Wednesday, April 18, 2007

20 centímetros

Who can't love a movie described as "A narcoleptic transvestite who yearns to become a transsexual dreams up elaborate musical numbers in which she's the star."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

what is beauty?

psyche and eros, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

First comes love, then come marriage, then comes incredible poetry...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

transgender media at

If you haven't seen yet, it's worth a few moments to check it out. It's like the social bookmarking site, but users add references to books and DVDs. I've been adding a number of TG references that can be found by looking up the tag transgender. If you're interested in all the media I've been looking at, you can search by user (my username is meadhbh.) Best of all, they publish these things as RSS feeds, so you can include them in blog sidebars.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

transmen : info about your health

There's a lot of misinformation about hormones and their effects, so I'm always on the lookout for good resources about hormones and their effect on the human body. I happened to be looking for something like Feminizing Hormonal Therapy For The Transgendered when I ran across Medical Therapy and Health Maintenance for Transgender Men: A Guide For Health Care Providers. Though this isn't of direct use to me, I suspect there are some transmen out there who would find it worth a read.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Lynn Conway Totally Rocks

When I was a little girl, I learned integrated circuit design from "the standard" text, Introduction to VLSI Design by Mead Carver and Lynn Conway. In the early 2000's Lynn de-cloaked and came out as a Trans-woman. So in addition to training a generation of chip designers and helping develop the underpinnings of modern digital processors, she's also started collecting resources for people trying to understand transgender issues.

Her site at LynnConway.Com is a must-see for trans-folk and the people that love them (or at least are trying to understand them.) Also... the site seems to currently be hosted by the Electrical Engineering department at the University of Michigan. So... kudos to them!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Amazon knows I'm TG

So I guess I've been leaking a little information to Amazon. Look at the recommendations they have for me:

Obligatory Reference to Zoe Visiting a TG Support Group

I have a secret weakness for television dramas. The good ones are the ones where, like opera, both sides of the human soul are extracted and examined. Normally that means "good" and "bad" parts of the soul are given equal treatment. I loved Boys from the Blackstuff, anything with Helen Mirren, and even Yes! Prime Minister. The characters were multi-dimensional.

I've never been that big of a soap fan, though. Sure, the stories tend to expose the best and worst of the human condition, but they progress at a snail's pace, taking forever! And the characters tend towards two or even one dimensions. A guy who's bad is always bad. A woman who's evil is also vain, jealous, deceitful and treacherous. A woman who's good is supportive, truthful and "natural." Men are always "strong" and "quiet." They never discuss their feelings unless they first a) get angry or b) have been seriously hurt emotionally.

So that's why I was happy to see a glimmer of reality enter into the "Zarf / Zoe" story-arc in All My Children. If you haven't been following the story, it goes something like this... There's a guy named Zarf. He's a rock-star and not an especially "good" guy. He eventually stops repressing his female identity, changes his name to Zoe and turns good. I might normally point out that just because one recognizes themselves as being transgender, it doesn't automatically mean you're nice, honest, cheery and so forth. But the arc seems to be about transcendence and redemption, concepts that are close to my heart, so I'll just shut up about that now.

I found the following clip on YouTube! It shows Zoe in a TG (Transgender) support group. The hook here is that all the men and women in the support group are real transsexuals who are telling their own stories.

Growing up a girl in a boys body was confusing enough. And when I hit my teens the messages I got from the media (mostly from Jerry Springer) were that transsexuals were erotic-dancers or heart-breakers who picked up hetero men just to humiliate them publicly. I just wanted to drive the kids to school in the mini-van, dress nice for an occasional night on the town and have someone buy me chocolates and flowers. So it was hard to square my feelings about my identity with the messages I was getting from the media. It's good that this generation is seeing that we're people. We make breakfast, we fold laundry, go to work and try to get to the aerobics class on time.

So thank you, Ms. Carruthers. Thank you for treating us like people.

I'm familiar with the stories of two of the women in the room with Zoe, if you have information about more of them, please let me know:

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jenny, who is the group facilitator in the clip, is the author of She's Not There : A Life in Two Genders. A memoir of her life and transition. Already an accomplished author before the publication of her memoir, she's the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Colby College.

Betty Crowl

Betty is the husband of Helen Boyd, the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married. Both these books deal with their relationship and the effect of transition on spouses. Cool stuff.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Avoid blending in with a TG T-Shirt from Lannie Rose

Yes, I know... the last thing we want is to be 'read' as anything other than a girl. But for those time when you're in male drag, nothing says "you're not the boss of me" quite like these t-shirts from Lannie Rose. Readers might know Lannie as the author of "How To Change Your Sex: A Lighthearted Look at the Hardest Thing You'll Ever Do" (not to mention her web-writings at She also has a collection of shirts up on Cafe Press. Here's my favorite:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Big Shoulders Are 'In'

T-Girls everywhere are rejoicing, StyleBytes is reporting that Giant Shoulders are definitely "in".

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jesus made me, so he can save me...

I love my mother to pieces, of course. One of the things I remember from childhood was being the subject of a lot of testing. My mom was going through a master's program in education and it seemed that every time there was a new test, I was volunteered to take it. I didn't have a problem with it, time with mom was pretty scarce when I was a wee one, so I was happy to help out.

But I remember being seven or eight and having Mum tell me I used both sides of my brain. I didn't know what to think at the time. I had sort of expected everyone to use all their brain.

Several years later she mentioned something about having miscarriages and taking hormones to prevent it when I was in-uteri.

And then there's all the times my older sister told me that I was a perfectly behaved baby, not at all like the other boy babies she knew.

Topping it all off was a recent time when, after telling a friend from out of town how to get to my house, he said, "Jesus. You give directions like a woman." I gasped publicly, of course, but giggled to myself inside.

So recent research seems to validate the idea that my DES-addled brain is, in fact, a bit femme. (DES sons show changes in brain function - diethylstilbestrol - prenatal exposure to sex hormones may affect brain development.)

I guess that explains the female gender identity, desire to be a cheer-leader in high-school, affinity for ballet flats and the love I have for my mini-van.

But seriously, I struggled a long time with the "why did Jesus make me this way?" question. It took me a while to realize that it doesn't matter. Whether it's a brain feminizing synthetic hormone, government conspiracy or alien experimentation with our precious bodily fluids, I am the way I am.

The question of, "what made me this way" is of academic interest at this point. It's interesting, but largely irrelevant to the practicalities of my life. And before some of you out there start talking about how studies like this prove that my sisters and I are "damaged," let me just say this. Jesus made me the way I am. God came down and blew breath into my soul. As it turns out, it's a girl's soul in a boy's body, but what? you want to argue with the big-guy?

In Gods Image : One Transman's Journey

If you have a moment... click over to Current.TV and vote for In Gods Image : One Transman's Journey by Mark Angelo Cummings. It's his story of alienation, pain and eventual transcendence. I love the message here... we're all made in God's image and because of that we're all sacred.

I'm not your archetype. I'm a person.

I'm not your archetype.

I'm not a flamboyant gay man.

I'm not a Jerry-Springerized erotic dancer sex kitten.

I'm not a confused kid who will "just grow out of it."

I'm not a heretic.

I was a frightened girl who grew up beaten and ostracized because of the way I looked and acted.

I lost family and friends to denial and misunderstanding.

I'm a person.

Get over it.