Drowning in the swamp

So I’ve been contemplating what to post here for about the last week as the dread keeps settling in as news articles clamor on top of one another on my feed.
It’s hard to put into words your anger and distress sometimes. I’ll try and not go on a full tirade as I’m sure a lot of you might feel the same way but I digress. This isn’t going to be easy for me.

As each day passes since the 1st of this year, I feel like I’m already drowning in this country. It’s not even the 20th yet and already I’m sick with anxiety, worry and thoughts of how to escape. Half baked plans of desperation, trying to find holes in the system so we can move before we’re completely stripped of our rights we’ve worked so hard to get.

The first strike: Health insurance in the state I’m in. We obviously had to sign up with the ACA again as none of our employers offer insurance. The issue with that is, our selection was cut in half and rates doubled. I couldn’t continue through United healthcare and had to find one that we could afford that had an obtainable deductible for us. We got stuck with Cigna for literally over double what we paid last year. Cigna doesn’t offer coverage for trans individuals. Plain and simple.
The exert from their 2017 exclusions: “Procedures, surgery or treatments to change characteristics of the body to those of the opposite sex including medical or psychological counseling and hormonal therapy in preparation for, or subsequent to, any such surgery. This also includes any medical, surgical or psychiatric treatment or study related to sex change.

I’m already fucked as far as my transition goes it seems. Feeling hopeless right off the bat this year, this wasn’t going to help my year off with a good note.
But then let’s add the syrup to the shit ice cream sundae and watch a Texas Federal judge block transperson’s rights the day before they’d fully take effect for the ACA!
Link: The BUZZ story

So that’s now 2 hits this first week. Oh and than you have Paul Ryan and the screwed assholes in congress who vow to repeal the whole damn ACA. Bam, 3 strikes we’re out.

What do you even do with this? I mean.. what can we do?

I sat and pondered this pretty much the last couple days. It’s only the 9th. 9 fucking days and I’ve watched my rights stripped and my health coverage go under fire.

Well, fuck it. I’m fighting. I’m not going down without a battle.
I happen to scroll past the Trans rights group on FB posting an article and I spoke up and commented. I’ve since then been in touch with a lady from PROMO and in the talks of trying to sort out the blatant discrimination in my healthcare.
I’ll be contacting Lambda Legal as well to see where and how far I can go.
Granted, I don’t have the funds at all to hire a lawyer. I’m living on a strict budget. So I suppose we’ll see. But if they find my case noteworthy enough to make waves, I’m gunning all the way. Court dates and all. I’m tired of sitting at home, watching as everything is set on fire around me, expecting others to make my and other’s ways in the world.

How can our legislation deny the AMA(American Medical Association), APA(American Psychological Association) and countless other accredited organizations? I know.. it’s a rhetorical question. These same people deny 98% of scientists on climate change. *Que eye roll x 1000*

As you can tell, I’ve hit my fuck this shit, mark and I’m fed up. Let’s cross fingers and hope I have some good news for once come soon.

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I’ m covered!

So my paranoia ended up being a good thing!

I got a bit antsy at not knowing whether or not my insurance was going to cover my top surgery. The lady I spoke to yesterday wouldn’t give me a definitive answer and that really bugged me.
So I went looking and asking around for surgery codes today.
Ran across Dr Garramone’s site where they actually listed the codes (what they meant and were for etc) and jotted them down and called my insurance.
I asked for a case manager but was told none was available but the lady said she’d check the codes for me.
After being on hold multiple times, clarifying things and reminding them that they can’t deny me on the basis of being transgender, she came back saying that the surgery and fees are all covered for me!

I’m now tasked with getting 3 letters from my pcp, therapist and surgeon on my documentation of transition, a referral from my pcp to the surgeon and a referral from the surgeon and that’s it.
That’s freaking it. I’m.. so fucking ecstatic. I’m over the moon with delight that over 2 years later, pain, embarrassment, aches and dysphoria, I finally get to have this done and I don’t have to pay a cent.

Just.. going to thank Obama (in the sincerest way, along with the department of justice) because literally without them, I’d still be fucked.

So I have my consultation with the surgeon is on the 19th and the office lady said if everything goes through the insurance smoothly and without issue, I could be scheduled for surgery as early as the 2nd week of October this year.

I’m going to go have a mini celebration of screeching internally for the next hour.

Get angry and doing something about it.

This is what I try and live by most of the time when injustice or discrimination happen to me now a days. I’m tired of laying back and just taking the beating. So I did something about it.

My last journal was about the fact I had called a surgeon in my area to inquire about top surgery, only to find out they don’t offer to put in claims for insurance on trans top surgery. I was livid and hurt that day. I stewed for a couple hours, turning what had happened in my head over and over and finally said, enough is enough.

I called first the Department of Justice. Did the whole ring around the transfer line until I had to leave a message and that pretty much ended up in a dead end.
So I decided the best route would be to call the hospital’s administration office. I did just that and spoke with a really nice lady who was pretty concerned that I was told these things and picked up a claim for me.
The next day I get a call and it’s all been sorted out.

Turns out that they filed so many claims through insurance that kept getting denied that they quit offering to do it. They FAILED to explain that to me which I hope in the future they start to. Also, I ended up educating the office staff about the new ruling that took effect July 18th. Which I hope will be passed along more. It sadly isn’t that big of a thing when it should be!

So thankfully my irony turned into a positive outcome. I’m expecting to schedule my consultation tomorrow and get seen in the next week or so and hopefully get surgery approved and scheduled for next month. Crossing fingers!

Started a new job, already outed.

Why can’t people just keep shit to themselves? Information that they had no right to even express to anyone else? Not even there for over a week and already half or more of the crew I work with knows I’m trans now all because the area manager/hiring manager decided to open his big mouth for no reason what so ever but to create that “shock” value.

And guess what’s happening now that they know? My shift leads are misgendering me. I get funny looks from people and I’m ignored. I’ve corrected them and am simply ignored. Couldn’t even make it a week without being outed. And of course my husband and family doesn’t understand. The anxiety I get from being disrespected and treated differently is through the roof. I just want to go to work, work and go home. No one needed to know I was trans in order for work to get done. But here I am.

Can you tell I’m angry? To those who read my entry about working last year at Coleman, you can already probably see the path this is going to head down to eventually. So guess what I’m doing this weekend? Applying for yet another job.

It’s already bad enough I have to pick up work on top of everything else going on in my life, just so I can pay to get my teeth fixed and save for top surgery, but to be treated like a walking freak along with it? Nope, not going to happen.

I noticed the Target in my city is hiring. Maybe I’ll get lucky. And this time if I get hired, I’m making it crystal clear, I don’t want to be outed. I want to be seen as the male I am. I want others to see the hard work I do and that’s it.

On a mild unrelated note, the psychologist I’ve seen now 3 times is either forgetting what mental disorders are, or hasn’t schooled herself in anything new in the last 5 years. I’ve been diagnoised with bipolar(in 2008) adhd(in early 2000’s) and severe anxiety disorder(this year). She seems to think, even though I have all the signs and symptoms of bipolar (at least a milder case of it) that instead it’s all just my adhd and I may not be bipolar! I’m face desking right now just fyi. Yes, anxiety/adhd/bipolar all have bounce off symptoms that can overlap into one another. It sucks that I suffer from a lot of the symptoms that all 3 disorders cause. So I get it, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s causing what. But to just dismiss my 8 years of bipolar to shove it off onto my other disorder? That seems a bit wonky and ill informed.
Speaking she wants to put me on Adderall which isn’t great for bipolar or anxiety. Don’t get me wrong. The anxiety, a good chunk of it, is caused by the adhd. It’s a miracle I can get through these posts without shouting, “Squirrel!” 5 times and back pedaling the backspace key 50 million times. I know I suffer from the conditions. I’m ok to get medical help seeing as the “natural green” medicine isn’t available nor advised seeing as it comes with the 10 year jail sentence. It was just pretty frustrating hearing that from someone I had placed my trust in. And the thought of ditching her for someone else so soon, makes my stomach turn. It feels rude to me. I don’t want to be wishywashy.

So that was my day/week. I just needed to get that out of my head properly.
With so much of the bathroom rights things circle jerking my FB feed daily, a lot of people forget there are other hurdles transgenders have to face, such as being respected at work.

Let’s talk about bathrooms.

I figured it was time to update the blog look again. Something cleaner, less notebookish. I have to make a new banner later because my face plastered that large up at top kind of makes me feel weird. But other than that, I’m digging it.

I’m going to kind of go on a small tangent about bathrooms and all those laws trying to pop up recently. If you haven’t kept up with the news recently, North Carolina is receiving backlash lately because their governor is a transphobic man who decided that trans persons weren’t really people and thus must go to the bathroom that corresponds with their both sex at birth. I’ll catch you up to date: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/30/nc-transgender-bathroom-ban-is-a-national-embarrassment-says-ag-as-pilloried-law-becomes-key-election-issue/

North Carolina of course isn’t the only one pushing bills around willy nilly and trying to get them passed. 28 states have introduced bills similar to NC this year! My state included! Kansas wants to reward those who can even catch transpersons using the “wrong” bathroom! How ludicrous is this? I’d say “Trump crazy” levels.
Here is a great article covering the bills: http://www.hrc.org/blog/anti-lgbt-bills-introduced-in-28-states

I’m not one for going willy nilly on politics but I’ll be damned if I let them run rampant against so many of my brothers and sisters and even my self. My own coward of a state is following the trend and it’s sickening. It pains me to see these bills, some passing, popping up everywhere. A lot of these bills are being passed mainly against transwomen because of this religious and blind fear of the unknown. Attempting to ban us from the public, like it’s going to make it better for everyone. They tried it with the gay/lesbian movement and now it’s popular to target the trans.
The issue here is trans isn’t as supported as the gay/lesbian movement. We don’t have nearly the large upswing as it has garnered over the years. Even some of our LG sides have fallen short in helping. We need all the help we can get. We really do.

I want to link one last site that is an action site, explaining per state, what bills are in and how to take action. http://www.transequality.org/action-center

I’m wanting to go to college this year. I don’t want to be driven away from my education because I’m not allowed to use the restroom I identify with. I don’t want others in that same position either. My children need a better future to live in. This lunacy has got to end. If you could take a moment, share, speak up or contact your local state and voice your opinion, it’d mean the absolute world to all of us. And when it comes time to vote? Vote to get these narrow minded idiots out of their seats. Not just on the presidential level, but your state level, city level and so forth. You have the right to vote and change the future for so many. I urge you to do so.

Just a pretty face and nothing more.

Can we for a moment talk about that part of the internet where people have been tagging #thisiswhattranslookslike everywhere? It’s a visibility campaign to show others that we are just every day people just like everyone else. It’s a wonderful thing to do and I fully support and back it.
But when does it turn from a good thing to a hurtful and possibly dangerous thing?
When ‘famous’ transpersons decide that the selfie train shouldn’t stop. That instead of taking part of their visibility and following to do something good with it, they decide that they’ll turn a buck and potentially harm others instead because their ‘selfie’ was too important to pass up.

I am livid. Infuriated, that this is what it’s boiling down to. That this is somehow accepted vs actual help for the community. When do we draw the line?

Confused? I’ll show you. Example A: Screenshot 2016-02-05 22.15.57

This is what has me set off. Here we see ‘famous’ Aydian Dowling, lack of smile, sad big doe eyes.. and the caption mentions he was taken a back by a trans murder that he was e-mailed about. This of course warranted for him to /show you/ how upset he clearly is and then promptly followed by 4 emoji heart icons and than a bunch of spewed hash tagged words.
I mean come on! Look at how upset he is everyone! That’s the face of a man who clearly had to pull out his camera and just /shoowww you/ how awful he feels. That warrants something right? I mean, clearly this is somehow helping the community. All the swooning comments of how handsome he is, obviously got the message across.

Can you feel my sarcasm from across the internet? Good. So I of course, obviously sighting something missing, decided to chime in. I’m apart of the community, I surely have a voice I can use. Let’s go for it. Example B:
Screenshot 2016-02-05 22.12.16.png

Here you see the wild Hex in his habitat. Putting in a word of advice or even just a suggestion. One that I wasn’t seething hate from, not a curse word in sight. In fact I give my self a small pat on the back for not blowing up. (thanks me!)
And then que his fans. Ones who clearly missed the point I was trying to make, just like Aydian did. Surprise surprise!

Yeah, sure.. that sad selfie is surely going to save someone… not.

When did people think it was ok to stick their necks out for their communities and than fall completely off the bandwagon, off the road, out of the ditch and into a river? When did it become acceptable to be allowed to a mass a shit ton of followers, whom you could have a positive sway over and instead whore yourself out for the likes? And people think Caitlyn is bad for the community. Let’s take a nice hard long look at this guy shall we?

Dear Aydian here runs a clothing company that claims they ‘help’ the trans community. They give free binders to those in need and help raise funds for the lucky few who win their lotto to get surgery. That sounds amazing right? Until you dig a little deeper.
That free binder program? Free sounds so great, especially to the dirt poor trans person who can’t even keep a job because they keep getting fired for BEING TRANS! Well think again poor trans person! Aydian wants you to buy one of this T shirts first! You’ve gotta spend that money to get that free binder! Gotta look swag in his apparel. Oh don’t have money for that $20 T-shirt? Go beg somewhere else!

So you say to yourself, ok I’ll just enter his once a year drawing to get top surgery! I won’t even need a binder than if I just get the funds right? WRONG! Oh boy I even looked into this one because, as previously mentioned in another blog post, I can’t afford top surgery. Insurance doesn’t cover it, my state hasn’t made it legal and I have 2 kids to take care of on the already limited income we do have. So you bet your bottom I went looking to apply to be in his top surgery drawing. It went great until I read the list of requirements to apply. To apply, applicants must have saved up past a certain goal of money! On top of that, the funds he gives are meant only to get you to the rest of your end goal and you have only so long to get that top surgery or else he wants that money back!
Welp, count my ass out and god only knows how many other transmen in my position.

So, let’s recap! If you’re poor(which makes up 15% of trans, (vs 4% of the general population of the US) or even struggling to make ends meet, been fired recently from a job because you’re trans etc, than don’t turn to Aydian Dowling. He’s not going to help you.
If you’re in a dire situation, you ran across his page just recently and needed some help, but low and behold didn’t find any but a bunch of selfies and self positive messages, well.. you’re screwed as far as he’s concerned.
If you really needed that number for the trans suicide hotline but couldn’t remember it because Aydian decided his lean muscle was more important, you’re not alone.
And oh if your parents are kicking you out and you needed to remember that shelter number for trans youth? Welp.. out of luck again. Your hunky Aydian didn’t decide you were important enough because his gym selfie was.

Do you see the issue here??! When do we get to stand up and say, “Hey, this isn’t what the community needs!” It’s great you’re visible. So much so you were on TV. Congradulations Aydian. Honestly, I do mean that part. You’ve come leaps and bounds as far as the trans community goes for visibility. Other than that? You haven’t done shit with it. You haven’t grassrooted correctly. Instead of helping the lesser of us wallowing on the bottom, just trying to make ends meet, you decided you’d be the pretty face instead.
You’ve lost my support and two years of looking up to you. God only knows how many lives have been lost instead because someone looked up to you and didn’t get the help they really needed. I know I couldn’t live with that guilt.

 

In your dreams

It’s weird when our dreams and selves start to finally align. At least it’s weird to me. I’ve heard from a lot of transmen that just knew from day one that they were trans and a guy. And while it’s still fairly the same concept for me, I went un-diagnosed for all of my life. I didn’t have a name or anything to put together with how I was feeling. Of course if I would of known what trans was and that it was possible to be FtM back when I was 12-13 I think my life would of gone much simpler. But that’s not the case here.
I was in denial for 26 years of my life. I forced my self to play female for so long that it’s going to take so many more years to finally break that mentality.

I remember just recently, I was sitting there doing something, and messed up and my brain went, “Darnit (birth name) that’s not right!” and immediately I mentally corrected my self. It’s those little things still that remind me I’m still so new to this. Even if I’ve lived with it for so long.
It was refreshing to find that my dreams though have finally caught up. If you remember, I wrote about a sexually confusing dream I had where I was attempting to woo a straight male and was failing horribly because it dawned on me that I was in fact a male and not attractive to him. This seemed to be a tipping point with me in my dreams. I don’t track them a lot but when they do relate to me being trans I have tried to make note of them as they go by.

For most of my life, in my dreams I was presented as female. On a handful of occasions though I would have dreams I was a male. I remember one still so vividly. It was one of those dreams you could feel it physically as you slept. Felt everything, sensed everything. It was to this day, one of the closest feelings to being a male I’ve had yet. I dreamt that I was having sex with someone (unidentified to this day) and that I had a cispenis. I could literally feel everything down to the orgasm that shook me as I woke up. It felt so different to me and I remember waking up and feeling this was something I wanted so badly.
Besides the few dreams that came before transition there wasn’t any other markers that came in.
But as I came out in January and started this transition, my dreams started to morph with me. Early on I still dreamed sometimes still feeling female, others my gender didn’t matter. After the sexually confusing dream, that seemed to tip my mind over to switching everything. I’m now feeling like I present as a male in my dreams. I’m acknowledged as such as well. It finally feels right to dream most nights when I remember it.

I had a weird little dream, can’t remember much from it, but I was seeing my self from another perspective which hasn’t ever happened before that I can remember. My dreams are always from first person view. But as I stood there next to my husband, the angle was from somewhere else, and the person that identified as me, didn’t look much like me at all. But somewhere I felt it was me. I wasn’t afraid, I wasn’t really anything but feeling like my self. I don’t remember a lot sadly. I know that “I” was talking about something and I still remember the setting outside of a barn and hay but that’s it.

The out of body experience though was surely new, and seeing the person claiming to be me, feeling like they were me, but not really looking like I do now was pretty jarring in a small sense.
None the less though, I am finally happy my dreams have caught up with me. I’m nearing the end of 8 months on T, finally presenting and passing more in public every day and finally feeling some sort of comfort in that.