Archives

All posts for the month January, 2015

Week 49 – Day 4 : More pills to take!!

Published January 30, 2015 by Katier Scott

I can’t believe there are only three weeks to a year since I started this project and I’ve managed to do at least one post and photograph every day. Last week I posted a concept for the cover and chose a title for the book and with that in mind I’ve decided to post a few more concepts and ideas over the next few weeks. This week I think I’ll post up the first draft of an introduction for the book, then I’ll do concepts for the main pages. I hope you’ll find these entries as interesting as everything else I post and any and all feedback will be appreciated.

This week we finally got a Oestrogen reading my GP was happy with and, in a show of how much my confidence has improved, I didn’t see my normal GP, but the other main GP at the practice. Turned out he’d also worked with a Gender Dysphoric patient and was able to quickly get up to speed with my blood results.

Oestrogen was low which I expected but it was a reading that we feel is accurate so my dosage has been increased to 6mg, or 3 tablets a day. My Testosterone has also dropped noticeably and is now 0.15 which is below the female normal range so that’s on target and no changes are needed there.

So that’s good, this week has been a bit up and downy as my first gig got double booked so I was cancelled and am currently first gigless. The open Mic on Sunday was a bit spotty although still a positive experience and my friend who is doing my guitar playing for me and I are going to continue to practice every Tuesday which will allow me to improve (alongside me practising on my own of course) and at the next open Mic at the end of February we are planning on debuting ‘Born a Woman’ which is the song which inspired the title of the book, was the first song I wrote, and is essentially my life story in a song!!

I’m going to see if I can record that performance and if it comes off and sounds ok will post it in this blog. My new job hasn’t been confirmed yet which is a little frustrating, I hate waiting for things, it makes me nervous! Similarly today is effectively 2 weeks since my interview for the nursing place and I haven’t heard back yet, so my nerves are definitely a little shakey at the moment.

As you can see however, despite little bumps in the road, including Coventry University rejecting my application without ever contacting me in any form – which was very bad customer service – I’m still looking to the positive side of things and I think that the core point of this blog, life must go on and even when things are going well, nothing is going to be entirely smooth.

That’s it for now, this short post is still 500 words!! Hope you enjoy the book snippets as they appear.

Week 48 – Bonus Post : The book has a cover.. and a title!!

Published January 25, 2015 by Katier Scott

So I did some experimental photography work today in my ‘studio’ and came up with a concept for the cover of the book I’m reasonably happy with. The title I felt fitted well and is the title of the first song I wrote, a song which of course was written about myself.

Naturally if anyone has any thoughts on it I’m more than happy to receive them. It’s obviously slightly risky having a nude as the front cover, but I think it’s done tastefully and the whole book will be full of topless shots of me so it’s hardly different to the contents. Similarly I think I’ve got the lighting/post processing right so it’s ‘safe for work’ and no different to the other images I’ve posted.

Born-a-Woman-Cover

Week 48 – Day 5 : Probably the craziest week.. in a year of crazy weeks!!

Published January 23, 2015 by Katier Scott

Wow.. ok that was definitely a crazy week but definitely a good one.

As you know I’m working on getting into Mental Health nursing and I had my first interview last Monday. I think it went fairly well, and one of the other people who happens to be already studying at the Uni on an access course, said she struggled. So the fact I didn’t struggle, but felt a few answers could have been better, at least gave me a bit of hope I didn’t mess up.

Tuesday was a blood test I finally remembered to get, so hopefully we’ll have accurate enough readings for Testosterone (reduced by t-blockers) and Eostrogen to tweak my tablets as needed.

Wednesday was a telephone interview for a job as a Home Care worker, which went well as they immediately invited me for a face to face the next day. Thursday was the interview and was one of the most casual interviews I’ve had!! After about half of the questions, which had been dictated by the interviewers HQ, he gave up!! Said “Well you’ve answered that, and that.. ‘really all I am interested in is do I think you’ll make a good care worker.. and I do.. so I’m happy to take you onto the next stage.’ The next stage being DBS and ID checks, then I should be working and earning extra income – as well as the important starting to gain experience in the care industry.

Then today was the latest appointment at Sheffield. This was almost a completely wasted journey as I was late due to traffic and the fact I was driving in -1degC temperatures on my Motorbike. As a result I was almost half an hour late at which point she said she wouldn’t see me. Now I still had 30 minutes of my appointment left and I knew, from previous experience, that 30 minutes was enough to get a good deal done. She said “I can’t do a full assessment in 30 minutes” at which point I realised she didn’t know why I was there, and might not even have read my notes!! That obviously annoyed me as the appointment was very specifically arranged and obviously I refused to accept she wouldn’t see me.

Eventually she did cram a 20 minute session in, which ran into the next patients slot by 15 minutes!!! Yes really! which I think went ok and she seemed happy to discuss surgery with her colleagues so ultimately I think a positive outcome but did leave with a bit of concern about what will happen next. I’ll chase up at the end of next week just so I have a better idea of what’s going on.

So yeah, pretty crazy old week!! Coming up in Feb I have my second Uni interview and also my first voice therapy appointment. 2015 is certainly looking to be carrying on with the madness of 2014.. and I’m loving it!!

Week 47 – Day 3 – Onwards and upwards!!

Published January 14, 2015 by Katier Scott

So 2014 was a crazy, positive, and interesting year… what will 2015 bring?

Well it’s impossible to be sure, no-one is a fortune teller, but I am going into 2015 with more plans than I ever have had before, and I think that’s the important thing to remember if your transitioning, don’t let it take over your life, you have to keep going, doing things you love and not letting your transition be an excuse not to do something.

To that end I’m having to plan and think up contingency plans for this year, this is because the big thing this year will, hopefully be ‘the op’. That will take 12 weeks out of the year, which means anything else I do will have to be around the recovery from that. To that end I am hoping that Sheffield will agree to refer me to Brighton next week. Based on a Tumblr blog I have seen that means I may get surgery by Late June/Early July which is JUST in time to start Uni in mid September.

Next April I have my first gig, which is very exciting and will take place at one of my local pubs. Helping me will be one of my best friends on Guitar and Backing Vocals (which is a reallyNursing  strange thing to put as he’s a better singer than me!), another friend on percussion and another helping me out with lead vocals. She will be leading part of the gig, while I lead the rest as I felt 2 hours of singing was a bit much for a first gig!! I also hopefully will have a bassist, so essentially full acoustic group which I am getting really excited about, although also nervous of course as I really want to do all the support I have been getting justice.

Alongside that I hope to continue my Marshalling and will, of course, attend my LARP events and volunteer for them – although I might, for the first time, be forced to miss one, possibly two of them, which will be a shame, but only due to Surgery. Likewise my Marshaling will take a hit so I may not manage to get my upgrade as I hoped.

But really that doesn’t matter, while I backup what I said earlier, about not letting your transition take over your life, when it comes to surgery it will. Nothing you can do about that. Then of course the final part will hopefully be returning to University to study Mental Health Nursing in September.

Anyway as you’ve probably gathered I’m pretty excited about the prospects for 2015, and I hope you will all continue to enjoy this blog, and if you do, please follow it. Comments are also always appreciated and I thankyou for your continued support.

Week 46 – Bonus Edition : The power of Photography.. oh and Nursing.

Published January 7, 2015 by Katier Scott

Selfies (5 of 8)

Any of you who read my posts over the New Year will recognise that above photograph, and wonder why it’s making another appearance. Well this photo is now my new profile image everywhere, When I changed it on FB I garnered 45 likes in a matter of just a few hours, something I hadn’t expected simply because, firstly I don’t post with any expectations, but secondly because it was a profile image change so that made it even likely – in my eyes – to be liked.

As the likes poured in I took another look at the photo and realised that, in fact, it’s a damned nice photo – I look good in it, the post is nice and it’s reasonably well composed. The only minor blemish might be the cropped shoe but as it’s a self portrait I think I can be forgiven for that.

What this photo ultimately has done is given me a lot of positive vibes and made me realise that good photos of yourself are worth their weight in gold. This is because they can make YOU feel good about yourself. So I’d encourage you all to get some good quality photographs taken of yourself. Not necessarily by a professional, but definitely not the classic Mirror/phone selfie style. Either use a tripod and self timer or someone else to operate the camera – even if it’s just a friend – then SHARE, put it on FB, spread them out – I’m sure you’ll get genuine positive feedback and feel good about it.

The other news I thought I’d stick into this post is the fact I have decided to apply to become a Mental Health Nurse – huge change from my current job and means a return to study for 3 years, but my current job is very stagnant and effectively low paid, so I need a career where I have a better chance of career and reasonable wages.

I’ve got my first interview as part of the selection process in February and have applied to three Universities in total.

My last piece of quick news is I have my appointment for my first consultation about getting referred to surgery. The appointment is later this month and I will, of course, let you know how it goes.

Week 46 – Day 2 : Patience…

Published January 6, 2015 by Katier Scott

The topic of this weeks blog came from thinking over my own transition, that of friends, and reflecting on the sad Story of Leelah Alcorn, that of a need for patience. The root cause of the situation Leelah found herself in was absolutely caused by Religion but I think this article answers that angle brilliantly, especially, the following paragraph.

“If you’re unwilling to raise, support, and affirm an LGBT child – you shouldn’t be having children. If you’re a Christian who has an LGBT child please affirm them for who God made them to be. Our sanctuaries should be safe havens for the Leelah Alcorn’s of the world. Let’s eradicate transphobia from our pulpit and our pews and make it so. Because God doesn’t make mistakes — we are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

However if there is one message I think transpeople, especially those, as Leelah was, who feel very trapped, should take from it, it’s patience. I mentioned last week that my Dad referred to me as his Daughter for the first time, I’ve been very fortunate that my family are very supportive, but it still takes time for them to get used to it.

So there’s no point in getting wound up if people, especially family, who’ve known you for years, misgender you. If they are supportive then it’s just part of them getting used to it, give them time. It’s taken my family essentially 4-5 years to start getting my gender regularly right, and I’m sure that’s not atypical.

If they simply don’t accept, then have patience, give them time – having not been in that position I really am not in a position to give advice or thoughts on how to bring them onside, but time for me, has often been a healer, so as with the rest of this blog I’m sure Patience is a key factor.

But there’s another side to patience, and that’s where you feel trapped, or your transition is stalled for any reason. Leelah felt she’d never transition, however while it would undoubtedly would have been tough, I can’t help but think that if she’d managed to find a blog like this, or online friends to actually talk to, she’d have realised that she ultimately needed to be patient.

That isn’t to blame Leelah, not in the slightest, she was in a very tough situation, but had her whole life ahead of her, and it’s easy for anyone in a trapped situation, be it gender dysphoria, depression, grief, job/money worries etc., to think they’ll never escape – but give it time and most will.

But it’s tough, trying to look forward when all you can see is the same cage, is hard, but if you try to set your own timescales, if your, as Leelah was, an unaccepted young transperson, then don’t forget at 18-19 you have a lot more control over your life. Once you have a job, or are at University, you can consider controlling your own destiny.

It can seem like a  lifetime away, but few people live at home past their early 20’s and at that point there’s still a lifetime to live. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not pretending it’s easy, it damned well isn’t, however with a plan at least you have something to cling onto.

My transition hasn’t exactly been quick or entirely trouble free as it has taken essentially 10-12 years, I first started taking up a female role when I played Starwars Galaxies from 2003, initially playing a female entertainer because female felt right, then realising it was the ‘role’ I preferred so much so that I only ever had one more male character – who was hardly played because it didn’t feel ‘right’.

By the time I joined Secondlife in about 2005 I was starting to realise I was definitely female, and by 2007 I knew absolutely that I was – but I didn’t start transitioning properly until mid 2010. It took me until around May 2011 to finally get referred, only to get referred to the wrong GIC (I had requested Sheffield without realising I was stuck with CHX due to the PCT funding), that delayed things, get re-referred to CHX and didn’t get an appointment until July 2013. I was then cleared for Hormones in Jan 2014, finally starting them when this blog started 46 weeks ago.

While the GIC journey, once in the system, has been fairly smooth, but it’s required patience, and back in 2007 I really didn’t know when I’d be properly transitioning. I only finally managed to get going when my, already pretty battered, marriage fell apart and I moved out in 2010; but I didn’t know that was going to happen in 2007, although my marriage was struggling at that point, and I had additional considerations of my kids.

So when I mention patience, and trying to plan, well I definitely had to be patient, very patient, and really until my marriage collapsed I didn’t have a plan. My kids came first, and had done for many years, but if anything my own transition should highlight that patience can work.

Anyway I hope you find this weeks blog useful and will catch you all next week.

Week 45 – Day 3 : Look back and thoughts.

Published January 1, 2015 by Katier Scott

I think the thing that highlights just how lucky I have been up till now was the very sad suicide of a young transgirl called Leelah who felt she had no chance of transitioning. Instrumental to her feelings was, not just a lack of acceptance of who she was, but worst, tried to ‘cure’ her through faith. It’s a sad story but one that should both remind us all of how lucky we can be, but more importantly will hopefully raise awareness of trans issues, especially for those who are younger where it can be easy to overlook their wishes as a ‘fad’.

17th Feb 2014 – This is when I started my Journey. Was a huge relief to start Hormones and feel like the journey was really progressing.

Week 8 – This is when I started noticing tenderness on my chest. Within a couple of weeks I was certain the Hormones were having an effect.

Week 16 – I changed my GIC, and had my first appointments with Sheffield. So far I am overall very happy with them.

Week 17 – I started a youtube channel, while it’s not been particularly successful it’s definitely been liberating and helped me show you shouldn’t let things like voice stop you doing things. My voice is still a big ‘issue’ for me, but I’m not letting it stop me.

Week 19 – I ran Race for Life in Birmingham and came 5th!!! Raised a decent some of money too, which was amazing as it was all done at short notice.

Week 21 – I started motorsport marshalling, alongside volunteering for my LARP events that meant I was a VERY busy girl over the summer.

Week 22 Onwards – Jobs and promotion were a constant item in the list and as such source of the only big frustration in 2014.

Week 24 – I did a quick progress update and even then my boobs were starting to show.

August 17th 2014 – Project was 6 months old :).

Week 29 – Was a low point as a flat mate took advantage of me and constant failure at interviews weighed heavily.

Week 32 – Was inspired by Pink Floyd as my enjoyment of music started to increase noticeably.

Week 33 – Around this time I was given a lot of blood tests and started to wonder if I’d any blood left!!

Week 35 – My GP, after a blood test related ‘fast one’ by me, realised she really needed to change my prescription. So I switched to an alternative hormone which worked better with the blood testing procedure. I was also heavily inspired by a brilliant young Pianist, Kuha Case.

Week 38 – Was the week I got ok’d for many of the future treatments I need. Was also my first post when down the pub.

Week 39 – I agreed to do a reading for the University Carol Service – it was a huge honour and went very well.

Week 40 – A friend had her reassignment op.

Week 43 – I started T-Blockers!!

And that’s basically a quick summary of the last, crazy, 45 weeks. I hope you all found it an interesting, informative and enjoyable read and look forward to a few more months of blogging.

Hope you all have a great 2015!