Tag Archive | Feminine Protesting

‘Today Is A ‘Coming Out’ Day’

*(1970 06 00) Slim at Crater Lake (sitting) 62108991_353447288645822_7445126293500198912_n

‘Today Is A ‘Coming Out’ Day’

(11 Oct 2019)

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I am already ‘Out’.

Lemme share about my experiences.  Maybe someone is new here, hasn’t browsed this ‘Slim and Me’ web-site or social media.  Or maybe you are familiar to my life.  Either way, I’ll try to use a different angle to write about things this time.

I was Out since at least age 3.  Perhaps I did not use Transsexual for my self, but I did know about two people:

 – Uncle Frank (my mother’s younger brother) was in Transition from boy to girl (as my child’s mind perceived it) and 

 – Christine Jorgensen’s name came directed at me during times when my parents were shouting at me about what I was doing (though I don’t recall knowing why her name was mentioned when I was a child at that time ). 

I knew that I am a girl, same as my sister Kathy.  Family frequently referred to Kathy and me as ‘The Twins’.  My only childhood definition of twins at that age was two siblings born at the same time – two girls or two boys, not one of each.  Being called a twin of my sister didn’t help me differentiate from my sister, it brought me to identify same as her.

Oh, family was humoured by me.  I wore Kathy’s clothes and we painted our nails.  Or I put on my teen cousins’ make-up and nail polish during visits to their homes.  The family gushed:

 – ‘Oh, Nickie!  What a cute little girl!’(1927 xx xx) Abie's Irish Rose (book cover - green) 51p7kbWYLGL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_

That name – Nickie.  Here’s probably the first time that I shall have described in my essays how that came.  On the one hand, I hated Nickie because family used it as part of their verbal abuse against me.  Yet I came to want to embrace it when another reality hit.  Our father acquired child custody of Kathy and me following our parents’ divorce; he took us out of Public School and put us into Catholic elementary school.  My name at home, among family, among play friends, officially at Public School was Nickie.  No more Nickie at Catholic school, the nuns would not allow Nickie, the nuns forced me to use Nickolas.  No more Nickie – a name I began observing used by girls, not boys.  I resented the loss, I resented adults and authority denying another element of my girlhood.

Curious, I might not have sought a different name during childhood if the nuns had allowed me to continue using Nickie.  Instead, in my retaliation against authority, I explored innumerable girl’s names throughout 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade.  I decided upon Sharon by late 3rd Grade.  I told my mother first.  It was one Saturday morning during visitation as she cooked breakfast; we had quite a row in the kitchen.  I’ve asked Kathy many times; I’m surprised that Kathy tells me that she didn’t hear us where she was in her bedroom.  Taking it further, I don’t know what would have happened with my decision to keep Sharon – me as namesake for the other Sharon – a few years later.  Or maybe I would not have needed to have made it permanent and changed my name as part of Transition.  Small moments develop into major consequences.

(1969 06 00) Mincemeat and Nick - Grambling Apartment 64597389_2088241518143369_2973098609945346048_nLikely I would have changed my last name in any situation.

Life got difficult as I grew up.  My father was beating me for my Feminine Protesting, my female inclinations, my wearing Kathy’s clothes by the time when I was of older elementary school and high school age.  The worst was February 1971.  My family murdered my Uncle Frank a few months earlier to put an end to his Transition – to be done with him, one way or another.  I feared that this fate was happening to me that Thursday evening.  Crazy thought – I made numerous past suicide attempts and there would be other attempts wanting to end my life in later years, but there that night, that time and place, I really wanted to live, at least survive, somehow.

My teen years were living on that proverbial razor’s edge.  My father and I moved to Greece for two years during my high school.  I promised to control my Feminine Protesting, to cease wearing female attire, to study well; my father allowed me to grow my hair, tried to end his beatings.

(1972 03 00) Slim and Nick at Anatolia CampusI got lucky after I graduated from high school.  Dear Ol’ Dad took his two-years contract to teach at Brasil; I stayed home.  I had a fortuitous encounter with Denise, my next mentor; I promptly began my adult Transition at her encouragement.  That uneasy truce began to crack when my father returned home.  He snooped in my bedroom and through my privacy:

 – he discovered my Library books about Transition – especially Christine Jorgensen’s biography and books about the psychology and the sociology of Transition,

 – he found my correspondences with Transition programs, miscellaneous postal letters with Sharon as the recipient.

He resumed beating me.  What was I to do?  This was the 1970s.  There was no such thing as Domestic Violence as a crime back then.  I could hardly call the police.  Report my father?  The devout leader of our Catholic parish?  The respected Principal of our elementary school?  Police would have arrested me as an abusive son.

What if police did arrest him, prosecute him, sentence him, incarcerate him?  What was I to do still financially dependent upon him?

I finally gained employment and lived on my own.

My Transition still was not to be discussed.  Or, at least, family spread gossip among themselves making me fair game while they prohibited me from sharing my experiences and progress with them, such as:

 – I yearned to share my Transition advances at Christmas dinner 1979 (that year was one of the most momentous to that time).  This had been the first time in several years that so many of us would be together at one time and place; I so much wanted to share my joy with my family as a family.   Family shut me down.  That gathering was to be the last time when our father, Kathy, and I were together in good cheer.  If I recall correctly, the next time would be when our father was dying a decade later.

 – I showed my Diethylstilbestrol pills to my mother several months later; she laughed at me, she countered that she didn’t consider them real, she blathered to me that they were a trick, that they were candy.(2019 06 08) Inter-sex Don't Need To be Fixed 62175802_335193497131221_9095511818230562816_n

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Our Transition is not always a direct route.  My detour was when doctors diagnosed me Inter-sex (1982) and offered a surgery six months later.  The hospital psychologist was not supportive of my Transition, provided no guidance to me how to explain my Inter-sex to family.

 – My father came cross-country to visit me for Christmas 1982, he saw evidence of my exploratory hospitalisation, and asked for details; I did not know what to say.  My father snooped through my box of medical papers while I was at work.  Not once did he bother to talk with me; instead, he made his own conclusions (wrong as he was).

 – I travelled to visit Cousin Nancy from Texas a few weeks after my surgery.  I hoped that I could have figured things out enough to share with her and her family.  Nope, there was no good time to talk seriously.(1984 06 xx) Grandma Thonus and Me on Mom's Sofa

 – I later tried explaining Inter-sex to cousins Carole and Bev (1993).  I gave an audio cassette tape and diagrams to them, they were from Dr. Paul MacDonald’s Inter-sex lecture to the University of Arizona Medical School (1974).  I hoped that they would comprehend Dr. MacDonald’s explanation of Inter-sex.  They didn’t seem to grasp anything – Carole is a college graduate (I don’t know her degree), Bev is a Pharmacist.

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It’s all well-worn history when I finally managed to achieve full-time in 1985.  I had one interim situation during May when I stayed with my father at the home where I once lived with him during my years as a teenager.  This visit was home base for me to seek and secure my own home before I made my final departure from Utah.  I seriously considered presenting as Sharon during that two weeks or so, but decided that I should wait til I had my own home if this visit went bad.

My father hoped that I still was going through a phase when he invited me to my birthday dinner that July.  Nope.  I already had been living full-time for more than a month, my apartment registration was Sharon, my neighbours (including Clint) knew me as Sharon, my college enrollment and ID was Sharon.  I could not possibly do anything other than what was long overdue. 

(1986 xx xx) Golden Acres - HomeI presented Sharon to my father that evening – permanently, once and for all, no more part-time, no more denying my self to please Dear Ol’ Dad.  The subsequent 18 months was rough – he wanted nothing to do with me, did not communicate with me.  He refused my goodwill offer at his birthday (January 1986).  He was facing his denials.  All my years since the time when I was a toddler apparently did not prepare my father for this inevitability.  I am empathetic.  His wife denied a son to him and now his adopted son denied his son to him.

Our relationship settled into another truce by late-1986 – my father and I came together when the Mets played and won the World Series.  My father was becoming at ease with me, was no longer reticent about being with me in public.  Soon, he would frequently drive to visit with me.  He would pick me up from work, he observed how my co-workers accepted me, he made no slip-ups to them about my past.  We would go grocery shopping together, dine out together.  We were making progress together.  Those were among what few good times we would have.  We had a tumultuous Thanksgiving Day 1988.  He died of cancer the next July.

(1992 02 xx) Amber's DrawingI had one brief visit with Grand-Aunt Lena, Grand-Uncle Vic, Uncle Jack, Uncle Artie, Cousin Amber at their home (1992).  I was on exhibit for them – Look!  It’s Baby Sharon, she walks, she talks, she drinks, she wets.  I felt stiff, unable to relax, under their scrutiny the entire time.  Amber did present her drawing to me.

Last time when I saw Kathy was 1993.  It didn’t go well.  It has been downhill since that time.

Fast forward to family living here in town – Aunt Pat and cousins Bev, Carole, Gail, Jack.  They invited me, then they un-invited me, to Thanksgiving Day 1993.  That was the last time I heard from them til a series of awkward telephone conversations with Bev a few years ago.

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(1972 12 00) Dad - Kathy - Nick (Vienna)For years, my ‘self’ perceived me as Transsexual.  Then came Inter-sex; then came doctors specifying that I am Female XXY.  I studied Transsex and Inter-sex at the University of Utah Medical School and then at the University of Arizona Medical School during the first half of the 1980s.  I had been especially familiar about my Transsex circumstance.  Adding Inter-sex was quite a new dimension to handle, accept, comprehend, alter my self-perceived consciousness.

Living stealth did much to suppress my perspective about Inter-sex more than Transsex.  During these past four decades, I gradually came to embrace my Inter-sex though my more commanding Transsex perspective told me different.  I ponder the reversal when I learned that Inter-sex persons generally remain as Assigned At Birth versus Transsex persons who generally change from their Assigned At Birth.

 – What if I knew about my Inter-sex during childhood?

 – What if doctors and family offered the opportunity to me to have Transitioned during childhood?

 – How different would I have perceived, accepted my anatomical anomaly if I knew as early as my childhood that I am Inter-sex?

 – What difference would have been my decisions during childhood?

 – What if I did not Transition, whether as a child or as an adult?

 – What if I declined my two ‘sex change’ surgeries and instead embraced what I called my ‘Half-and-Half’ and ‘50/50’ Inter-sex anatomy?

My anatomy has always been my ‘normal’ despite competing forces:

– My Transsex drive told me to make my anatomy biologically ‘normal’ to be acceptable to CisHet normative standards.

– My Inter-sex drive told me that I AM ‘normal’. 

No regrets.  Just questions.

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I won’t belabour the point that two employers (Forest Service, State of Arizona) fired me because I am Transsexual two decades apart (1983, 2008).  You can read those details already written and posted at several essays here in social media and at my web-site.  Lemme make reference to this point that losing two careers was a life-altering situation leading to a drastic difference in my financial condition.  

– The Forest Service put me on track for promotion at least to grade GS-11.  My income at that grade would have led to an accumulated life-time income exceeding $2 million, maybe as much as $3 million.   Maybe I could have made GS-12?  GS-13?   SES?

 – Or take the difference in earnings between a woman and a man – that’s 60¢ for the woman to a Dollar for the man.  My prime earnings time frame as an adult man was less than a decade.  My earnings years as a woman spanned more than two decades, would have been more if not hindered, then derailed, by my last employer.

 – What if I waited to Transition male-to-female after my lucrative career of 30 or 40 years?  Many (most) people do that – they take full advantage of their pre-Transition Male Privilege throughout their lifetime; they avoid incurring this combination financial penalty being a woman, being Transsex / Inter-sex, being a Trans woman.

That income disparity means the diminution of life accommodations in home, transportation, comfort, travel, investments, retirement.

I lost one home, two cars, most of my personal possessions because of my Transition.  I live in a humble home needing multiple repairs beyond my means, my car remains un-repaired, my diet is from the grocery discard rack.

Thus, Dear Reader, is one aspect of my fiscal cost of Transition.  You need to know this if you are Transitioning young – that Transition from male to female incurs the difference between financial ease versus financial desperation.

I am fortunate.  I know several Trans friends – both personally and throughout social media – who are far worse than my condition.

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I invariably read social media from many of you.  I enjoy learning from you.

Many of you and I are from a similar age group born during the 1950s. Many of you report having severe experiences of anatomical frustration throughout your childhood, knowing that you are a girl, afraid to reveal your thoughts to family, punished because of your behaviour. You describe minimal knowledge about Transsexualism til adulthood – 30s, 40s, 50s – you marry, have children, make a good career, establish a solid circle of friends, yet you are gripped by fear of disclosing your life-long secret to family and friends. You report your access to Trans resources is quite different from mine.

I was fortunate when it came to Trans; whereas, I lost the family, friends, career.(2019 06 07) Christine Jorgensen 61957188_297225101160272_6758831003961131008_n

 – Christine Jorgensen was a common reference in my household, maybe because her home and our home were within the same metropolitan area rather than cross-country.  Where your parents might only have received publicity of national distribution, living locally probably provided frequent daily publicity leading to daily conversation at home.

 – Uncle Frank was in Transition during the 1960s.  Sorry, I don’t know what was or would have been his female appellation, so I stay with what I do have for consistency.  Having one Trans family member was a clear bonus for my own Transition, even though I have only one specific memory of him – watching my father and him arguing at our front door til the city police came to arrest him.  His influence throughout the 1960s passed to me when I eavesdropped hushed conversation among the grown-ups.

 – My next mentor was Denise.  Our first meeting was totally serendipitous, a misidentification on my part.  Our second meeting was equally at random.  I’m not one to intrude into the privacy of others, so I didn’t want to push myself into her life.(1977 12 30) Stanford Reply (Name Covered)

 – Linda was a co-worker where I was employed as a civilian at a military base.  She was an electronics engineer auditor who made her two-weeks TDY to our Directorate facility.  I was one of three office clerks for the civilian head and his staff of both civilian and military.  Linda and I had our own work responsibilities and schedules that did not match.  We decided that socialising at lunch breaks together might not be a good idea.  She invited me to spend an evening after work with her, she was a font of knowledge who shared as much as she could with me, she provided additional resources for me.

 – Stanford University Medical Center’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’ was one of a handful of Transition programs during the 1970s.  Denise made a referral to get me enrolled (1977).

 – Janus Information Facility was a resource agency that Linda told me about.  They provided literature that I could send to family and friends, they provided psychological assessments of my status, they provided lists of potential counselling and medical services to contact.(1978 07 00) Information for the Family (Janus) (Cover)

These were opportunities that blessed my path.  How could I not succeed!

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Each of us eventually finds our way, finds success in our own strength.  We come to our own breaking point when we realise that we are a better person living who we are rather than living who others demand.  Perhaps this is another reason for antagonism from the Cis Community.  We might perceive that we failed, but it is in our strength that we succeeded. 

Our failure was that we could no longer live a facade, our strength was that we can succeed when we live as our truth.  Most of the world lives in their failure, jealous of the rest of us who succeed when we live true to our selves – ‘A free fish doesn’t know what it is to be a hooked fish’.

Nor is there failure trying to live suppressing our Trans.  One famous Trans woman talked about how she tried sports, she tried the military, she tried being the ‘lady’s man’ – failure, yes, because she was none of that.  As she put it humourously about her efforts to ‘be a man’, she had to settle finding her success being ‘super water boy on the football team’ because she failed doing what she was not.  Success was when she found herself through her strength – her Transition.

Innumerable encounters that I had with Cis people growing up and as an adult eventually involved some degree of Cis aggression against me.  I can see where it scares the Trans child, left alone, left without family and other support structures.  Gawd, I grew up scared!  Perhaps it was humanity’s internal compass telling me right from wrong because somehow, within me, I had a strength, a sense that taking my stand was me being stronger than any bully. 

As I alluded in my essay, it was likely that many (most?) of today’s Out Trans Community may not have perceived or were not aware of Trans persons when they were children and during their younger adult life.  There were few counted actual Trans people by the end of the 1970s reported among the medical community – I have found reliable sources reporting from 1000 to 3000; certainly that fails to include children and adult Trans people living on the streets beyond the realm of official numbers.  Today is drastically different.  We can read social media at least by one Trans woman or another on any given day who is reporting that she is beginning her Transition, beginning her hormones, having one surgery or another – quite different compared to the 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, etc.

Yes – there were the occasional references and inferences in American media.  I saw an episode of the 1950s’ ‘Burns and Allen’ in syndication a few years ago cracking a joke about a sex change for one of the characters, the popularity of ‘Some Like It Hot’ and ‘Myra Breckinridge’ during the 1950s and 1960s, ‘M*A*S*H’ (and Klinger), ‘Soap’ (and Jody), and Tom Snyder during the 1970s.  Their frequent context was Trans as an oddity rather than Trans as our humanity.

There was good news during the 1970s and the 1980s.  Publicity began to present more Trans people in a positive context.  Robert Reed portrayed a character in Transition in 1975’s two-part ‘The Fourth Sex’ episode of ‘Medical Center’.  Then more public presentation among the daytime TV talk circuit – Dina Shore, Merv Griffin, Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, Jane Whitney, Joan Rivers, Jenny Jones, Geraldo Rivera.  These talk shows finally presented us as normal people, not a punchline in a stand-up routine or a gag in a TV comedy.  Unfortunately, by the 1990s, Jerry Springer made Trans into freaks and objects.

We going public were still relatively few, aware of the hazard that publicity destroyed one’s life and career.  Allow me to identify Maria; she was on a few of those named talk shows, we became pen-pals for a few years.  She reported to me that she lost everything for being public.  She cautioned me to remain stealth.  Maria, I really want to hear from you, hoping that you have been able to do well.

We are still experiencing being Society’s pejorative.  There is the ignorance of many who have little education about Trans.  Then, there are the pernicious others who know exactly what they are doing to destroy us; I’m still amazed at their weakness and hypocrisy.  Pat Robertson had positive support for Trans people as recently as 2013 when I heard him discuss the topic on his TV show; something between then and recent led him to turn on Our Community.  He embodies that failure, that lack of strength in truth.

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Summary:

And so goes today’s Out Day reminiscences.  Those experiences have been among my Trans experiences.

(2019 06 10) We treat you life family 62440894_825818261130533_1994170594186231808_nFamily can read this essay.  Perhaps you can put these events together in your Ah-Ha moment of recollection.  Or spread gossip among yourselves.  Or not.  I have no expectation that any of you will ever correspond with me.

Kathy, 

Jack, 

Gail, 

Carole, 

Bev, 

Donna, 

Cousin Nancy from West Virginia, 

Cousin Nancy from Texas, 

Amber, 

Mike, 

Rachael, 

PJ, 

Uncle Jack.

I certainly don’t expect you or any other family to bother about this.  After all, Bev, you accuse me of hiding in your bushes, waiting to attack you, because I am a ‘Monster’ (as you call me).

Please.  Gossip amongst yourselves.  Or not.

Kapung Khaf!

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Thank you to all who are responding positively to this essay.

Thank you to all the Resources whose work contributed to this article.(2015 08 20) Decide to be a Girl11046480_376569759191961_3227315234969587031_n

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Additional Resources:

Itali Marlowe – 20th Trans person murdered this year – murdered because she is Trans:
(https://www.out.com/transgender/2019/10/09/itali-marlowe-20th-trans-person-killed-2019)
(https://transgriot.blogspot.com/2019/10/number-21-rest-in-power-itali-marlowe.html?m=1)

Nope – I was not confused.  I knew at least by the age of 3 – ‘I’m a girl! I proclaimed to family.  I didn’t necessarily know that that made me Transsexual.  Uncle Frank, who began Transition when I was age 4, made Transsexuality a normal concept at home.(https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/gender-identity-isnt-too-confusing-for-your-toddler)

The Birth Certificate fight continues at Utah.(https://fox13now.com/2019/10/10/utah-supreme-court-orders-state-to-weigh-in-on-transgender-birth-certificate-issue/)

Trevor Project’s LGBT Handbook for Youth. (https://www.advocate.com/youth/2019/10/09/trevor-project-releases-coming-out-handbook-lgbtq-youth?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=youth)

AMA support for LGBT Rights.(https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/population-care/why-ama-s-standing-lgbtq-rights-supreme-court)

Stealth at work.(https://www.marketwatch.com/story/half-of-lgbtq-americans-are-not-out-to-co-workers-2018-06-27)

It’s no surprise that an anti-LGBT Republi-con is charged with child porn and sexual abuse.(https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/09/republican-state-senator-charged-possessing-child-porn-sexual-abuse-minor/)

The USA Supreme Court wants to tell Trans persons what public restroom to use.(https://news.yahoo.com/us-supreme-court-just-sent-134534353.html)

The 2020 Election is important for Our LGBT Community.(https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/10/10/opinions/2020-election-importance-lgbtq-david/index.html)

Poland right-wing attacks against LGBT.(https://slate.trib.al/VYhadkH)

TERF Lesbian opposes LGBT and Trans Civil Rights at Supreme Court demonstration.(https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/10/09/lesbian-activist-linda-bellos-supreme-court-against-trans-rights/)

Transgender youth activist.(https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/transgender-activist-lashes-scott-morrison-over-gender-whisperers-comment-20191007-p52ya8.html)

Australian Trans Community seeks health care coverage by Medicare.(https://www.outinperth.com/renewed-calls-for-medicare-to-cover-gender-reassignment-surgery/)

Surgery leads to improved mental health.(https://abcn.ws/33g6fEV)

Adult support helps Trans youth overcome suicidal thoughts.(https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/07/just-one-supportive-adult-cuts-chance-lgbtq-youth-will-attempt-suicide-40/)

A preview of the USA Supreme Court presentation.(https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/supreme-court-gay-rights-workplace-equality-895565/)

Transcript of oral arguments in Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC.

(Supremecourt.gov)

#SCOTUS 

#OurDayInCourt 

(https://t.co/tFYo0qpyqU)

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Thank you to all the resoources who make this web-site and page possible.

Please return for another essay.

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’To The Contrary’

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’To The Contrary’

(14 Sep 2019)

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This week’s episode of PBS ‘To the Contrary’ is an interview with Dr. Michele Angello.

As ‘they’ say – Check local listings.  ‘To the Contrary’ is broadcast on PBS World usually:

 – at least twice on Saturdays (7am and 5pm Arizona time), 

 – Sundays (6.30am and 2pm Arizona time), and 

 – once or twice weekdays (Wednesday at 1pm Arizona time).

Here’s the episode on YouTube:

(https://youtu.be/Rbw2bseZA68)

Dr. Angello has researched and written about the Trans and Inter-sex child.

Good presentation here.  This is quite informative in a positive way.  I especially appreciate how Dr. Angello explained the Trans child’s predicament:

 – ‘Some children come out and it’s definitively their identity and it stays static for the rest of their lives.’

 – ‘Kids can be certain of their identity.’

 – ‘I say to parents, ‘When did you know that you weren’t Trans?’.’

 – ‘Parents need to be supportive.  Love your child no matter the outcome.  Let them explore.’

– ‘Love your child unconditionally.’

 – ‘Allow your child to gender themselves, they’ll tell you how they identify.’

 – ‘Suicide attempt rates for Trans children is 41% – it’s bullying and harassment, it’s that they can’t use the bathroom, or ‘my family doesn’t accept me’, or ‘my religion doesn’t accept me, God doesn’t accept me’.’

 – ‘Folks with an opposite belief system ramp up their hate against Trans.  We’re still getting a lot of backlash.’

If only my family was this open and accepting and my medical care was that available six decades ago when I came out to them as Transsexual at age 3.  Eh, Kathy?

You who are familiar with me know that I am both Transsexual and Inter-sex (Female XXY).

If you are new, here’s a summary of my Trans / Inter-sex life:

 – I was an out Transsexual child by age 3 (1959),

 – I began my M-F Transition at age 18 (1974),

 – Denise, my mentor, helpt me enroll at Stanford University Medical Center’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’ at age 21 (1977),

 – My physicians first diagnosed me as Inter-sex (Female XXY) at age 26 (1982),

 – I am okay to say that I had a uterectomy (1982) and two Trans-related surgeries (1983, 2016),

 – I’ve been full-time since age 28 (1985),

 – Two employers (Forest Service, State of Arizona) two decades apart (1983, 2008) fired me on their accusation that I am F-M Transsexual.

 – I produced two TV shows during the 1990s: 

–  – ‘Dick’s Automative’ (about electric cars) and

–  – ‘Rock Club Rising’ (live on tape music) (https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/music/eat-the-document-6421801).

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Dr. Angello commented about trouble that Society is imposing upon the Trans person who has need of public facilities.

Why must Society be cruel and fickle?

The Public School I attended for Kindergarten and 1st Grade made no objection to me using the girl’s restroom though I attended school as a ‘boy’ (1961 – 1963). The only time I got in trouble was when our teacher scolded my girl friend and me for making wet toilet paper wads and throwing them at the ceiling inside the girl’s restroom when I was in 1st Grade.  No school officer or teacher reprimanded me when I otherwise used the girls’ restroom (the boys’ restroom stunk).

I did experience one complication inside one of the men’s restrooms at work (1985) when I was in full-blown Male Fail.  My employer (USDA Forest Service) was in the midst of firing me on their accusation that I am a woman who was working there as a man, yet they required me to continue to present as male at work.  One day, a man entered the men’s restroom as I was washing my hands. We looked at each other.  He made a sudden startled jump backward while asking to perhaps no one specifically,

– ‘Is this the men’s room?’.

I dug down deep for the best possible male falsetto that I could muster, but the most that I could mumble was a feeble ‘Yes’.  I finished and was gone.

Okay, on the serious side.

So far, so good.

The concept and acceptance of Passing may have changed through the decades.  After all, we who better appear Female to Society’s expected standards of Femininity are considered Passing and less likely to be subjected to Society’s anti-Trans wrath.

Passing was one requirement for surgery for we who were enrolled in the Stanford University Medical Center’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’.

Nowadays, we Trans persons are public in far greater numbers than the 1970s when Stanford issued their  Guidelines.  More Trans people means far wider expression of one’s Trans-ness.

Me ‘Passing’?  Dunno.  I am me, take me as the woman whom I am.

The very first time when people mis-gendered me was during my teen years residing at Greece and travelling through Europe and Asia:

(1)

– Men in Turkey grabbed my behind – that act of criminal assault committed by men of misogyny.  I was frozen. I did not know what to do, what to say, whether to scream.  My father was with me, I tried to express my anguish and fears to him, but he did nothing; maybe there was nothing that he could do.  This was my father again teaching me about misogyny and patriarchy.  This was my father trying to use these assaults as a way to convince me to not Transition, that somehow I would no longer be a girl because criminals assaulted my intimacy.

(2)

– My own family mis-gendered me – whether for real or to demean me.  My father and I shared photography of our travels and experiences of Greece and Europe.  He was showing pictures of us to family gatherings.  I could observe that these relatives were puzzled by the images.  Eventually, my Aunt Olga queried:

– – ‘All these pictures.  There are pictures of a stranger girl in many of them.  But where’s Nickie?’

– The most memorable mis-gendered photograph was my picture with the boys of the Vienna Boys Choir while obtaining their autographs.  I clearly remember how much my appearance was more a teenage girl than a teenage boy.  Indeed, ‘Where’s Nickie?’!  I have not seen any of those photographs since perhaps 1974.  I suspect that my father did not want to share those pictures because of this mis-gendered identification.  Further, my father’s older sister and her husband threw away my father’s entire collection of photography when he died.  My father kept all his photography (and most of mine) stored with them since the time when my father and I moved to Greece (1971).  That destruction was my family expressing their complete and absolute hate toward me.

One lesson of its own is that of people perceiving a Trans woman as a woman regardless of how we ‘Pass’.  People were mis-gendering me as a woman during  my years of part-time.  There I was, especially once I hit full-blown Male Fail – presenting as my male ‘before’, perceived as a woman by the public, ‘Passing’ as a woman.

No one has ever bothered me or confronted me about my presence using the women’s restroom going back four decades in time and travelling throughout the USA and three other nations.

I never thought about being denied using a public restroom and that using the women’s restroom could create trouble until I first noticed this becoming a sudden political issue in Houston in 2015.

Now I attend to my business wary of any potential complication, I enter and use the facilities with caution.

Society has become determined to put us under attack for our existence.

It’s not enough to have legal ID nowadays.  It’s not safe if some authority imposes their Panty Patrol.  No person should be subjected to strip search to use public accommodations.

*

Here’s an article about TERFs that came to my Facebook feed:

(https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/9/5/20840101/terfs-radical-feminists-gender-critical)

Hmm?

I searched the Internet in curiosity.  Looks like the book is here:

‘GYN / ECOLOGY: The MetaEthics of Radical Feminism’ by Mary Daly

(https://www.feministes-radicales.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/mary-daly-gyn-ecology-the-metaethics-of-radical-feminism.pdf)

Debbie E. referred this book to me during the early-1980s.  I need to read this again with a perspective of these four decades passed.

*

Transition comes in stages.  We adjust our attitude about life, our selves, others.

I submit that it is our maturity that brings us through our stages of Transition.

We begin our Transition abhorring every bit about our ‘before’.  We act stridently with our insistence.

Eventually, depending upon the individual, we come around – we lighten up about ourselves and about others, we come to understand the important things in life, we realise the truths in that saying:

– ‘Allow me the capacity to change what I can change, accept what I can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference.’

These are examples of what I learned to accept because I can’t change other people regarding the sensitive issue of one’s name and pronouns:

– My father never – NEVER – addressed me as Sharon to the day when he died 30 years ago, though I declared my name at age 8, went through Transition, advanced to full-time.

– One aunt, who had not seen me in several years, called me Nick the only time we met personally 30 years ago at my father’s death.  I did not take offence because of the circumstances.  Besides, correcting her would have been pointless for me, and I kinda felt nostalgic about it.

– On the other hand, my mother, my sister, other family did use Sharon, but they speak it with disgust toward me.

I deal with those situations.  It matters little what others do when I do not allow their deliberate insults to affect me and I accept their mistakes made in honesty

I learned to embrace my ‘before’ – Nick is NOT ‘dead’, he will always be part of Sharon.  So when people do refer to me in my ‘before’, I think of my efforts that brought me to today.

*

(https://www.outinperth.com/push-to-remove-transgender-experts-from-debate-on-treatments/#.XXX5T6y5W9k.facebook)

You can thank Alan Hart as the mark of the beginning of the current era of Trans in 1918.

I agree with the thought that coming out nowadays is easier because of the availability of information, resources, social media compared to past years and decades.

Unlike many of my contemporaries who describe the absence of information and resources about Transsexualism, I had the benefit of innumerable advantages throughout my childhood, teens, and early adulthood during the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s.  Those opportunities enabled me to be out as a child by age 3 and to Transition at age 18.  I consider these key:

– Christine Jorgensen and her family was from New York City, my family was from suburban New Jersey; my family continued to reside at metropolitan New York City during my first years of childhood (1950s).  I have described previously that my father’s DD-214 records that he served in the military at the same time and same duty station as then-George.  Her  name was frequently among family comment and among public notoriety.  My father regularly invoked her name (both George and Christine) whenever he scolded me for anything that I did that was Transsexual.  Was it personal?  Was it through the public common?  Or was it both?

– My mother’s younger brother – my Uncle Frank – was Transsexual, was in M-F Transition during the 1960s.  Likewise, my father invoked Uncle Frank anytime my female tendencies surfaced.  I clearly remember when family gossip was filled with self-congratulations when they had Uncle Frank murdered (1970).   Now his murder became a more severe, very real threat hung over my every effort – especially during times when my father and I experienced heated arguments when I went into my Feminine Protesting tantrums or when he beat me because I was wearing Kathy’s clothes.

– One vital element would be my serendipitous encounter with Denise, my next mentor (1974).  She gave that critical spark of initiative to me precisely when I needed it.  She would get me enrolled in Stanford’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’ (1977).

– I claim no personal association with Renee Richards.  We are contemporaries in our own Transition at about the same time, that’s about it.  I can say that I followed her early tennis career, her legal battles.  Her successes inspired me to continue.

– Another opportunity was Linda, my co-worker and mentor.  She taught to me innumerable practical tasks that I needed to accomplish throughout my Transition.  She connected me with the Janus Information Facility (Reed Erickson Education Foundation) of Galveston.  Through these resources I changed my legal ID, driver’s licence, Social Security Account identification.  I located the counselling required to continue my Transition.

How many Trans people of our generation can count maybe one or two items similar to my list?  How many Trans people of our generation can count more experiences?

I took good advantage of the abundance that came my way.  I am forever grateful for their contribution to my success.

As I frequently ponder to myself and with my trusted friends:

– Where would I be without these great people and resources who came into my life at the critical times when they did?

It’s easy to comprehend that I would have been nowhere in Transition if this assistance was absent from my life.

I ‘knew exactly who I was’ by age 3, never wavered, and received help that brought me to where I am with no serious regrets other than wishing that Transition could have been better done during my childhood.

Take away those opportunities and my life would be totally different.

It would have been likely that I would have been a late-Transitioner as many are during the recent decade.

*

Thank you.

Ευχαριστώ.

ขอบคุณ ค่ะ.

Gracias.

Danke.

*

Please take advantage of these Additional Resources:

(https://planettransgender.com/nc-transgender-woman-bubba-walker/?cn-reloaded=1)

(https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/10/dorothy-perkins-trans-woman-darcie-silver-changing-rooms-twitter-backlash/amp/?__twitter_impression=true)

(https://www.acluohio.org/archives/press-releases/victory-transgender-ohioans-to-get-their-day-in-court-in-lawsuit-against-the-state?c=182695

(https://www.eventbrite.com/e/out-in-arizona-documentary-premiere-tempe-tickets-72180994297)

(https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/09/sunderland-1980-views-gay-homosexuality-lgbt-viral-twitter/)

(https://shareblue.com/doj-brief-transgender-workers-christian-employers-women-skirts/)

(https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/religious-schools-should-be-allowed-to-deny-the-new-gender-identity-of-students-expert-says-20190910-p52px8.html)

(https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/09/christian-school-getting-anti-lgbtq-teachers-quitting/#.XXa2mSFgUJw.facebook)

(http://transspeak.com/)

WPATH Standards of Care Version 7 free download at:  (https://www.wpath.org/publications/soc)

UCSF guidelines:  (https://transcare.ucsf.edu/guidelines)

*

‘Father’s Day’

*

‘Father’s Day’

(16 Jun 2019)

*

(1969 06 00) Mincemeat and Nick - Grambling Apartment 64597389_2088241518143369_2973098609945346048_nToday is Father’s Day, huh.

I have two fathers – one who provided his germination, one who raised me after that.

Two Father’s Days come to my mind.

– 1969:

This picture is Mincemeat and me at our co-apartment at Grambling, Louisiana – June 1969.

My father and I went through another one of my innumerable Feminine Protesting arguments.  Parents always win these confrontations.  As punishment, he ordered me to clean the camper for our coming Independence Day vacation to New Orleans.

While I was cleaning the camper, the wind gusted, slammed the back door, and broke the glass.

What followed never made sense.  My father insisted that we bring Mincemeat with us to Catholic Mass.  Why would an adult bring a dog to be locked in a hot, humid vehicle on a hot humid Sunday during June in Louisiana?  Why?  Our residence apartment was air conditioned.

(2019 06 16) Grambling Apartment (1969) 64845227_418104555709684_6766767931725447168_nIn this Google Maps view:  our apartment was that last one – in the back, to the right (we parked vehicles parallel with the building; our camper faced toward the street).

Mincemeat must have been in unbearable fits.  He must have tried to get outside, to make it to fresh air.  Instead, he cut his lip on the broken glass.  Bleeding must have made him more frantic.

I remember as if today.  I knelt at the pew after Mass, praying, waiting for my father to decide it was time to go home.  I had no idea what had been happening just outside church, at the parking lot a few yards from the door.

My father’s casual time could very well have been the difference between Mincemeat’s life and his eventual death.

(2019 06 16) Grambling Apartment (1969) Where Mincemeat is buried 64359685_431706080998253_6516852237266845696_nMincemeat was suffering heat stress.  We drove to the veterinarian at Ruston.  It was too late.  The vet told us that the best we could do was take him home, keep him comfortable, keep him cool, provide water or ice chips.

Mincemeat died that Sunday afternoon.  We wrapt him in my beach towel and buried him under trees near a place where he and I played at an open field to the west of our apartment, where now there are new homes.  Here is a current Google Maps ‘satellite view’ where we buried Mincemeat.

– 1989:

My father travelled cross-country to Sloane-Kettering for cancer treatment in April.

This was the Mahwah, New Jersey, home of my father’s sister where my father was staying.  They isolated him from the rest of their family, they dumpt him in their basement – at those windows to the right of the garage door.  Gawd!  I have not seen this house since 1989.

(2019 06 16) Surnack Home - Mahwah 63213611_1797939466975200_6669567397273272320_nThat house was the scene of years of hate and derision that my father’s family directed toward me each time my father brought us cross-country to visit – 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1983, and finally 1989.  I made two serious (unsuccessful) efforts at suicide during our 1967 visit because I just needed to get away, any place.  Death seemed more logical than enduring any more of them.

I travelled to visit my father.  I arrived on Father’s Day 1989.  I stayed with my father downstairs in that basement for the next three weeks, what would be his last three weeks on Earth.  I lived in a chair that I brought to his bed-side, my feet touching his feet, giving to him a sense of connection that he was not alone.

My father’s family – his brother, his sister, her husband – sat at their kitchen table just upstairs from the basement, they talked loudly, they schemed ways to steal from his estate as soon as he died.  My father heard them.  That trio saw my father as their Gravey Train, their Cash Cow, their Golden Goose, their Meal Ticket when he was dying.  I asked my father what he thought about his family –  who really cares for him, and who doesn’t.  Their callous disregard pained him during his final days, having put years of effort into a family that saw nothing of his true value in life.

My father died of cancer at age 62 – in that basement.  I was the only family with him; I hugged him as he let go of his final breath.  His sister and her husband were upstairs watching TV – their daily soap opera on tape, recorded by their VCR timer from earlier that day.  His brother could not be bothered driving the few miles from Hawthorne to visit him more than a few times between April and July.

I was there for my father when my father’s family was not there for him at his most crucial experience.

Now do you see more excuses why his family hates me!

*

My father committed many bad deeds during his life.  I could take volumes to list the harm that he did.

But …

I shall today remind myself and others of his good.  We are all human – our bad and our good.

My father was a courageous sailor during the War in the Pacific of WW2.  The military plucked him from high school as soon as he turned age 18, they sent him through the usual boot camp, they stationed him for duty supplying combat forces throughout both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.  After the War ended, the military assigned him to the Occupation Force at Japan.  The military awarded a ceremonial sword to him.

The Army called him to duty for the Korean Conflict.  He again served with exceptional distinction.  The Army awarded the Bronze Star to him.

My father took advantage of the GI Bill upon his discharge following his service at Korea.  He studied both Engineering and then Political Science (1950s).

My father had a brief career as a drafting engineer for an aerospace company (1960s).  Among his work, he helpt design and draw space-craft.  One of his products were prototype representations of what would become the Space Shuttle.

My father was a middle school and high school teacher beginning in the mid-1960s.  He first taught high school History.  He got his Master’s Degree in Mathematics and taught middle school and high school Mathematics for the remainder of his teaching career.

During his teaching career, the National Science Foundation awarded scholarships to him to attend post-graduate Summer education programs at both Grambling College (Grambling, Louisiana, 1969) and Southern Oregon University (Ashland, Oregon, 1970).

My father taught overseas: Pinewood International School (Pylaia, Greece) and The American International School (Sao Paulo, Brasil).

My father was also a school administrator.  He was Principal at Ramah Elementary School (Ramah, New Mexico) and Naco Elementary School (Naco, Arizona).

Thank you to the students and members of the Buena Community of Sierra Vista, Arizona, where he spent most of his years as a Mathematics teacher.  Thank you who expressed your kind words to his obituary that Doug posted this week.

Thank you who came to read this tribute to my father.

*

Allow me to say that this goes the other way.  With a dose of Karma.

My father rejected me.  He had little interest in being father to me, especially as the years passed and he had to have realised that there was no reversal for me.

I never gave up on him as he gave up on me.   I was the only one with him when he died 30 years ago; his family rejected him.

I eventually learned that my father told his neighbours that I died.  Actually his story to his neighours was not really meant to be malicious; I find it curiously ingenious and endearing.  He did not know how to handle me visiting him at his home, me Sharon arriving in my Ford Fairmont driving the same car that me Nick drove.  How will he respond when the neighbours ask him about that woman driving Nick’s car?  Where is Nick?  I learned what my father did when I went to his home after he travelled to New Jersey (April 1989).  His next door neighbour approached me, introduced himself, asked me who I was.  I introduced myself only as his daughter Sharon, I did not tell him that I was Nick.  The neighbour then expressed his condolences – first about the death of my ‘brother’ Nick and now my father’s terminal condition.  I thanked him and went about my tasks.

*

Our parents of we children of the 1950s and 1960s had little idea about Trans.  Jorgensen was salacious information to them.

And, as I wrote, our parents were human – flawed at times, good at times.

*

Additional Resources:

Google Maps is cool!  I located those old haunts there.  Sometimes, places are the same, sometimes they are different.

*(2019 06 09) Slimand Me (Thassos -February 1973) 50091091_2252905174984063_633501676090687488_n

Dear Reader:

Thank you for visiting today.

Thank you for bearing with my personal reminiscences.

Thank you to the resources.

Be nice to one another.  Keep your words and actions kind and decent; no insults, we are better people.

Please return for another essay.

*

Post Script (18 Jun 2019):

I also posted this same essay to my social media page.

I noticed only one family member bothered to read and check that post.  Where are my sister, my father’s cousins, nieces, nephews?  I don’t need to imagine; I know the gossip that his niece will spread, that will travel among family during the coming days, then flitter away.

‘Thank you’ goes to you who came to my social media and to here.  Some of you knew my father as their school teacher.  You expressed to me kind regards about your experiences with my father.  Ευχαριστώ πολύ.

*

 

‘Morgan Carpenter And The ‘Courageous Voices’ Conference (June 2014)’

*

‘Morgan Carpenter And The ‘Courageous Voices’ Conference (June 2014)’

(9 Jun 2019)(2019 06 09) Slimand Me (Thassos -February 1973) 50091091_2252905174984063_633501676090687488_n

*

Everything in this list (see the attached article) is so true for me!

Lemme give a few examples how Inter-sex has been for my life:

  • I do support a woman’s right to body autonomy, including her right to have an abortion.  However, there is nothing wrong being Inter-sex, XXY, Klinefelter’s.  The wrong comes when doctors provide bad information and harmful advice to convince a woman to abort one of us.
  • My childhood was totally conflicted.  I knew that I am a girl, but my parents made me live as a boy; my father beat me because of my Feminine Protesting.
  • Catholic school sex education during elementary school and high school failed to include Inter-sex.  I knew from diagrams in the slide-shows that my external appearance was not quite as a girl, but neither did I appear as a boy.  I certainly was too afraid to ask about it in front of my class-mates and my Paediatrician didn’t make me feel comfortable asking about it when growing up.
  • I hated 9th Grade PE class and mandatory showers.  I was effectively a teen-age girl whose Gym coach ordered her to strip naked and use the men’s shower and locker rooms.  I was embarrassed about my body in the presence of my class-mates – nothing as the boys and boy did they get an eyeful.
  • My body made me self-conscious about dating.  I did date a couple girls / women during post-high school and early-20s.  But that was 1970s.  What date would comprehend Inter-sex back then?
  • For years, I felt lucky that maybe I was not among those who endured involuntary butchery.  That was not to be.  I learned only last year that an exploratory surgery that I had in 1982 (age 26) included a hysterectomy, to which I did not give consent.
  • I lived for decades calling my self ‘half and half’ and ’50 50′ – embarrassed about my anatomy and wanting to be ‘normal’.  Yet surgery that made me appear ‘normal’ sometimes makes me want to go back to what was MY ‘normal’.  Why can’t the outside world accept MY ‘normal’ the same as I accept their ‘normal’?  No regrets about surgery, just occasional curiosity whenever I think about my past experiences.
  • I am NOT a ‘Disorder’!  I am a human being, same as everyone else.

*

From the article and speech:

Morgan Carpenter

Intersex people and mental health: speech at Courageous Voices

Morgan Carpenter was a plenary speaker at Courageous Voices, the LGBTI Mental Health Conference 2014. Morgan spoke for 15 minutes on mental health and cultural issues as part of a wide ranging plenary session with Gávi Ansara and Margaret Maymen on LGBTI issues, religion, culture and also intersex.

Page last updated: 12 May 2019(2019 06 08) Couragous Voices Conference (headline) (June 2014) 62254155_334820060528514_6697754614801891328_n

Courageous Voices conference

Morgan Carpenter was a plenary speaker at Courageous Voices, the LGBTI Mental Health Conference 2014. The event was held on 26-27 June at the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park Hotel, 36 College Street in Sydney. The conference focused on LGBTI mental health and suicide prevention. Morgan spoke for 15 minutes on mental health and cultural issues as part of a wide ranging plenary session with Gávi Ansara (LGBTI Health Alliance) and Margaret Maymen (Uniting Church) on LGBTI issues, religion, culture and also intersex.

Mani Mitchell (ITANZ/NZ) also spoke at the conference, in workshop sessions, and Gina Wilson (retired president OII Australia) chaired a plenary session.

Introduction

Before I start, I’d like to acknowledge and give thanks to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I’d also like to acknowledge our intersex elders, here today, elsewhere, and no longer with us.

I’m the president of Organisation Intersex International Australia. OII Australia is an unfunded volunteer-run and intersex-led organisation that promotes the human rights and bodily autonomy of intersex people, and provides peer support, training, information and education.

I’m going to talk briefly about what intersex is, and how it relates to LGBTI, so I’ll:

introduce intersex to cover some of the basics, and help build a deeper understanding,
talk about how intersex is relevant to LGBT alliances, key health issues, some cultural and religious issues, and their mental health impact.

Intersex(2019 06 08) Inter-sex Don't Need To be Fixed 62175802_335193497131221_9095511818230562816_n

Intersex is not about gender identity; intersex people have a broad range of gender identities. There are intersex men and women, and probably most non-binary people are not intersex.

Intersex is a lived experience of the body. Intersex people have non-heteronormative bodies, bodies that affect perceptions of our realness as men or women.

Intersex people are born with atypical physical sex characteristics, including genetic, hormonal and anatomical differences. Many forms of intersex exist; it is a spectrum or umbrella term, rather than a single category. It can include differences in the number of sex chromosomes, different tissue responses to sex hormones, or a different hormone balance.

Intersex differences may be apparent at birth. Some common intersex variations are diagnosed prenatally. Some intersex traits become apparent at puberty, or when trying to conceive, or through random chance.

Intersex bodies do not meet societal expectations. Cultural, familial and medical attitudes govern to which sex we are assigned. Surgical and other medical interventions are made to ensure we conform to those norm, to erase intersex differences.

This has profound consequences for our physical and mental health.

Intersex people are regarded by medicine as having ‘Disorders of Sex Development’ (DSD). The term and framework ensure that sterilisations and normalising genital surgeries continue today, in Australia, to make infants and children “appear” stereotypically male or female.

A 2006 clinician document that coined DSD defined “psychosocial” therapeutic rationales as including “minimizing family concern and distress”, and “mitigating the risks of stigmatization and gender-identity confusion” [1].

A medical paper published this year still describes an intersex birth as a “challenging clinical emergency” [2].

It isn’t just an issue for children: the impact is lifelong.

Adults, too, are subject to coercion. For example, in competitive sports, the International Olympic Committee mandates that national authorities, “actively investigate any perceived deviation in sex characteristics”. Other sports codes follow suit. This means that “butch women” in particular are at risk of being singled out.

A British Medical Journal article in April documented how 4 women athletes from developing nations were subjected to clitorectomies and removal of their gonads – with no guarantee of continued access to medical treatment for the rest of their lives [3].

Relationships with LGBT communities

Most intersex people are heterosexual, most are not trans, we’re a different community, so what’s the relevance for LGBT people?

Historically, surgeries are heteronormative – preparing people for heterosexual intercourse. Biologist Anne Fausto-Stirling described this as how “penetration in the absence of pleasure takes precedence over pleasure in the absence of penetration” [4].

Research on intersex foetuses and infants is longstanding, and has been used (so far unsuccessfully) to establish a cure for homosexuality.

A 1990 peer-reviewed article by Heino Meyer-Bahlburg entitled, “Will Prenatal Hormone Treatment Prevent Homosexuality?” considered how research on intersex differences could be used to explore the potential “prenatal hormone screening or treatment for the prevention of homosexuality”. While his research showed the “scientific groundwork” to be “insufficient” at that time, prenatal screening and treatment of intersex traits continues [5].

A 2010 medical paper talked about how “low interest in babies and men – and even interest in what they consider to be men’s occupations and games – as “abnormal,” and potentially preventable with prenatal dex”. Prenatal dex treatment remains available in Australia [5].

In some intersex variations, such as 47,XXY, we know that up to 88% of foetuses identified are terminated, framed as major genetic defects – despite the WHO acknowledging no impact on life expectancy and often goes undiagnosed [6].

In October 2013, the American Journal of Bioethics published 11 papers on the ethics of genetic testing in embryo and cells before IVF [7]. A quote from one of them reads:

Parental choice against intersex may thus conceal biases against same-sex attractedness and gender nonconformity. [8]

So, we’re different to issues of sexual orientation or gender identity, but our issues are related and we belong here.

Medical treatment in Australia

Our major health issue remains outstanding. In October 2013, a Senate Committee reported on the “Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia [9]. It said:

Normalising appearance goes hand in hand with the stigmatisation of difference…

The surgery is intended to deconstruct an intersex physiology and, in turn, construct an identity that conforms with stereotypical male and female gender categories.

There is frequent reference to ‘psychosocial’ reasons to conduct normalising surgery… there is great danger of this being a circular argument that avoids the central issues…

Irreversible medical treatment, particularly surgery, should only be performed on people who are unable to give consent if there is a health-related need to undertake that surgery, and that need cannot be as effectively met later, when that person can consent to surgery.

These surgeries happen even while a major clinician group here acknowledges “particular concern” regarding post-surgical sexual function and sensation [10]

The report described preconceptions of “normality” underlying intervention as raising “disturbing questions”. For example, a 2011 Dutch study of physicians’ views on the desirable size of women’s labia minora found that male doctors were more likely to recommend reduction surgery than female doctors [11].

The Senate Committee report said that it “does not favour the status quo” – but it remains to be implemented.

Culture and religion

What I’ve described so far is pretty much true anywhere that Western medicine is available.

If we look at religious and cultural responses to intersex, culture is almost more important.

In Malaysia, a classic study on intersex showed that assignments of infants with the same intersex variation differed depending on the parent’s culture, with Malay parents far more willing to consider female assignment (and surgeries) than Chinese or Tamil parents [12].

In Uganda and some other parts of Africa, responses to an intersex birth can involve the stigmatisation of the mother and infanticide [13]. Funder-led shifts from “LGBT” to “LGBTI” alliances have created an additional layer of complexity and damage.

White Australia has culture, too.

Female Genital Mutilation is criminalised, with no exemptions for “cultural, religious or other social customs” – however, there is an exemption for surgeries to “give a female, or a person whose sex is ambivalent, the genital appearance of a particular sex” [14].

Yet at the same time, the State of Victoria has published guidelines for medical intervention, and psychosocial rationales for surgery explicitly include cultural issues, including “reduced opportunities for marriage”.

Surgeries are carried out on infants with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia assigned as girls, that are identical to surgeries that are considered “female genital mutilation” in non-intersex girls.

Intersex women need to be part of conversations about women’s health.

What of religious responses? In a 2012 hearing on marriage equality we heard from Chris Meney of Catholic Life, Marriage & Family Centre, Sydney, who said:

People suffering from Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome and things of that ilk are typically infertile or regarded as being mentally handicapped in some way. Many things about marriage require people to have the capacity to consent to what marriage is all about, so a significant mental incapacity might be something that might mitigate against a person being able to consent to a contract of marriage [15].

Rabbi Gutnick, President of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, said:

In Jewish law a person who is of indeterminate sexuality, depending on the nature of that, is considered to be a male and is permitted to marry a female [15].

The US Southern Baptist Convention took a resolution on “transgender identity” this month to their recent conference that also considered intersex to be a physical manifestation of “human fallenness” [16].

Religion is not all the same. I’ve talked with human rights advocates from Pakistan who describe how intersex kids there are traditionally able to choose their gender in adolescence.

Here, the Salvation Army published a report of a training session with Tony Briffa of OII Australia, headlining it “Made in God’s image” [17].

The mental health impact

Consider, what does it mean for your mental health:

  • when up to 88% of pregnancies with your intersex variation are terminated?
  • when you’re subjected to reparative therapy, in infancy?
  • when your parents are told to keep it quiet, and tell no-one.
  • when the limited data on long term outcomes of therapy identifies particular concern regarding sexual function and sensation.
  • when clinicians change the language used, in a way that disconnects youth from intersex-led support groups.
  • when you realise that your body had to be surgically modified to be socially acceptable?
  • and when you do disclose that you’re intersex, people assume you’re trans even when most are not.
  • most intersex people are heterosexual and not trans, but you’re automatically queered.
  • your common issues aren’t about your gender, but about responses to your body.

There’s 60 years of medical research, but little on mental health outcomes; most focuses on genitalia, or psychosocial development. Most contains sampling and selection bias, such as selecting patients treated only at a particular hospital with a specific approach, such as using chronically ill people as a control group and calling the outcomes “normal” [18].

In a study of 37 patients, where 36 had undergone surgical interventions (Schützmann et al, 2007):

The prevalence rates of self-harming behavior and suicidal tendencies in the sample of persons with DSD were twice as high as in a community based comparison group of non-traumatized women, with rates comparable to traumatized women with a history of physical or sexual abuse [18].

Goals

We need clear, consistent messages, that promote an understanding of intersex as a range of innate physical variations in sex characteristics.

We need recognition of who we actually are and what our issues are. We need allies who will challenge misconceptions.

We seek an end to stigmatisation and pathologisation.

Intersex people need self-determination and bodily autonomy, and freedom from shame and stigma.

Thank you.(2019 06 08) Couragous Voices Conference (Morgan Carpenter) (June 2014) 62037357_826814344355370_7686094548879015936_n

More information

Find out more about the conference here

References

[1] 2006 clinician “consensus” statement, referenced in Fifth submission to Senate inquiry on involuntary or coerced sterilisation.

[2] Pasterski, Mastroyannopoulou, Wright, Zucker (that Zucker) and Hughes authored a paper entitled Predictors of Posttraumatic Stress in Parents of Children Diagnosed with a Disorder of Sex Development in Archives of Sexual Behavior, in February 2014, referenced in Intersex health and wellbeing: the role of parent counselling in two contrasting studies.

[3] Rebecca Jordan-Young, Peter Sönksen and Katrina Karkazis, Sex, Health, Athletes, referenced in Women athletes forced to undergo clitorectomies to compete.

[4] Anne Fausto-Stirling quoted by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report, “Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia chapter 2.

[5] Articles “Will Prenatal Hormone Treatment Prevent Homosexuality?” referenced in Fifth submission to the Senate inquiry on ‘Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia.

[6] Terminations of foetuses, referenced in Submission on the ethics of genetic selection against intersex traits.

[7] American Journal of Bioethics Volume 13, Number 10 (October 2013).

[8] Jason Behrmann and Vardit Ravitsky (2013) Queer Liberation, Not Elimination: Why Selecting Against Intersex is Not “Straight” Forward in the American Journal of Bioethics, 13:10, 51-53, http://www.tandfonline.com/…/f…/10.1080/15265161.2013.828131, accessed 11 September 2013.

[9] Senate Community Affairs References Committee report, “Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia.

[10] Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group submission to the Senate inquiry on involuntary or coerced sterilisation, quoted in Fifth submission to the Senate inquiry on ‘Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia.

[11] Reitsma et al, referenced in Fifth submission to the Senate inquiry on ‘Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia.

[12] Kuhnle and Krahl, 2002, The Impact of Culture on Sex Assignment and Gender Development in Intersex Patients, in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, volume 45, number 1 (winter 2002):85– 103, The Johns Hopkins University Press.

[13] Ruthann Richter, Stanford Medicine, SCOPEBlog (4 March 2014) In Uganda, offering support for those born with indeterminate sex

[14] See Third submission to the Senate inquiry on ‘Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia.

[15] Transcript of 2012 Senate hearing hearing on marriage equality.

[16] The US Southern Baptist Convention Bulletin (10-11 June 2014).

[17] Salvation Army: Intersex people “made in God’s image”.

[18] See Third submission to the Senate inquiry on ‘Involuntary or coerced sterilisation.

Contact Morgan

ABN: 72 793 916 756.

I acknowledge that I live and work on Gadigal Land. I pay my respects to past, present and emerging Elders.

Original content is copyright © 1998-2019, Morgan Carpenter. All rights

(https://morgancarpenter.com/mental-health-courageous-voices/)

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Additional Resources:

(Pending)

*(1970 06 00) Slim at Crater Lake (sitting) 62108991_353447288645822_7445126293500198912_n

Dear Reader:

Thank you for visiting today.

Thank you for reading the included articles.

Thank you for bearing with my personal reminiscences.

Please return when I shall have added Additional Resources for further information about this essay and the articles.

‘Thank you’ to the Resources who make this web-site possible.

Be nice to one another.  Keep your words and actions kind and decent; no insults, we are better people.

Please return for another essay.

*

‘The Human Package’

*(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46715025_254095831934289_6151024042733207552_n

‘The Human Package’
(22 Nov 18)

*

This seven-minutes video has been making the rounds:

The video finally made it to my Facebook feed last Saturday.

Please watch it.  Post it to your own web-site, your Facebook page, and other social media and web-sites.  Share it wherever, however you can.

This should be required viewing by all parents and grandparents – to be aware of their children and grandchildren.

School officials need to see the harm that they commit upon Trans students when they deny our rights to our personal dignity.

(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46479356_292651214923596_8881156206714945536_nNever mind that the video includes holes during its seven minutes of story-line.  That’s okay.  The essence, message, ending is what is important.

*

I shared an intimate version of these comments with my close friend bestie.  I might as well share a public version of these comments with everyone else in a public post.

Allow me to preface. I know that my family knows what I present to you today.  These people will not be coming here:

  • my sister Kathy – she doesn’t read here;
  • both Mike and Rachael – they don’t visit here;
  • cousins Gail, Carol, Bev – they don’t come to this page. Cousin brother Jack – he has not had much good for me since I used his bed as a trampoline;
  • Cousin Nancy T – she sent Seventh Day Adventist conversion books to me in 1985, she disavowed my existence in 2015;
  • Cousin Nancy B – she disowned me this past Summer;
  • Uncle Jack – he sent a curious text message to me six months after I sought to re-connect with him.

(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46492597_649282082133867_4657382804009517056_nThere are few other family members to mention.

As an adoption, I have no idea who are my biological family.  The mom and dad who raised me are long dead.  Other than an odd communication from Kathy, I haven’t been part of any family for decades, haven’t heard much from them in decades.  The last of it was 1993 – Aunt Pat deliberately un-invited me to our family Thanksgiving Day gathering.  Curious timing – then and now.

*(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46485362_571267473319644_9021072106481254400_n

Watching this video flooded me with memories.  I sure wish that my parents could have been as this father in the story.  What a difference!

It brought back that infamous afternoon and evening – it was the first Thursday of February 1971 – when I was in 9th Grade.

Remember.  When I was younger, when I was first wearing Kathy’s clothes at age 3, my parents scolded me.  It was not for wearing them.  Nope.  It was for taking something from Kathy without asking.  Certainly an appropriate lesson in life.

But that was no longer the issue as I got older and I continued wearing Kathy’s clothes.  It no longer mattered that I borrowed her clothes without her permission.  The issue was that I was wearing her clothes.

My dad knew that I was wearing Kathy’s clothes when he was not home.  We had frequent fights about it, he hit me for doing it.  I had a sense to not do it in his presence. I had a real fear of danger to my life, especially at that time.  You know the details – family recently murdered my Uncle Frank a few months earlier in 1970 during his Transition.  I did not want to be next.

(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46507221_2146806312009529_3331016913533796352_nI usually returned home from school each day at about 3.30pm.  I changed from my school clothes to Kathy’s clothes as soon as I arrived.

My dad typically did not arrive home til after I was in bed (10pm bedtime) because he attended college classes at the university after teaching at his school.  This day would be one exception.  My dad came home early – at 4pm – that February day.

I happened to go to the kitchen for some reason that I have lost in what would follow.  Likely it was routine, maybe a glass of water or a snack before starting to do my homework.  Jesuit school piles on the homework.

I casually happened to look outside the kitchen window.  I saw the pick-up camper truck parked in front of our home.  There was my dad walking up the driveway to the kitchen door entrance coming home unexpectedly early that fateful afternoon.

Panic!

I made a mad dash to my bedroom, closed the bedroom door, began trying to change clothes as fast as I could.

Mind you, this is only my dad and me living there at home – us ‘guys’ – no closed doors.

My dad entered my room saying ‘Why is your door closed …’, but his words didn’t get any farther as he opened the door to see me un-dressing – some of Kathy’s clothes on me (bra, skirt, undies), some off (a blouse).

He just gave a cold stare as he left me alone to finish changing.  That cold stare didn’t go away as we made supper and ate in silence, as I stayed in my bedroom doing homework all evening.

Then, late, about my bed-time, he came into my room.  At first he was hushed.  He mostly just stood there.

Another row starting quietly.

He asked me,

  • ‘Why do you want to be a girl?’

He yelled.

Any reply that I said in prior arguments – my ‘Feminine Protesting’ – was pointless:

  • ‘I AM a girl, dad!  I’m NOT a boy!’
  • ‘I’m gonna do it, Dad!  I’m really gonna do it!  You can’t stop me!’

(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46501726_235930533786555_7133446830431404032_nHe grabbed me, pulled me close to him.  I began shaking, scared to say anything, scared for my life.

He hit.

My dad went off on me.  That was when he then grabbed my right arm, pulled it around my back, and taunted me to scream:

  • (2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46765901_509385949472201_5892305048297275392_n‘Scream!  No one will hear you.’ he snarled.

If only my dad could have hugged me – as that father in that video – instead of yelling and beating me.

Why couldn’t I be Sharon?  At least at home?

This was nothing new to family for years when they earlier said to me, ‘Oh, Nickie, what a cute little girl!’.  Remember – Gail?  Carol?  Jack?  That’s exactly what you said to me when I was age 3, 4, 5, etc.  You even initiated conversation about this with me in 1993.

I knew that there was no way that I could finish 9th Grade at the Jesuit boys high (2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46495823_2141758495876300_1017716479589613568_nschool as Sharon.  Doubtful that I could have transferred to the corresponding Jesuit girls school either.  But we could have figured something practical beginning 10th Grade and the rest of high school.

Certainly, part-time at home would have provided some sense, some opportunity for me to test my female self.

Then came Greece – my dad said that he needed to take me from harmful influences at our home town – I could have attended Pinewood as Sharon.

*

Here comes the philosophy.(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46494600_748523345505865_1536549856091308032_n

I truly consider that, if my dad was compassionate that day, my life would have been totally different from that point.

Having changed to Sharon at 9th Grade would have changed everything in my life from that time forward.  All my experiences of life would have to be totally different.  Nothing can be the same.

  • Pinewood and Greece.
  • My dad going to Brasil.
  • My meeting Denise and starting Transition.
  • Where I attended college.
  • Where I was employed; the jobs that I did.
  • All my work-mates would be different.
  • If I worked for the federal government:  Fort Huachuca, Forest Service.
  • I would likely never have met Linda, my second mentor.
  • My Transition itself would have been totally different.

Every person whom I would have known would be different, relationships would be different, or perhaps not at all.

(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46488091_256786768348996_5440445682412421120_nWho knows?

Transition was typically done through university medical schools during the 1970s (see pages 7 and 8 of the Janus book that I posted here at this web-site – ‘Janus Information Facility’, 9 May 17).  Would I still have been enrolled at the Stanford University Medical Center’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’ without Denise’s referral?  Where else would I have gone?  In what other program?

If I had no connection to Stanford and Janus, then who knows how much different I would have my enthusiasm for their documentary ‘What Sex Am I?’ (HBO, 1985)?

No!  I would change nothing.  For better, for worse, for whatever.  Everything is who I am; I could never want to change.

*(2017 11 17) The Real Thing video 46505866_1492175967584111_3865114346107437056_n

Thank you, Friends, for visiting and reading.

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Thank you to the resources who contribute to this page.

Please visit those references when I add them to these essays.  The contributors work hard and tirelessly to bring about sense from the non-sense.

*

Please return for another essay.

*

‘Breaking Out The Loose Ends’

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‘Breaking Out The Loose Ends’

*(1969 xx xx) Slim - Muffin - Charlie (Side yard)

(24 Apr 18)
(Draft)

*

Greetings, Wai, Sahwdee Khaf, Yasou.

I am overdue for a post to this web-site.

Much has been happening – life – allow me to share some moments that I hope are of interest to you, Dear Reader.

*

I found Mary G a few weeks ago – my Pinewood school-mate and Prom date for 10th Grade and 11th Grade.  We are doing well catching up on old times.

Here’s one of her favourite songs:

It’s good.  Give a listen.

*(1972 xx xx) Dad-Slim at Anatolia campus

In terminology during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s when I was young, there we these.

‘Pseudo Transsexual’:  Someone with a mental development of a sex different from their assigned sex, but has minimal desire to change from their assigned anatomical sex.  ‘I want to be a girl.’  ‘I want to be a boy.’

”True Transsexual’:  Someone with a mental development of a sex different from their assigned sex and is determined to change it – consistently, persistently, insistently.  ‘I am a girl!’  ‘I am a boy!’

‘Feminine Protesting’ tantrums:  When a boy insists that she is a girl.  ‘Masculine Protesting’ was for a girl who insists that he is a boy.

‘Gender Dysphoria’:  A mental condition when identity is incongruent with anatomy.

(1972 03 00) Slim and Nick at Anatolia CampusSome people insist using ‘Transgender’.  That is becoming an umbrella term that actually does not apply to many it purports to include.  Its literal meaning is someone who changes their gender identity.  My gender identity has always been female, so ‘Transgender’ doesn’t apply to me.

‘Transsexual’ is used by some to report that they changed their sex anatomy.  Technically, this also doesn’t apply to me because I always have been a genetic female.  It was my birth room doctor who erroneously assigned me to ‘male’; it was my family who forced me to ‘present’ as male based upon that faulty assignment.  It was one of my doctors during Transition who diagnosed me female due to Inter-sex in 1982.

‘Trans’ tends to be used as both short-hand and as a way to better include ‘Transgender’ and ‘Transsexual’.

Some people currently scorn the use of ‘sex change’, I don’t.  It was a common term that I recall from my youngest days and into the 1980s.  While maybe in detail it is not what happened to me from my perspective, it is a simple term to explain what I did as perceived by the outside world.

(1973 02 xx) Kathy-Nick-Slim at Thasos‘Hermaphrodite’ was in common use until some time recently.  It fell into disfavour, but I have no idea why.  I have seen ‘Inter-sex’ being used as far back as 1974.  I am fine using either term for myself.

*

I don’t have value in chiropractic.  As to what it is – I consider it as little more than a massage.

My dad had kidney cancer from at least 1963; it’s what killed him by 1989.

I often wonder if my dad’s prescription pills that I was downing in October 1968 (trying to commit suicide) were pills meant to treat my dad’s kidney illness.  He was hospitalised in January 1969.

My earlier suicide efforts were kinda dumb – the ‘I’ll show you’ sort.

When my dad and I stayed at his sister’s home (Summer 1967), I would sit on the railroad tracks near their home, I hoped a train would hit me.  None came.  I didn’t know that the rail was a commuter line – morning and evening rush hour only.  D’oh!

Anyway.

Skip to 1980s.  My dad’s illness was hitting him.  He continually complained of ‘back’ pain.  I was employed in the medical community – health insurance utilisation review.  I was honestly concerned for my dad’s health.  He went to chiropractic; he refused to see medical doctors or cancer doctors as I tried insisting.  His chiropractor obviously failed to recognise my dad’s true reason for ‘back’ pain – his kidney cancer that was spreading throughout his entire anatomy.

As Lisa told me, my dad was teaching class one day (January 1989).  He suddenly collapsed right there in his classroom.  Emergency ambulance took him to the hospital, doctors finally examined him, they told him that he had six months to live.

You and me – we compare our dad’s timeline to our own.  I am at my dad’s timeline same as when that hospital doctor told him that he was terminally ill.

*

My Thai Experience friend sent this URL to me:

I tried to listen to that Dr. Bowers’ video.

‘Try’ is the key word.  The audio volume is almost nothing – I have my device’s volume full blast, but can barely hear her.

It is frustrating!

Whoever edited this didn’t bother to check the volume levels.

*(1970 06) Slim - Crater Lake (sitting - portrait)

I have been experiencing back pain – or at least perceiving pain at my lower back – during the past three weeks.

The frustration is how that pain – or at least the perception of a sensation that my mind interprets as ‘pain’ – comes and goes with no connection to anything.

My back feels okay lying down, getting up, walking, moving, bending – small twinges, but quite okay.

Sitting initiates paralysing ‘pain’ – I can barely move when I try getting up – it is absolutely excruciating – YOUCH! – the pain hits.  But once I walk, move, bend, stretch, then I have no disabling pain – just a twinge.

Lying down on my back, I can move, bend, and no pain.

This is frustrating!

I think that I am hungry and want to eat, but when that pain hits, I lose all interest.  I have barely eaten much these past weeks: a couple burritos from the fast food joint, Dragon Fruit, four apples, two Dragon Fruit, three pears, a can of sardines, yoghourt, and three cans of pineapple.

I went to my clinic’s Urgent Care facility.  They took X-ray views of my back and sides to determine any injury or deterioration of my spinal cord, vertebrae, discs.  No real issue there.  My X-ray established that I can eliminate vertebrae, disc, and spinal column injury or damage.  The doctor supposed that my pains are muscular and prescribed muscle relaxers.

It is not as though I did something to stress a muscle – no over-working, no excessive movement.

Two days later I began experiencing diarrhea that continued for five days.  But I had a colonoscopy less than 18 months ago; my Primary told me at my appointment from last week that there is nothing wrong with my bowels.

Along the way I saw network TV news reports about e coli poisoning spreading through the area.  I read about e coli from a handful of reliable Internet web-sites and wonder if this is what I have.IMG_0296

I clean fruits and vegetables as reasonably as possible – skin fruit, too (banana, orange, avocado).  I wash eating utensils and dishes. I wash after using the toilet.

I read that it helps to soak fruits and vegetables in baking soda before a final wash.  I bought baking soda the other day, mixed some in a bowl with baking soda in some water, soaked some items.  We’ll see if that helps clean better – if this was e coli from tainted food.

The only event that I can determine is that perhaps an e coli infected person touched something on the city bus and that I touched that infected surface.

A friend suggested seeking chiropractic treatment.  I don’t have value in chiropractic.  As to what it is – I consider that it is little more than a massage.

My dad had kidney cancer from at least 1963; it’s what killed him by 1989.  He was hospitalised in January 1969.  I often wonder if my dad’s prescription pills that I was downing in October 1968 (trying to commit suicide) were pills meant to treat my dad’s kidney illness.

Anyway.

Skip to 1980s.  My dad’s illness was hitting him.  He continually complained of ‘back’ pain.  I was employed in the medical community – health insurance utilisation review.  I was honestly concerned for my dad’s health. He went to chiropractic and refused to see medical doctors or cancer doctors as I tried insisting.  His chiropractor obviously failed to recognise my dad’s true reason for ‘back’ pain – his kidney cancer that was spreading throughout his entire anatomy.

As Lisa told me, my dad was teaching class one day (January 1989).  He suddenly collapsed right there in his classroom.  Emergency ambulance took him to the hospital, medical doctors finally examined him, they told him that he had six months to live.

I compare my dad’s chronology to my own.  I am now at a time in my life corresponding to my dad’s life when that hospital doctor told him that he was terminally ill.  These are heavy thoughts for me to ponder; I can barely comprehend my dad’s thoughts.

*(2015 08 20) Decide to be a Girl11046480_376569759191961_3227315234969587031_n

Quite simply put, no one goes into fits when a child with apparent female anatomy says that she is a girl; similarly, no fuss when a child with male anatomy says that he is a boy.

But just let a child self-identify different than how their birth room doctors assigned them and whole populations want to deny civil rights, go to war, kill.

You likely said to people when you were a child – ‘I’m a girl’ (when your doctor assigned you female) or ‘I am a boy’ (when your doctor assigned you male).  No one sought to beat you for it.

Well, when I affirmed to my family that I am a girl – at least as young as age 3 – my parents beat me, my sister beat me.

But they were inconsistent.

We would go visit relatives here where I grew up.  I made a bee-line to the bathroom, put on my teen cousins’ make-up, and was greeted with: ‘Oh, Nickie, what a cute little girl!’.  Then my cousins, my sister, and I would all go into our cousins’ bedroom, play records, and I would dance ‘like a girl’ to their amusement.

My school where I attended Kindergarten and 1st Grade had no issue when I used the girls toilet.  The only time I ever got in trouble being in the girls restroom was when my girl friend and I got caught throwing wet toilet paper at the ceiling and walls.

When I wore Kathy’s clothes, I got punished for taking them without permission, not for wearing them.

First time I was forced to use male toilets at school was Catholic school beginning at 2nd Grade.  The nuns would have none of me dare use the girls toilet.

*(1977 12 30) Stanford Reply (Name Covered)

I took time to ponder the past four decades. It all fits – it is all interconnected.

  • Stanford University Medical Center’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’ accepted me in 1977.
  • Forty years ago this month was my first medical appointment to obtain clearance; my physician approved me to proceed with Transition

I have few of my own experiences to compare that are typical of the ‘vanilla’ M-F Trans person.

One was wearing women’s undies – full-time beginning when my dad and I lived at New Mexico (1977 – 1978).

I first bought my undies and female attire through the Sears catalogue (1977) – separate orders from that which my dad made, but scheduled for the same pick-up date.  We ordered many items from that catalogue.  I was the one who drove to pick-up our merchandise.

I didn’t have the nerve to go as Nick to buy in the store.  No urge to browse lingerie specialty shops for me.  I still buy undies, bras, slips at the intimate section at Target or K-Mart; it’s just utilitarian to me, not erotic or sensual.

My Transition was long ago; I can’t consult with my diaries because they were stolen (2014).

I got to start thinking about 1979.

A pivotal year!  Gawd, yes!  That year – 1979 – was so pivotal.

I had my medical appointment with the local physician (January).

  • What if I chickened out?
  • What if I said that all I wanted was a general physical exam now that I had health insurance?
  • What if I failed to present my Stanford papers to him?
  • What if he tossed me from his office?
  • What if he didn’t offer referrals me to get my counsellor? That led to my Internist? That began my estrogen?

Brave?

Scared!

I had no idea what to expect.  I was honest with him – I told him that I didn’t obligate him to be my doctor unless he could do it, but rather use his connections to help me find someone at Flagstaff.

I was scared about work.  I feared that I would need a doctor’s letter to verify my appointments and that they would reveal my medical privacy.  My work supervisor never required any verification from me.  I suppose that she knew anyway.

(1978 07 00) Information for the Family (Janus) (Cover)I visited with Kathy and my mom that February.  They both were overhearing my telephone call to a counsellor.  I overheard them later talking about me.  That is okay, I was always glad that you heard – it forced my family to comprehend my initiative even though they refused to talk with me about it.  That was when I heard my mom say her words to Kathy – that she was ‘one and done’ with Kathy, that she is not my birth mother.  That truth freed me.

That Summer 1979 was my first Forest Service vacation.  My dad drove to New Jersey, Kathy drove me to the airport, I flew to meet my dad at New Jersey, we stayed one week, we drove home the next week.

My Estrogen was beginning, it was working its magic.  My personality was suddenly quite different; little bothered me during that time because of my new-found euphoria.  I also felt good physically – upstairs and downstairs.  You know – same as Cis female puberty.

I wore T-shirts that trip – the same that I had been wearing before ‘E’.  My lack of self-consciousness, lack of new self-awareness, hardly realised how much I might have been showing upstairs.  I didn’t think much about til I was there in New Jersey.  Maybe my T-shirts were now too tight?  It was too late to pack something different.  At least I remembered to pack male undies.  How could I toss my female panties in the wash at my Aunt’s home before leaving New Jersey?  Can you imagine her wailing about that discovery!  That was probably the last time when I wore male undies for such a duration.

My dad most certainly must have known that something was, um, developing.

I so much wanted to share my news – with my dad, with family.  Nope, family was out, I couldn’t take that chance and start an argument where I had no place to go for safety.

I was the one who made driving music – usually I would dub a mix of genres and artists that my dad and I both liked.  We could play the cassettes when we drove through radio dead zones.  But something was very different about the music that Summer 1979.  The only male performance was Paul McCartney’s ‘Back to the Egg’.  All the other artists were female:  Blondie, Suzi Quatro, Shocking Blue, Heart, Jan Park, Dana, Patti Smith, Genya Raven, Janis Ian among what I immediately recall.

My dad refused to talk to me during our alone time.  Maybe it was fear – my dad was afraid for the inevitable that he saw was happening right before him.  Maybe he was trying to be sincere when he kept telling me to ‘talk to a priest’?  That started when we lived at New Mexico (1977).  But that priest was absolutely anti-Transsexual.  I knew because of his sermons. He didn’t say ‘Transsexual’, but it was part of his weekly diatribe.

My dad and I drove cross-country mostly in silence.

*

I think that it helpt me that I hardly fell susceptible to lures from advertisements.  Certainly having older female cousins and an older sister presented female role models and female realities to me – clothing styles, make-up, hair fashion, hygiene.  I as much grew up as a girl presenting as a boy – an unwilling F-M.

I wonder what people do today.  I submit that you Newbie transitioners only become aware of advertising targeting women when you begin your Transition.  You try figuring what real Cis females do.  You see that advertising – newspaper, magazine, TV – selling the ideal woman.  You don’t know what to think because female life is new.  You suddenly see all that junk and you get that false notion that women do what is shown in those ads.  Lingerie stores can attract the Newbies – someone new in their Transition.

I see Trans women walk around in gaudy clothes that do not match – as if they figure that when the label says ‘female’, then they wear it.  Nope, not like that.  Female sense for everyday attire is a simple match of clothing and accessories.

Some M-F Trans persons appear – at least to me – as though they have not bathed in a week, washed their hair in the past month, no sense of self and presentation.  But I am reluctant to judge because I don’t know where they are in their life – maybe they are in crisis, maybe someone taught them badly, maybe they don’t know better.

Others know how to dress appropriately – tops, skirts, jeans always match, always well-groomed and bathed.  You are pleasant to be with.

My best time was from 1985 (when I went full-time) to 1989 (before my dad died).  I was in great physical condition, I cared about my self.  My clothing was fashionable; my wardrobe during my work life was reasonable office conservative – plain matching tops and skirts, nothing flashy, no low-cut tops, no skirts or hems above the knee.  My dad’s death put me in a downward spiral that I have been fighting for 30 years.

My current attire is what could be termed comfortable.

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I found this album on YouTube a few days ago – music from my Transition past that I really miss (it was stolen by those crooks in 2014).  I dubbed my album to audio cassette back in 1979 as driving music for my dad and I.

I could sing along with it when I had my singing voice.  I just began my Estrogen when this album came out (1979).  The opening track – ‘Something happening to me …’. Yes!

I played Jan Park again when I was outside on my patio washing a couple towels and a sheet the other day.

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Another album from my past in 1979:

I used the intro of that song for background music on several productions I did at the radio station where I was a DJ.

Allow me to share some of the lyrics, how I felt them, how I re-worked some of the lyrics to fit events in my life during 1979 when this album was released:

(1)

‘The smaller the town, the more the rumours fly around and they stab you in the back.’

– Small-town people, small-town employer – the rumours of my status, my co-workers with their hurtful gossip.

(2)

‘When you’re 17 …’, ‘Read between the lines …’

– I am a Janis Ian fan, had most all her albums, relate this to my interpretation of Ian’s ‘At Seventeen’, ‘Society’s Child’.

(3)

‘Makes you realise living in a town this size …’

– But the small-town people and co-workers didn’t even know my name, they never ‘knew’ me.

(4)

‘You know it made me see ..’

– They were never fooling me.

(5)

‘The stab in the back and the rumours in fact …’

– Are more than in my mind – they were quite real, quite painful.

(6)

‘I found the truth …’

Telling me to be!  Not going back.

(7)

‘The girl is back …’

– You can say I’m going ‘home’ – somewhere else will be my ‘home’.  You could say I’m never calling that small town, that small-town employer, my ‘home’ though I left with many emotions from there.

Many reasons why I stopped there when I drove the moving truck from Utah to Tucson (1985).

I could have easily filled up gas at Flagstaff and drove right through without stopping.

I had to see if anyone still knew me five years later.  Nope.  No one recognised me.

The woman at the diner downstairs from where I once resided didn’t bat an eye at me, not one sliver of recognition.

Nor the filling station on the corner.  I could have gone to the Whiting Brothers that was cheaper, but the guy at the filling station knew Nick every day for two years.  All he saw of me Sharon in 1985 was some crazy bitch who has no business driving a truck – about what he was cursing at me when I drove to the pumps.

(1985 08 xx) Pima CC ID - (1988 xx xx) DES IDI travelled there sometime later – don’t recall what year other than likely before 1989.  I went to my former Forest Service employer pretending to be a tourist seeking information.  OMG!  Lydia was still working the reception desk.  My heart nearly beat me out of my gourd.  All the days Lydia and I talked during lunch and break for two years, not even Lydia, a decade following Nick’s departure, recognised Sharon.

I also saw a few others during the few minutes there, I currently don’t recall whom.   They didn’t recognise me.

Most all those co-workers were phonies.  They considered Nick only as a foul rumour – queer, f*gg*t – words they spoke behind my back when they didn’t know I was listening.  Or maybe because they knew that I was listening, but they were too cowardly to tell me to my face.

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This came into my Facebook feed:

I noticed it is from ‘Ehipassiko’ – that was the first Trans web-site that I found three years ago, but haven’t checked in since maybe two years ago.

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Well, I don’t know.

Is it me?

Is it them?

I met many people these three years since I put my stealth in my past – people at Trans support groups.

Then I look at all the people I met doing TV for more than 20 years.

People from work.

I have only one friend in my life from all these years.

Am I that unpleasant to everyone else?

Maybe my self-isolation stunted my capacity to socialise?

Certainly outsiders could surmise that I am weird if maybe my Transsexualism complicates my presence that they don’t understand.  But they do not know that I am Transsexual and Inter-sex.

Certainly people at the support groups can’t use my Trans and Inter-sex against me.  They are hardly in a position to render that judgement against me.

Yep.  Support groups played their role in my life and now it is time to move on.

We’ll see what happens with other social ideas.

This past Saturday morning was the Phoenix Electric Auto Club meeting.  I decided to ditch this month.  Maybe next?

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I agree that the past is done.  My past made me who I am today.  I would be someone else somewhere else if I had a different past.

Just one tweak, for example.(2002 xx xx) Estrogen Warnings (p 1 of 2)

If I left Tucson that fatefull December 1999 Sunday evening a few minutes earlier (or later?).  I was being sociable with the gas station attendant, wishing him Merry Christmas in case I didn’t return til next year.  Five minutes earlier (or later) and that bus might not have hit me.

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Experiment with your estrogen if you think it will work.

I have been amiss – off my estrogen and progesterone meds – these past two, three weeks.  I had none during the 10 days prior to my blood draw.  I figure that will test where I am without all exogenous hormones.

I still have not made much effort to keep current.  I don’t totally care right now.  But it’s not just prescriptions.  I have also ditched vitamins and supplements.

That is not to mention lack of interest in food.

*(2002 xx xx) Estrogen Warnings (p 2 of 2)

Religion makes a difference to people.

Some can’t get past their dogma that lets them abuse and beat a Trans child or other Trans family member (such as mine).  Other families allow the opportunity to learn with the child.

You are accurate about the life-or-death option.  My family chose that they would rather have me a dead ‘male’ than a living daughter.

My mother beat me quite severely when she had custody of my sister and me.

When our dad got custody, then he was the one who beat me – sometimes hitting me for 30 minutes and more.  Kathy used to keep score of the time and tell me how long.

The reason why my dad and I travelled to Greece was directly following a beating.  We had a real bad argument the first Thursday of February 1971.  He literally pulled at my right arm trying to dislocate it all the while taunting me to scream.  ‘No one will hear you.’

The next day, he came home from work and told me that he applied to two foreign schools – one at Afghanistan, the other at Greece.

Pinewood hired my dad.  There you have it.

All through Spring 1971, my dad warned me that I better keep my mouth shut, ‘or else’.  I did have arguments with my dad while we lived there at Greece, but I also had the sense to take in the experience.

Nowadays, not one local ‘family’ member has anything to do with me.  I occasionally send texts to them asking to visit – no reply.  My Cousin Bev recently unfriended me from Facebook.  Kathy does not correspond with me.

I can’t say that no ‘family’ will communicate with me.  Relatives from West Virginia occasionally text me.  Cousin Nancy posted some harsh comments to my Facebook page recently.  And there is her older brother Cousin James.

I am the only one in ‘family’ who is Left of Ghengis Khan.  My ‘family’ are long-time Republi-con.  Bev’s older brother made the rounds in his state’s politics – himself a loyal Republi-con appointed by Republi-con governors to be director of various state agencies to impose Republi-con ideology.  He ran the state Republi-con Party, or whatever it was.

My sister Kathy and her family are among the infamous ‘1%’.

Sometimes I try excusing my ‘family’.

My dad received the Bronze Star for combat in Korea.  God only knows what he must have experienced the couple years when he was there.

My mom was an alcoholic.  She frequently told me how she was bullied at school as ‘that little Mexican girl’ so much that she quit high school early and found comfort in booze.  She was okay sober, but deadly on booze.

Our dad goaded Kathy to beat me or else he would beat her.

Crazy family.

There was no such thing as ‘domestic violence’ when I was growing up during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s.  Besides, even if there was, what was the point?  I was a child during my mom’s custody; my dad presented evidence of abuse and beatings to the Family Court, but they ruled that my sister and I had to remain in our mother’s charge – susceptible to further beatings during her drunken rages.  I lived dependent upon my dad til 1978 when the Forest Service hired me; if I had called the police on my father and they arrested him, prosecuted him, sent him to prison – then what was I to do?

I so understand people who have been demoralised by family abuse.  It is a trap with no escape.

*2016-11-08-democratic-party-election-night-party-5-news-watch

Most all politoical candidates pose to their electorate:  ‘Elections have consequences’.

I pose that same point to you, Dear Reader.  Liberal or Con-servative.  Democratic or Republi-con.

We don’t elect candidates in a vacuum.  No candidate is perfect – same as the rest of us.  Thus, our choice is not merely the individual candidate, but their political party, their political platform, the history, the following – all part of those ‘consequences’.

There are people in my life who claimed to hold similar perspectives as mine, yet they are Republi-con, they campaigned for Crooked Drumpf, they tell me to wait and give him time.  Others now claim that they preferred a different Republi-con candidate.  Does not matter.  You failed to consider the consequences of your vote.

() Supreme Court Guts Voting Rights ActThese people remain absolutely blind about Hillary Clinton.  They only know their Republi-con Party line:  hate Clinton, love Crooked Drumpf.  They have no motivation to recognise that their Party lies to them.

Some are starting to peel away, deny that they ever supported Republi-cons or Crooked Drumpf.  Yet they are not taking concern for the consequences of their vote.

People change only through their own initiative.  Some will not examine themselves, they refuse information contrary to what they hold as their truth.

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Barbara Bush.

Sorry, I don’t feel mushy about her.  She was mildly defined as a Feminist during the 1970s.  But both husband George and boss Reagan read the riot act to her in 1980 – either fall in line politically, ‘or else’.  She abandoned her principles to surrender to George, Reagan, the Party.

I have no respect for her doing that.

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So here I am – I am at this place in my journey because of what I did 40 years ago.  I wanna laugh.  I wanna cry.  I wanna celebrate.

With you – friends, family, support group members, strangers on the city bus.

Or without you.

*(2016 01 19) Bangkok Central Train Station (Ildi)

Dear Reader, allow me to spend my time outside on my patio enjoying the Spring weather, the fresh air, hearing the birds chirping and cooing.  I would like to socialise with the human species, but find it difficult as long as the rest of it considers me that misfit outcast.

Thank you for visiting today.  Please return for another essay.  Meanwhile, enjoy the other compositions here at this web-site.

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‘Leap Year Day’

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‘Leap Year Day’

So went another Leap Year Day – this in ‘The Year of the Monkey’.

Shine on!

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To be both inter-sexed and transsexed is both a curse and a blessing.  Perhaps my life would have been better if my parents allowed me to transition as a child; there were many points in time when that change would have been seamless.  On the other hand, I did get a chance to experience my life as a sex that was not me – and learn from that experience.

Though I transitioned during the 1970s and I endured two operations in the 1980s, my past is as much a part of my present as it will be my future.

We of the ‘baby boom’ era endure people who are less accepting than those of younger generations.

Sadly, many family members will reject you; some to your face, many behind your back when they think you are not looking.

My family experiences were total rejection.

Maybe it was the finality.  Maybe they failed.  Maybe they perceived me making irrational statements rather than rational commitments.  It must be tough for them to reconcile that I have been post-op more than 30 years while they remain in denial of that fact.  Last December, I reminded both my sister and one cousin (local to where I currently reside) of my change; they continue refusing to accept reality.  Neither will allow me to visit them and neither will allow me to contact their adult children.  My sister has denied to me the opportunity to contact her children their entire lives; I have no idea what they know of me.

Both my immediate and extended family accepted me only when I presented my self to them as a lie though they knew the truth at least as long as I remember.  Once I presented my truth to them, they abandoned me.  So much for family.

All my family knew about:

  • my feminine protesting tantrums throughout my childhood and into my teen years,
  • my cross-dressing in my sister’s clothes and my experimenting with make-up of my older female cousins since age three,
  • my declared female name by age eight, and
  • my stated intention to begin transition at the earliest adult age possible (which I did at age 18).

Those were among my list of rational commitments; all kept.

I placed all the signs open and available to my family:

  • they either saw the signs and refused to accept them or
  • they were blind to what I presented in front of them.

They were in denial.

There was no formal or official ‘coming out’ to a family who already knew my expectations.

The real issue for family were two questions:

  • ‘When will it be the last we shall see Nick as a male?’ and
  • ‘When will it be the first we shall see Sharon as female?’

My eventual presentations occurred at different times because of family members scattered across the USA; due to geographical proximities, my sister was first, my dad was second, and my mom was last.

Aunts, uncles, cousins, and others saw me (or not) as time went on – all knowing in advance that I changed – and they rejected me.

One cousin, who had been more of a sister than my sister, was a curious bit.  She saw me twice since being post-op though I presented as Nick / male to her during my ‘male fail’ era:

  • at her home at Colorado (1983) and
  • at her wedding at Texas (1984)

I have to know that she knew that I was already post-op female and nearing female full-time forever in every way by those two visits.  I felt that I could not present to her at her home because I was invited as Nick / male, not as Sharon / female; it would not have been proper for me in those days.  Nor could I have appeared as Sharon / female at her wedding; that was her time, not mine.

This cousin is a member of a far-right-wing Christian Conservative religion; her church publishes anti-transsexual literature.  She began sending her church brochures to me during 1986.  Perhaps I could take my cousin’s brochures at value and not change from female to male.  Fair enough; I followed her demand and stayed female.  Nevertheless, she wants nothing to do with me.

I also visited with my mom during those same years – post-op yet still presenting to her as Nick / male.  She knew to a great extent where I was along my transition.  She knew of my pills since 1979.  She saw how I appeared more female than male.  She certainly did spread gossip among her side of my family.

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I have a curious ‘coming out’ experience to a former girlfriend from the mid-1970s; rather, I have yet to personally come out to her though she knows of my change.  She last saw me during my end days of ‘male fail’ (1985).  Since then we talked a few times on the telephone with me identifying myself as Sharon, not mentioning my past identification as Nick; they were odd conversations indeed.

My permanent residence is at Bisbee, Arizona, approximately 250 miles from where I temporarily reside at Phoenix.  I planned a meeting with her at her home near Bisbee; that was about 20 years ago.  My effort mis-fired when she was not home and I spent that time visiting with her mom instead.  I did not tell her mom.  I’m sure by her expression that she was quite puzzled who I was when I related past events that her daughter shared with Nick, but here I was presenting to her as Sharon.

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Otherwise, people who knew me ‘before’ are no longer in my life – they chose to reject me.  I have not come out to people who only know me as Sharon / female since my ‘after’.  I consider my status as any other private medical concern that is none of their business, this web-site being the exception.

I had two boyfriends and one Lesbian girlfriend in years past; none knew.  But then, we never went quite far enough for me to consider disclosing my situation to them.

The lesson here is that standard: YMMV.  Every person and every relationship is different.  You may experience good results where others experienced failure.

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(1970 06) Slim - Crater Lake (sitting - portrait)

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