transsexual

All posts tagged transsexual

Week 93 – Day 2 : On the home run!

Published November 24, 2015 by Katier Scott

Sorry I have been quiet, I have been going through a period of ill health and as a result I have found it difficult to motivate and find things to write about.

I am definitely on the mend, although definitely not fixed, however I had probably the most important appointment yet, today, so absolutely had to write a blog post to update you.

This afternoon I visited the Northamptonshire Gender Clinic in Daventry for the second opinion consultation for Gender Re-assignment Surgery. This appointment has been a long time coming so I was definitely a little nervous, as such my mum came with me just in case it went wrong. It was a new Gender Clinic (my third), and a one-off appointment, so I was feeling the pressure.

In the event, I need not worry, the consultant was brilliant and, unlike some previous consultants had done a lot of reading up of my notes. As such I sailed through the assessment, and he even dictated a referral letter while I was there.

So that’s it, I have my two referrals for Gender Re-Assignment surgery and hopefully at some point, if I’m lucky in the summer, I will be down in Brighton having the most significant moment of my life.

It’s been an incredibly long journey, well over 5 years altogether and I really can’t thank many people for their help and support enough.

My Parents and Siblings have been incredibly supportive throughout, attending appointments, giving me tips and buying me clothes.

My Children are all fantastic, they are brilliant kids and accept me for who I really am. It’s been incredibly tough for them and I love them so much!

My Ex has done a fantastic job looking after my kids and coping with everything, the fact we’re still amicable is something I am very grateful for!

Lastly but not least my friends, I am so incredibly lucky to have some amazing friends, I appreciate every one of them. They’ve been there for me through tough times, given me advice, helped me be a better person and made a long journey so much easier.

A huge thank you to you all, you all mean so much to me.

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Week 82 – Day 4 : What’s expected of me?

Published September 11, 2015 by Katier Scott

I’ve seen several posts of this ilk from people who are about to go through treatment for Gender Identity Disorder GID. They are naturally nervous about the whole process and unsure what to expect. Also, while things have improved, myth and rumour still exist. On top of there there’s the confusion of terms and what they mean, why do I use GID and not ‘trans’ related terms?

Gender Identity Disorder

So I’ll start at the ‘top’, what is Gender Identity Disorder and it’s closely related cousin, Gender Dysphoria (GD)?

GID is simply a medical condition where the brain’s gender doesn’t match that of the body. Generally this is simply the brain is gendered male, and the body female, or the other way round. But some people feel more androgynous about their gender and thus may consider themselves ‘no gender’ or maybe they switch genders depending on the situation. All this people can be considered to have GID, as their ‘Mental’ Gender Identity is in Disorder with their physical one. Current medical research points to GID occurring in the womb, during any babies development they all start as a female, regardless of the DNA, the body initial develops in a female shape. At some point in the development, hormones and other chemicals trigger the body and brain to ‘gender’. It is two separate sets of chemical signals that cause this and thus if one signal fails for some reason, then you get GID.

GID has different feelings for different people and this is one reason why gender is considered to be fluid, these days, and not simply male/female. People with severe GID may also develop GD, which is a mental condition where they are massively uncomfortable with their bodies and thus GD can trigger other conditions such as anxiety and depression. Hence while GID is absolutely NOT a mental condition, the fact it’s generally treated by Mental Health is a good thing because while the condition itself isn’t mental, it can definitely cause people to have mental health issues.

GID is treated by changing the persons physical body to match that of the gender of their brain, using hormones and surgery. For MtF it’s oestrogen and testosterone blockers, for FtM the reverse. Hormones have the effect of causing fat to be redistributed to gender appropriate parts, e.g. onto the hips on a female, body hair to become gender appropriate, I believe it changes your body odour, can help reverse Male Pattern Baldness (or cause for FtM) and causes breast growth for MtF and Beards for FtM. Surgery is considered optional but if done consists of the following :-

For Male to Female patients :

  • Vagioplasty, or the non vagina variant – i.e. the groin area is given surgery to make it physically look female, and a working vagina may be created – this is optional depending on the wishes of the patient.
  • Breast enhancement – I believe this is treated exactly as for any other female.
  • Feminine Facial reconstruction – Feminising of the face.
  • Laser/electrolysis hair removal – while not technically ‘surgery’ it is a medical procedure needed to remove beards.

For Female to Male patients

  • Penal construction – this is improving, but something that I believe is less common than Vagioplasty’s.
  • Mastectomy – this is the ‘big operation’ for men, as it makes their chest area appear for more masculine and removes the need for binders.
  • There may be other FtM medical procedures I’m not aware of, but these are the main two.

Transgender/Transexual

So that’s the medical side covered, I don’t use the terms ‘Transgender’ or ‘Transexual’ because I feel they are heavily mis-used, a bit antiquated, and harder to understand. It’s easy to explain it as a medical condition, but Transgender and Transexual can easily appear to be a fetish or similar, and that results in misunderstanding and confusion. Transgender is meant to be an overall term for all people who have some form of preference that sits outside of the ‘gender norm’, so that includes cross-dressers, transvestites, drag queens, anyone who while they consider themselves their birth gender, enjoy elements of the other gender – plus those who have GID.. confusing much? Transsexual is underused and is the term that SHOULD be used when referring to anyone with GID, but because I don’t see it used, but instead the confusing transgender term is used, I think both terms need to be assigned to history. A new term can be used for those who are ‘gender variant’ and simply use GID for those with GID. Simplez!!

Gender Clinics

OK so what are Gender Clinics looking for?

Well being a condition that, while not a ‘mental illness’ is still a ‘mental’ condition, it’s not something you can simply take a blood test and diagnose, so Gender Clinics expect to see you taking on ‘norms’ for your gender. It can feel like a box-ticking exercise, but truth be known all they are expecting you to do is live life the same as anyone else of your gender.

So to make this easy to understand I’m going to create a fictional character, I’ll use a MtF lady called Mary. Any likenesses to anyone are 100% co-incidental and everything is based on my own knowledge gained, based on my own experiences and things I’ve read or been told.

Mary is somewhat of a recluse, she’s nervous about going at ‘as Mary’ in public, and when she does tends to have just had a shave roughly brush her slightly receding hair, and put on gender neutral clothes with no effort to try to ‘feminise’ her appearance through things like fake boobs. She is also unemployed and if she does go out as Mary to social settings it is with Transgender groups or to LGBT venues.

The Gender Clinic aren’t happy they are seeing Mary actually taking on a female gender role in a form that makes them happy she actually has GID. So they request she tries to get a job, or voluntary work, and works on her appearance through the use of fake breasts, more feminine clothing – they also suggest she sees someone for make-up tips – NOTE: Makeup doesn’t have to be much, I often go to appointments just with foundation on, but you need something to hide beard shadow. Mary hasn’t changed her name or documents either, so they also request she does so through a deed poll and presents them at the next appointment.

They talk and find out that Mary used to enjoy walking, but hasn’t done this for a while so they suggest she finds a walking group and joins them.

All the gender clinic are asking is for her to start actually living and socialising as a woman, contrast that to my first appointment. I arrived, dressed in jeans and a female cut top, wearing simple make-up and a wig (as I have male pattern baldness). I was socialising at the local open Mic and had both a job, and was doing voluntary work. At my second appointment, 6 months later, they put me on Hormones, and this blog was born.

I wasn’t doing anything ‘clever’ or special, I was simply getting on with life and doing things I enjoyed with people who fast became friends. That’s all a Gender Clinic wants to see, you living your life in a role typical for your gender. Gender Clinic’s have never asked me to do anything, because they’ve always been happy that I was doing that. I also transitioned before I got to the gender clinic. As soon as I moved out from my ex-wife, I immediately switched genders, changed my name as quickly as possible and all associated documents. My new bank account was in female gender and I presented as female immediately, and non-stop since. This meant when I got to the Gender Clinic in July 2013, I had already being living as myself for three years, so they really didn’t have any issues.

Contrast that to Mary, or even someone who turns up (for example) presenting Male, then Changes to Female when at the Gender Clinic, and you can see the contrast. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone’s situation is different, we have different levels of support (I’ve been super lucky in that my family has always been supportive and my best friend at Uni has stuck with me throughout) – friends may or may not stick with you, but ultimately everyone has control of what they do.

It is incredibly tough, my transition since moving out has been a long journey, but at least I’ve had support. But if your married, having kids, unsupportive family – it’s incredibly tough, and takes a strong person to make the switch.. but ultimately at some point you have to say ‘enough’s enough’ this is what I am, and I need to live that way. If you can do that before arriving at a Gender Clinic it’ll make things a lot smoother, but certainly isn’t essential.

Week 70 – Day 2 : Having pride in yourself.

Published June 23, 2015 by Katier Scott

My blog seems to be taking on a bit more of a motivational angle over the last few weeks, I guess it’s understandable as it’s a reflection of what I’m going day-to-day, however I really hope that people are getting something out of these posts. I find it really hard to know whether I should keep going, there’s the book going alongside this blog to think about, of course, but the number of followers on the blog has stagnated and I don’t know why. I’m no blogging expert, or expert on how to increase followers, I have of course got an increase in numbers to a degree through Facebook as my friends list has increased, but most of the time I’m willing to bet the post gets lost in a sea of other posts. This isn’t me looking for self pity, or anything similar, it’s simply a case of not understanding, or knowing, what makes a good blog, whether my blog ‘is’ a good blog, and all the other ingredients that go with blogging.

Ultimately I’d really like to sell some copies of ‘Born a Woman’ when it’s published, and this blog was, alongside being intended to be helpful and interesting, also the front face of marketing for that, and if I’m not getting followers that’s failing somewhat. I’ve not lost the will to write the book, it’s stagnated a little but that’s purely bad time management, but definitely keeping going with it. It’s just the blog I’m getting a little frustrated with.

That said I’m proud of what I have achieved, I was reading a website earlier and it made me realise just how powerful pride is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This photo is of me during The Suffering race I took part in a few weeks ago and I love it. Not only does it really capture the feeling of the race. Many event photo’s catch moments, but don’t really capture the feeling of an event, I feel the composition of this photo really manages that brilliantly.

This was taken at around 10km into the race, we’d recently waded through deep muddy water, hence the black all over my lower half, and I was struggling with my knee. I was also starting to feel the cold, despite the fact it was a beautiful sunny day.

I’m extremely proud of finishing this event, and just like last weeks post on achievements, pride is a great way to remember things aren’t all bad. Pride makes you feel good and can be linked to achievements or completely separate.

I’m proud of my kids, like all kids they’ve had their moments, but my daughter has a degree and a job, my eldest son successfully got himself on an apprenticeship, completed it, and my youngest is hopefully going to University in September. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like, but they’re at an age when I think that’s not unusual and they always know I’m here.

I’m proud of who I am, I have my faults, I’m far from perfect, and I’m going through a period of of understanding myself better, but I don’t think it’s wrong to be proud of myself.

I’m getting a lovely smile on my face thinking about the different things that make me feel proud, my Roller Derby team, my brilliant friends, my degree, getting into University again – wow boy am I proud of that, one of my biggest achievements and I’ve not even started the course!

So what are you proud of? Being proud of things are similar to the achievements in last weeks posts, and some will be the same, but they can also be much more, kids and having friends, or being proud of who you are, aren’t really achievements, but they are important all the same.

Anyway that’s enough of my rambling this week, I’d really appreciate some thoughts, both about the blog, and my recent posts, are they useful?

Book Writing – Teaser 1 – Introduction

Published February 14, 2015 by Katier Scott

I’m sure all of you who come here interested about the book as much as the blog itself will appreciate progress reports so I thought I’d put regular posts in explaining how things were getting on, maybe snippets of text or photographs etc. In this case this is the current draft of the Introduction text for the book, it’s not fully proof read – and the book most definitely will need proof reading – so errors in these posts are expected, and, of course, aren’t the final copy.

As well as giving you ideas of how the books going, such snippets are useful for me too as they allow you to give me ideas of what your liking about the books progress, and hopefully suggestions about angles you think might be good to take. So comments and feedback will be most appreciated.

BORN A WOMAN

INTRODUCTION

I was born with Gender Dysphoria in 1971 but it didn’t manifest itself properly until this century when I realised the reason I didn’t enjoy living as a man was simply because I wasn’t one. This book will document the changes and processes I went through to get my body to match my birth sex.

Gender Dysphoria is a condition where recent research suggests the condition may be in effect a birth defect. While developing in the womb something, possibly genetic or hormonally related, caused the brain to develop abnormally. This causes the brain to take on a gender which is different to the physical sex of the baby. As such while Gender Dysphoria is traditionally treated by Mental Health services, the condition itself is not a mental health condition, I am completely in agreement with Mental Health Services treating the condition because often patients require significant mental health support. This is because Gender Dysphoria can fairly often trigger side effects such as depression are most definitely Mental Health issues and due to the time scales it takes to correct the problems, having mental health support is, in my opinion, absolutely vital.

Now many people will use the term Transsexual or Transgender but personally I have developed to dislike those terms for a couple of reasons. Firstly they are ‘labels’ and I have a dislike of labels, secondly I actually see them as inaccurate. I am a Woman with Gender Dysphoria, it’s as simple as that, it doesn’t need to be ‘pigeon holed’ into a ‘label’.

I first realised I was Gender Dysphoric around 12 years ago while playing an online role-play game called Starwars Galaxies. In 2004 I joined Second Life, and quickly found myself enjoying the female role and that snowballed. By 2007 I was cross dressing occasionally at home, went to Sparkle – a ‘pride’ aimed at both Gender Dysphoric people and the wider transgender community, and spent some of a conference in the USA as my real me.

I went to University in 2007 and by 2009 was still having to live in male role at home, but spent all the time at Uni as a girl. In 2009 I spent the last year at University in the female role then when our marriage finally broke up, after being in a bad way for several years, in 2010 I immediately went full-time and started my transition.

Many of the problems I have faced will be familiar to other people who are transitioning and part of the reason for this book is to help inspire those who might be struggling or help them feel that they are not alone. It’s also aimed at everyone else, Gender Dysphoria is something that is increasingly in the public consciousness and with that comes a bunch of questions.

We are, as is human nature, a curious bunch but asking personal questions can leave people uncomfortable and put-out. So this book will hopefully answer many of the more common questions and indeed will give a visual indicator of how the treatment changes the body.

I decided to write this book as I am a freelance journalist and photographer who is always looking for project to link those skills to something interesting. So when I finally got prescribed hormones I realised I had a once in a life-time opportunity to document something useful and interesting. The project started on 17th February 2014 and this first part ended on 17th February 2015. A Second book is planned covering the run up to surgery and probably into my early life as a woman fully in body as well as soul.

Week 24 – Day 3 – Late and Boobs

Published August 6, 2014 by Katier Scott

I thought I’d post a quick show of progress so far. I wanted to keep it work safe so no topless I’m afraid perves!!

Boobs (1 of 1)

As you can see my boobs are definitely noticeable.

Now this one is probably the scariest photo I’ve ever published. As you can see I’m receding and as such not sure if I’ll keep this one up.. as I really don’t like comparing without hair. BUT there is a purpose I wanted to show whether my hair had improved over the 6 months on hormones. A friend of mine felt it had, but I’m not so sure!!

compare

Week 23 – Day 2 – Full speed ahead!!

Published July 29, 2014 by Katier Scott

Boy is my life running at full speed still.. I’ve just got back from an awesome weekend at Empire LARPing with probably LARP’s best crew. Then on Monday I headed to Sheffield to the Gender Clinic for my latest appointment. The appointment seemed to go well and although progress hasn’t been confirmed the fact appointments are at a much more sensible timescale means I’m happy to be patient.

I got my latest blood test results and was surprised that my estrogen level has hit the target levels. They were 539 which is pretty much smack on target with the target range of 400-600. That means for now I’m sitting on 4mg per day hormones which is no bad thing. My Testosterone is still high (although lower than before) so one thing I’m working with Sheffield on is getting onto T-blockers.

Further positive news is the fact that a friend told me she felt my hair is thickening up, I’m not convinced of it myself but then I see it daily – she see’s it infrequently – so she may well be right.

I suspect my body shape is changing too – although that’s for this project to decide 😉 – but I did get a surprise during my LARPing weekend when I was properly gendered in a spontanious bit of RP. That’s a big thing because accidental misgendering within LARP is not uncommon so when people get it right it’s rather nice :).

Next weekend is motorsport marshalling, followed by either more marshaling or possibly more roleplay.. or just a lazy weekend before more busy weekends at the end of the month.

Overall I definitely can’t complain and am definitely enjoying life – see you all next week!! 🙂

Week 19 Day 1 – Racing for Cancer!!

Published June 30, 2014 by Katier Scott

Week 19 Day 1 - Racing for Cancer!!

This weeks highlight was definitely joining 3600 ladies, girls, lads and dogs running round Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham for the Race For Life.

This photo was taken by my best friend from Uni, who kindly gave me a lift to the event so that I could take part. This is the end of the race as I pushed for the line and managed to finish in a PB time of under 20m30s for the 5km race.

Was a fantastic experience and something I hope to do for many years to come, the cameraderie that you see is incredible and I can’t wait to do it again – lots of fun and for a good cause, what more can you want!!

I also went to a Vintage event and bought a new dress, although it’s going to need minor altering to fit 😦

I’ve got an incredibly busy month lined up with events as diverse as LARP and Motorracing marshalling lined up!! I can’t wait and loving life at the moment.

But lets not forget the whole point of this blog is my photo-project and the idea of trying to give Transpeople a bit of inspiration and ideas.

The Photoproject is going well with me keeping on track with a photo a week and likewise the blog I think is going well.

I’ll still welcome questions and ideas though folks!!