Author Topic: Chapter 5: I am Emma  (Read 16300 times)

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Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #280 on: January 17, 2021, 12:13:39 pm »
Sorry I wrote yet another piece for Medium.  As always, I hope it is useful to someone.

                                                    Transgender Shame

Shame: a painful feeling that’s a mix of regret, self-hate, and dishonor.

Ashamed: feeling shame; distressed or embarrassed by feelings of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace.

Even though I didn’t know I was transgender until I turned 61, all my life I felt ashamed of what I perceived was a defect in my male gender identity. I was taught that I was male and expected to do nothing but male things all my life.

Society has rigid walls. Some are good and some are bad. Participating brings with it some hefty penalties for failing to follow the rules.

You were considered deviant if you deviated from the rigid binary gender rule. So, for that reason I kept my gender confusion secret for decades. The depth of that reality I even hid from myself.

Being a “MAN” has so many rules. One of the toughest is, honor. Men are heavily indoctrinated with maintaining a sense of honor. Shame is part of the control mechanism. It is used so effectively by society.

“Don’t dishonor your country. Don’t dishonor your family. Don’t dishonor yourself.” “Don’t bring shame of on your family name. Don’t bring shame on your wife and family. Don’t make your Mom and Dad ashamed of you.”

I have carried a sense of my own gender shame all my life and dragging with it an internal sense of guilt, regret, self-hate and dishonor. That private shame periodically made me act publicly shameful. There were so many of those “guy” moments, particularly in a bar while drinking, when my male friends made the gay, lesbian and misogynist jokes. I didn’t make any myself nor pass them on but I “laughed” so I could be one of the guys. I was afraid to look “weak”. I needed to fit in and in doing so, found a new way to add a different shame to my my soul.

Admitting I am transgender now is as shameful an act in today’s world as the world that I have grew up in.  But why should I be ashamed to be transgender? It is a fact of nature, not a choice taken. It is not a weakness in my character.
I was a Boy Scout and I grew up living the Boy Scout motto.

“A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.” (Ok maybe the “Reverent” part got dropped after 12 years of rigid Catholic education. See the movie “Heaven Help Us” for a glimpse into the life I grew up in.)

So now living all of those values over a lifetime are negated? What is my worth to those in my life? Are all the good and honorable things I have done for my family, friends and my community throughout my life to suddenly be discarded because I am transgender? Were all of my acts so empty and meaningless as to be castoff from their lives as worthless rubbish?

It has taken a lot of therapy and self-examination…and I mean a lot, to finally realize that this sense of shame and all of its foul and vile brethren have no place in my life. Why should I feel shame to finally overcome the oppression of who I am just because I am not what they need me to be to fit their vision of the world?

Frankly, they should be ashamed that my value in their life should be defined entirely by the gender I present. What dishonor and embarrassment have I inflicted on them by correcting what is, essentially, a birth defect?

If they truly care for me, they should be happy for me that I am finally able to purge all of that darkness from my soul and be at peace.

I continue to write anonymously because I need to do so to stay stealth, professionally and personally, for a while more but I write for them as much as for me.

The reason I write so much is to find a way to ultimately share and expose so much of what I have been going through for them. I need to strip away shame I feel from myself for being transgender and transitioning, and, by association, hopefully removing that same feeling of shame from those that I love most in my life.

I appreciate that the others in my life don’t have the same time, drive or need to reach the same level of understanding I have achieved in so brief time. I keep writing to help them as much as I can because I don’t want to lose them to their lack of knowledge. I want to strip away that innocent ignorance and give them a chance to, if not celebrate my awakening, to at least remove that misplaced sense of shame that has been so maliciously associated with being transgender by antiquated societal bigotry.

I do not want ignorance to be the reason that someone rejects me. I want them to do so with full knowledge as they make their own personal choice.

But I will not require their acceptance in order for us to coexist in the world.

I just want enough room to just live in it in peace.

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Pammie

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #281 on: January 17, 2021, 02:54:24 pm »
I can relate to what you all three are saying.  And, I see truth in all of it.  The distinction boils down to how you define the entity you are describing when you think of “yourself”. 

The question is personal as to what relief is required.
I think those 2 parts of your post are especially critical and summarise perfectly the reasons why we are all on unique journeys.
Very well put! X


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Confused1

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #282 on: January 18, 2021, 09:19:38 am »
Hi Emma,

You knocked it out of the park with this one. It is so true.

Hugs,
Mike

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #283 on: January 18, 2021, 10:25:21 am »
Thanks Mike. There are so many elements and emotions to being transgender.  Definitely not easy.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #284 on: January 19, 2021, 07:57:21 am »

Now that I have had my GCS consultation, I have provided them with two of the three letters I need.  The third will be provided by a psychologist that filled in for my regular therapist when she was out on maternity leave.  I have a session on Thursday and will see what she will need to write the third letter.  The GCS surgery calendar is already into 2021.

I would love to get FFS sooner but Covid has shutdown my travelling options.  Given that I am opting for "FFS Lite" I was hoping to find a NYC based surgeon to do it.  Strangely there are no FFS surgeons in NYC and I don't want to be someone's guinea pig.

Any thoughts?

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Confused1

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #285 on: January 19, 2021, 09:37:28 am »
Hi Emma,

I shared your "Transgender Shame" with my wife yesterday and I saw a few tears leak out. Thank you.

Hugs,
Mike

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #286 on: January 19, 2021, 10:42:47 am »
Thank you Mike. You made my day.  It is so  great when my writing helps someone other than just me.

Hugs,

Emma

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #287 on: January 19, 2021, 02:06:26 pm »
Has anyone been to Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel in Boston?
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #288 on: January 19, 2021, 06:23:22 pm »
The GCS surgery calendar is already into 2021.

Obviously, it can’t be done before 2021 at this point.  So, did you mean until the end of 2021, or maybe into next year?

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #289 on: January 19, 2021, 06:37:33 pm »
Sadly yes Rachel it’s 2022 :)
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #290 on: January 19, 2021, 07:32:54 pm »
I understand the sadness, but you still have a lot to do to get ready for it.  Electrolysis (particularly down there, but also on your face), FFS, maybe even BA.  GCS is a much more involved surgery requiring rare skills.  BA is done by, so many, and is so much less work, that you can probably get that done sometime this year if you want.

Offline EllenW

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #291 on: January 19, 2021, 08:02:43 pm »
Now that I have had my GCS consultation, I have provided them with two of the three letters I need.  The third will be provided by a psychologist that filled in for my regular therapist when she was out on maternity leave.  I have a session on Thursday and will see what she will need to write the third letter.  The GCS surgery calendar is already into 2021.


Emma,

I was just wondering if you are planning full depth vaganalplasty or minimn depth. I decided to go the minimn depth as I know that I would have a problem doing the dilation every day. Plus my wife did not want to see me do the dilation.

Ellen
Known all my life I was different
Started to live part time as my true self in 2010
HRT January 2018
Full time at work February 2018
Legal name and gender change January 2019
GCS - January 2021

Offline Dorit

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #292 on: January 20, 2021, 01:03:21 am »
Now that I have had my GCS consultation, I have provided them with two of the three letters I need.  The third will be provided by a psychologist that filled in for my regular therapist when she was out on maternity leave.  I have a session on Thursday and will see what she will need to write the third letter.  The GCS surgery calendar is already into 2021.

I would love to get FFS sooner but Covid has shutdown my travelling options.  Given that I am opting for "FFS Lite" I was hoping to find a NYC based surgeon to do it.  Strangely there are no FFS surgeons in NYC and I don't want to be someone's guinea pig.

Any thoughts?

The surgeon that did my FFS-Lite does not specifically offer himself as this type of surgeon.  He is the GCS surgeon for Israel Public Health, has a lot of experience with trans women, and and is a respected plastic surgeon.  The proceedures he did for me he has done for hundreds of CIS women.  So maybe you could look for a good plastic surgeon that would understand what you want?
I first told a psychiatrist that I wanted to be a girl 1967 after a psychotic breakdown
Began therapy again with gender specialist 50 years later in September 2017
Began HRT November 2017
Name change with Israel Ministry of Interior March 2018
FFS September 2018
GCS December 2018
Gender change with Israel Ministry of Interior January 2019
BA July 2020

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #293 on: January 20, 2021, 06:59:08 am »
Rachel there is a lot of other things I will be doing rather than just wait for GCS next year.  Much of it is delayed by the virus and family politics.

Ellen my intention is to go for full depth for now.

Dorit I took you advice earlier and have an excellent local plastic surgeon I am talking to. Thanks
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #294 on: January 20, 2021, 08:28:37 pm »
I am just very angry right now.  I wrote this for Medium and every cisgender person I know.


                                                                       Righteous Anger

I need to hammer this point; I hate that I am transgender. I have had as much of a choice about being transgender as someone has with cancer, a club foot or cleft pallet. It is not a choice!

Who in their right mind would choose so much emotional pain and social rejection?

That pain will absolutely not go away unless I physically transition, not for my vanity but for my sanity. How many clinical studies need to be written before you accept facts? It is not a mental disease; it is a medical problem. We use medicine to help cure cancer and repair a club foot or cleft pallet.

Transitioning is about medically solving my birth defect.

Do you get it or are you militantly stupid? If you are, please stop reading. You are beyond hope. I refuse to waste my breath.

Use your brain and think. I was born with this birth defect. I was born with it. I did not create it. My gender and my sex were mixed up at birth. It like being born with two left feet. They do not get along and it has created an emotional hell that tortures me every day, every minute and every second. Why are transgender suicides so high? Put 2 and 2 together!!!! We are in an emotional hell that has a solution. If I transition, I will finally be at peace. I may even be happy.

Would I ever deny you that? Would I ever stop medicine from curing you? Would I ever force you to live in 24/7 pain for the rest of your life?

It’s common sense, I know you can do it. It’s about the pain and suffering of others. Would you do something to help or at the very least not obstruct a cure for someone in pain?

If I could, I would love to bang heads together out of absolute frustration at the stupidity and ignorance that the so many cis people, straight and gay, exhibit.

What threat do I pose to you? How do I make your life so difficult? What pain do I cause you?

All you have to is just let me live my life. If you want me out of yours, just tell me, but do not make me live with a pain that is medically curable. That is just inhumane torture. That is worthy of a sadist.

Are you listening? Do you get it? Or am I not worth your time? Am I not worthy of love?


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #295 on: January 20, 2021, 10:29:08 pm »
OK.  I can imagine your pain and anger.  When you feel like it, I’d love to hear what triggered this.

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #296 on: January 21, 2021, 12:30:01 am »
Rachel it is just frustration and anger as I try and deal with gender dysphoria, transitioning, being transgender, my wife, everyone in my life and society in general. 
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline davina61

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #297 on: January 21, 2021, 03:38:08 am »
Hope your feeling better after a nights sleep (thats if I have the time difference right?) big HUGS dear, I know as I get despondent and frustrated usually triggered by seeing a nice slim female figure  knowing that will never be me.
a long time coming (out) HRT 12 2017


Jill of all trades mistress of non
Know a bit about everything but not enough to be clever.
I get pushed out of shape and its hard to steer when I get rubber in all 4 gears (Beach Boys ,little deuce coupe)

Online Emma1017

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #298 on: January 21, 2021, 07:37:02 am »
Thanks Davina.  Sometimes the unfairness of the whole thing just overwhelms me then I just put on my adult pants and grow up :).

I wrote this for Medium this morning to cheer me up.  It is for trans and cis people.  I hope it gives you a chuckle. :):

                                    What No One Warned Me of Before I Started HRT

When I started HRT (hormone replacement therapy) as part of my MTF transition two years ago, I researched all of the possible effects. I was trying to find any possible reason to reject being transgender and my need to transition.

I was desperate.

I was looking for anyway out but my gender dysphoria was about to teach me, yet again, that defiance was futile. Obviously, I still had a lot to learn.

I did learn that estrogen-based HRT increased the risk of certain serious conditions, including:

-A blood clot in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis) or in a lung (pulmonary embolism)
-High triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood.
-Gallstones.
-Weight gain.
-Elevated liver function tests.
-Decreased libido.
-Erectile dysfunction.
-Infertility.

And, oh yeah, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer. What a packaged deal! Anyone who continues to doubt the power of gender dysphoria needs to reread that list again. We don’t have a choice! Doesn’t that deadly list prove the point. I started HRT two years ago even after reading that list at least a dozen times.
As part of the package, you will experience body fat redistribution (more fat on buttocks, hips, thighs, face), decreased libido, decreased spontaneous erections and a shrinking of the testes. In addition, those taking estrogen have reported:

-feeling more emotional and more in touch with their feelings
-crying more easily
-mood swings
-depression or sadness
And then there is what estrogen does not do:
-change a person’s bone structure
-change a person’s height
-stop the growth of facial hair or eliminate a beard
-cause male pattern balding on the scalp to grow back
- raise the pitch of the voice to a higher level

Or in other words, it doesn’t solve any of the major issues you need to resolve in order to pass.

So why did I do it?

Only someone who is cisgender would ask that question. We have to go back to gender dysphoria. It is a monster that grows inside your head. It consumes your thoughts 24/7. Why? Because you were born with an incongruence between your gender, which is wired in your brain, and your sex, defined by your physical genitalia. You were born transgender. The monster is fertilized by testosterone and the society we are raised in. Eventually, over time, that monster breaks free of all your attempts at restraining it and it drives you to transition in order to save your life or at the very least your sanity and peace. It is your brain screaming to fix the incongruence created at birth. It places that need over all other social obligations.

That’s why.

On the positive side, yes there are some positives, HRT helps:

-Make gender dysphoria less severe.
-Reduce psychological and emotional distress.
-Improve psychological and social functioning.
-Improve quality of life.

It also helps your breast grow, reduces body hair and makes your skin so much softer and smoother. The physical changes help you see and feel the reality of transitioning. It is so important to help you accept the reality of your transitioning.

BUT OH MY GOD!!!

One of the other side effects that is never, ever pointed out is that you develop this crushing need for chocolates. This one caught me totally by surprise! I don’t care if its Godiva, Lindt or M&Ms, I just need to have it. Don’t get me started on red wine!

It is worth HRT just for that! I can almost justify gender dysphoria…ok that’s going a bit too far but where was my warning? How could the internet be so sloppy and miss that much needed information?

I am setting the record straight. Be prepared. I now have to set aside money in my transitioning budget to cover this new, all-consuming need.

So, I am warning you, if you start HRT, make sure you have a supply of chocolate. You may have to buy in bulk and don’t forget the right wine pairing. Your life will depend on it…. not really but it does add a wonderful dimension to transitioning doesn’t it?

You can even share with your cisgender friends…but only if they accept you.


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Dorit

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Re: Chapter 5: I am Emma
« Reply #299 on: January 21, 2021, 08:16:28 am »
Emma, I think you have to get past the need to convince everyone and defend yourself.  I did, but it took years.  Now I am deeply content being who I am, some people get it and others don't.   I really cannot do anything about them, only myself.  Let them be.
I first told a psychiatrist that I wanted to be a girl 1967 after a psychotic breakdown
Began therapy again with gender specialist 50 years later in September 2017
Began HRT November 2017
Name change with Israel Ministry of Interior March 2018
FFS September 2018
GCS December 2018
Gender change with Israel Ministry of Interior January 2019
BA July 2020

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