Transgender Kids

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One of the most important and difficult tasks that parents face is how to best support their children while also setting the kind of boundaries and structure that helps them grow up to become responsible and successful adults. Sure, children and teens love to test the boundaries that adults set for them. But it is important to make distinctions between instances where “kids are being kids” and when they’re asserting things about themselves that are critical to their identity and development; as is the case with gender identity and expression.

Gender identity and expression are essential to the way we see ourselves and engage in the world around us. This is certainly true of transgender and gender-expansive children and teens, for whom family support is absolutely critical. Studies have shown that family rejection can lead to youth engaging in behavior that puts their life and health at risk, triggers depression and other mental health problems and in worst case scenarios results in homelessness or suicide. Also, family support can act as a cushion against bullying and bias outside the home. In other words, for some transgender youth, family support can be the difference between life and death.

Children are not born knowing what it means to be a boy or a girl; they learn it from their parents, older children and others around them. This learning process begins early. As soon as the doctor announces based on observing the newborn’s external sex organs – “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl,” the world around a child begins to teach these lessons. Whether it’s the sorting of blue clothes and pink clothes, “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” or telling young girls they’re “pretty” and boys they’re “strong.” It continues into puberty and adulthood as social expectations of masculine and feminine expression and behavior often become more rigid. But gender does not simply exist in those binary terms; gender is more of a spectrum, with all individuals expressing and identifying with varying degrees of both masculinity and femininity. Transgender people identify along this spectrum, but also identify as a gender that is different than the one they were assigned at birth.

At some point, all children will engage in behavior associated with different genders – girls will play with trucks, boys will play with dolls, girls will hate wearing dresses and boys will insist on wearing them and gender nonconforming behavior does not necessarily mean that a child is transgender. That said, sometimes it does – with some children identifying as another gender than the one they were assigned by the time they are toddlers.

The general rule for determining whether a child is transgender (rather than gender nonconforming or gender variant) is if the child is consistent, insistent, and persistent about their transgender identity. In other words, if your 4-year-old son wants to wear a dress or says he wants to be a girl once or twice, he probably is not transgender; but if your child who was assigned male at birth repeatedly insists over the course of several months that she is a girl, then she is probably transgender.

Sure, most children and teens go through “phases”  like only wearing all black, dying their hair, being obsessed with a certain band or asking to go by a nickname, but being transgender is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it as such can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation. Trying to change your child’s gender identity either by denial, punishment, reparative therapy or any other tactic is not only ineffective; it is dangerous and can do permanent damage to your child’s mental health.

Whether or not a child is trangender children are all the same and want affection and love from their family especially their parents. Remember that being transgender is not a phase or fad that your child is going through it’s something they truly feel on the inside and its important to remember that. Be as supportive as you can be to your children regardless of what their age is and let them express themselves the way they feel suits them the best. As they explore their gender things will begin to come to light for them if they are transgender and if you have an open mind about it they are more likely to come to you and feel comfortable to express their feelings.

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Being Trans on Vacation

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Recently my partner and I went on vacation to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina/Tennessee. This was the first time I have gone on vacation since I have come out as trans. I have not changed my name legally so when people at the hotel spoke to me they referred to me by my birth name of course and perceived me to be a woman. This was difficult and disheartening to me, but I knew it was just a fact of life at this point in my journey. I had just had my first hormone shot the day before we left on vacation so obviously nothing on the outside had changed.

Going on vacation as a trans person that doesn’t pass yet can be difficult especially when you are in an area that you are unfamiliar with. I currently live in Florida where its a tad more liberal then in North Carolina where I was. When you are uncertain of your surroundings and what people will think I think most of us tend to be cautious on what we do and how we act. I personally do only because I am cautious about my own personal safety. North Carolina is known not to be trans friendly as we all know with the bathroom bill issue. I’m sure my outlook on being trans and going on vacation will change some when I am passing.

I think no matter where you are or what you are doing you should always be aware of your surroundings to protect yourself. Because unfortunately in this world there are a lot of people that don’t like trans people or don’t understand it so the hate and turmoil you can receive from it can be devastating. What I would recommend about being trans on vacation is be yourself. We have all fought so long to be who we are that you should be yourself. Even though I got referred as she/her through out the vacation and no I did not correct them because I felt like I will never see these people again so why bother correcting them and making them try to understand something. It was easier for me in the long run to just let it roll off my back and chalk it up to part of my journey. All I can say is to be careful. I’m sorry my last two post have been short and I haven’t been posting as often. I have been super busy with stuff, but will get back on some good topics coming soon.

Toxic Masculinity

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Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men. The concept of toxic masculinity is used in social sciences to describe certain traditional standards of behavior among men in contemporary American and European society that are associated with detrimental social and psychological effects. Such “toxic” masculine norms include dominance, devaluation of women, extreme self reliance, and the suppression of emotions. Socialization begins in the infancy stages for boys and girls with boys roles idealizing toughness, dominance, self-reliance and the restriction of emotion. These norms are transmitted by parents, other male relatives, and members of the community.

Conformity with certain traits viewed as traditionally male, such as misogyny, homophobia, and violence can be considered “toxic” due to harmful effects on others in society, while related traits including self reliance and the stifling of emotions, are correlated with harm to men themselves through psychological problems such as depression, increased stress, and substance abuse. Other traditionally masculine traits such as devotion to work, pride in excelling at sports, and providing for one’s family are not considered “toxic”. Terry Kupers, a professor at The Wright Institute school of psychology, defines toxic masculinity as “the constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia and wanton violence”. The concept of toxic masculinity is not intended to demonize men or male attributes, but rather to emphasize the harmful effects of conformity to certain traditional masculine ideal behaviors such as dominance, self-reliance and competition.

Toxic masculinity effects the trans community as much as it effects cisgendered men. Some trans men try to so hard to be masculine that it becomes toxic and can cause a world of trouble for them. As trans men we need to realize that we are just as much a man as a cisgendered man and no one can take that away from us. We have to remember that our genitals don’t define who we are and where we came from doesn’t either. Who we are on the inside is what matters. Don’t try to be a stereotypical buff guy if that’s not who you want to be. No offense to Aydian Dowling, I like him and all, but he doesn’t represent most of the trans masculine community. We can be whoever we want to be whether we are masc for masc or a feminine guy. Just don’t let toxic masculinity take over your life or let it effect you.

First T Shot

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On June 16th I got my first shot of hormones (testosterone). The emotions I was feeling that first shot were all over the place. I was nervous, scared, anxious, excited, thrilled, and so many more it would take a book to list them all. Of course when something exciting is happening in your life you tend to me flooded with emotions at that time. When I go see a new doctor I get nervous about meeting them and how they are going to be and of course now I think of whether they are accepting of my trans status. Prior to seeing this doctor though I did research on her and she had a lot of knowledge and experience with trans people in my community. Most trans people I know actually go to her for hormone therapy as well so it helped in my process. If you know of anyone who already sees an endocrinologist in your community you should reach out to them and see how they are and what kind of experience they have with them. This is at least a good place to start.

Like any doctor I got there and it’s a waiting game to actually go back there to see them so of course my nerves were even higher at this point. Once the doctor came in she went through my medical history with me and wanted to verify everything was correct. Then she did a many physical on me to make sure that I was of good health overall. She asked me if I was ready to transition, if my job knew, if I had support, etc. These I am sure are some of the common questions you will be asked prior to receiving hormone treatment. She didn’t go into how I knew I was trans or how long I’ve known or anything like that which made me comfortable since I had already gone through all of that with my therapist so she should have all that information in the letter. One thing she wanted to make sure of was that I wasn’t suicidal due to my other attempts at suicide in the past.

Once she went through my medical history she went over the effects testosterone will or possibly could have on my body. Some of the effects that of course I am looking forward to and some that I am not looking forward to. Also some of the more cautious ones like thickening of the blood. One thing she said I could do to help with the thickening of the blood is to give blood every 6 months or so. I didn’t think about that, but on the other hand I passed out the last time I gave blood so I tend to be a little cautious about that. Once she went over everything she had the nurse come in and explain to my partner and I how to give me the shot. She let my partner give it to me for the first time which she was nervous for because she wasn’t prepared to give me my shot that day. I had to laugh while my ass cheek was hanging out I heard the nurse say to her hold it like you are throwing a dart and it will go right in. I thought oh lord the needle is going to get thrown into my butt. It was quite comical considering how big the needle is that you use to inject the hormones. You use a 18 gauge needle to draw the testosterone up and a 21 gauge needle to inject it. Both are big ass needles so it was easy to let my girlfriend do it because that way I didn’t actually see what was going on and I couldn’t see the needle. I think doing my own shot will be tedious because I’ll be nervous of injecting it myself.

So far I have not felt a difference which of course I knew would happen. I did have a little tickle in the back of my throat which they said could happen and to be aware of. Other than that I have had no other side effects or effects of the testosterone so far. My next shot will be on Friday and than at my 4th or 5th shot I will have to get my blood work done for her to check my testosterone levels as well as my blood count. Than I go for a follow up visit with her in a month. I have to say I am happy and relieved that I am finally on testosterone. It feels like I am finally starting to become who I was meant to be in the first place.

Transgender Terms

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There are a ton of transgender related terms out there. This post will give you a good idea of the main terms used in the transgender community and their definitions. If you have any questions about them please comment below and I will try my best to answer them.

Gender identity- A person’s innate, deeply-felt psychological identification as a man, woman, or something else, which may or may not correspond to the person’s external body or assigned sex at birth.

Gender expression- The external manifestation of a person’s gender identity, which may or may not conform to the socially-defined behaviors and external characteristics that are commonly referred to as either masculine or feminine. These behaviors and characteristics are expressed through carriage (movement), dress, grooming, hairstyles, jewelry, mannerisms, physical characteristics, social interactions, and speech patterns (voice).Those people whose gender expression is (1) neither masculine nor feminine or (2) different from traditional or stereotypic expectations of how a man or woman should appear or behave are sometimes referred to as gender non-conforming.

Transgender- An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender
expression differs from their assigned sex at birth (i.e., the sex listed on their birth certificates). Some groups define the term more broadly (e.g., by including intersex people) while other people define it more narrowly (e.g., by excluding “true transsexuals”). Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.

Transition- The process that people go through as they change their gender expression and/or physical appearance (e.g., through hormones and/or surgery) to align with their gender identity. A transition may occur over a period of time, and may involve coming out to family, friends, co-workers, and others; changing one’s name and/or sex designation on legal documents (e.g., drivers’ licenses, birth certificates); and/or
medical intervention.

Gender affirmation-Many people view their coming out as an affirmation of the gender
identity they have always had, rather than a transition from one gender identity to another. They may prefer to call themselves “affirmed females” (or just “females”) or “affirmed males” (or just “males”) rather than “transgender” or “transsexuals” because the “trans” prefix suggests they have changed, rather than accepted, their true gender
identity. This is consistent with the concept that people do not need to have any surgery in order to affirm their gender.

Androgyne- Refers to someone whose gender identity is both male and female, or
neither male nor female. A person might present as androgynous, and/or as sometimes male and sometimes female, and might choose to use an androgynous name. Pronoun preference typically varies, including alternately using male or female pronouns, using the pronoun that matches the gender presentation at that time, or using newly developed gender-neutral pronouns (e.g., hir, zie).

Cisgender- People whose gender identity and gender expression align with their
assigned sex at birth (i.e., the sex listed on their birth certificates). Cisgender is a newer term that some people prefer when writing and speaking about transgender and non-transgender people, with the nontransgender people being referred to as “cisgender”. In this manner, a transgender person is not singled out as being different or not normal.

Coming out- The process of accepting, and telling others about, one’s theretofore
hidden gender identity, gender affirmation, or sexual orientation.

Cross-dressers-  People who wear clothing, jewelry, and/or make-up not traditionally or
stereotypically associated with their anatomical sex, and who generally have no intention or desire to change their anatomical sex. Crossdressing is more often associated with men, is more often engaged in on an occasional basis, and is not necessarily reflective of sexual orientation or gender identity. Cross-dressing may be engaged in for numerous reasons, including a need to express femininity/masculinity, artistic expression, performance (e.g., drag queen/king), or erotic enjoyment.

Gender or Gender role- Refers to the traditional or stereotypical behavioral differences
between men and women, as defined by the culture in which they live, in terms of, among others things, their gender expressions, the careers they pursue, and their duties within a family.

Bigender-Similar to genderqueer and androgyne, these terms refer to gender
variations other than the traditional, dichotomous view of male and female. People who self-refer with these terms may identify and present themselves as both or alternatively male and female, as no gender, or as a gender outside the male/female binary.

Gender dysphoria- Some people prefer this term over “gender identity disorder” because it has a less stigmatizing impact.

Gender Identity Disorder-According to DSM-IV-TR, Gender Identity Disorder is the diagnosis used when a person has (1) a strong and persistent cross-gender identification and (2) persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex, and the disturbance (3) is not concurrent with physical intersex condition and (4) causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Gender non-conforming- People whose gender expression is (1) neither masculine nor feminine or (2) different from traditional or stereotypic expectations of how a man or woman should appear or behave.

Genderqueer- This term is generally used in two ways: (1) as an umbrella term that
includes all people whose gender varies from the traditional norm, akin to the use of the word “queer” to refer to people whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual only; or (2) to describe a subset of individuals who are born anatomically female or male, but feel their gender identity is neither female or male.

Intersex- A spectrum of conditions involving anomalies of the sex chromosomes, gonads, reproductive ducts, and/or genitalia. The most traditional definition of intersex refers to individuals born with both male and female genitalia, or genitalia that are not clearly male or female. A person may have elements of both male and female anatomy, have different internal organs than external organs, or have anatomy that is inconsistent with chromosomal sex. This condition is sometimes not identified until puberty, when the person either fails to develop certain expected secondary sex characteristics, or develops characteristics that were not expected. “Hermaphrodite” is an old term previously used instead of “intersex”and is now considered pejorative.

Neo-vagina- While this is the technical term for when a vagina is surgically created
and is suitable for use when having a discussion with another medical professional, it is not a term that should be used with a client during routine office visits or routine gynecological examinations. A clinician need not remind a female client that she has a neo-vagina. Simply say “vagina”.

Outing- The unauthorized disclosure by one person of another person’s theretofore hidden gender identity, gender affirmation, or sexual orientation.

Passing- When people are perceived as the gender they are presenting in (e.g., based on their dress and mannerisms match according to social norms). For example: an anatomical male dressed as a female who is perceived by others as female, or a transman who is perceived as a man.

Sex- In a dichotomous scheme, the designation of a person at birth as either “male” or “female” based on their anatomy (genitalia and/or reproductive organs) and/or biology (chromosomes and/or hormones). Sometimes “sex” and “gender” are used interchangeably. For clarity, it is better to distinguish sex, gender identity, and gender expression from each other.

Sexual orientation- A person’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual
attraction to another person. May be lesbian, gay, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. Sexual orientation is distinct from sex, gender identity, and gender expression. A person’s sexual orientation should not be assumed based on the perceived sex of that person’s partner(s). For example, a man who identifies himself as
heterosexual may have sexual relationships with men and women.

Stealth- When a transgender person who has transitioned into a different sex or
gender does not divulge the fact of transition. When a person has gone through gender affirmation and does not disclose that fact to others. The risk or fear of being “outed” may be very distressing to a person who is living stealth.

Top surgery- is a term most often used by transmen to refer to the removal of breast tissue, relocation and resizing of nipple complexes, and chest reconstruction to a male chest structure.

Bottom surgery-is a term often used by both transmen and transwomen to refer to the alteration of their genitalia.

Trans-Short for a transgender person. Its use is similar to the use of the word “queer” by some LGBT people. Some people consider the terms tranny, trans, and/or queer derogatory, especially when used by someone who is not transgender or lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Transman/FTM- Generally refers to someone who was identified female at birth but
who identifies and portrays his gender as male. People will often use this term after taking some steps to express their gender as male, or after medically transitioning. Some, but not all, transmen make physical changes through hormones or surgery. Some people will refer to themselves as men of transgender experience. Some transmen do not use FTM (female-to-male) to describe themselves because they don’t think of themselves as having transitioned from female to male. Some people prefer to be referred to as men rather than transmen or transgender men.

Transphobia- Dislike of, or discomfort with, people whose gender identity and/or
gender expression do not conform to traditional or stereotypic gender roles.

Transwoman/MTF- Generally refers to someone who was identified male at birth but who identifies and portrays her gender as female. People will often use this term after taking some steps to express their gender as female, or after medically transitioning. Some, but not all, transwomen make physical changes through hormones or surgery. Some people will refer to themselves as women of transgender experience. Some transwomen do not use MTF (male-to-female) to describe themselves because they don’t think of themselves as having transitioned from male to female. Some people prefer to be referred to as women rather than transwomen or transgender women.

Two Spirit- People who display characteristics of both male and female genders.
Sometimes referred to as a third gender – the male-female gender. The term is derived from the traditions of some Native North American cultures. Two Spirit also means a mixture of masculine and feminine spirits living in the same body. This term also represents the self-identity description used by many Native American gay men who do not identify as cross-gendered or transgender.

These are some of the basic terms out there, but if you would like to find out more you can google transgender terms. There are a ton out there I just picked out the most common ones. I didn’t know a lot of these terms when I first came out so when I was doing research I came across a lot of these and had to google the definitions myself. I thought it would be great to have a list of some you could refer to for both transgender and cisgender people.

STI’s in the Transgender Community

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Did you know that STI’s are on the rise all over the world? Despite all the education and safety measures we have, the cases of reported STI’s is increasing every year. Mind you this is just the reported cases, can you imagine what the numbers would look like if you took all the non-reported cases and added them in. As of 2015 the CDC estimated there were 110 million cases of STI’s with approximately another 20 million each year after in the United States. The WHO organization estimates 357 million new infections each year world wide with approximately 1 million each day.

The CDC estimates approximately 1 million adults in the United States identify as transgender. The lack of knowledge regarding transgender people, and the social stigma and discrimination that accompanies homosexuality in our culture, transgender people regularly fall into a gray area that has very real and dangerous consequences. It is common that transgender people don’t get the healthcare they need which increases their chance of transmitting an STI or HIV as well as passing it on to their partner(s). Many doctors don’t have the training, both in terms of medical knowledge and sensitivity, to provide care for transgender people, especially if they’ve undergone sex reassignment surgery.

If a transgender person contracts an STI the physician can not go about identifying the disease the same way they would with a cis-gendered individual. The doctor needs to understand that transgender people’s bodies are different from cisgendered people. Despite me being a man I still have female genitals, therefore checking me for an STI would be different than checking a cisgendered male for STI’s. This is why it is important that the healthcare system is knowledgeable about transgender healthcare in order to properly diagnose diseases as well as be respectful to the person. In practice, transgender people may avoid screening procedures and physical examinations due to fear of discrimination, encountering providers who are inadequately trained in transgender health, or personal discomfort with the visit or exam. I go to the gyno on a regular basis because I take good care of my health, but it is a very unpleasant experience for me to do, like most transmen.

The prevalence of high-risk factors that are routine for many transgender people, such as homelessness, incarceration, unprotected anal sex, and being employed in sex work, combined with the fact that the hormones used can cause erectile dysfunction and lead many transgender women to assume the receptive role during sex, contributes to the reality that transgender women have the highest risk of contracting STI’s especially HIV/AIDS of all demographics worldwide. Additionally, studies have suggested that the increased anxiety caused by societal discrimination, abandonment by family, and sexual rejection lead to a higher instance of alcohol and substance abuse in the transgender community, which is associated with a higher risk of contracting STIs and HIV. Transgender women have a very high chance of contracting HIV; about 49 times the risk than the non-transgender population. Statistically, African American transgender women have the highest number of positive STI and HIV test results in the United States. According to the CDC more than half of all transgender people who were tested for HIV and STI’s were tested outside of a healthcare facility with 99 percent of them being transgender.

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More research is needed to identify and begin to tackle the issues plaguing the trans community, including the high risk of HIV infection, which in turn leads to a high risk of co-infection with other STI’s. The CDC provides support for health care and community organizations dedicated to helping transgender people. Campaigns designed to reduce the stigma associated with being transgender also help by creating a kinder, gentler environment and, hopefully, reducing the instances of physical and sexual violence against transgender individuals. As with any other demographic, getting tested for STI’s and HIV is pivotal for preventing the spread of disease. The problem in the transgender community is the lack of healthcare out there. Trying to find an educated physician who understands what transgender is, is hard to come by. Confidential STI testing can also alleviate the stress and potential mistreatment that comes with visiting a physician’s office.

 

The biggest factor in not contracting an STI or HIV is have protected sex and don’t reuse needles, especially from other people. Transgender people may be at a higher risk on contracting these diseases, but that doesn’t mean we can combat that and lower our risk through education and safe practices. Don’t be afraid to get checked and make sure you go to a reputable physician that hopefully is well versed in the trans community. Provide knowledge to your physician if they don’t know because the best advocates of our own healthcare is us and other people in the trans community. Stay protected out there and make sure you get tested.

 

 

Transgender Medications

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There are different medications used in the trans community to replace our natural bodies hormones, suppress these hormones, and others to help alleviate some of the side effects of the hormone replacements. Trans men, trans women, non-binary, and all other people on the trans spectrum might choose to take these medications as part of their transition. Of course some people who identify as trans may choose not to transition medically or at least not choose to take any medications to transition. Taking medications as part of someone’s transition is a personal choice and everyone has a separate journey to walk.

Lets start with some of the feminizing medications out there on the market today. Currently on the market there is estrogen (oestrogen), conjugated equine oestrogen, and ethinylestradiol. The most common drug used is estrogen (oestrogen) in a pill format, typically taken by trans woman. Estrogen (oestrogen) comes in different delivery methods other than just a pill. It also comes in a patch which is considered to be best for people over 40, smokers, and those with circulatory problems. Estrogen also comes in a gel delivery method which is applied to the thinnest part of your skin which is typically the under part of your forearm. With the gel you need to be cautious of not transferring it to other humans especially children and animals. The exposure to estrogen gel to children can be alarming, they can develop enlarged genitals, grow pubic hair, and grow breast. For animals who are exposed to estrogen gel they could act like they are in heat even if they have been spayed or neutered. Another form of feminizing hormones that can be used is conjugated equine oestrogen. This hormone is taken from mares’ urine and put into a pill delivery method. The method of collection of this hormone from horses over the years has been seen to be unethical so it is not commonly used as well has higher risk of side effects. The last feminizing hormone that can be taken but is not typically recommended by most medical professionals is ethinylestradiol. It is taken in a pill format and has the highest risk of side effects from all the feminizing hormones out there on the market today.

Individuals who take feminizing hormones are typically trans women who are also producing high levels of testosterone. Testosterone is considered a stronger hormone than estrogen so sometimes just taking a feminizing hormone isn’t enough to combat the effects of testosterone on the body. Medication to reduce testosterone effects is quite common when taking feminizing hormones, but isn’t always necessary in all cases. There are two medications typically given to help combat the effects of testosterone cyproterone acetate and spironolactone. Both medications are taken in a pill format and block the testosterone hormone. Cyproterone acetate works by blocking receptors and it is effective against testosterone produced by the adrenal glands as well as the testes. One thing people need to be cautious about with this medication is if you intake a large amount of alcohol it will reduce the effectiveness of this medication. Spironolactone is a well-tolerated and effective anti-androgen medication, but only focuses on the testosterone that is produced by the adrenal glands not the testes. Despite that this is the most common one dispensed by pharmacist for testosterone blocking medications.

Now on to masculinizing medications typically taken by trans men, but of course can be taken by anybody on the trans spectrum. Testosterone is the hormone used for trans men in their medical transition and is typically administered by way of intramuscular or subcutaneous injection every week to ten days. There are other ways in which to receive these medications as well, some of these methods are patches, gels, buccal (tablet held between cheek and gum until it’s dissolved), and tablets. Like I said the most common delivery method is injection because it more likely to consistently work and keep the testosterone levels up where they need to be. Depending on where you live depends on the type of testosterone you typically receive. The doctor may prescribe testosterone esters which is injected, testosterone enanthate which is also injected and typically used for people with peanut allergies, and testosterone undecanoate given in injection and pill format.

There are medications out there that someone could use to reduce their levels of estrogen. Typically this is not needed if the person is taking testosterone as the testosterone takes over the estrogen levels. There are two medications out there on the market that can be used to help reduce the amount of estrogen produced in the body. Goserelin and Leuprorelin are administered by subcutaneous injections and typically have few side effects. A lot of the time it is given to trans kids to stop puberty in order for them to determine later down the line if they would like to be put on testosterone.

Another medication that is used for trans men or individuals using testosterone is Finasteride. This medication is taken in a pill format and it reduces the effect of testosterone and promotes a modest regrowth of hair on the head if the hair follicles have not been inactive for too long. One of the side effects of testosterone is hair loss so this is one way that someone could combat this side effect. Typically your doctor will not readily prescribe this medication to you, you typically have to ask to have it prescribed.

The medications transgender individuals use need to be monitored by a license physician. Never try to monitor these medications yourself, or buy them off the black market. You are not a licensed physician and need to make sure you are monitored carefully to avoid any other health problems. Like any other medications these too have side effects and some can be life threatening which makes it even more imperative that you are followed by a licensed physician. If you have any questions about these medications leave a comment below.

 

Hate in the Trans Community

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Hate in any community is terrible, but when it happens in a community you are part of it always seems worse than others because you are directly affected by it. Being part of the LGBTQ community I have encountered a lot of hate from outside the community as well as inside the community. When I identified as a lesbian it was lesbians against gays and vice versa. I find the hatred to be even worse in the trans community. I’m not really sure why its worse in the trans community and maybe its my own perception, but I feel like its worse in the trans community than it was for me in the lesbian community. The hatred isn’t just transmen against transwomen it’s also transmen against transmen and transwomen against transwomen. We are all apart of the same community and should be supporting one another through our journeys whether they be easy or hard. People let envy and jealousy take over their thoughts and it gets in the way of how they truly feel about someone. The envy and jealousy turns to hate towards someone when you should be happy for that person instead of hateful towards them.

I personally had not experienced this type of hatred being trans until this last week which made me want to write this post. I recently posted on a social media website an update on my transition, not expecting a response from anyone on it just simply giving an update on my journey. A couple of days later I got a very nasty comment from a transwoman that stated that transmen think they are under represented in the trans community and we need to get over it. That we are all full of ourselves and that all we care about is male privilege. They went on to say that I should give up trying to be a man because I would never amount to what it takes to be a “true” man. When I read this my mouth dropped to the floor. To be perfectly honest I was flabbergasted by such a rude and uneducated comment from someone who didn’t even know me. The hate towards me was insatiable and this person couldn’t think of anything better to do, but hate on someone else. You expect these kinds of things from the cis community typically due to a lack of understanding on their end, but from someone within my own trans community was just more than I could even begin to imagine. I didn’t know how to respond to this person at that moment so I waited a couple of days to respond until I had my thoughts together. I simply told them that they were ignorant and need to educate themselves on transmen. Also that they shouldn’t hate on someone that is within their own community. They never did respond back to me after my comment, but I had a great response from other people in the community on backing me up and encouraging me to keep going with my transition.

Whether you understand something or someone or not you should never jump to your own conclusions about them. Trust me I know this is something that the human race does most of the time without the person even realizing it. We jump to our own assumptions about something or someone typically based on how we were raised and the environment we lived in or currently live in. This is not the way we should handle anything especially things we don’t understand. Ask questions, obviously appropriate questions, but ask questions so that you can become knowledgeable on the topic you don’t understand. This way if you become knowledgeable about the topic you can educate someone else on it. The more people understand things the better off our society is as a whole. For me I have been educating people on transgender information. A lot of people I have run into have had no knowledge of what transgender even means let alone knowing anymore about the topic. Considering I am trans I feel like the best knowledge comes from the people within that community at least that is where I went when I first started figuring out if I was trans or not.

Regardless of what community you are in hate is not good nor should we partake in it. Stop hating on people within your own community and those outside your community. If we are hating on people in our own community how do you expect people to see our community. People already don’t understand or like the trans community so why go hating on each other we have enough haters out there as it is. Instead embrace each other differences and all. Come together as one and be there to support the community as a whole. This is extremely important in today’s society especially the month of June since its pride month. Encourage each other, love each other, carry each other threw the good and bad, listen, and just be there for someone.

Birth Names and Pronouns

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BIRTH NAMES

Why are people so interested in knowing trans people’s birth names? It doesn’t define who they are at the stage in life that they are in and they obviously don’t identify with that name anymore so whats the big deal. On multiple occasions from people who obviously never knew my birth name, but know I am trans have confronted me and asked me what my birth name was. I simply just stated that my name is Kayden and if they persisted in knowing my birth name I would tell them it’s none of their business. Because frankly it is not.

Some people refer to their birth name as their dead name. I personally don’t like this verbiage because it has a false connotation that the person is dead when in reality you are still very much alive. The only difference is you are becoming the person you identify with on the inside. Of course its up to each individual person what they want to call their birth name, just personally that doesn’t sit well with me.

Birth names can either be something that is sentimental to someone or just done right disgusted by it. Some people despise their birth name and cringe every time they hear it come out of someones mouth. Personally I don’t have this dilemma with my birth name. My grandparents still use my birth name so it’s a good thing it doesn’t bother me because otherwise I would be in cringe mode all the time considering I spend a ton of time with them. I can understand where people are coming from though when it comes to their birth name. There could be a multitude of reasons why people do not like to hear their birth name; some being they don’t get along with their parents who named them, they don’t identify with the name, people have used it in a malicious act, etc. No matter what your feelings are on your birth name at some point it was the name you went by. The best thing to do when someone uses your birth name is correct them and move on. If they are doing it in a malicious act simply tell them you won’t tolerate that kind of behavior towards you and for them to leave you alone from than on. No one needs people like that in their lives.

Regardless of whether you call the name you were given at birth your birth name or dead name it’s no ones business what it was. The only thing that matters is the name you currently go by. Whether you have changed it 500 times it still is the name you go by and the name that is most important to you and should be just as important to other people. So when people insist on knowing your birth name simply tell them its none of their business and that is not my name now.

 

PRONOUNS

Pronouns are very important to trans people and no matter what the pronoun is it’s important for people to use the correct pronoun for each individual. There are a multitude of pronouns out there today so if you are unsure of what someones pronouns are ask them. Some of the pronouns used in today’s society are below:

Nominative (subject) Objective (object) Possessive determiner Possessive Pronoun Reflexive
Traditional pronouns
He He laughed I called him His eyes gleam That is his He likes himself
She She laughed I called her Her eyes gleam That is hers She likes herself
It It laughed I called it Its eyes gleam That is its It likes
itself
They They laughed I called them Their eyes gleam That is theirs They like themselves
Invented pronouns
Ne Ne laughed I called nem Nir eyes gleam That is nirs Ne likes nemself
Ve Ve laughed I called ver Vis eyes gleam That is vis Ve likes verself
Spivak Ey laughed I called em Eir eyes gleam That is eirs Ey likes
emself
Ze (or zie) and hir Ze laughed I called hir Hir eyes gleam That is hirs Ze likes hirself
Ze (or zie) and zir Ze laughed I called zir Zir eyes gleam That is zirs Ze likes zirself
Xe Xe laughed I called xem Xyr eyes gleam That is xyrs Xe likes xemself

Recently I was at a conference and had a lady come up to me and ask me my pronouns. She had known me by my birth name previously but saw my new name on my name tag and knew I was transgender. This made me extremely happy and meant a lot to me. She didn’t just assume what my pronouns or gender was instead she asked out of respect for me and not wanting to screw up my pronouns or name. Of course you are going to get idiots like some I have that will simply ask you or someone else what is it a boy? or girl? This is just plum ignorance on the behalf of these people. This has happened in my workforce and the person ended up being counseled because of this issue. No one should ask anyone like that instead they should ask your name and what pronouns you use. Some trans people overtime tend to change their pronouns and everyone in their lives need to be respectful and change the pronouns they use for them. Sometimes people aren’t sure what pronouns they want to go by in the beginning. For me at times I have wondered if I would be better off going by they/them, but in the long run know that I want to identify as male and want names like Daddy and male pronouns to be used. No matter what pronouns you go by make sure people use the correct pronouns.

Life, Transition, and all the other things that go along with it….

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Life alone can be challenging, but when you throw transition into the mix the challenge gets a tad more complicated. Transition isn’t easy no matter what anyone says. Never determine whether someone has an easy transition or not based on what you see or hear about the person. Instead listen to them and hear their story of transition because even though the outer appearance of their transition might look easy does not mean they didn’t or don’t have battles they fought along the way. Just remember we all have a different journey and fight different battles.

A little update on my journey and where I am at in my transition. My life journey hasn’t been easy so far as I stated in my very first post and coming out each time was difficult. Since that post I have come out at work which was something I was extremely scared and nervous about because you never know what people’s beliefs or reactions will be. I have had nothing but, good responses so far on the work front. I currently work in the public sector which made it a little more tedious for me to come out. They changed my name badge, my email, and have continuously called me Kayden and used he/him pronouns. Of course every now and than they mess it up, but its the effort to me that counts. I know this isn’t an easy part of everyone’s transition so I am definitely not downgrading what it takes to go through this part of everyone’s transition. For me personally it has been an easy process so far and I hope that as I encounter more people that work for the City they have the same understanding as my immediate coworkers.

As you know I have not started hormones, but have my first appointment with the endocrinologist on the 16th of June to get my first shot. I am so excited to start my medical transition and know that along with that their will be some trials and tribulations. Over the years I have done my fair share of research on hormone therapy and what can or may happen along the way. Of course I think like most of us there are things I am not looking forward to and some other things I am super excited about. The day after I get my first shot I go on a ten day vacation so I sure hope I don’t have any strange side effects from my first or second shot. If anyone who has used hormones and has had a reaction if you could please leave a comment below and let me know what it was I’d appreciate it.

Another part of my transition that has changed is how my grandparents are slowly starting to come around. My grandmother is a diabetic and gets sharp containers all the time at a place that is in town. My grandfather was going out there to get her some and I asked if he could pick me one up while he was out there. To my surprise he did and I was very thankful and hopeful for what is to come. They still use my birth name and she/her pronouns, but they know I start hormones soon and are easier to talk to about my transition now that it has been a while since they found out. I wasn’t really sure they would ever start to come around in any way what so ever. I thought they would forever stay in their denial world, but we recently had a conversation that once I start growing a beard and looking more masculine that they are going to look stupid if they call me my birth name and use she/her pronouns while we are out in public. My grandfather said he wouldn’t use them out in public at that time. I feel like this is a good first step for them and because I don’t want to ruin the amazing relationship I have with my grandparents they are the only ones I allow to continue to call me my birth name or use she/her pronouns. I know most people would probably say, but it’s your life and you should be called what you want to be called. I agree with you, but when it comes to my grandparents I am more lenient and willing to compromise for the sake of our relationship. Another positive note on the grandparent front is that my grandma is going to go to her first support group with my partner in July. This makes me hopeful that by hearing from other family members that shes not the only one out there that has a transgender grandchild or child.

One part of my transition that is still far away, but am looking forward to is top surgery. I decided to start a gofundme page to try and get my friends and family to help with freeing me to be me. I know we are all saving for something in our transition and mine right now happens to be for top surgery. If anyone else has advice on how to save for top surgery let me know. Of course I put money away each paycheck for it, but I am always up to hearing new ways to earn money and save it. I know this post wasn’t on a specific topic it was really just an update on my transition so far. Obviously once I start T I will have a ton more to  talk about in regards to my transition. I appreciate all the support I receive from you all! Stay tuned for more topic post to come.