a little worried because some of my symptoms reminded me of what was going on before my bout with cancer.

I went through registration which took a little while as I had to update my medical info after my name change and my medicare and insurance now have my new name and list me as female now.

Soon I was before the phlebotomist and she proceeded to draw three vials of blood (kudos) to her she’s the best I’ve had in sometime. then came time for the urine test,as she gave me my instructions I listened attentively as she said there are three moist towelettes in here and the sample bottle use the towelettes to wipe front to back start your stream and the put the bottle under it. Little did she realize I have no front to back yet and may never, but it was music to my girly senses.

I hope I hear this repeated to me for many  years to come it really put a smile on my face.

 

Stand by for weekend posts, I’m stocked up for more fun stuff.

 

Butterfly