Tag: transition

Why transitioning gender has helped me deal with the current reality

Being transgender is kinda nice in that I’ve already digested the fact that nearly everybody lies about how they care about the poor and the downtrodden. News flash: MOST people don’t care. I heard a Buddhist teacher say once that he liked to assume that things were already broken, like the teacup he was using, so that you can just enjoy what time you have with the formed thing. I’ve kinda already digested that the US is broken and won’t help me. If it does, cool!, but I’m happy just not relying on it and doing what I need to do to survive under my own steam at this point. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this.

It’s gonna be ok. Trauma is hard, but trauma is inescapable in life, and you can recover and grow from it. A rose bush thinks being trimmed back in the winter is traumatic, but without that trauma, it would not grow as well as is possible. Peace to you all. Shit breaks, and we put new stuff together. And really, most of the US is already dead branches that need to be pruned.

I still get overwhelmed too, but it seems easier to bounce back when your expectations are appropriate and realistic.

Transgender and Gender Atypical People Deserve the Simple Right to be Themselves

I knew that I was different from the boys around me when I was eight years old, and because of this difference, my childhood was filled with tremendous amounts of alienation and secrecy, as I tried mightily to be someone that I was not on the inside. This story is not atypical, and because of this shared struggle, many transgender people are victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and have one of the highest suicide attempt rates of any minority group at levels between 40% to 55% according to a recent in-depth inquiry into transgender peoples’ lives (Haas, Herman, & Rodgers, 2013).

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version 5 (DSM-5), transgender people who are not yet being treated for their condition are suffering from Gender Dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria is defined as individuals “having a marked incongruence between the gender they have been assigned to (usually at birth, referred to as natal gender) and their experienced/expressed gender” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). There are many different expressions of this condition from individuals who were born with a sexual anomaly such as intersexuality to those who merely enjoy acting in accord with the opposite gender’s norms but lack the desire for treatment.

Those that are distressed by their condition to the point of desiring to live full-time as the opposite gender may seek treatment via various means. They might require the use of cross-sexual hormones (testosterone for those assigned female at birth and estrogen for those assigned male at birth). Also, various surgeries are available to assist in these individuals achieving a body that more closely matches their inner perception of gender. When transgender people who wish to transition are treated for their condition, they no longer qualify for a gender dysphoria condition. Whereas the older versions of the DSM labeled transgender people as possessing Gender Identity Disorder (GID) for life, the newer manual sees gender dysphoria as a treatable and therefore suppressible condition.

This topic is highly controversial, and there are numerous opinions and positions related to transgender people. Often, these opinions come from non-transgender people. I can say that my inner life has grown immeasurably better since I transitioned 8 years ago. I have a sense of peace about myself that I never had when I was living as a man. Also, I know that the transgender people that I’ve met on my journey tend to be some of the most authentic and strong people that I know. Hopefully, with continued advocacy, we transgender people can attain the simple status of just being normal people who are allowed to be themselves from birth.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Haas, A. P., Ph.D., Rodgers, P. L., Ph.D., & Herman, J. L., Ph.D. (2014). Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults. The Williams Institute.

Me Too

I haven’t really felt like posting this meme, because I didn’t grow up being socialized around cisgender women, so I suppose I have felt slightly alienated from it, but my experience with toxic masculinity is probably even more severe than most.

I grew up looking like a “normal” male child, and yet my psychology and emotional makeup were far closer to that of the average young girl. I was sensitive, loved art and music especially, always tried to dress expressively, and had many other qualities that didn’t fit in with the increasingly narrow definitions of masculinity indicative of late-stage patriarchy. And then of course I was attracted to the same gender, but that didn’t come until I started puberty, and by that time  masculinity had scarred my back repeatedly with its whiplashes.

Unlike the girls in the other lines, I was undercover: embedded amongst the enemy. From the first grade, I was bullied for being different. I didn’t really understand why I was bullied and singled out until much later, but now I see it. I was a girl that couldn’t retreat into a group of other girls. I was alone and chained to the boys, and they knew it. Men in America are conditioned to hate and deride femininity wherever they see it. Of course not all men follow these orders, but enough do to create deep scars in anyone who dares to be born with a feminine or yin psychological composition.

I’ve never been sexually assaulted even though there were predators in the gay male community too who took advantage of my fragile state when I was underage and crossed boundaries. But I was psychologically assaulted for my gender, and this did plenty of damage. It took me until I was 30 to finally say enough is enough and throw those bullies and demons out of my consciousness and resurrect that girl that I had hidden deep in the recesses of my consciousness around the age of 6. I still have lots and lots of rehabilitation to do because of the foul aggressions of “modern” American masculinity, but I’m on the track.

The reason that transgender women are targeted and attacked at a sickeningly high level is because men are fighting a proxy battle in the wider war against women in general. People like me have dared to say that transitioning to live as a woman is not a “downgrade” as they would have everyone believe. Soldiers often treat traitors worse than they treat the enemy, and I am proudly both. This primitive charade needs to end, and rest assured that it is ending. Women have made enormous advances economically and politically in the last one hundred years, and the momentum is not slowing. I just pray to the goddess that we can join hands as one peaceful people soon and respect all gender manifestations as beautiful and divine.

A Few Words

God gave you a left hand and a right hand. On one side there are things that happen to you and you’re the victim or receptive or yin. On the other side, you are the actor, the thinker, the yang. You can’t reduce it to one. It’s both, well at least both. I’m not that smart enough to know how many hands reality has. But you can’t say that you’re a total victim, and you can’t say that you’re a total egotistical controller. We’re all both in varying degrees. So can we please meet in the center? Can we have a mosh pit of love and understanding. I know that some people are “unrelatable” but people change. I used to be a frothing right winger. I grew up. Let’s all stop being total know-it-alls that are completely convinced that the other side is wrong. Certainty is poison. There is no certainty in a complicated system of oppositional actors. Humility, Please?!
By the way, WTF is wrong with you Donald Trump. I’m talking to you as one of those horrible trannies that you want to cleanse out of the military. (BTW, only we can say tranny. Don’t fucking say it if you’re not a tranny.) Grow the fuck up motherfucker! Simmer down my brother. You’re not fucking Christ. Lord. The amount of intellectual certainty in this budding Aquarian Age is just too much. Yeah, we kind of know things because of science, but science is wrong every day.
OK I feel better. It’s such a fucking disaster. Center. Breath. Ground. Know that you’re a dumb ass ape. Life is work.
I’m drunk, but hey, I can write a few words.

A year ago I almost died, then grace came through, and now I’m free. This is the story of my moment of awakening.

A year ago on January 20th, 2016, I was in the hospital for suicidal ideation. I had just gotten a DUI 4 days earlier. The hospital sent me home because they didn’t know what to do with me, and they told me I would not get a bed in a psych facility. I told them that I would probably kill myself if they let me go, and they let me go anyways. So, I decided to try and kill myself.

I went home to where I was living at the time, with my then girlfriend. I knew that I had a trove of toxic medication, about 250 pills of various chemicals, and I had researched and figured this would do the trick. I set about measuring them all out. It nauseated me thinking about taking them all, but I just went about taking them all. It took me about an hour to get them all down. I was deadly serious, and I sat back to write my suicide note.

I felt the darkness creeping over me. At the time, I really thought that killing myself was the right thing to do. I had a committed feeling that I was doing a righteous act. I thought that I would go to God, because I thought that I was some form of enlightened at the time. I could feel the darkness of death starting to take me. This feeling will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I still have the note that I scribbled onto a paper plate. It said “Goodbye. It’s been fun. The depression is just too much. It’s unending suffering. I don’t like America. It feels like a prison. Whatever. I’m sorry for the pain this might cause. Sorry if I sound like I don’t care. Just tired. Abbey.”

I thought about what would happen next, and for a second there was doubt. I didn’t feel liberated. I still felt depressed. And I was scared. I thought that maybe killing myself would make things worse. I thought about hell. I thought about God. I thought about going to somewhere even worse than where I was. I reread the note that I had written. Then something clicked. I still don’t really know what happened, but this was my awakening. My life changed in that instant. I noticed that the note was whiny. I noticed that I was angry. I noticed that I sounded childish. And then I saw my ego. It was this angry, demonic looking thing inside of me. I saw it. And it was so pathetic. I felt foolish. I felt stupid next to death and God. All of the excuses about why I should kill myself seemed so ludicrous.

And I looked at that ego inside my gut (that’s where I saw it), and I just said “this is so fucking stupid,” and I laughed at myself. The pills were really starting to take effect, and I was getting diarrhea. I couldn’t even kill myself properly. My body was desperately trying to get rid of the poison. I thought that I would have passed out by this time, but I was still very much conscious.

In that instant I realized that the anger of my ego was insatiable. That thing was so committed to its insanity that it was willing to kill its host. That was where I realized that I had to stop listening to my ego, and I just thought “I’m failing at everything. I have to give up. I have to listen to someone besides my ego.” And I just surrendered. I gave up.

I walked out of the room I was in. My girlfriend was sitting on the couch. She was kicking me out because she couldn’t help me, and she couldn’t handle all of the suicide attempts. I sat next to her and asked “do you think all of these suicide attempts are stupid?” Of course she agreed, but she was distant. She was exhausted by me. I felt strangely liberated at this point. I had fired my ego. I felt free. I told her that I was calling 911 because I was trying to kill myself. The paramedic and cops showed up soon after, and the hospital was able to clean out my digestive tract with the most amount of laxatives I have ever taken and hope to ever take again, lol.

That day I gave up. I consciously switched my inner compass away from my ego, which was totally insane, and towards God. You can call it whatever you want, but I was saved that day. Christ or something came into my heart, and to this day, I can feel a basic goodness in my heart. There is something in there that was not there before that day. I had done a lot of spiritual work before that day; I had built a candle in my heart, but until I was willing to surrender, it was an unlit candle. Making that decision to say “ok God, I’m clueless on my own, you’re in charge” lit that candle, and it is still lit.

Over the last year my life has improved SO much. And I’ve really had to do about everything that my ego would say NOT to do. I’ve had to get jobs that were not very exciting. I’ve lived with roommates in sober living that have definitely not been that great of people. I’ve had to drag myself to spiritual fellowship when my ego would definitely rather not do that. I’ve had to quit drinking. I’ve changed my diet and lost 65 pounds. I’ve meditated with a passion. I’ve reached out for advice instead of thinking I know everything. I’ve bowed down to the world instead of wanting the world to bow down to me.

I’m so happy I fired my ego. It’s still there with its frown and judgment thinking it knows everything. But I just laugh. I really don’t know how I did all of the amazing things that I did over the last year. That’s fine. I gave the reins to my higher self or God or whatever. Sometimes I think it’s alien intelligence. I have zero clue what it is, but it’s there. And I listen. I open my heart, and I listen to what the world has to say.

I don’t want to kill myself. I’ve had almost no suicidal thoughts in the last year. I got off my medications for depression. I’ve recovered. I’m still cleaning up a lot of the messes that my ego got me into, but I’m so much better. Life is grand. Life is amazing. Life is peace. I don’t have the fear anymore because I fired my ego. I have a basic trust that I will be ok.

In my mind I just bow down the God and give thanks. I recognize that my ego was just delusion. It was insanity. Everyone struggles in life. I wasn’t special. We all have shit to shovel in this world. Big deal! That suicide note was just silly, so I keep it as a reminder.

My heart is love. I call it Christ to Christians, because that’s their language, and that’s what it is. But it’s also Buddha nature or Krishna consciousness or whatever. It’s redemption. It’s grace. It’s love. It’s wholeness. It’s awakening.

I have the dopiest smile on my face right now. I’m not going anywhere. Life is too much fun! Be well my friends.

The Roots, gender transition, and the promised land.

​I’m listening to The Roots – Undun. I love this album. It’s a concept album about a fictional person from the ghetto and it’s told in reverse order. Sonically, it is challenging and bold. The verses are poignant and mature. I love neo soul beats, and I tend to write a lot in that style with my own music. Questlove definitely knows how to make the beats bite in this album.

I used to listen to this album when I was coming out as transgender in LA and driving home to the valley on the 101, passing billboards for Rolls Royce in my Ford, making money but seeing it all disappear and having my kids taken from me. This music was vital and just dark enough to speak to that striving and struggle in my soul. I was just starting out on my shamanic journey of transformation into authenticity. Now I’m there. I found the promised land. It’s not Rolls Royces and fame. It’s self acceptance and peace with God.

I still have that trusty Ford Fusion. Her battery is almost spent, there’s a gash in one of her tires even though it still is inflated. We’re kinda scarred and beat up, but we are driving on, into the destined night, knowing the new day is already manifesting on the other side of the globe. I just gotta wait for it, sing my songs and praise that beautiful lion that roars in my heart called God.