Of Hormones and Friends

I currently am in therapy at Howard Brown Medical Center in Chicago, IL. I’ve been going for about 4 sessions and yesterday, we began reading blog posts that I post on my Tumblr (only original content). She read the first entry I copied into a Word file and we began discussing the content of it. She asked what really got me started at Howard Brown and I mentioned my school therapist saying that a year of therapy was required before I could begin hormone treatment (which is generally the standard). That’s when she said “Your therapist was wrong”. 

In general, there are some organizations that advise a year of therapy before being able to get on hormones. However, Howard Brown takes the approach of Informed Consent, where if the person is 18 and older, they can consent to begin hormones after a physical, blood work and a few appointments to evaluate whether the person is able to give informed consent to begin hormone treatment. 

This truly made my day and I don’t think i truly realized until then just how much hinged on my getting hormones. I instantly felt that there was something tangible to work for, whereas a year of therapy felt like forever and a day. I feel like working out more now, getting myself in shape, doing well in classes (not that I’m doing horrendous) and just looking forward to my future. A part of me is slightly nervous at what happens when I’m done transitioning (far in the future), but I’ll post on that later. As ideal as it would be for me to begin hormones as soon as possible, I’m actually going to keep seeing my therapist and just working within myself to truly see if this is something I need and not something I think I need because I don’t fit social norms. (I’ll post something on my experience with dysphoria a little later). 

With that said, I texted my mom about what was discovered because I’m too much of a pussy to actually tell her face to face. She asked if that’s what I truly wanted and I explained that I was almost 99% sure. I feel like she will support me, but it’ll upset her..Which is normal. I hate having to do this and I honestly think I’ll move out shortly after starting hormones as I know it’ll bring some type of tension between me and my immediate family. But again, that’s not something that’s in my immediate future so I’ll try to focus on finishing this semester before stressing about this. 

I told someone I’m close to about this news and he was just curious as to when/if I’d told my parents and when I would start, then we just chatted. He’s pretty supportive and someone I go to when i wish to talk about my LGBT issues as he is a member of the LGBT community also. However, I then posed the question of my transitioning to my best friend. I expected to not transition until he was in college (he’s a senior in high school), but with this new information, it’s more likely than not that I’ll start before then. We ride the train together to get to school, thus the reason I asked him. He tried to act nonchalant about it, saying it was my life, not his, but I sensed not necessarily hesitation, but awkwardness on his part. i voiced it and he said that it’s not his life so he has no say so or feelings. I know how he feels about this whole thing (He believes God created us the way we were for a reason and we shouldn’t change that) and I just asked him if he would still be able to be friends with me. He said he wouldn’t stop talking to me, but in the back of my mind, I know that we’ll probably fall off when I start transitioning. 

Honestly, he’s like my only close friend. My other best friend’s at college out of state and we haven’t talked for months and he’s the only one I talk to on an almost daily basis. The thought of us becoming strangers hurts, but at this point in my life, I can’t afford to let anyone drag me down or allow myself to drag anyone else down. Life is about living and enjoying what time we have here and if that means having to walk alone for some time, that’s what I’ll do. I already get a slightly judgmental feel from him when it comes to academics and if this is compounded by strong discomfort toward my transition, I would rather us part ways. He’ll be successful and I’d hope we’d encounter each other somehow in the future. 

At this point, i feel not many people take me seriously about this and when I start to transition and they see it’s real, I’ll have to let many go. I’m already in the state of mind to just…live and let go. It’s not worth my stress and sadness to keep people who don’t love me unconditionally around. 

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An Abstinent Atheist?

I imagine when most hear the word “abstinent”, they immediately think of someone religious promising their virginity to their future husband or wife because it’s what their “god” wants them to do and they feel inclined to do so. Many people would question the point of this when there is such pleasure in sex and the subsequent orgasmic feeling it entails. Why would/should someone be abstinent? Are these religious people onto something? Is Abstinence something we could all benefit from practicing?

As an atheist, I cant’ help but wonder has sex lost all meaning. We’re doing it for that almost addicting ending, to prove we’re the studs we are, and that we can do what we want with our bodies. Little seems to be respected about the act anymore and even with better protection and information, teen pregnancies, accidental pregnancies, and STD’s are on the rise. After really doing some contemplating, I’ve found at least 2 big reasons why abstinence should be a serious consideration for most. Maybe not abstinent until marriage, but abstinent until you find someone whose worth the trouble and know they won’t go around telling your deepest, darkest secrets if you all break up. Not all of these fall into the “knowing the right person category. Maybe you’ll even reconsider how you think about sex after this. 

1. Emotional Bonds-Science has shown that when two people are intimate, there are endorphins  released that create a strong emotional bond. The more a person has sex with other people, the strength of that bonds weakens. I remember learning it like this: “When you put tape on your arm and give it to someone else, it’ll stick. But the more people that try and put the tape on their arm, the less it sticks.” I know this isn’t going to be applicable to everyone, but think of it like this: Do you want sex with someone to be more than physical? If so, maybe one should refrain from frivolous acts of coitus. 

2. Lack of STD’s and Unwanted Pregnancies-Granted, a condom and/or birth control could probably knock these two out, but contraception isn’t 100% effective and there is always that risk of pregnancy. Regardless, always have you and your partner tested before being intimate. Better to dampen the flames of that night than to have to deal with the pain of an STD. With abstinence, one won’t have any risk of unwanted pregnancies or STD’s as I’m pretty sure you know. 

There are many, many more reasons out there, but these are the 2 I think people need to be aware of. I know it’s almost over stated about the whole “You won’t get pregnant or an STD”, but the emotional bond thing hasn’t often come up in recent years. i rarely see it mentioned in sex ed classes anymore and that’s something that people need to know. Sex isn’t just physical. There are many things going on in the brain upon the reaching of climax. I may edit this again so I can add more to that small list, but for now, these are things to ponder. 

Have a response or idea for another entry? Feel free to respond to this or send me an email: JCollins1594@gmail.com

My Thoughts on my Coming Out

On October 11th, National Coming Out Day, I came out to my mother (not anyone else yet) as “Confused” to say the least. I wrote her a letter elaborating on my gender confusion throughout my life and how it’s made me feel. She said she would accept me and that she’d do what she could to make me happy. I was beyond happy to hear this, but a part of me feels like she only said that to make me happy or she means it on a very basic level.

After coming out and not needing to feel bothered with hiding it from my mom, I’ve become almost 100% sure I want to transition. I cannot deal with being stuck in between two worlds. For me, I don’t feel “stuck in the wrong body” but rather, I need to change the body I have to make me feel better. I need to lose weight, start T, get phallo and top surgery. With less stress on hiding a part of me, I don’t feel as stressed about talking myself out of transitioning. I’ve begun going to a therapist at Howard Brown,  and it’s like a year’s worth of therapy cannot come quick enough. I want to begin being seen as a male, being comfortable as a male. I’m sick of living up to others’ expectations.

My mom has claimed she’ll be supportive, but admitted that she doesn’t know if she can call me anything but her daughter. I understand it’ll take time, but it hurts that she doesn’t even want to entertain the idea of adjusting pronouns and while I know she sees the danger of being a trans person, I don’t think she realizes how dangerous it’ll be if she refers to me with pronouns other than what I go by. I’ll continue to give her time, but I’ve honestly gotten to the point where, if she fails to accept my transition, I’ll move away and live my life the way I should. I’ll accrue any debt to be had from hormones and student loans to be happy. I can’t deal with living with someone who doesn’t accept me.

Aside my mother, I don’t think my best friend takes me seriously either. We were joking around and I said that I should just go to a monastery and he says, “Aren’t monasteries for men?” I pause and kind of look at him to try and get my point across in why I changed “convent” to “monastery” but he didn’t get it. He knows I’m going to therapy for my gender confusion and desire to transition, but deep down, I know his religious convictions will keep him from seeing me as a male and that hurts more than anything.

Please realize that I know adjustments to changes in gender take much time. I’m not asking these people to be ready to call me by male pronouns (I don’t know that I’m ready), but the fact that they’re not seeming to take me seriously on my desire to transition hurts. I’m actually just preparing to separate myself from everyone and just focus on myself. I need to find inner peace and appreciation and these two people are making me consider cutting everyone else more and more.

Am I being overly emotional? What was your experience? Feel free to respond or email me: JCollins1594@gmail.com.

Btw: If you need someone to talk to or need advice from, feel free to shoot me an email. I will respond. I love helping anyone I can.

Have a good day!