Monday, September 14, 2009

Apologies for the Month-Long Hiatus

It's been one of those long stretches where I don't blog anything for a month, and I'm sorry for that. I also haven't been very good at making and posting videos either. Oops.

I realize that not everyone may be incredibly interested in my navel-gazing around the actual physical changes of transitioning. I totally get that, so I'm gonna start putting stuff like that at the end of posts. I'm still going to include it because I want a record for the future, and it's important to me to mark something that's fairly monumental in my life. In addition, before I started hormones and was first thinking about transitioning, I went online and read other transfolks' blogs like crazy to see what taking hormones was like. Hell, I still search out other transguys blogs and videos to see how fast things change. So if reading about my voice changes, acne, and all of that isn't exactly your cup of tea no worries.

I finished up my year with LC/NA, my Lutheran Volunteer Corps position, on a very strong note. For those of you living outside the Lutheran bubble, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to change policy and allow people in publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous same-gender relationships to become rostered clergy. It was a pretty incredible moment to witness.

Aside from my job, the end of my LVC year was good. I really enjoyed living with my housemates, and I'm pleased that four of the five of us are in the Twin Cities this year. Over the course of the year they became more than just roommates and friends, and we built a strong community together. I'm pleased to count them among people I call family. Frankly, in some ways the end of the year felt anti-climactic. Moving out of Beth Shalom almost felt more like going on a vacation. Going back to lead snack and yak was really one of the first moments that it sunk in on a more visceral level that my LVC year was done. Even so, it wasn't sadness or disappointment or nostalgia. It was more a feeling of a closing of one chapter of my life and the beginning of another.

I do have a job, but frankly, I don't like it. It's at a company that does third party administration of benefits for companies. I don't totally know what's going on and what I'm supposed to be doing. It seems like I push a lot of paper. In addition, I'm having a hard time on the pronoun/gender identity front. I get tired of correcting the same people. I also get tired of the general sense of unease that my coworkers have when I join conversations and talk about Becky in the same way they talk about their spouses. The closed off body language, the refusal to make eye contact with me, the silence when I enter and the buzz of conversation when I leave a room. It wears down on you. And I haven't even been working here for a full pay period yet.

Needless to say, I'm looking for another job. I've set a deadline and if I don't find a job by then, I'm going to resign. It's not worth it for me to continue in a job that I don't care about, in an industry that sustains unequal access to healthcare, around people that don't share my values and aren't open to conversation, and that I come from completely drained emotionally. I want a job that I can work hard at and feel good about.

I'm feeling incredibly stressed and nervous about health insurance. I've been putting off going in for bloodwork because I can't pay it out of pocket, I also can't fill my prescription out of pocket. I won't be out of T really soon, but I'm still getting anxious. The prospect of potentially being slammed with a pre-existing condition is bad enough, but worrying about what happens if I am actually ill and can't get coverage for something unrelated to being trans has also been haunting me. Granted, a lot of that is me worrying about the worst possible scenario. Even so, insurance has been complicating my relationship with my job/job search.

On the transition front, I'm about to finish up my 15th week on testosterone. Changes I've noticed:
- My voice is continuing to drop, and I feel it more in my chest when I'm talking. It's this really pleasant feeling of the sound vibrating more through my chest, just like there's a lot more space.
- I'm growing a lot more body hair. In particular, I've got more underarm hair and more leg hair, and I'm starting to grow more hair on my lower belly.
- I smell more, and not always in pleasant ways.
- In a related vein, I need to be really diligent about washing my face because I am getting acne that is worse than what I had the first time around. Puberty 1.0 I had a few whiteheads and mostly blackheads that were easy to get rid of. Puberty 2.0 I'm getting that annoying angry red acne on my cheeks and along my jaw.
- More muscle mass in my shoulders/arms, which is nice, and helps me feel better about my body.
- More physical energy, and also mental/emotional energy.
- I generally feel better about life, and I feel a lot more stable internally. I'm happier, even with the crappy job I have.

Changes other people have commented on:
- My voice, which is good to know it's not just in my head.
- My face is starting to look more angular.
- My hips are becoming less curvy, more angular. This is really extremely exciting, and after it was pointed out to me I definitely noticed it more, and with great excitement.
- Becky pointed out to me (in a very tactful, nice way) that while I haven't been getting angry or short with anyone else, I've been a lot harder on myself. If I can't get something right the first time, or quickly, I've gotten frustrated by it. This is something I want to be mindful of and correct. I'm glad I haven't gotten short with anyone else, thank goodness, and I want to keep it that way. I want to continue practicing patience and calmness.

Here's my most recent video, it's from my 12th week on testosterone, you can definitely tell there my voice has been dropping, exciting!


Mug-z said...

Health care DEFINITELY makes the job thing more difficult. Yes, of course, you're thinking "worst-case scenario," but there are A LOT of not-worst-case but still damn bad expensive things that can happen. A LOT. Now, you know I'm hella biased on this front, but I never claimed objectivity. I am, however, sorry the job sucks so hardcore.

T does funny things. But not funny ha ha.

heart song said...

ok, so i'm commenting to tell you that:
1-it has now been far more than a month since you last posted and

2-when i was first born, i took all my naps on my uncle's chest because of the vibrations i felt and when he left, they had to record his voice/him breathing and put me on top of the tape player, so i would still feel the vibrations and fall asleep:)