Into the Light

Greetings.  You’ve stumbled, or perhaps been directed to, or actively searched for, the blog of a Transgender woman.

The goal of this blog, is to provide a space for me to collect my thoughts, emotions, triumphs, and valleys of my journey to myself.  The subject matter is most definitely mature, and intended for a mature audience.  Individual subjects may be only tangentially related to my journey, but they matter to me… and this is -me- you are exploring reading this blog.

Be fore-warned, some of my subjects will be highly sexual in nature. If that’s an issue, I suggest you either leave, grow up, or skip the NSFW posts by paying attention to the handy-dandy-warning labels they will carry.

That said, come in… know me better.  Come in, journey through the whirlwind of life that is my Transition and Growth of self.  My name is Jessica, and I am Woman too.

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Heart Wept – On the passing of Carrie Fisher

Today, the universe lost a star.  No, I don’t mean that she was an Actress.  I mean she was a figurative source of light in the darkness of life.

I never met her personally.  I wish I had.  I always wanted to, now ….

Its hard to type this past the tears.  But I must.  How can a woman I’ve never met, generations older than me… How can she, her life, her passing have such an effect?

I grew up in a hyperconservative environment.  My family was conservative… the church I was raised in though, had a hyperconservative youth group.  I’ve talked about this before, about having to overcome the belief that my feeling a woman in a man’s body was a sin, was an abomination etc etc…

But I havn’t told the whole story of how I escaped that belief.  Something had to put the first crack in the armor.  For me, it was Star Wars.

I had it preached to me repeatedly, that men were to save women, to protect them.  To treasure them as unrivaled treasures.  But in Star Wars, there was Princess Leia, standing up to the most potent evil in the galaxy; ready to sacrifice herself to save a chance at ending it.  When she was rescued by Luke and Han, she wound up saving their asses by taking action before they would have otherwise been overwhelmed.  Later, She saves Luke after Vader got a-hold of him, then She risks her life to rescue Han, with an exceedingly elaborate plan… and it would have worked if someone hadn’t tipped Jabba off to it.  Then, not content with being only that level of badass, She kills her captor.  She rescues herself, breaks a massive chain on her own.

I loved it. And I was told repeatedly growing up that Luke saved her.  But I know better.  I knew better.

Sure sure, that’s just a character played by Carrie Fisher… but I’m not convinced Leia would have been anywhere near so good with any other actress’ at the time.  Certainly not Sigourney Weaver.  There was just something so REAL about the way Carrie handled the role.

Then, as if she needed to own that any further… she embraced it after the fact.  She struggled with life issues post star wars, and she overcame them.  She was a light on Twitter, and her style, was just Amazing.   She was flawed to be sure, but her flaws only made her more to her fans.  Her embracing and loving herself, flaws and all… even more so.

She was, and is, my role model.  My example of how to strive on, and overcome.  Of how to be me, no matter what, no matter who tries to make me otherwise.

I will miss her dearly.  But the pain I feel doesn’t even begin to match what those who truly knew her feel. What her family must feel.

My heart goes out to them in this time.  This may fall on empty internet…  But I stand to offer whatever I can to ease them in this time.  Even if its only positive thoughts.  Even if its simply calling on others to give the family space and privacy during their grieving.

May the force be with you, Carrie Fisher.  May your star shine brightly for generations to come.  May our hearts and love lift you, and your families Spirits.  And may they heal from the wound of your passing, to bear the scar proudly of having been touched by your life.

~Jessica

Auspicious Day

Today, I woke up at 5 am to get on the road to be at an appointment at 9 am.  I got to the appointment, to discover the doctor I was going to see was trying not to take on new patients, as he is retiring soon.

This turned out to be to my favor; as he referred me to a colleague of his, who in addition to being a Endocrineologist, is a Gynecologist, and more importantly, a Transgender Gynocologist, running a program of treatment for that.  We spent about an hour talking about expectations and side effects, what hormones would and wouldn’t do.  After that, he discussed what he needed from me to put me on hormones, I agreed, and was sent home with my prescription.

What that means, is today I took my first round of hormone treatment.  I’m on hormones now, I’m excited, nervous, and extremely hopeful.  I feel,I should document this.. so I will be posting some images either here, or somewhere else…

The goal, is to document my body changes in one-month intervals.  so I can actually see the progress.

 

I promised myself that I would come out to my family after I went on hormones.  And while my dad just had a surgery… Its time, My body is going to be changing, I can no longer hide this, and I need to know if they will accept me or not.

I’m figuring out how to bring it up, but this weekend I -will- come out to my parents… wish me luck.

~Jess

Transgender / Gay / Lesbian – Born this way? Or abused into it? Or what has science decided?

Ok, so first things first – There is a study out there that if you don’t know how to read a scientific study, seems to claim that there is no evidence that a transgender person, or a gay person, or a lesbian, were born that way.  News media outlets of the conservative nature are touting it as a banner-ralley that they were right all a long, and that ‘we’ the LGBTQ community are a bunch of predatory nutjobs; while liberal media outlets are pointing to it with ‘matronly concern’ worried that this study may invalidate other human rights pushes, as if its a forgone conclusion that the study will end the argument over LGBTQ rights.  Then further, some outlets (the more extremist ones) are calling either, for repeal of rights already granted (because of said study) or for those rights to be pressed on and furthered, because ‘hey, born this way or not, we exist, we are human, we deserve rights’.  That last bit? If you are reading my blog regularly, you know I call them ‘extremist’ not because I think they are… but because the other side will.

So, what does this study mean? What does it say?

Here is a link so you can brows the study yourself.  http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/number-50-fall-2016

Done reading it? Good, now lets go over it…

First off, the language in the study’s brief suggest that they are looking to tread carefully.  The aknowledge that science isn’t the -only- method for understanding LGBTQ identity.  Second, they are clear that while -SO FAR- they havn’t found any scientific evidence to support the idea that people are born into LGBTQ identity – that science in that regard has so far been limited, and that there still is more to do and learn.  Second, they are also clear that simply because science doesn’t prove definitively positive, it cannot definitively prove negative either.  Then there are the quotes from some of the LGBTQ persons interviewed elsewhere and looked at for this study – such as the following (quoted directly out of the text of the brief)

“A prominent recent example of a person describing sexual orientation as a choice is Cynthia Nixon, a star of the popular television series Sex and the City, who in a January 2012 New York Times interview explained, “For me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me,” and commented that she was “very annoyed” about the issue of whether or not gay people are born that way. “Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate?””

In fact, they basically say that scientific evidence points to sexual and gender identity being very fluid in many peoples adolescence, before becoming firm as they grow older.  And, to summarize in the extreme, they basically spend the sexual orientation section breaking down the concept of sexual desire…  Were you to read the brief only slightly differently, it could be an expose stating how amazing it is that so many people turn heterosexual when sexual desire is so fluid and difficult a concept.  They point to a prior study of the brains of gay men that had a difference from those of heterosexual men – which basically found that there is a difference, but its unknown if its genetic or developmental.  They also spend a great deal of time talking about obstacles to research in certain directions.  You can read this, and take snippits out of context to fit almost any conclusion you want – which is what the media is doing on all sides.   Or, you can read the whole thing, and see it for what it really is… a long winded, scientific, ‘We don’t know, not enough research exists to conclusively point to anything, but we do acknowledge the phenomenon exists, and likely has many different causes’

Then, you have part two on mental health outcomes… the section the conservative media points to and says ‘see, they say that transgenders are wrong by pointing out how much more they commit suicide’ while completely ignoring the breakdown of probable causes for such high rates of mental/emotional issues.  What it in actuality says, is that the most commonly pointed to ‘probable cause’ of social stigma and lack of support cannot fully account for the increase in poor mental health outcomes.  Instead; there are many other factors there, not all of them explored. In fact, the brief concludes section two with the following statement; which I quite like.

“Just as it does a disservice to non-heterosexual subpopulations to ignore or downplay the statistically higher risks of negative mental health outcomes they face, so it does them a disservice to misattribute the causes of these elevated risks, or to ignore other potential factors that may be at work. Assuming that a single model can explain all of the mental health risks faced by non-heterosexuals can mislead clinicians and therapists charged with helping this vulnerable subpopulation. The social stress model deserves further research, but should not be assumed to offer a complete explanation of the causes of mental health disparities if clinicians and policymakers want to adequately address the mental health challenges faced by the LGBT community. More research is needed to explore the causes of, and solutions to, these important public health challenges.”

Summary? Its a disservice to LGBTQ populations to assume we have it figured out, and therefore to stop looking for causes of the poor mental health outcomes.  More research IS needed.

Next, lets do a brief look at part three. This part deals entirely with gender identity, and goes back and forth between genetic-biological-sex roles, and societally based concepts of gender.  What it does not do, is say that they’ve found a smoking gun pointing to the idea that biologic sex is, and should always be, gender.  What it does do? Aknowledges that Gender is different from biologic sex – if you look at gender as a societal role.  Then goes further, and talks about therapeutic intervention.  ((Which is NOT always the best choice; as anyone who’s dealt with it will tell you, hormone therapy, and even surgery, was NOT for them, as well as others who will tell you that it was either the therapy and the surgery, OR death. The scale is clearly varied))  The conclusion of this section, is essentially that we shouldn’t look at therapeutic and surgical intervention as the final solution; as evidenced by many poor mental health outcomes even despite of those interventions.  It also points out that some trans-identifying children and adults go back on their identity, reverting (This does happen, there really is no point in denying it; beyond trying to force your own personal worldview on someone else)  The conservative media is happy to call it transregret; but in actuality, its likely more the fluidity of gender and sexuality that many people experience.  Genderfluid is a thing, a beautiful thing.

The first paragraph of the conclusion is as follows.

“Accurate, replicable scientific research results can and do influence our personal decisions and self-understanding, and can contribute to the public discourse, including cultural and political debates. When the research touches on controversial themes, it is particularly important to be clear about precisely what science has and has not shown. For complex, complicated questions concerning the nature of human sexuality, there exists at best provisional scientific consensus; much remains unknown, as sexuality is an immensely complex part of human life that defies our attempts at defining all its aspects and studying them with precision.”

They then go on to point out that there is no scientific evidence to conclude that people are born into LGBTQ’ness, but they also re-state that not enough evidence exists to rule out the possibility that some are.  They accept that choosing to be that way is valid as well.  Then they talk about the use of extreme interventions on children, and how some  have discussed surgery, or other interventions on children as young as two.  Or the ‘more reasonable’ six….   They state that no one can know the gender identity of a two year old… and I agree.  For that matter, I don’t think anyone can really know the gender identity of a six year old… beyond how they identify in -that- specific moment.  Children are wonderful, resilient, creative, and fragile beings…. making decisions for them is both necessary… and risky.

They lastly conclude with this…

“Thoughtful scientific research and careful, circumspect interpretation of its results can advance our understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. There is still much work to be done and many unanswered questions. We have attempted to synthesize and describe a complex body of scientific research related to some of these themes. We hope that this report contributes to the ongoing public conversation regarding human sexuality and identity. We anticipate that this report may elicit spirited responses, and we welcome them.”

My conclusion? Its a massive paper saying ‘this is what we know, this is what we don’t know, this is where we need research.  Lets DO it.’

The journal it was published in is known for having anti-LGBTQ leanings (being a judeo-christian leaning journal) however, I don’t see any real bias in the study itself..  In-fact, as this was really just a research into past studies to determine what we do and don’t know, I’d hardly call it a study, so much as a call to arms.  What arms? Research, to really help nail down more about the complexities of human sexuality and gender identity.  Research that sorely needs doing, but still by and large, remains wholly taboo.

Is it possible that the journal published it with the intent of it being a smoking gun? Maybe, but not likely.  Is it possible that the authors sought it to be? I dare say not.  Is it the smoking gun conservative media outlets are calling it? Absolutely not.  Is it anti-LGBTQ as the liberal media outlets are calling it? Absolutely not.

The brief is decidedly neutral, in fact… with more language calling for more research and study, and scientific due-diligence, than it has saying ‘we know this’

This has been an exercise in going beyond the news media, to figure out what they are really on about… because often, they don’t even know.  I can guarantee that the majority of articles referencing this study didn’t do more than skim it… if even that.

~Jess

 

Edit: Watching the video for the study, which many claim clearly have conservative leanings…. you can hear that the scientists and doctors involved, are not anti-LGBTQ, but rather, concerned for the long term health of their patients.  On the subject of trans children, one even states ‘This is a vulnerable population, and there are no long term studies done… we don’t have that data.’ (paraphrasing slightly)

My conclusion – to all the LGBTQ groups looking at this as an attack on them, and calling for science to ‘just talk and learn about them’ DO IT. Go, be a part of these studies. Be A PART of the study of the human sexuality and gender identity.  Will it invade your privacy? YES. Will it be beneficial to others like you in the future? VERY YES.  Stop looking at science and studies as attacks on who you are, and start looking at it as a necessary thing that must be done to help those in fear of us understand us.  Seriously, science isn’t attacking you…. its trying to understand you. Let it.

And to all the conservative groups who are looking at this as final scientific proof that you were right all along?  To quote the video, “The science is never done. There is always a better study to do, a better experiment. To say anything is conclusive, is idiotic.”

You don’t get to ignore the scientific research you want (EG: In favor of young-earth creationism, or Climate Change) and then point to other scientific research and say ‘Science proves me right!’ especially when its clear you ignored it too, except for snippits that you could take out of context to support your pre-concieved-conclusions. Do better, read the material, all of it… and read it neutrally – the way scientific papers and research is meant to be done.  Good science WILL change your worldview.  If it doesn’t, you are either not open; or it wasn’t good science.  99% the former.  That 1%? Bad science, like the vaccines/autism thing. Yeah… Get your kids vaccinated please.  I’m sterile, I’ve -been- sterile… I won’t ever have a kid of my own to be vaccinated. But I don’w want my friends who have kids to have them at risk for shit because you thought Mumps wasn’t as big a deal as a false risk of autism.

Update, Two Steps Closer

Its been a bit! I know I know, I promised I’d give an update quite a while ago; but things have been so busy that I just have not had the time.  Nor have I felt that I could update on just one thing… I wanted to get to a ‘full stop’ and give a total overall update!

First, I talked about coming out to my employer; and being nervous on if I should or not.  I ultimately decided that I would come out to my employer; and set about drafting, re-drafting, and finally, sending an email to my HR director.  Upon sending that email, it took about a day before I was called in to her office; to remind me that the Hospital has a strict zero tolerance harassment policy; and that if I ran into any issues to please report it.  She also wanted to know how I wanted to proceed; did I want to come out publicly to everyone at once, or little by little? I chose to go little by little, to avoid ‘rocking the boat’ and let everyone adjust at the same rate I’ll be adjusting.

Coming out to my employer had a few side effects… the first was it empowered me to seek more capability with my makeup skills, and skincare etc… second it helped me get set with an appointment to visit one of the local practitioners to get started.  I had my labs drawn on August the 2nd; and I wanted to update as soon as I got the results back.  Well, I got the results back today!  Forewarned, the following contains a bunch of medical speak….

I had a CBC, BMP, Testosterone, Prolactin, and Estrogen drawn.

CBC stands for complete blood count – most of which is irrelevant to this, other than determining general health.  The most relevant thing you need to know from this; is that I do not have elevated, or low, white blood cell counts (all fall within normal range)

BMP – Basic Metabolic Panel – this just showed I’m in general good health, with no markers pointing to anything like liver issues etc.  Everything was within range.

Testosterone – This is where it gets interesting – My testosterone level is 350 ng/dL. (nanograms per deciliter) which is on the low-end of the scale for a male my age, with my fitness, with my health.  I was told its roughly the testosterone level (given those factors) of a 55-65 year old.  Meaning, its fairly low.  Its not so low, that were I wishing to stay male, that it would require treatment – just the occasional monitoring.  Evidence is there however, that my testosterone has -always- been low.  For example, my voice never changed in the same way it did for my brother.  I have a very hidden ‘adams apple’ whereas my Brother has a very prominent one; as does my Dad.  Some evidence exists even, to suggest that my result of 350 ng/dL of testosterone is actually that of someone even -older- (possibly normal for 85 years+) as some more modern research has shown that normal for a 30 year old male’s testosterone range should be between 600 and 1100.

So what does that mean on the testosterone?  Well, it means that I don’t have much of it.  I don’t have anywhere near enough of it… and this is a good thing; provided its not because of underlying factors of significant health risk.  What are the possible causes?

  1. Testicular injury (usually temporary) – I was kicked once… at age 13.  Somehow, I doubt this was it.
  2. Testicular Cancer – I have no family history of it; and its safe to say I’m very familiar with the shape of mine.  Also, I have no other symptoms of it.
  3. Hormonal Disorder (Seems most likely candidate, but its a broad brush)
  4. Infection (no elevated white counts, so no)
  5. Aids (first off, still virgin, second off, I -do- get myself tested, and thats a negative)
  6. Chronic Liver/ Kidney disease (I have neither, lab results confirm)
  7. type 2 Diabetes (nope, and no family history either)
  8. Obesity (I am ‘obese’ barely, but not -enough- for this to have given me such a significant impact on my testosterone levels)

So, I said that there are signs that this has been a chronically low level?  What are they, I’m sure you are curious. That means its list time again.

  1. Lack of adams apple / significant change of voice at puberty (don’t get me wrong, I still sound male right now… mostly… but my voice has often been confused for female – and every time it has been, I’ve been happy about it – but the masculine side of my voice is more about vocal patterns than its pitch)
  2. Lack of testicular size-change from puberty (I’ve always been a curious sort… while my ‘big clitty’ has grown as I went through puberty, my testicles did not… they are still the same 1cm by 1.5cm by 1.2cm size they have always been.)
  3. sparse – but existing chest/facial hair (I have chest hair, I have back hair, I have facial hair, etc… but its sparse.  Compared to my dad – the grizzly bear, and compared to my brother – who’s also quite grizzly – I have almost none.  For that matter, my chest hair is also quite fine…. relatively speaking. Note: belly hair included here.  My facial hair, is also quite sparse, and much of it has gone wiry, but lacks any coloration at all.  Testosterone both provides the motivation to turn on those follicles, and to give them color, and make them grow thicker.  This suggests that I have enough testosterone to turn -most- of them on… but not all the way, and not properly)
  4. Inability to put on muscle mass (I’ve always had difficulty building up muscles.  I have the musculature I was born to grow into, but not much more – despite lots of weight training and personal trainer-guided supplements)

So, then you have prolactin level – This is really a hormone that both men and women have; its directly linked to lactation, as well as to erectile dysfunction.  I don’t have ED (at least I don’t think I do, considering nightly masturbation performances) but I have a prolactin level of 10.2 ng/mL which is on the upper end of the scale for ‘normal’ for men.  Its on the lower end of the scale for ‘normal’ for women.  What does this mean? I havn’t a clue…. yet.

Lastly, we have estrogen levels – mine at 41 pg/mL which is on the middle-end of the scale for men, and the low end of the scale for women (as in, needs treatment low)

Conclusion here is, my hormones say I’m male – barely.  The results have been sent off for referral to an endocrinologist, and I’m waiting on that call now.  The importance there, being that as the beginning of me going on hormones.  I’m almost there! To top that off, my research is showing me that my body is prime for feminization because of my chronically low testosterone!  Seems I may have not done as much damage in my T-Boosting supplement days of self hatred as I thought I might have.

Lastly, my streams have been going well; as expected, there are plenty of viewers freaked out by the fact that I’m on there, sounding male-ish-sometimes, broad shouldered, small-busted, big-chested, still-learning makeup, and bad at hair-styling… confusing them till they look and see ‘transgender’ then leave… But I’ve also met quite a few people who are both cool with it, and encouraging of my journey.  And then there are the third type – who don’t care, so long as I’m not pounding it into their skull every 3 minutes that I’m trans.  ((Apparently thats a thing on twitch? who knew… I thought we were here to play games, not preach))  At any rate… I’ve gotten good enough with makeup on the cheep end of the scale, that I felt comfortable dropping some cash on some good stuff – and I think I got it mostly right.  I have been streaming in full makeup ever since; and have even found a wonderful shade of matte-red-pink lipstick that I adore on me.   My hair is getting longer, my breast massage technique thing is working – and I think once paired with hormones will be quite wonderful.  And I’m closer and closer to being out fully, and putting the costume away to live as me… for the first time in thirty years.

Cheers! ~Jessica

Birthday post!

Its my cakeday, my birthday.

So mark that silly goal non-complete….but not for lack of trying.  I’m not on hormones yet…. infact, I’m still trying to track down a primary care that I can trust and work with to do the steps to -get- on hormones.

Thats for another post though…. look for ‘The quest for Primary Care’ SOON(tm).

No, today, I want to stay happy.  That might be hard, considering I’ve only had 2 hours of sleep… but I’m going to try anyway.

I went into work at 7 am today, instead of my normal schedule, because my boss was kind enough to let me swap with him so I could be off in time to travel with my family for the annual ‘vacation’ and more importantly, so I can have at least one last birthday with my family before things are likely to get weird.

Granted, my boss doesn’t know about me being transgender yet either.

But wanting to spend my birthday with family was all the excuse he needed.


Even still, despite missing my silly goal of hormones by my birthday, I’m making progress on other goals.  My belly is continuing to shrink from its pot-belly proportions.  In December, I had 33% body-fat, in April, it was 28% body-fat, and now in June, i’m down to 22% body-fat.  Still hovering right at 203 lbs however.  Or 92 kilograms for those of you following along with a unit of measure that makes sense.  or 14.5 stone for those of you who use that weird metric….

So, yay on more weight loss!  Bike riding is definitely helping there, though I haven’t gotten to ride as much as I would like thanks to it being extremely rainy during the times I could ride on most days.


So, yeah. Today is my birthday… and I’ll be headed out of town with my family immediately after work.  Wish me luck, I’ll have my two little laptops with me, so I’ll try and get a post in if I can while I’m gone.  If not, I will definitely update as soon as I return!

~Jessica

Long Overdue Update

Its been quite a few days since I last posted, to which I apologize for the delay.

I’ve been busy trying to find a primary care, to perform lab-work, and work with on my overall health, as well as to get me referred to an enterologist or whatever is necessary for me to start my hormones.

Further, I had to fight, quite literally, to go on the ‘family’ vacation… I’ll keep details regarding that slim, but I will say this…

I wanted, and am going, because its right after my birthday, and it may well be the last time I can be with my family with any sense of ‘normality’ as once I start transitioning, my body will be changing.  and as it changes; it will become impossible to -not- tell them, and I have no idea still, how anyone but my sister will react.  My sister already knows; and likely suspected long before I even accepted it myself.

The place that I had thought might be a good place to do primary care… is not exactly high on my trust list anymore.  After a month of trying to get ahold of them, to be told that I’ll be put on a wait list…. Aside from they obviously have too many patients at once right now, they are way too hard to get a hold of if I need them in an emergency.

To that end… I’m wondering if I should come out to my workplace, so I can use the hospital I work at for primary care.  I’m still worried about how that will come across, how well my workplace will take it…  If doing so will put my job in danger. Yes, the state I live in has gender identity as protected…but they could always seek to fire me for something else.  It is still an ‘at will employment’ state.

Just some of the stuff I’m dealing with, mulling over, and wishing I had an easy answer for.

 

~Jessica

 

Dear Mom and Dad

I’ve got something important to talk to you about.  Its something that you need to hear about me; and its something thats been difficult to find a way to bring up, to discuss, and really just inform you about.

I’m transgender; further, I like women.  The son you raised as  James, is really the daughter you raised without knowing it.  Yes, I have the genetics, and the body of a man… but I’ve never truly considered myself one.  Being a male has always been… alien to me.

As a little kid, it didn’t matter; I didn’t know what the feeling I had was; I didn’t know much of anything.  As a teen, I was raised in the youth-group to think that being gay was an unpardonable sin, that gays, lesbians, and people who flaunted ‘god’s truth’ of gender normacy, man in the lead, woman submissive, were flaunting god’s command…  despite that I should have known better by how well you both raised us…

Even when I was part of that youth-group… I had this feeling that I was more feminine than masculine…. but I had  a male body.  That made me a male, and feminine feelings and desires needed be pushed away, prayed away, that it was a ‘challenge’ that God had faced me with because he knew I could overcome it.  I hated myself.  I loathed every time I caught myself looking at some cute outfit and wishing I could wear it.  I chastised myself every time I caught myself behaving femininely.  I brashly acted out in a hyper-masculine way to force myself into habits that would make me believe myself proper male.  In some cases it worked, in some cases, it made me out to be a complete and total asshole.

In my senior year of high school, I gave into one of my secret desires…. I tried out for cheerleader.  Not for a normal cheerleader though, the mascot.  There had been precedent set for it to be a male thanks to Kaurey Edwards.  I was afraid the entire time that I’d be too feminine and reveal myself… but I pulled it off.  At the same time, I was constantly wishing I could have taken that further.

In college, at Hardin Simmons… I thought I’d find myself and finally rid myself of my ‘effeminate demon’ only to have  a lot of the bigotry of hyper-conservatism shoved down my throat.  Between the things they were teaching in the classes I took, and between the things I was learning from friends, and other professors that had nothing to do with my major… I was highly torn about things.  I won’t blame my poor performance entirely on this… but I know it contributed.  You know as well as I, that I was highly depressed during that time.

During the years that followed, I sought out information online, from friends, from books, from any source I could safely find it.  I was trying to find myself, and to reconcile what I ‘knew’ about christianity, with what I knew, and was finding out about myself.  I had an epiphany moment in a moment of prayer, and turned my bible to Matthew 22:36-40…. which has become my favorite passage in the whole of the bible.

Matthew: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

When you consider those as the greatest commandments… there are a few things that really come to light.

One, and perhaps the most obvious… is the implicit hidden command to love yourself.  If the greatest commandment is love; and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we cannot love them to that rule, if we don’t also love ourselves.

Two, and this one isn’t really part of that passage, but, its the remembrance that God does not make mistakes.  If I’m effeminate, uncomfortable in my male body, and dreaming of being a woman, wishing I had been born a woman; perhaps its because God intended I be created that way… not as a trial of my will; but rather because I am strong enough to stand up, go through that, and help modern Christians realize that the vile hatred, and even mild ‘chastisement’ and judgment that they direct towards gay, lesbian, and now especially, transgender people.

Occams razor says its more likely that God created us to be varied and different.  The command in the beginning to be fruitful and multiply was followed, still is followed.  But per the words of Jesus; the greater commandment than that is to love.  To Love God, to Love one another.

If we look at it from the perspective that God wants us to love one another, and that Satan wants us to not follow God, to not follow Jesus… Then which is more likely; that the Hatred we see ‘christians’ spewing towards gay, lesbian, trans people, is Gods’ righteousness born of the word?  Or the hand of Satan, perverting their interpretation of the word, making them forget God’s greatest commandment?  God wants us to love one another no matter what; the devil wants us to tear ourselves apart, hate instead of love, and believe ourselves to be more righteous than our neighbor.

Further; its not OUR job to determine what is a sin and what is not.  If being gay is truly a sin, (and I don’t believe it is) or if being lesbian, or if being transgender, is truly a sin…  Then it would have been something Jesus talked about.  Instead (even though history tells us that gay, lesbian, transgender people have been around since mankind has had enough civilization to allow a realization of it) we have nary a mention of it in the new testament.  The passage people point to all the time in the bible as evidence that being gay is a sin… Sodom and Gomorrah, is constantly misinterpreted.  The wickedness was not that people in that town were gay; it was that they used sex in ways God never intended.  That they used it casually, wantonly. That rape was common.  That the whole town’s reaction to two ‘beautiful strangers’ coming into it, was not ‘We should have a feast and greet these people with hospitality’ but rather ‘Send them out so we can have an orgy with them.”

Point is… its easy to take the self righteous route, and assume that God did not create people to have love of a wide variety, and to fill all walks of life…. and in that assumption, believe that either God made a mistake with the creation of gay/lesbian/transgender people…. Or, that God deliberately made them, because God made mankind in Gods image.  What is God’s image?  God has no gender.  God is not a ‘he’.   If we look at one interpretation, its that we are spiritual beings… that our flesh is a crude vessel that helps our spirit to grow and become its true self, in the glorification of God and God’s creation.

The phrasing in genesis is important. “In his image, God created mankind, Man and Woman he created them’  Except, we added the man and woman part in translation…  There was no ‘first’ there was only the creation of mankind.  God created Adam before eve… but even Adam was created -after- God created mankind.  He created Adam special, the guardian and caretaker of the Garden of Eden.  But mankind existed already… Later, he created Eve special for Adam, when none worthy to be his companion was found outside of the Garden…


Point is… God created MANKIND in God’s image… and gender is something we force upon God, to help us wrap our mind around God’s being.   Its not impossible that part of that image, is people who’s primary purpose on this earth is to love.


Not surprising; though, that many aren’t good at that purpose.  Everyone on this earth, is merely human after all, and as prone to sin as the next person. As prone to failure.


Enough about that though.  In the beginning of this letter, I told you that I am transgender.

I am fully confident in this.  I tell you because I cannot lie about it anymore, I cannot hide it from the family I love anymore.  Consequences and worries be damned… I need to tell you; I want you to understand me, but I’m prepared to not be.  With or without your acceptance, I know this is a path I must go down.

I hope, and pray for your acceptance, to be known as the daughter you thought was a son.

This is not a phase, this is not a rash decision made in depression… this is my life, something I’ve been thinking of, and dealing with my entire life; whether or not I had the knowledge, or the terminology to describe it.

When I was a child and I said my favorite color was pink, and was told that it couldn’t be, that pink was a girl color… I -knew- that it was considered a girl color…

There are many things I regret about growing up…

Chief among them, is the way I behaved towards other women, other girls around me… out of fear, driven by extremism… Out of a need to assert that ‘I was male, because god made a mistake’…. when in reality, I was railing and throwing God’s purpose for me back in God’s face… instead of embracing it; and walking down the path God had set for me.


I had a friend name me; she chose the name Jessica Ann.  The child you raised as James, is still your child. She still loves you. I still love you.  I hope you will understand me, make the effort to understand me.  I hope that you will be patient as I undergo the changes to my external self… to the crude vessel that houses my Spirit.

I don’t ask for support in this; though I wouldn’t say no to it either.  This is what I must do, to be me… and I’ve spent thirty years pretending to be someone I am not.

I’m not sure what else, or how else, to say things… I’m trembling as I write this.  I fear the worst, and hope for the best.

Love you, Mom, Dad.

Your other daughter, Jessica.

Prologue to A letter to Family

One of the things I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about… is how to tell my family.

Not my sister, who already knows… but my parents.

Not my brother – who, I’m 90% sure is a ‘write off’ regarding this… likely to disown me, but could surprise me.

My parents however…. I dearly care for them, and one of the reasons I’ve put up as much facade to them as I have, is I don’t want them to think ill of me, and I don’t want to stress them out.


My father, for example…. has had many medical procedures done recently, and in the past… I don’t want to add stress on top of those.

My Mother… works very hard to provide for the family, even those she really shouldn’t worry about providing for anymore.  She works herself to the bone, and keeps going. Its easy to see that she loves her job… but at the same time, its also easy to see how much stress working that hard puts on her.  I don’t want to add to that stress.


So… I’ve thought about how, and when to tell them… I know I want to tell them before I start ‘showing’ the obvious signs of my transition, like growing breasts etc…  but I also don’t want to tell them until I’m actually on that part of my journey.

At the same time; my family has a history of this kind ‘big’ announcement coming out in the middle of a fight; not always from the person who is actually needing to make the announcement.  This isn’t something I want to happen.

So.. while, at this time I have zero intention of -sending- the letter… I’m going to write a letter here, to help me organize what it is I want to say to my family.  What it is I want them to hear from me, about me. Thats going to be a separate post from this one, because I want it entirely on its own… rather than following this bit of drama and introduction.

~Jessica

 

A few Days silence

I’m back… not that I really ever left.  Just wanted to drop a brief blog post to explain the absence since my twitch announcement thingy…

I work as a RadTech.  I shoot people with high energy photons… over the past fourteen days, I’ve been on call ten days.  And I’m on call two more before I have a day and a half break, before going on call four more straight days.

Its safe to say, I’m exhausted…. but I love my job, and I’d repeat those last two weeks again in a heartbeat.

I also spent three days home with family pretending to be very masculine, so I could get my wheel bearings replaced in my vehicle for cheep… only to have a replaced bearing blow, and force me to stay an extra day.

And I spent 4 days (while on call) working on restoring my old bike from when I was in JR. High to functionality… and upgrading it into a commuter bike.  Its time to start biking to work on nice days… I may upload pics of it on here soon.

All that said… those days absent from the ability (thanks to being busy) to post… I’ve got several thoughts banging around in my head that I need to brain-vomit onto my keyboard. Expect a few more posts over the next few days… some of them possibly even today.

Later! ~Jessica

Twitch Gamer Girl Part Deux

So I had my first stream last night.  From a technical perspective, it went well.  The stream quality was gorgeous, the stuff I did have set up all worked well, and I got some great advice.

From a perspective of me… I’ve got things I need to work on.

Sounding more female – I don’t mean changing my voice to be higher pitched – rather I mean using the rather gender neutral pitch of my voice to my advantage by dropping the years of ingrained male inflections and mannerisms, to replace them with ones more readily associable with my gender.

My makeup.  Granted, i did my makeup in about 5 minutes before the stream, and I couldn’t find my eyeliner, but I feel that I could do a better job.  But that is the whole point of streaming on cam.  An excuse to practice, and maybe get some tips from viewers.

I also need to work on talking during stream, and just, interacting… even with an empty room.   I’m so used to playing games in total silence that…. its a big thing to overcome, but I need to overcome it to really do this medium.  Besides, talking is how you nail in new vocal habits, which loops me back around to the first one.  I can’t work on that if I don’t talk… and in the average day, I barely use my voice.


I don’t know if the people who joined my stream last night got that I’m transgender, or what they thought.  I mean, aside from the friends who joined.  I want those people who join to understand I’m transgender…. and to understand I don’t want special treatment for it, just to game and have fun.

I also want to mention – I welcome questions about it.  I started this blog, and am taking a ‘public’ route about things, because I have the thick skin, patience, and ability, to be a voice where others can’t.  I can explain things, answer questions, and don’t mind doing it.  Enjoy doing it in-fact.   Its something I’m passionate about… and I love talking about my passions.

Just ask anyone who’s ever asked me about my car…..

~Jessica