(From the Letters section)
“What’s in a name? So much
In the 4/21 crossword you refer to Chaz Bono by his former name, Chastity. Chaz legally changed it last year, during his transition. Why not give him the respect of using his chosen name and gender? I know it’s just a crossword, but sometimes the little things can make a big difference.
-Wendy Blackheart, via e-mail”
Thank you so very much for writing in. It’s very inspirational to hear from someone who can successfully be “out” as genderqueer in the school setting. I plan on getting a hold of the book you mentioned; I’m grateful that such a resource exists.
For the record, I work with children ages 5 through 12 who have autism and/or other developmental disabilities. This population often requires physical assistance and redirection to navigate and complete tasks, and I fear that if I’m perceived as male, there will be hypervigilance regarding these interactions - not to mention the fact that parents might freak out that their children’s speech therapist is transgender and having a “sex change” or something.
To be honest, I have not taken any steps to come out at my job and I don’t know if I ever will. I still use my birth name and female pronouns there, and when my voice was/is slightly deepened from T, I either say I have a cold or that I was overexerting my voice by speaking loudly (which happens to lots of people who work in an educational setting). Sometimes my students will use male pronouns with me and ask me the age-old question “Are you a boy or a girl?”
One things that seems to play a large factor in me not coming out as trans* at work is the way that males are perceived when they are in the company of children. In general, people tend to believe that males pose more of a threat to children in terms of molestation and abuse. As I mentioned in a previous post about my work place, the principal once complained about the way one of the male teacher assistants had a child on his lap. Meanwhile, nothing is ever mentioned if a female teacher or assistant has a child in their lap or is physically close to a child. This double standard makes me uncomfortable.
As far as resources for trans* teachers go, there is a Livejournal community devoted to this topic: http://transteachers.livejournal.com/ It’s a rather quiet community, but if you posted something there I imagine that you would get some responses.
Unfortunately, as I searched for resources for trans* teachers, the majority of the sites I found were those reporting about transgender teachers who have been fired. I came across a video I had seen last year about the “Debate Over Transgender Teachers”, in which a spokesperson from the Traditional Values Coalition argues that having trans* teachers at schools is “putting children in harm’s way” because trans* individuals have a “mental disorder” and will “confuse” the children. It’s this kind of ideology that helps to keep me far in the closet at work.
I also came across a short article written by a stealth transgender teacher: http://newyork.timeout.com/things-to-do/this-week-in-new-york/20531/i-am-a-transgender-teacher
I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to offer any advice to you in terms of negotiating a trans* identity in the school setting. If anyone reading this knows of any other resources for trans* teachers, or has any advice and/or inspirational stories for trans* teachers and future trans* teachers, please write in.
A monthly drop-in group for those who identify as genderqueer, gender fluid, GNC, androgynous, gender exploring/questioning, etc. We will discuss personal gender identities and histories relating to family, dating/partners, community, identity, health, bodies, and related topics. People assigned male, female, or intersex at birth are all welcome.
Drop-in. No registration required.
$5 suggested donation, but no one turned away.
When: Every 4th Thursday, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM.
(Next meeting: May 26)
208 W. 13th St, New York, NY
Indeed it is :)
The price of the cream is without insurance. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
Yesterday, I had an appointment with my primary care physician at Callen-Lorde and I discussed switching to compounded testosterone cream with her. At first, she warned me that the cream would be hundreds of dollars monthly, but I informed her of Women’s International Pharmacy, which I had heard was a very affordable way to get compounded testosterone cream. My doctor called the pharmacy, asked them a few questions, and within minutes she was printing out a script for testosterone for me to mail to the pharmacy in Wisconsin (apparently it is against New York state rules to fax a prescription for a controlled substance). A two month supply is going to cost me only $26 (no insurance involved). My dose is going to be 2.5mg of testosterone daily, which I believe is a mid-range dose for the cream. I sent out the script yesterday and the pharmacy said that they would contact me when they received it so that they could bill me for the testosterone. I am glad that the switch wasn’t too complicated and am also very happy to have made my doctor aware of a much cheaper option for folks who want to get their hormones in a transdermal fashion.
It’s been about two months since my last shot so I thought I would give a little update about the reversions I’ve noticed:
-My voice has “thinned out” a bit. The lower intonations I used to be able to vocalize while talking now feel somewhat strained and constricted in quality. I think my voice is still slightly lower than it was before taking T, but I definitely have felt a change in my vocal quality and range since stopping T.
-Very slight cock shrinkage. Thankfully it’s nothing drastic!
-Slightly less stamina and strength during weight training exercises
-Upper lip facial hair coming in slower
I’m happy to announce that there has been no return of Uncle Flo (yet) and that I haven’t lost any of the new facial hair or body hair that I gained from T.
Now that my emotional state feels like less of a crisis, I must say that I do miss being on T. I feel like my experience with T was truncated due to a sudden spike in anxiety and depression; I wanted to stay on T for a few months longer before stopping. That being said, I’m going to try to look into going on T again, but via cream rather than injections. I never wanted to be on injections in the first place and now that I’m more financially stable, I can afford to pay a bit more for the compounded T cream. I also think it would benefit my overall well being to have a more constant level of testosterone in my system rather than the peaks and drops that come with shot cycles.
Thank you :) I’m off from work this week and feeling a little bit better.
I posted about TBD a few months ago when it first began and tonight I will post about it again because I had the pleasure of attending one of the meetings. The group was very small, consisting of three attendees and two facilitators. In the past, I have gone to support groups that are a bit larger, with 10 or more participants. As a somewhat shy, introverted person, I have always been more of a listener at support groups than a talker. Tonight, though, in light of the smaller group, I felt more at ease with talking, which felt scary and comforting at the same time. One of the issues discussed was socializing with other trans* people beyond the common denominator of being trans* (as in, trying to attain deeper and more meaningful connections with fellow trans* people outside of transness), which is something that this particular group is trying to address by providing not just a support group, but special events and activities.
I was really glad that I was finally able to attend a meeting and hope that I can make it to others in the future. Four things I really liked about the group, besides the discussions, were:
-On-site binder donation and exchange (someone donated 2 XS Underworks binders while I was there)
-On-site needle exchance
-Free needles and syringes for those who were interested (21g, 22g, 23g)
-Comfortable atmosphere (lighting, furniture, rugs)
-Queer trivia with prizes (I won the “Health & Safer Sex issue of Original Plumbing)
Positive Health Project (PHP) presents…
To Be Determined, a bi-weekly drop in social/support gathering for anyone who was assigned female at birth but feels that is an incorrect or incomplete label. Anyone who identifies on the trans-masculine spectrum and/or genderqueers are so welcome and encouraged to join!
To create a safe space for gender non conforming folks to breathe. Where socially inclined folks as well as those that are prone to isolation, can meet and mix, free of judgement, in an environment that stimulates thought, promotes health, entertains and inspires self-understanding, self-acceptance, and self-love.
Binder Exchange Program
This program will offer a drop off center for those who have binders and compression vests/shirts that they no longer need, as well as free binders for newbies who are looking to start binding, but who may not know their size, style or where to start. Think your old binder is too stretched out? Don’t throw it away! Donate it and we will find someone it fits, or refurbish and refresh it so its good as new for the next person. This is a safe space for anyone who is in need of a free binder, no matter how long they’ve been binding, no questions asked! This project fully depends on the donations it receives so please pass the word!
ON the horizon:
Name Change Seminar
Queer Adoption Night
1st Monday-Special Event
3rd Monday- Support/Open discussion
Other Special Events to be scheduled on off weeks
Postive Health Project
301 w 37th st. 3rd floor
Bet. 8th and 9th aves
Awesome door prizes! Tasty snacks! First ten folks get a free metrocard!
Want to be involved? Email Jesse at firstname.lastname@example.org
If this isn’t for you please forward on anyways!
Whenever I’m within a half mile radius of Babeland, I always have to stop by, even if I have no intentions of buying anything. When I visited on Saturday, I was thrilled to see that there were two new additions to the realistic cock section of the store: Tantus’ Adam O2 and Mark O2. I had ogled them both online a few months ago, but had never been able to meet them in person.
The first thing to strike me was that the caucasian-toned versions of these cocks were very pale - paler than Vixen Creations caucasian tone. Finding a cock with a skin tone that exactly matches your own seems to be nearly impossible with cocks that aren’t custom made, but I think Tantus made the tone of model a bit too ghostly in appearance. Compared to the picture above, I felt like the cocks were a bit paler in person.
When I handled the cocks, I noticed they were slightly more rigid than the VixSkin cocks, which I really liked. The shaft was made of a soft silicone that was similar to VixSkin, and you could feel that there was also an inner core inside the shaft to create a more realistic feel, just like the VixSkin cocks. These Tantus cocks included some veins and contour fluctuations for a realistic appearance, but not too the same extent of detail and authenticity as the VixSkin cocks. The heads of the cocks did not consist of the skin-like texture of the shaft and appeared somewhat shiny, which kind of took away from the realistic aesthetic for me.
Overall, I was kind of disappointed by the new Tantus cocks, predominantly because of the color and the non-matte heads. However, I haven’t personally used either of these cocks, and maybe doing so would give me a different perspective.
Several months ago, I wrote a review of the Share, a dual penetration cock. One of my issues with it was that it was only semi-realistic. Recently, a company that manufactures a dual penetration cock similar to the Share, the Feeldoe, created a realistic cock dual penetration cock called Realdoe (both non-vibrating and vibrating). I haven’t come across any reviews of the product, but I’m really glad to see that the company has made an effort to produce a more realistic cock.
Thanks for the info!