Author Topic: The Stephanie Chronicles  (Read 60089 times)

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Offline Jessica

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1700 on: June 14, 2018, 12:04:44 am »
Your living life as a woman Stephanie.  It doesn’t have to be all about worrying about stuff, it just needs to be.

Hugs and smiles, Jess

... it's like running a car on ethanol when it's supposed to take gasoline... it'll work, but it's eventually gonna break down until you put it on the proper fuel.

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1701 on: June 14, 2018, 12:19:22 am »
Oh dear, here we go again!

Pffft. It’s my thread and everyone can be punny if they want. So there!

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Faith

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1702 on: June 14, 2018, 06:47:46 am »
Steph, I have been following along. It's so good to know to know that you made it through your doubting slump and back to enjoying self. Keep it up.



I am who I am :icon_chick:

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1703 on: June 14, 2018, 02:32:40 pm »
This happened a few days ago. A little background:

For years I had a reputation as the go-to person for support and parts for a particular light plane. That faded about eight years ago when the new owner of the company decided he could do it better than me.  (According to my customers, he couldn’t). I still pretty much grok it, and I also have a fair amount of knowledge of the Rotax engines we generally ran on them.

The owners who’ve bought one of these planes now have a Facebook group, and I decided recently to jump in and offer advice as needed. Some of the members are my friends and know my situation, but to others I’m just this new person who seems to know what’s going on.

The thing for me is whenever I get going with this kind of thing, because of all the years I did it, I sort of fall back into my old mindset and internal identity. I really didn’t even realize it until this happened:



“She’s correct”

It shouldn’t be the case, but it came as a shock to me. I still go back and look at it in wonder. It’s got me curious about what they think of a woman showing up who knows more about their plane than they do. But I just love it!

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Online sarah1972

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1704 on: June 14, 2018, 02:55:50 pm »
Someone just got “womansplained”

This is wonderful. Print it, frame it.

It should really not matter if male or female. You are an expert on Rotax machines. And the member was very grateful for you help!!

Happy for you!

This happened a few days ago. A little background:

For years I had a reputation as the go-to person for support and parts for a particular light plane. That faded about eight years ago when the new owner of the company decided he could do it better than me.  (According to my customers, he couldn’t). I still pretty much grok it, and I also have a fair amount of knowledge of the Rotax engines we generally ran on them.

The owners who’ve bought one of these planes now have a Facebook group, and I decided recently to jump in and offer advice as needed. Some of the members are my friends and know my situation, but to others I’m just this new person who seems to know what’s going on.

The thing for me is whenever I get going with this kind of thing, because of all the years I did it, I sort of fall back into my old mindset and internal identity. I really didn’t even realize it until this happened:



“She’s correct”

It shouldn’t be the case, but it came as a shock to me. I still go back and look at it in wonder. It’s got me curious about what they think of a woman showing up who knows more about their plane than they do. But I just love it!

Stephanie

Offline Dena

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1705 on: June 14, 2018, 04:38:15 pm »
“She’s correct”

It shouldn’t be the case, but it came as a shock to me. I still go back and look at it in wonder. It’s got me curious about what they think of a woman showing up who knows more about their plane than they do. But I just love it!
I have news for you. Even after all these years I still get a little tingle when referred to as she. If it ever goes away, it must take a very long time.
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Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1706 on: June 14, 2018, 04:41:24 pm »
I have news for you. Even after all these years I still get a little tingle when referred to as she. If it ever goes away, it must take a very long time.

Good! I really don’t ever want to lose that sense of wonder.

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Online Jayne01

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1707 on: June 14, 2018, 11:21:55 pm »
That’s great Stephanie! It should make no difference whether a man or woman shares their knowledge, it’s just knowledge from a person with experience on the subject. I work in a very male dominated industry, maintaining large passenger aircraft, I would like to think that when I finally do come out at work that it wouldn’t make any difference that a woman is explaining to pilots how things work.

I hope that sense of wonder never leaves you. It is a special feeling.

Hugs,
Jayne



Online KathyLauren

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1708 on: June 15, 2018, 07:33:40 am »
“She’s correct”

It shouldn’t be the case, but it came as a shock to me. I still go back and look at it in wonder. It’s got me curious about what they think of a woman showing up who knows more about their plane than they do. But I just love it!

Yay!!  I still get a thrill every time a server addresses my wife and me as "ladies".  I was in a store yesterday where the person ahead of me was taking a long time to make a decision about what they wanted.  The clerk said, "Well, if you'll just look at that display over there, I'll wait on this lady [me] who came in behind you."  Squeee, I love it!

Just as misgendering always jars, correct gendering never gets old.

I have found that, in any technical field, what you know is more important than your gender.  I have had absolutely zero hassles in aviation, astrophotography or computers.  I don't get a lot of mansplaining, because I don't usually speak unless I know what I'm talking about.  You are the expert on those planes, so you tell 'em!
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1709 on: June 15, 2018, 08:13:59 am »
Yay!!  I still get a thrill every time a server addresses my wife and me as "ladies"... Just as misgendering always jars, correct gendering never gets old.

The hardest part for me is not showing any reaction when they get it right. Any show of surprise or joy would out me. It’s a good thing I practiced “acting” for 50 years.

I am surprised though, that they can’t hear the internal “SQUEEEEE!” leaking out through my ears. 



Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Online KathyLauren

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1710 on: June 15, 2018, 08:43:58 am »
The hardest part for me is not showing any reaction when they get it right. Any show of surprise or joy would out me. It’s a good thing I practiced “acting” for 50 years.

I am surprised though, that they can’t hear the internal “SQUEEEEE!” leaking out through my ears. 



Stephanie

Well, a voiced "Squeee!" may be a bit to pubescent for public consumption, but do let a little bit of reaction show.  Anyone who calls me a lady (or even a broad or a dame) gets a big smile from me.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1711 on: June 15, 2018, 08:48:04 am »
Well, a voiced "Squeee!" may be a bit to pubescent for public consumption, but do let a little bit of reaction show.  Anyone who calls me a lady (or even a broad or a dame) gets a big smile from me.

Oh, they’ll get a calm, happy smile, but I’m generally wearing one anyway when I’m out and about.


Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Online sarah1972

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1712 on: June 20, 2018, 06:20:14 pm »
Ha - yes... it never get's old... I had a dad tell his kid to stop monkeying around "you sit next to a lady" today... He got a really big smile for it, even though his kid did not annoy me in any form. He was a kid... Is "lady" some kind of upgrade?

Well, a voiced "Squeee!" may be a bit to pubescent for public consumption, but do let a little bit of reaction show.  Anyone who calls me a lady (or even a broad or a dame) gets a big smile from me.

Oh, they’ll get a calm, happy smile, but I’m generally wearing one anyway when I’m out and about.


Stephanie

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1713 on: June 20, 2018, 10:53:41 pm »
Hi all,

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much, but there has been a lot going on in my life, some good, some bad. I'll try to get caught up when I can, but right now I need to vent. It has been a pretty cruddy day.

It started out badly for me, just feeling bad about some other personal things, which ended up okay in the end. But then I had to deal with what Cassie calls "eating a toad," i.e., get the worst thing done first thing in the morning, and the rest of the day won't be any worse. Well, didn't really work out that way today, but I did try.

The "toad" actually started a few days ago when a business associate referred a potential customer to not me, but the old me. I received a voice mail looking for "Steve." The associate who made the referral knows very well what my situation is, and disregarded it. I wrote him an email repeating when he already knows and asking him to respect my changes. Then I called the customer and left a message from Stephanie, using my best voice. I got a call back this afternoon from a confused guy still looking for Steve. I told him no, my name is Stephanie, and I put the blame on my business associate, telling the customer that he uses the wrong name for reasons that aren't relevant to our conversation, and that I was trying to get it straightened out with him. (Note that this associate isn't at all important to my business, and in fact is a bit of an annoyance that I wouldn't mind losing altogether.) The customer then said, "Oh, okay, well here's my question, sir." ARGH! I told him no, it's ma'am. Again he apologized, and we finally got down to business (and earned me nothing but lost time). The call ended up okay, but I was a bit rattled.

Then the phone rang again. Some lady calling for her husband who wanted to come by and visit Steve Bensinger, the dealer for the plane I used to represent 6 years ago at my company. I treated “Steve” as a separate person (sorry, he doesn't sell that plane any more) until the customer got too confused about who I am, and what happened to Steve. It finally got too complicated to continue the charade, and I said screw it, and just outed myself. "Oh." Pause. "Okay." And then the conversation continued. Nothing bad except confusion, I guess, but argh. Just argh...

Then the big one, getting jacked around on the support lines of my health insurance company. Transferred from one person to another, four altogether, then when I finally found someone who it looked like could help, I got disconnected and had to start all over. ARRRGGGGHH!!!! The only bright part was they at least used the right name and pronouns. I'll write about the insurance company in-depth in another post...

At least the day wasn't a total loss. Being in Florida we have what are called "Snowbirds," people who winter here and summer in some state up north. One of our neighbors goes home to Maine in the spring, but gives us access to his pool while he's gone. Well, it needed some maintenance, and one of my neighbors who takes care of it sent out a text message, and the following conversation ensued. Note that everyone is generally accepting of my transition. "B" is friendly but somewhat neutral, but "D" is one of my biggest fans and is wonderfully supportive and encouraging...

B: Just letting u know that V’s pool is ready for use.  It needs a little scrub down that is best done from inside the pool.

D: Great thank you!!

Me: I’ve been wanting to try out my new swimsuit. Maybe when I get done with yard work this morning I’ll get down there.

B: I hope it works! 

D: [thumbs up emoji]

Me: No ogling!

B: How will u know if it works?

Me: If someone ogles!

B: Ahhh.

Me: [sunglasses smiley]

D: Well it’ll work cause I always check out the competition

Me: Oh hon, if it’s a contest I concede right now.

D: Are you kidding me! With those legs? I don’t think so LOL

Me: [embarrassed emoji]

Stephanie
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 07:22:40 am by Steph2.0 »


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Online Jayne01

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1714 on: June 20, 2018, 11:00:46 pm »
(((HUG)))


Sorry you had a crappy day, Stephanie.

Another hug,
Jayne



Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1715 on: June 20, 2018, 11:55:44 pm »
It was from Dr. Gallagher’s office in Indianapolis, informing me that they’d verified that GCS is covered by my insurance at their clinic, and requesting my letters. I had them ready to go, and sent them off yesterday afternoon.

The only hang up is apparently the insurance company requires 18 months of therapy before they cover it. Since my first visit to the gender clinic was May 19th last year, that puts me out to November 19th. If the clinic is willing to get all the ducks in a row so when the clock ticks over we’re ready to go, it’s still possible to meet my goal of getting it done this year. I’m waiting now for word that the documents are sufficient, and then it’ll be time to set a consultation date.

Well, this is not going well, and is contributing to my depressed mood.

A couple of the letters I sent weren't sufficient, so over the last week and a half I got new ones. I've complained about this before, but the clinic I go to - which specializes in LGBT, and especially T issues - has the most bizarre and annoying policies regarding any letters they write. First of all, a letter - even just to change name of the person to whom it's addressed - costs $25. And they categorically will not let you have a copy. They fax it directly to the doctor, and if you want a copy you have to get it from them. I have no idea why, but it feels like gatekeeping. So the two letters I had to get cost me another $50, and I don't even know what one of them says.

That's annoying, but it gets a lot worse. The 18 month therapy requirement is imposed by the insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida), and Dr. Gallagher's office will not even allow a consultation to schedule surgery until that requirement is met. Since my18 month date is November 19, they have told me that there is no way they would have time to schedule surgery this year. This has absolutely destroyed me. I'm completely convinced that by the end of the year, our government is going to remove the mandate that insurance companies cover GCS, and I won't have coverage next year. I hope I'm wrong, but the current record is not encouraging.

My only course of action is to see if the insurance company will change its mind. I wanted to see if I could arrange a Patient Care Coordinator, which I was told the company would set up - someone who acts as a personal liaison as you go through the process. To that end I started with an online support chat with BCBS. That was a waste of time.

From there I went to a BCBS office and outed myself to them to see if they could set up a PCC. They had no idea what I was talking about. We did have a frank conversation, but the upshot of it all was first, it was doubtful that they would be willing to change the policy, and two, they agreed with my assessment that if the mandate was removed, the company would drop GCS coverage like a hot rock. In the nurse's words, "Well, they're a for-profit organization." She then corrected herself with, "Well, they're actually a non-profit, but still..." They recommended calling the headquarters. So that visit was also useless.

So today, I got out the hammer to beat myself on the head with, and made the call. Over the next hour Roger transferred me to Juan who transferred me to Eva who transferred me to an unnamed "Care Consultant" who, after I explained for the fourth time what I wanted, was unceremoniously disconnected. So I got to start all over. It was finally made clear that Florida Blue does not have Patient Care Coordinators, and you have to take your chances and explain the situation every time you call and talk to someone new. The best I could get was the suggestion to have my doctor write a letter explaining why it was necessary to ask for a waiver on the time requirements, and send it to their grievance and appeals board.

My next step, then, is to get an appointment with my therapist and see what she's willing to do for me. I have been trying to get an appointment with her for three weeks on a day when I will be in town, and so far no luck. I may have to try a Skype appointment, though I much prefer in-person meetings. I have also asked if my liaison at Dr. Gallagher's office would be willing to go to bat for me. I'm not hopeful, but I have to ask.

What's really upsetting about it all is the WPATH Standard of Care, which the insurance company says it follows, has nothing more than a "recommendation" for ongoing therapy. The exact wording of their requirements:

1. Persistent, well documented gender dysphoria;
2. Capacity to make a fully informed decision and to consent for treatment;
3. Age of majority in a given country;
4. If significant medical or mental health concerns are present, they must be well controlled;
5. 12 continuous months of hormone therapy as appropriate to the patient’s gender goals (un- less the patient has a medical contraindication or is otherwise unable or unwilling to take hormones).
6. 12 continuous months of living in a gender role that is congruent with their gender identity;

Although not an explicit criterion, it is recommended that these patients also have regular visits with a mental health or other medical professional.

So the insurance company is imposing requirements far beyond what the true experts recommend. That, along with what the nurse reminded me of - that BCBS of Florida advertises themselves as being very LGBT friendly - may be the only things working in my favor.

So the stresses are building, but I'm doing the best I can to move forward. I'm limited in what I can do, but I have to try.

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Online Jayne01

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1716 on: June 21, 2018, 12:15:22 am »
Stephanie, sorry for the troubles with insurance and scheduling appointments and obtaining letters. Stay strong and keep doing what you can to move forward.

(((((Hug)))))

Jayne



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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1717 on: June 21, 2018, 06:27:59 am »
I hear you on the frustration with your insurance and the various random requirements of various parties.  We have similar hassles here.  Everyone claims that they are only following the WPATH requirements, but in fact, each organization layers its own requirements onto them. 

MSI (our government insurance) insists that one of the two referral letters must come from a medical specialist.  For people seeing an endo for their HRT, that's not a problem.  But for low-risk people like me, seeing a lowly GP, I have to shop around for some kind of specialist.  My GP, who is coordinating my transition, referred me to a psychiatrist, an acceptable specialist.  She picked one with a "short" wait list, only one year+ to get an appointment, who is a three and a half hour drive from here.

Then Dr. Brassard's office requires that your relationship with your referees be "ongiong".  Some people have been told it needs to be for a year.  Others have been told other things.  No one actually knows.  And Brassard won't talk to you even to tell you their requirements until after you have been approved by MSI.  So you don't know until after you have gone through the rigmarole of getting your letters if the letters will be adequate.

So I totally get your frustration with your insurance.

(((((Hug!)))))
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change

Offline Steph2.0

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Re: The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1718 on: June 21, 2018, 07:38:59 am »
Thank you Jayne and Kathy. It’s nice to know somebody’s out there. Kathy, I do need to remember that the process can be frustrating for all of us going for GCS. I’m sorry it takes so long to get anything done up there, but at least you have the security of knowing you’ll have insurance when the time comes. I’m really not in a big hurry except for worries over losing coverage. While I’d of course love to be in surgery tomorrow, next year is okay as long as I have insurance then.

But despite the frustrations I’m really doing okay. Knowing my friends are out there and understand helps a lot, and good things have been happening. I’ll post about those things soon.

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

Offline Steph2.0

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The Stephanie Chronicles
« Reply #1719 on: June 21, 2018, 08:35:04 am »
Quick happy moment:

My neighbor D, who I referred to two posts ago, asked if she could bring some river floaty tubes down to fill them with air. I went to the shop and fired up the compressor, and when she came in she gestured at all the projects in the shop and said, “Steph, I think it’s so cool that you’re a woman and you know how to do all this!”

Of course she knows that I’m transitioning, but it was still a wonderful thing to hear.

Stephanie


Assigned male at birth 1958 * Began envying sister 1963 * Knew unquestioningly that I was female 1968 * Acted the male part for 50 years * Meltdown and first therapist session May 2017 * Began HRT 6/21/17 * Out to the world 10/13/17 * Name Change 12/7/2017 (Girl Harbor Day) * GCS Consultation at Mt. Sinai 3/16/2018 * FFS With FacialTeam Scheduled for 12/4/2018

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