Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and happy holidays

Hi Everyone,
First off I'd like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and may your new year bring you only joy and peace. This is the first time in 2 days I've had a chance to really sit down at the computer and spend any time at it. Preparing for Christmas has made it a very busy time as I'm sure it has been for all of you. I have also spent time this week looking back at the year and the more I do this, the more I realize how lucky I am. I'm much happier than I was last year about this time. I have the support of my family in my transition. And most of all, I have built some strong friendships this year that I'm sure will help me in the coming years. I also found myself becoming more active in trans related issues and look to do much more in the future.

Yesterday we had our family Christmas party which went pretty well. We didn't have a traditional Christmas meal since my wife is
Philippino, but this is nothing new for us. We did have some great food though and we spent the evening eating, dancing and chatting a way. It was going well tell later that evening. As we do every year, they had planned on going to Church for the midnight Christmas mass, and as the evening drew closer to the time to leave I found myself getting more uncomfortable and a little more emotional (although I hid it). I've never really felt like this before in all the years that we've done this. But last night was the first time that I just didn't want to be there. With the recent Pope's Christmas speech suggesting the Transsexuals were a threat to humanity, I could not put aside my feelings on that as I sat there in the church. Needless to say, I made it through the service, said my own prayers before leaving and felt better once we got back to my brother inlaws. I'll have more to say abouut this in a later post.

Today was a calmer day. I spent time with my family, but since my wife got called into work, we tried to spend some time together in the morning just enjoying each others company. I was invided to a Christmas party for one of the few LGBT youth homeless shelters in NYC. I felt very strongly about going with everything that has been going on in the LGBT community recently, so my friend Brittney and I went down to spend some time with the kids (13 to 22). I am so glad I went because it gave me a chance to talk to a few of the kids there. I didn't have a chance to talk to as many as I'd like, but the few I did talk to left a impression on me that will stay with me for the rest of my life. One girl named Starr, really made the biggest impression on me as she just glowed with a spirit that was really catchy. I'd love to get back there some time and talk to her more, but with so many of her friends there, it was hard to talk to long with her. So Starr, if you ever have a chance to read this, always keep that possitive outlook and I'm sure you will go far.

If you are in the Tri-state NY area please support this orginization, they could use all the help that they can get. They run this shelter out of the basement of the
Metropolitan Community Church of New York. Its a small place to house up to 40 youth. So if you can, please contact the emergancy shelter and offer any help that you can:
MCCNY Homeless Youth Services
446 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
212-629-7440 Ext. # 226

P.S. Thanks for listening and I hope everyone have a great Holidays.
Hugs Michelle

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Son's Perspective

Hi Everyone,
As many of you know that follow blog, I've talked about the support I've had from my kids and wife on my transition. Well, a while back I had asked my son if he would mind writing something from his own perspective on the new of me being transgender. He told me that he would not have a problem at all doing that. I explained that there are many views on this topic and I would like to share his view. So without me getting long winded I hand over the podium to my son Ryan.

When my father first asked me to write this, I was rather uneasy as to why something like this was necessary. Why should I need to write how I feel about my own father? Then I realized how selfish that sounds, but I also came to realize though, that I was uneasy not because I did not want to tell my father how I felt about him. Rather, I found it sad that because of the society we currently live in, people need reassurance from their own family about who they truly are. Have we gone so far as to have people hide and feel uneasy about their natural identity?

I want you to know Dad that nothing has changed the way I feel about you. If anything, I am happier for you, seeing that your life is really starting to fall in place, and that you are truly searching for happiness in the face of the whole world telling you otherwise. It takes a lot of emotional strength to do something like that, something the average person would rather not do. Its why we see masses of people conforming to such close minded ways of thinking, to the point where what is right and what is wrong is dictated to us by another, and that we are out of place to say otherwise. But not you Dad, you believe in what you stand for and you don’t let others tell you otherwise. I admire you for that. Don’t let them hold you back from your dreams. Most of the greatest men and women I have studied about in school shared that same rare characteristic that you do. You are not scared to stand up for what you believe, even when it is something so radically different in the eyes of the masses. You are not afraid to push the envelope and work to make this country a better and more just place for people to live in. If we had more people who thought this way, I think we would be living in a much better world than we do today.

So what I say Dad, is do what your heart tells you to, and forget about the rest. In the end, it is what matters most. Personally, I would rather be proud and shout out for who I am, than desperately be trying to live a life for who I am not. And I feel like you would agree with this, and I hope that someday I will have as much courage as you do. There is so much wrong in the world and it is our obligations to humanity, as human beings, to work for a better place for everybody. You and I, we may just be a small dot on the map. We may not have the political power and money to make drastic changes. But what we do have is the power of numbers. More and more likeminded people are slowly coming together and bringing light to these issues. You have realized it, and I am glad that you are becoming more involved in these movements. So that one day, when these stupid laws and attitudes are changed, you can say to yourself you helped make this world a better place, and it all started because you listened to your heart, and simply accepted who you truly are.

I love you Dad, I hope you know nothing you have or ever will do will change that. And just know that I believe in you completely, you can do this, and you have my complete and utter support.

Your Son,

To my son,
I have to say that after reading this letter I can see that you yourself will go very far in the future. I'm proud to be your parent and have a chance to get to know a wonderful person that you have come to be. I can only wish that who ever reads this will also see what I have known all your life. That you are a genuine, caring and compassionate human being.
Love Dad
P.S. OK, ok. We haven't gotten to the point of using proper pronouns yet, lol. We have time :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

New regulations that could affect transgender people badly

Hi Everyone,
I have a few very important things (I feel they are at least) to discuss. I would like to bring to your attention of a few new regulations that have been put forth that could have some very disturbing realities for transgender people (Heck, the whole LGBT community for that matter). I’m on the mailing list of the National Center for Transgender Equality news and this week send out a few emails alerting me of some new updates to current or new legislation. Below you can read the email:
Dear Friends,

I wanted to make you aware of some changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that could impact the lives of transgender people. The FMLA was enacted in 1993 to ensure that employees would be able to take unpaid leave from work in certain circumstances related to medical care for them or their families. The emphasis on medical privacy in the original FMLA is especially vital for transgender people.

However, on November 17, 2008, the Department of Labor published final regulations for the FMLA that erode medical privacy and could have long-lasting adverse effects on transgender people when they take effect as planned on January 16, 2009. These new regulations appear to be part of the Bush Administration's final effort to enshrine ideologically driven policies in advance of the Obama Administration taking office.

The new regulations reveal private medical information and could subject transgender people to harassment and discrimination.
Unlike the current policy, the new policy requires doctors to list their specialization as well as medical facts relating to the employee's condition on the medical certification form given to one's employer. A person's transgender status could be revealed, requiring the individual to choose between a job and important medical care related to transition.
The new regulations allow the employer to contact the employee's health care provider to authenticate the medical certification, as long as the employer representative making that contact is not the employee's direct supervisor.

The new regulations allow employers, not doctors, to determine whether an employee has a serious health condition that would make them eligible for unpaid leave.
Because the recovery times for transition-related surgery and treatment are often extensive, it is extremely important that employees be allowed to take leave when doctors say it is warranted, regardless of whether employers believe the time off is medically necessary.
Family members may have to reveal the transgender status of their partners, children, or relatives to receive leave.
A family member who is trying to take FMLA leave to care for their partner, child, or relative may be subjected to increased harassment and discrimination, and the family member's FMLA claim may be denied.

Second Email:
December 18, 2008
Dear Friends,

We had no idea yesterday when we sent you word of the impending new regulations around the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that they would be merely the second worse regulations to tell you about this week. Then today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released what can only be described as breathtakingly immoral regulations that could prevent transgender people from getting any health care whatsoever. In their press release, DHHS said that the "Provider Conscience" rule ensures "the right of federally-funded healthcare providers to decline to participate in services to whey they object."

What the press release does not say is that if this is allowed to go into effect in January, transgender people, already struggling for healthcare access, could be turned away by any medical provider who feels that transgender status is against their moral, religious, or even personal beliefs.
In essence, any person who works in a hospital or other health care facility, including medial technicians, pharmacists, and janitors, would not have to perform their jobs if doing so would offend their beliefs.

While this regulation would have profound effect on everyone's access to healthcare, transgender people could potentially be denied care at overwhelming rates, even for preventive care or emergency medical treatment.

Although we wanted to make you aware of the "Provider Conscience" regulations, we want you to know that they are not scheduled to take effect until January 18, 2009 and healthcare facilities have until October 1, 2009 to comply. You should not in any way be afraid of seeking health care at this point; not only are the rules not in effect yet, but most healthcare providers will continue to treat transpeople appropriately despite the prejudices of the very few who support these new regulations.

**end of Emails.

Now, It is disturbs me that a president (How much longer do we have to wait tell he’s out of here, uggg) would have the gull to strip off the protections of so many Americans. It also disturbs me that a president can be swayed so strongly by the religious right (or any radical group for that matter) and have the congress just set back and watch this crap happen. Government is suppose to protect there citizens and yet this administration has done everything it could to strip protections from minorities everywhere. What’s going to happen if a trans person is turned away from emergency care and is thrown out of a hospital and dies on their door step? I guess with these new regulations nothing. There is something totally wrong with this picture. What will happen when the first African American is turned away in by some bigoted southern doctor and dies on his/her door step? How about this, what if a atheist turns away services to a Christian because of their believes. I will bet that the atheist will have the police there at his/her door step quicker than you could count to 3. The protections where there for a reason. To protect everyone and not just a select few. But I guess coming from this administration it is nothing new.

I have the same comments on the new regulations for the FMLA. There is so much that could go wrong with this new regulation that it really bothers me. What every happen to privacy rights. This could lead to so many discrimination problems that its ridicules. It is no business of the employer what the employee went to the doctor for. I could see someone with some sickness being afraid to go to the doctor now, afraid of being fired because of some diagnosis. Hell, I bet you could find an employer that would fire someone just because they were diagnosed with depression. There are some diseases or sicknesses that are very personal to people and should be kept private and some that if left untreated could be deadly. These new regulations have such far reaching consequences that I’m really beginning to worry about our nation of ours. What do you think?

Michelle Lee

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Testosterone Poisoning and Sexual Desires

Note: I didn’t coin the term testosterone poisoning. I had read an letter from Donna Roses sister in which she referred to Donna as having testosterone poisoning. Actually a nice read. Everyone should have a sister like her.

I decided to write something a little lighter this evening. I’ve been thinking the last few days about a few ways I’ve changed since I started to transition and how I have been poisoned with testosterone all my life. Once we are born (even before) testosterone is waging a war on our body and doing things to it that most MTF dread. It’s most apparent when we hit the teen years as this seems to be the time testosterone really kicks in and does the most damage to our bodies (In a MTF case). It seems the facial feature become more prominent, among other things. The sexual desires are brought on around that time. I hated this period of my life the most. Before than I was dealing with what I saw in the mirror and what my brain was telling me I should be seeing. When puberty hit my dislike for my body changed quite a bit. It seemed that the testosterone had a mind of its own and it drove my private’s nuts (pun intended, lol). There were just too many times that I would not be thinking of anything sexual at all, and things down (PG Rating) there would just take off. I HATED IT. I hated having what was given me and I hated not having that much control over it. Damn testosterone. On top of that, when I did start to be sexually active, I found that the relief I got was good, but that’s all it seemed to be. Just a relief. At least until the testosterone started in again. I never actually enjoyed it much. It was more about just relieving the tension that built up and nothing more.

What I really desired was being intimate and passionate with someone and not this one, two, three and your done stuff. I wanted to hold, caress and touch my partner and just enjoy the pleasure of the moment or hours in each other’s arms. Anytime I would try these things testosterone would take over and it seemed to want to take a different route, uggg. When I got married I thought maybe some of that could change for the better. After all, this was someone I could be intimate and find romance in things we did and I figured I would enjoy it more. Well I did up to a point. Until the point was intercourse would commence. It seemed like something was still missing but I never could put my finger on it except to blame it on testosterone again.

Things started to change for me once I started HRT. As any of you know, once you start HRT the affects of estrogen and Spiro drive your sexual desires down. Although many may complain about that side affect it was such a relief to me to be honest. I was able to take my time and better enjoy being intimate with my wife. It did make the actual act of intercourse more difficult, but I found ways to still enjoy it and still make my wife satisfied. Even though I’ve always wanted other parts down there, it finally got to a point I could at least tolerate the discomfort I felt toward the privates I was given and still enjoy being sensual with my wife. I’ve also noticed that orgasms are much different. Due to the effects of the HRT, there is no output on completion, but a much deeper since of pleasure when I do orgasm. I actually feel a little more satisfied then I used to (remember before it was just a relief, no satisfaction). I hope to even feel more satisfaction after SRS (when ever that may happen, ugg). But how knows it may not be, but to be honest, I won’t be totally disappointed if it’s not. I’ve waited so long (over 30 years) to rid myself of this poison, it would be a pleasure to finally get rid of it forever. After all, since being on HRT I haven’t had a major desire to have sex and believe it or not, it’s a good feeling. Of course I still love being intimate with my wife and will always, but without the testosterone I can finally enjoy it.

What has been you experiences? I’d be interested to know. Does any of this make since to you? Am I the only one that has felt this way? Humm...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My thoughts as TDOR approaches

On the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance 2008 I find myself reading sites on TDOR and it saddens me to no end what hatred can do to someone. I’ve hidden my true feelings most of my life in fear of this ignorance and hate. Fear of losing my family, friends or worse, having a run in with one of the hate mongers who profess to know better than I do. Several years ago I hit a time in my life where hiding who I am was not working for me anymore. So I started the process of transition to get my life back on track. I’ve learned a lot over the years and know that I am on the right path for me.

During my skimming of the sites discussing TDOR, I came across some links to sites that profess to know what’s best for me (yah right) and I’d like to take some of the comments that where left at these various sites and personally reply to them here.

Note: Some comments are in reference to President elect Barack Obama including sexual orientation and gender identity in his non-discrimination policy. But I felt a need to address some of these comments here because many show their ignorance and hatred toward trans people and felt it was important to discuss these issues.

"Well, there you go. Happy liberals? It makes me sick to my stomach."
I never considered myself liberal, but yes it does make me happy. Happy that there is FINALLY someone in the White House who will give me the respect that I or anyone else deserves. Someone who will not discriminate against me because I am transsexual. If this makes you sick to your stomach I suggest that you take some milk of magnesia and call your doctor in the morning.

"I sincerely pray this doesn't happen. What a short sighted policy with only one group being considered."
One group you say. I believe he’s including everyone in this policy. From his Change.Gov site "The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law." Now does that sound like one group, not to me.

"People should be content with the way God made them, and if they are having trouble with that, seek godly council."
First off I don’t have a problem with the way God made me. I’ve accepted the challenges put in front of me and I’m ready to move forward with what I need to do to make my life better for myself. I’m not a mistake, I’m not a freak or anything else that you’d like to call me. I feel I have this condition for a reason and I plan on doing what I can do deal with it. If that means transitioning to the gender I was meant to be, then so be it. You’re the one that seems to have a problem with me being transsexual, maybe you should take your own advice.

"Gays and Lesbians can be delivered of this sin/sickness thru our Lord Jesus Christ! Obama is opening the door to more molestations to our children with this decision as well. Our country will need to pray continuously and stand up and fight for all Christian beliefs as that is what this country was founded on! God Bless!"
I’m sorry, but if you really believe I want anything to do with your children you have nothing coming. I have two wonderful supportive kids of my own. I to want to protect them from the molesters, but you are sadly barking up the wrong tree when you suggest that I would want to do anything to your children. Studies have shown that the only real treatment for someone who truly is transsexual is to accept who they are and do what they can to make their life better. Sometimes that means transitioning to their known gender. Nothing else has shown to work, not shock therapy, confinement, religious institutionalization or any other treatment. By the way, the majority of the child molesters out there are not even in the LGBT community, and maybe you should look to them with your prayers. If you want to pray for anything, please pray for the 100’s of trans people who have been murdered for just trying to be them self’s.

"As a woman who regards my gender as a gift rather than something to be disrespect, I don't particularly find it either respectful or considerate for some guy who thinks he has to be "one of the girls" just because he likes to wear dresses any good reason to take over the women's bathroom. Your choice-a very self-centered choice-is an assault on healthy, normal people. Just because you can't figure out how to be a man isn't cause for you to defile my feminity. I don't appreciate that you make me have to put up with your self-gratifying, self-centered deprivation. Go to the men's bathroom...honey. And go on ahead, call me a hater. What I really hate is how you deviates push your ugly behavior on normal, healthy people."
I’m sorry that you feel I’m disrespecting you in any way, but that is far from the truth. You called it correctly though, you are a hater no matter who you slice it. There are millions of trans people in this world who just want to be left alone to live there life as quietly as possible. I should be the one insulted by you "defiling my feminity". Yes I am a women if you like it or not. I’ve know it since I was 6 years old and that’s the God honest truth. BTW, If I walk in the women’s restroom, you or any other women in that restroom is the last thing on my mind. I just want to get in there and do my business and get out like any other self respecting women would. I would respectfully ask you and others to do your research on transgender people before you place judgment on me or any other trans person. There are several studies suggesting that there is a biological connection to this condition.

"God help us!"
Yes , God help us all to see that we are a loving people and that we mean no harm to any other. Although many of you would not even think twice about killing us, writing us off as rejects, denying the same civil right’s that every human being should have. To many have died at the hands of creeps who murdered Teish Cannon this past Friday with a gunshot to the chest. Or Lawrence King who was shot to death by a classmate at school, he was only 15. Duanna Johnson who was beaten badly by on duty police officers in Menphis, TN. She was later shot in the back of the head execution style. There is to many to mention here. Yes I ask God’s help in showing others to have compassion for others in their plight to be their true self’s. To show the world that we have every right to be here as much as you do.

I’m not asking anyone to like me, I could care less if you do. All I ask is respect for who I am and let me live my life for who I really am. A Women. How many more have to die? I will not stand here anymore and be quit. I’m here in this world for a purpose and I plan on living my life the best I can and to treat everyone I meet with respect and dignity.

In closing I’d suggest that everyone read Abby's post from today and check out the video and links she provided. Peace!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

“pregnant man” who should care?

Note: this blog was in part inspired by Helen G blog Pregnant man is pregnant which I did reply to. I did use that replay as a base for this post. But as usual I had more to say :)

I watched the 20/20 episode on Thomas Beatie tonight (thank goodness for DVR) and I have to comment on some of the things that were discussed. First off, I'm glad that the baby does have parents that love and care for this child. I am disturbed by the lack of caring and hatred shown in some of the messages sent to Thomas and his family. Wishing death to him and his family. HOW DARE THEY. Why do people insist on judging what they themselves do not understand. At least do your research before you dare to put any judgment on ANYONE.

TO THE ASSHOLE (please excuse my language) who said that god does not make mistakes. Did this asshole ever think that Thomas was put on this earth with the condition that he has, for a purpose. Maybe it was to show the world how diverse the universe really is. There are people born every day with conditions like missing fingers, arms legs, born with genetic conditions like cleft lips, down syndrome for example. The list goes on and on. Just because someone is born transgender, does not make them any different than anyone else. And it sure in the heck does not make them any less human. And until recently (last 20 or so years), people who are transgender had no other options to treat their condition. We have a viable treatment know, so back off. We have the right to treat this condition and we will.

Sorry I got carried away, but all this gets to me at times. I'm pre-op and want to be able to provide for my family and continue to teach my kids what values and dignity really mean. And they will surely not be taught Bigotry and hate. I’ve always taught my kids to respect others and treat them as they would want to be treated. I was not allowed to tell my kids until they each were around 15 that I was trans, but it didn’t make a difference. They love and respect me for who I am, not based on appearances, clothes or anything else. And Yes I have their support for my transition. I am so proud of them.

People should be ashamed of themselves to even think about taking Nancy's parental rights away. They both seem to be a very loving couple and I'LL BET that there child will grow up to be a much better HUMAN than the bigots that have sent them hate mail or message. If there is a case to take away parental rights, I’d say first look at the bigots out there. After all they are a much BIGGER threat to society than the Beatie’s. Ok, Nancy had issues conceiving a child and Thomas just happen to still have the right plumbing to conceive a child, so what. They both are the parents and the way I see it, they are doing their best to provide and take care of that child (ok, soon to be children). And another thing, what the heck is this Parent/Parent crap on the birth certificate of their child. Thomas is legally male and Nancy is legally female. What the heck is the issue, WAKE UP OHIO. Gee whiz!!!

I see changes in attitudes everyday and that gives me hope for a brighter future for everyone. But the fact remains that there is a lot of work that still needs to be done to educate people on transgender issues. Sure, in the Beatie’s case, it brings up many issues that not as many people think about on a daily basis, but who’s to say that what they are going through right now, with having a child will not be an issue with you or I later on down the road of our journey. I think everyone just needs to back off and let this family take care of their new family. YES I SAI D IT. FAMILY!!! So for me. They have my support and they will always have my support. I hope this family remain blessed and have a great future.

God Bless the Beatie's

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What the heck are we doing?

Hi Everyone,
This week has been an up and down week for me. It seems even with history being made in the election of a new President, which I though would bring more hope to a lot of the nation (except for the one's who voted for McCain), it seems to have also started more divisiveness within the LGBT community (at least within the blogging world), which is sad. I've never really been the one to like to talk much about politics because it always brings out the worst in some people (which is another sad fact). I recently came across a few blogs on The Bilerico Project which seem to want to blame the blacks for loosing to the Prop 8 proponents. Well, I myself will not go there. I've seen number that suggest that the blame is not on the black community itself, as many are suggestioning. I'm sure that the proponents of Prop 8 are sitting around laughing at us as our communitity begins this infighting, which I sure they hope will tear us apart. I do not what that to happen as the right to marry should be for anyone of age. Cindy Rizzo a guest blogger made what I thought were lagitimate suggestion to get our rights back in California, Arizona and any other state that gets attacked by such crap. Here is my response to her blog and the comments she recieved:
Hi Cindy,
I'm a transsexual who recently found this blog. I'm also currently married to a Asian women who has given me her support for my transition. This support did not come easy, but with time and a lot of discussion between us we have come a long way. You may say why is any of this relevant. She come's from a very strong catholic background and without taking the time I did (almost 10 years, mind you not every day) to educate her on my plight I don't think I would have gotten her support. If I would have taken the route as some here are suggesting "In Your face, you will do what I say or else" I'm sure I would not gotten anywhere with her. It seems some here want to force there view of the nay sayers. How is that any better than what the political supporters of Prop 8 did and are doing. If we want to build more support for equal rights for all, then we need to better educate the public. It will be a hard fight, because the religious orgs do have a strong foot hold in many of the communities that we need support from. Am I upset, YES I am. But to me, just sitting her blaming the Blacks, Latinos or any other group with out even trying to have a intelligent dialog, I assure you will not get us anywhere. Education will be the key to our success and I believe Cindy has some valid points. We do have to strengthen our support with our allies and try to build up dialog between the ones that are apposed. If we can't do at least that, I'm almost positive that we will not ever see any positive change for the future and it could even get worse by other states overturning the right to marry. I have a stake in this too as a transwomen, when I change the sex on my legal documents, they could have easly take away my right to stay married to my wife or any other women. People, lets join together and at least start taking a look at what didn't work this time and correct those issues and do some proper education. Thank you all for you time.

I'll take it even further. Sometimes people have to meet in the middle, now I didn't see any of the ads supporting Prop 8 (I live in NY), but I'm sure not everything was true in there ads. What I mean by meeting in the middle is that we push for the right to marry, but not try and force a Religious orinization to do the surimonies unless they do support the right for the LGBT communities to marry who they like. There are other palces to get married other than a Church, such as the court house, ect. The right to marry should be a fundimental right to all and not a select few, so I would not bend on that one, but I'm sure you see what I'm talking about.

Will we ever see the rights returned (specially after they seemed to be stollen from the people of California), I hope so. There are some blogs I've seen that suggest that they can be overturned because they are not constitional. I really hope that they are overturn, because I really feel they we have been burned by the religoius right and many other orgs that supported prop 8.

As I said in my reply to the original blog, I really feel that more education in the Black, Latino, Asian, hell in EVERY community is really needed. Things are better than they where 20 years ago, but they can get alot better. If we continue to only attack the nay sayers and not aproach them with inteligence and dignity, what do you expect to get back? The SAME attacks and that will not get us anywhere. I hope we do have a better future with Obama for EVERYONE.
Hugs Michelle Lee

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A message to the haters

Dear Friends, Family and haters,

Not too long ago out of the blue I started getting hate mail from a few people (about the time I was outed at work) calling me childish names, calling me selfish and a asshole. I debated for a while if I should reply to the crap and I finally decided the other day to replied to their messages and comments on my Vblog and elsewhere. Of course my reply was met with a canceled email id, which seemed to mean to me that they just created the id to slam me and then run away from the issue, which didn’t surprise me at all. I have a challenge to these people, If you’re so disgusted with what I’m doing with me life (I don’t know why you even care) why hide behind a fake email. Be honest and reveal your true self as I have. I have been honest and upfront in all my blogs and vblogs and I’m not hiding anymore, so why should you hide behind your little screen name. Are you afraid I may have something to say that may make since to you. I’ve come out to my family and close friends and many at work. I refuse to let anyone outside my family dictate how to run my life. Since I have the support of my family in this decision, that is all that matters. Even if I didn’t have their support, if I decided to still continue with my transition it is my decision and my decision alone.

I also wonder what their fascination is with my privates. It seems that most of the haters seem to bring this up. I don’t understand why they always ask the STUPID question "Are you going to cut your d#$% off". Of course in a hateful way. First off, If and when I’m ready for the SRS, these people would be the last to find out, because this is a personal issue and I’ll make that decision when I’m ready. Besides, IT’S NONE OF YOUR FRIGGIN BUISNISESS ?

As noted in my original reply, I have been diagnosed with a legitimate medical condition called GID (Gender Identity Disorder). There are millions of people around the world that were born with this condition but a majority of them just never tell anyone. I was one of those people many years ago. But I can’t keep it in the closet no more. I’m tired of hiding my condition and I refuse to let anyone try and stop me from doing what I need to do to treat the condition. I have suffered from it long enough and for once in my life I know that this is the right path for me. So in closing, Yes I’m a transsexual and I’m proud of that fact. I was born this way and will always be a transsexual. I will move forward with my transition and finally live my life as it should have been in the first place. You may call me selfish, but let me ask you this, How is it selfish to want to be true to one self and be the person I know myself to be?

Here is my original reply that couldn’t be delivered:
I'm not sure what your problem is with me, but I can assure you that I'm not the one with any problems with my decision to transition. I know for sure that this is the path I need to take. It seems to me that you are the one with issues. Maybe you should be the one to see the shrink and figure out why me being transsexual makes you so insecure. I have a legitimate medical condition (biological) . Do the research yourself or are you to lazy minded to even do that. If you or anyone else can't handle the truth then don't waste my time with your childish name calling games. I have the support of my family and friends and that's all that matters to me. I really don't care what you think and nothing you or anyone else says will change my decision to transition. Have a great day :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why does this have to be so hard?: April 11, 2008

I’ve asked that of myself many times in my lifetime. And as I meet others that have traveled down (or starting their travels) this road, I also see them struggle to gain what they have dreamed of all their lives. Do we make it harder than it has to be? I have to wondered sometimes. There are times when I feel like I’m on top of the world, but out of nowhere something happens, or something is said that knocks me down a few levels. There is so many thoughts and emotions going through my head right now, I hope I can contain them all while I’m writing.

I was touched the other day when I watched Lori D’s latest Vblog. I sat there a cried with her, I couldn’t believe it hit me so, but it did. It just got me thinking and asking myself why it is so hard to live this life. Why can’t we just live our lives as the person we believe our selves to be and not be afraid of what others may say or do to us. Most of the stuff I can take, but there are still things that concern me such as the violence many of our brothers and sister have had to go through just because they tried to live their life as themselves.

I seem to be at a cross road right now, and find that it is getting to hard to contain these feelings anymore. It’s getting to the point that I’ve just about blurted it out at work that I’m transsexual. I see others that are out and living their lives as women and it just makes me want it even more. I’m not ready to go fulltime, at least I don’t think I am. But I still find myself ready to jump to that level before I think I’m ready. What is happening to me? I know who I am, but no one else really knows anything about who I really am and what makes me tick. There is very few that get close, but even they may not realize that there is a lot more to me than what they have seen. For example, Steph has seen me dressed and it didn’t seem to bother her, at least on the outside. But she has not had a chance to really get to know Michelle. The things I’ve wanted all my life. We have talked many times about transition and going fulltime, but I wonder sometimes if she really understands what that would mean for her and what it would do to our relationship, if anything. I’ve shared many things with her over the years and she has still been open with anything I’ve talked about so far, except SRS. I think that makes her nervous. She made a comment the other day that she worries that some of the things I’ve talked about (SRS, I guess any of the surgeries) make her uncomfortable. She worries that something may happen and that I could be disfigured for life. Sometimes I feel like I’ve standing at a cross road, just waiting to cross the road, but afraid of what the other side might bring to the table. Beside just getting across the road, there seems to be some obstacles that may come down either the left or right side and side swipe me into the gutter. My mother always said to look left and right before crossing the road, but I’ve been standing there for so long that I’m not sure how to proceed.

I’ve spent the last 2 months by myself and it gave me even more time to reflect on my life and really look at what I feel I need to do. But like Lori, during this time I found it even more confirming that this is the real me and the person that I seem to be during the day (the husband, father and male worker) have been the masks that just got me by in life. But I have not been true to myself or anyone else and I’m getting so tired of this duality that its making it even more difficult to get by each day. Yes Lori, why does this have to be so hard? I know part of it is how society looks at transsexuals. Yes I’ve got the laughs and the snickers, and little do a lot of these people know that those snickers do hurt. What, we have to develop a heart of stone just to survive as TS! I don’t think that is right, and I don’t want to be that way anymore. I’ve spent too many years with a heart of stone. Letting a VERY select few get past or even nudge the stone to the side. I want to be able to feel all my emotions freely and not have to keep them tucked away for only me to see and feel. Yes it can be hard to deal with society as a TS, but I’m finding it so much harder to not deal with it and keep it to myself.

Lori, you have it so right that we need to stick together and give each other a hand. This life can be difficult at times with all the discoveries we have to go through to even get to a point of self acceptance. So many of us (including me) have had to deal the confusion (Why do I feel this way?), what the teen years due to the body, the self doubt and the guilt of hiding these things all through your life. But there are many wonderful things that can happen also during this time. If you can give yourself a chance to see those things, but they sometimes get smothered by all the doubts that I carried with me all these years. One of the biggest things that has changed in me was when I finally accept me for me and not that shell of a person I have always been. There has been several other discoveries I’ve made over the years that have brought me to where I am today. I think that while we all have so much in common, we can help each other in so many ways. I hope that everyone (Lori, you can always call me) can find a support network to help them through their journey. It can do wonders for both you and the supporter, so reach out.

I hope that you all find happiness in your life.
Hugs Michelle Lee

How to handle the question of religion?:April 14, 2008

Well, this past Saturday the Trans/Partner group that I’ve been attending had another meeting, and we were out all day shopping for a dress for my daughter. And I suggested that we go after doing some shopping. I went to the Transgender T Project (trans photo project) committee meeting before the regular meeting and my daughter joined later for the regular meeting. She showed up on time and I felt great having them there as I wanted to introduce her to a few friends of mine. It was great, Steph did her best to use the proper pronouns. What was great about that was I never asked her to, she took it a pond herself to do this J . I was feeling great at that point, and an ½ hour into the meeting the partners split up and went to another room for their own meeting. Well, we had a nice meeting and when they came back I noticed that Steph had a tissue in her hand rolled up (looked like it was used). I meant to ask her about it on the way home, but we got talking about other things and it slipped my mind until we got ready for bed. I asked her if everything was alright today at the meeting and she said it was, but she did cry a little. She asked how to handle the trans issues and her religion. She was brought up in a Catholic house and had always been very close to god, and I believe this had caused her a lot of issues in the beginning. She said that she asked how to handle this because she believed the bible says that being trans, gay or lesbian was not right. I forgot what she said the group told her, but I tried to explain how I felt about it. I told her that I felt that me being transsexual could not be a sin since I have felt this way since I was so young and that I felt I was born this way. I went on to explain how there are many birth defects (not sure if I feel comfortable calling it a birth defect, but it will do for now) in life and I could not see how god could turn his head on someone that had one. I used intersexed individuals as one example, and went on to explain what that meant (to make sure she understood).

We talked last night tell 2am about all this. She still seems to be behind me, but I was wondering if anyone has had to deal with the question of religion and being trans with anyone and how they have dealt with it and explained it to the other person. I guess I am just looking for some advice for the future, in case the subject comes up again as it may when I begin to come out to her cousins and aunts. It looks to me like she has gotten past that question, but I thought if I could reassure her in some other way it may help her along even more. Please help with that question, any advice would be appreciated.

I also talked with my daughter some more today and asked her if she has talked to any of her friends about the trans issues. I heard a rumor she was afraid I didn’t want her to tell any of her friends. She told me so far she has only talked to her boyfriend (gee whiz that sound so weird to hear me saying boyfriend when I talk about my daughter, lol). He was ok with it as he knew of several trans kids in his school. I thought that was awesome, because I have been trying to hide my chest when he has been over, lol. Sine I didn’t know she talked to him and as ok with it, I didn’t want to disturb their relationship until she was ready. I was glad to hear that she talked to him about it. I also told her that if she felt she wanted to talk to any of her other friends about it, that I didn’t mind and I’d rather her talk to someone (if not me) then keep it all inside. It’s good to talk about these issues. A few years ago, I think I would have told her not to say anything, but I believe I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone now and start reaching out to others and hope that they will learn something and try to make it a positive experience for them.

Well its been an interesting week with the move and all the talks I’ve had with Vicky and Stephanie. I’m just glad to be home and I hope the positive things keep happening between us. Well, I’ll close for now, I hope you all have a great week. I hope to do another Vblog soon, so keep an eye out ;).

Hugs Michelle

Doing my part for the community. Please see the following if you live in the Tri-State New York area:

The Loft LGBT Community Services center is overseeing a multi-media exhibit called ‘The T Project’ that seeks to answer the question of who comprises the “T” in the LGBT Community. By utilizing photographs, written word and video, we are setting out to counter the media’s often lurid and sensationalist portrayals of transgender individuals. ‘The T Project’ will present framed black-and-white photos of transgender individuals in various forms of mainstream life – with parents, spouses/partners, children, at work, in religious service, etc., - with accompanying testimonials from family members, friends, employers, etc. it is our hope to show the communities we live in just who we really are – their neighbors, co-workers, students and teachers, friends and family.

With a scheduled September, 2008 roll-out, the exhibit will then travel to a number of highly visible trans/LGBT friendly venues in Westchester Co and neighboring counties, residing for public viewing at various locales before moving on to it next destination. Initially the project is slated to run through the end of the calendar year, although that may change according to need.

We are currently seeking participants who would be comfortable participating in such a project and could contribute an accompanying written piece, and photographers willing to work within the project’s framework. (Please note: The T Project has no monetary-compensation component, although all photographers will receive public credit for their work.) Subjects under the age of 18 would require to have a legal guardian sign a photo release form as provided be the Loft.

Please feel free to contact Stephanie Bonvissuto or Ms. Shelly Abbott, head of the Creation committee, via The Loft’s Helpline at 914-948-4922 x14, or at, for official criteria guidelines, or with any questions you may have.

Thank you for you consideration. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we will be seen and heard.

Girls Night out! May 04, 2008

I must say that yesterday was a busy day. One of my girlfriends invited me to join her and another friend of ours out to a local (semi local to me, 1 hour away) LGBT bar in CT called Triangles. It didn’t take me long to realize that it’s been a long time since I’ve been out and about. I was excited about the opportunity to be able to hang out with a good friend.

Well, as I watched the time go be yesterday morning, I tried to get a few things together before I had to take my daughter to a student council picnic where she was to hang out with the incoming freshmen and answer any question they had about the school. I dropped her off at her school and went back home to try and put together what I wanted to take. I couldn’t decide on what to take so I ended up packing several outfit’s that ended up filling a duffle bag that came to my waist. I packed a couple pair of shoes and a pair of boot that I’ve been waiting for the right time to break them in, along with makeup and a few other little necessities for the evening. I’m just glad that bag had wheels so it made it easier to move around.

We were supposed to meet up at a hotel that most of the girls rent out for the night, this place is TG friendly (specially on the evening of the TG party). When I finally got there, there was several other girls there getting dressed. My friend Brittney and A?? greeted me and we shared a big hug. I proceeded to get ready for the evening and after my personal makeover, I was really starting to get excited about getting out to Triangles. In a way, I was surprised to see so many getting ready at the same time. But it actually turned out to be a nice evening. I met another TS girl, she was very nice and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was TS/fulltime. We talked a little bit at the changing room, and later in the evening. It was nice to get to know other TS’s in the area.

Brittney and I had a great time talking and catching up on what’s been going on with each other. She even got out on the dance floor, but I stayed to watch the table. As the evening went on there were more guys that would show up, and I was enjoying watching these two guys dance together. They were pretty good as they dipped and spun around. SH*@, I just realized something. Last night was one of the most freeing times I’ve had in a long time. I felt more confident in myself, but still got a bit of self doubt. I felt more comfortable being myself last night then I do in my drab mode (remember duality?). I think maybe I’m feeling a pendulum swinging but it’s starting to lean more towards the person I need to be. Last night I did not want this feeling to go away. Last night I felt, I don’t know how to explain it. As if something in me was just freed, I felt like I never felt before walking around the bar. And being able to spend this time with a great friend was awesome. One other thing that happened last night was a guy asked me to dance. I said to myself, “What the heck should I say.” I blurted out the only thing I could think of, “I’m sorry but we are leaving in a little bit”. I was flattered that someone would ask me to dance, but I think my shyness got in the way. We left shortly after that. Once we got out side we exchanged hugs. On my drive home last night, I looked back on the evening with a great since of freedom. The Freedom to be myself, the freedom to enjoy the evening through, MY EYES! It’s a nice place to be J I hope I can hold on to it for a while longer.

I’d like to talk about something that Suzi talked about in her blog, “Reaching out”. You never know what a difference you could make in someone’s life. Brittney and I have reached out to each other at times to help support each other in what we were about to do. I see a bright and cheery future for her. I think in a way I was trying to reach out last night. I have been feeling shallow lately and was in need of some justification of me! As we talked I felt more at home in my own self than ever before. I hope this is not a fleeting moment. How do I hold on to it? I know with some of the local and online friends I’ve made, there are a few I admire what they have gone through to get to this point. They all reached out at one time or another and it saved many from feeling worse. Their collective knowledge went along way to help others. I hope that we can continue to do the same for others. I Love what Suzi had said YOU SHOULD NEVER BE ALONE. Remember to reach out...please. So when you’re feeling down, really think about what the song SO SMALL by Carrie Underwood is saying. Find that love for yourself and be free.

P.S. Oh hay, Those boots. They were GREAT! I felt great in them all evening.

The faces of the transgender (Moved from yahoo)

In the time that I’ve been blogging, I’ve made some great friends and we have shared many personal things. Some have been twisted and used against me, but I do write what I feel at the time. The arts (writing poems, music and drawing) has always been a outlet for me, so I found myself typing away. I’m sure, if you read some of my blogs or any of my friends, you will soon realize that for many of us there is only one viable option available to us. You will also see how we have many of the same issues any one of you may have. Sure, I guess my trans status may be comic relief around the lunch room, who knows, but to me it is a personal thing that I have been dealing with all my life and until recently have I come to terms with what I must do. I take my decisions very serious because it does affect many people in my life. At this time I do have the support of my family and feel I have to move on from where I am now, and take steps to speed up my delayed transition plans (10 years so far ugg).

It seems that I have been away for a while, and I guess I have, but in that time I’ve been trying to catch any shows that may feature trans people in a positive light. I must say the over the last 2 or so years I have seen many positive changes for the transgender community. There are still too many tragedies still out there though and I really hope and pray that they reach out to others, like many of us have. Can’t beat your sisterly support can you.

Let’s look at a few that have been positive. I’ve been watching America’s Top Model’s show and am very pleased to see that a transgendered contestant named Isis has made to the top 10 so far. I believe she could win, I hope she keeps her confidence up because from what I’ve seen so far, she has a chance to win. Girl, I’m rooting for ya. GO ISIS!!!! I felt she took some pretty great shots. Who knew that she would be part of the show, by just being one the faces in the crowd, but was noticed by Tyra, who didn’t even know she was trans until after the fact. She was one of 3 or 4 models that did background modeling while the contestants did there shoot. Isis was noticed over all the other models even a lot of the contestants. How cool is that.

The next show I’d like to mention, and it’s a must have for everyone to watch if your trans or not. The episode was called "My Secret Self". It looked at the life’s of some transgender kids as young as 6 years old. It was a very touching story for me, and I hope he best to those kids in getting the proper treatment. Treatment many of us wished we had when we were young.

Which leads me to some other news that I hope may have so positive change for our community. The APA is advising changes in college studies to include a increase in training on the transgender issues, in hopes of being able to provide better services to our community. Their recommended changes in access to medical treatment for transgender patients excites me, but I wonder when the insurance companies will fall in line to provide the needed coverage for our needs. I guess time will tell on that one.

The many faces of the transgender community is vast, we are many and we are proud. Many of the faces I see have seen have inspired me to be myself and let go of the shackles I’ve worn all my life. I have found some strength from these shows and many of my friends. So thank you. I’m sure in the upcoming year people will start to notice some changes I’m planning, but I’m not saying anything yet :)

I’ve received some pretty negative emails recently and I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but the transition will progress. There is nothing that anyone could say now. I know in my heart of hearts what my path must be. This is something that must be done to get back in balance with myself. There is no other way. I’ve tried them all, no doubt. Once I faced the fact that for me, there was only one path that will make me complete, I could then concentrate on what will be good for me and my family. The last several years I’ve have done a lot of soul searching and look forward to seeing many more faces out there, some will stand out and others will wait in the shadows. Where ever you find the inspiration, hold on to it. Till my next blog, I hope you all have a great week end.

Hugs Michelle

Saturday, October 18, 2008

To My Family and friends: October 18, 2008

Dear Family,I wanted to take a few minutes and fill you in on some important information about some changes that will be made in the near future. I will change in some ways, but I will always be the same person. These steps I’m taking are very important for me. I do wish there was an easier way to move forward, but I have not found a better way. I have come to terms with this after careful research, analysis and professional guidance. I don’t take this lightly, I’m more informed then I ever was, and feel stronger than ever that I’m going in the right direction.

If you’re wondering what this is all about. I have Gender Dysphoria (DSM IV code is 302.85 or GID) I am a transsexual. In short. Since I was 5 years old, I have known that I was special and that there was something different about me. I always felt I was a girl, but my body did not match what I felt.

Because of the sex marker on my birth certificate I had to behave a certain way, feel a certain way, be a certain way. Since I was little I always was mindful of the mundane thing we all take for granted. How I stood. How I sat. What I wear. I’ve always been mindful of my interactions with others, and that I was not to femm. I just wanted to blend in to society. Which I did! GID has been crippling at times and I needed to stop fighting this and take action.

What does all this mean?
Well first off it will mean a lot of changes down the road for me and some adjustments at home. I’m working with therapist on the GID issues and have been in a semi-active transition the last 10 years. My first major goal is to live fulltime as a women. I have been making some advancement in that area and expect to start living fulltime within the next 2 years. I have been on hormones for over a year now and have had changes that are becoming noticeable (In the website links, I list a few sites that cover many of the changes you can expect). Some of the changes I make in the future may seen drastic, but I’m taking all this very serious and am under professional supervision. Eventually I will also change my name to Michelle. This will involve a lot of legal paperwork to change the drivers license, birth certificate, exc.. But it will be a necessary thing for me to do to live fulltime.

You may ask why I am doing this now. Well I guess I didn’t have the courage and understanding I have now to face this head on. As a child I never knew that there was anything that would ever help. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me, but I lived with it. I dealt with it daily. Until I was about 30 I thought there was not much I could do about all this. I always thought that all this would go away. But what I found as I got older it became more of a burden in my life. 10 years ago I started to learn about the research studies and finding many transgender friends I began to see a rainbow lighting the sky for my future. But still, I didn’t have the courage then to go fulltime. I do now! I know that this will never go away and I know what I need to do to be the best person I can be to my family and I. Transition!I know that to some of you, this may have be a shock. But rest assured, I given this VERY careful thought. I have also talked with Vicky and the kids a lot the last few years about it and I currently have their support. I’m sure that you may questions for me. I will answer any question that you may have, so feel free to ask.

In closing, I’d just like to I’d like to quote a good friend of mine:Abigail Jensen"In my experience, sacrifice of my own truth only leads to pain for everyone ... not just me, but everyone. There is unquestionably much pain that comes with transitioning, but it is the pain of stripping away the illusion of who we are not, to find the truth of who we are. Painful as that might be, finding and living our truth (whether that includes transitioning only you can decide) offers the only chance that we and those we love can grow to know the truth about ourselves. And only by knowing ourselves can we, and they, find the peace, love and joy we all deserve and desire.

Here are a few sites that will provide plenty of information.
Dr. Anne Lawrence’s resource website
Understanding gender Dysphoria
International Foundation for Gender Education
Gender Identity Research and Education Society
Crissy Wild's Medical Links

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A new dedication. To my Father : August 24, 2008

This is a dedication to my Father how passed away Saturday , August 6, 2008. My father was a strong man. He was also strong willed. If he thought he had a better idea he would push his idea to the front. A person how didn’t take anything from anyone. He appeared tough on the outside but what most people never saw was his softer side. I was blessed by seeing a few of them myself. As I sat with my two brothers and a few other family members. We choose to do a round table discussion of my father’s life, instead of a traditional funeral service with a pastor and all. After all, my father was not much of a traditional man. I have always admired how my father made it as good as he did with just a 10th grade high school education, he didn’t complete school. He started out with not much of a chance, and worked his way into management at a pizza place. That wasn’t good enough for him, so one day he bought a pizza franchise and we all moved to Utah. Through much sacrifice he made it a good business.

The night before I left Kentucky I had been going through a whole bunch of stories that he wrote. Many use our family as the characters. He always talked about what he would do if he won the Mega Million dollar jackpot. He always told us how he would split up the money and make sure everyone, including grandkids would be taken care of. He would carry on about what car he would get for each of his kids. What house to buy and where he thought it should be. He always talked about that since I was a teen ager. More after he lost the Pizza Hut business after the divorce. What’s my point? Well, he always loved westerns and I thought he would have been writing along toughs lines, but boy was I wrong. i have gone through a pile (at least 98 percent where stories about winning the lottery). They said he wrote a lot the last few weeks. I guess he was trying to get it right, because I've looked at least 50 or more versions of winning the lottery. In a way, I was hoping he would write each of us a note. But I guess he had other things on his mind, lol. I think it kept his mind going. He even had pages that showed the break down by person, or charity, or whatever other entity he decided to give money to.

The day of the service we had a viewing (Picture only, and urn). Instead of the normal service where we stand in front and say something, We gathered our self’s around a couch that I was setting at. We proceeded to tell stories of my father. The good and the bad. The thing that my brothers and I all recalled the most was the long drives he always took us on. And when he got to Utah with all the hills and mountains he decided to purchase a 4x4. Well, it didn’t take long before he was taking us out 4 wheeling in the mountains. Not good for me because I always got car sick once we got off road. Once we stopped and had to sit in one place for a few minutes I was fine and we would hike around some. There were many evenings we went deer hunting. No, not with guns. We would stop at a field we often went to and would use a spot light and shine it in the field and try and could how many deer where in the field. We’ve counted about 120 or so one evening. We could only count the deer that would look at us, because then we could see the glow of their eyes. A little eerie sometimes, but it was something he always enjoyed doing. It also gave us some time with my father. He worked so much, we hardly saw him, so when he would take these breaks we all enjoyed them most of the time.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my father ran his life, and I think I could learn a few things. I seem to be letting my fear of others stall me in my transition, and I need to change that. My father would have stepped up and did his way. I will do some things different, but thank you dad for being a inspiration., and providing your own insight to life. I will be taking more of a active role in my transition now. Thanks again dad.

I would like to take the time to direct your attention to my brothers site. He is a vet suffering from PTSD. In his blog he discusses issues related to PTSD. He wrote a piece on our father and thought you may enjoy reading his writing. Enjoy PTSD, A Soldier's Perspective