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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The Disparity

I’m surprised I haven’t touched base on this before seeing as it’s been almost two years since this has started happening. Today I’m going to educate and run you down on the sexist and possibly transphobic issues that go on in art fandoms. I can only speak from the anthromorphic side of things since that’s where my art business takes place. But I thought that this was important to cover as many people didn’t know that this was going on or if it was even a thing.

I’ve worked almost 6 years in the ‘furry’ fandom. I started out like most, pulling pennies from long hours of work for about two years or so until I built a client base. I constantly worked and committed full time in 2012 to my art. Up until January 2014 I was presenting as female as I had just really came out to my self and wanted to start transitioning right away.
Before I came out to my clients and the fandom I had a large customer base. It was a good revolving door of new customers and repeat ones. I was always able to open up a few commission spots and they’d be jumped on with in 30 minutes to an hour. I very rarely would have to keep posting follow journals to get them sold. I had loads of work and was making a decent income. It was enough to keep the bills paid for a while and I was content in my work and client base.
Before I chose to come out to the fandom I was fearful that this would impact my client base, as I had many hetero male clients who would often flirt with me and indulge me by buying commissions etc. I knew the scales might tip to a point this could impact my income but verged forth anyways because I wanted to be true not only to my self but my clients and who was producing the art they enjoyed.
Over the course of 2014 things started to slowly decline. Customer base dropped and among that happening a few things caused me stress beyond to where I could hold onto and I hit a depression pit for the rest of 2014.

2015 wasn’t much better either, and for lack of typing time I’ll just sum it up as horrid patch in my life for most of the spring/summer. When things finally stabilized I I became more aware just how many of my clients had really left. Granted, I can’t blame it solely on me being transgender. There are I’m sure many factors why some left and haven’t returned. So don’t take this as me individually pointing fingers to folks. It’s easy to say, well because of your slow progress people just gave up on you or whatever. Sure it is easy to say that and sometimes I still say that to my self so I don’t throw my self into another depressive fit over who I am.

But the bottom line still remains. A booming, mostly hetero client base is now gone and I am no longer able to pull in the income I first had. Comments have dwindled to barely any unless I draw something favorable. Clients have now come down to a few select ones and so on. I’ve also noticed I have gained more female followers and clients as well and even more trans ones. Sadly that doesn’t equate to the male follow base I had. In the long run it might but there is a gap. I’ve been running my business for long enough now I can feel it both financially and emotionally. When you always saw comments from people and then they just magically poof after you post a picture of yourself, well.. kinda hard not to point that finger to that certain reason.

Sure, we all know every line of work is full of sexist, bigoted assholes. I’m not stating anything new by any means. And it’s not like I can just expect people to come up and go, “yeah I’m a sexist.” It doesn’t work that way.
But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t anger me to no end. I like to put faith in people too much I guess. I’d like to think that people enjoyed the art I made and not my tits. It was a nice thought to trick my self with I guess. But in reality? Because I wasn’t longer desirable eye candy they got up and found someone else who was. It wasn’t about my art and to an artist who draws to make people happy that’s a pretty big crushing statement.
Maybe it’s one of the reasons I’ve been feeling my mental state more and more lately.

I’ve been back to the work world since I’ve transitioned. It was a nightmare. I’m not your typical chauvinistic pig of a male you find lanking around here. I don’t talk about football. I don’t spit my flem on the ground or adjust my balls in front of you. I’m not an emotionless asshole. I still catch my self saying feminine things or my body movements will still be there from prior. I give my own self away if I have to interact with others for longer periods of time and it’s a recipe for being outed and treated like a freak or subhuman who doesn’t deserve to even piss in a place I feel comfortable using because of who I am. There are very few workplace trans protections here legally and I swear if I hear another person say, “Just find a transfriendly work place!” that’s like saying, “Hey go be a lawyer just to feel safe at work!” It’s a moronic statement.

So right now, I feel comfortable continuing my business in art to a better extent than the work force. But how am I to do that if my income has been slashed at least $500 a month? I don’t have the time anymore to be working 12 hours for less than minimum wage. I don’t have the client base to be upping my prices either and if I drop them I’m literally cutting my self out of even more money for the work I put in. I’m stuck.

Being transgender is fucking horrid. It’s not easy and if anyone ever tells you it’s a fucking choice, bash them over the head with a massive book made up entirely of quotes like that, that make every transperson suffer.
When you reach a point in your life you feel like you’re a subhuman to the rest of society and it directly effects you, than you get some space to comment.

There’s my insight I guess. I’ll keep trucking because I’m not going to loose out on my life but I’ll be damned if I stay silent and take the shit coming at me either.

Hectic days

I swear I haven’t forgotten that my blog still exists. I promise. Soooo many things have happened since my last entry that days and weeks have become a bit of a muddled blur. I’ll try and start off with what went on these past almost 2 months and try not to bore you.

After hitting my one year T anniversary, we started to make plans to move in my girlfriend from New Jersey. After planning and getting things done we headed up there the last week of February and did a over night grab and run. We got back home and she has settled in rather well. We now have 2 cars, income has gone up a bit, some sickness and couch time has passed and life is still going.

Most recently this past month, we’ve been house hunting to try and move from his dismal town home we’d been stuck in for the last 6 years that is partially funded by HUD. After 3 solid weeks of wanting to bash my head into my desk we managed to find a 3bdrm house about 10 minutes from where we are now. We’ll actually be putting down our first month rent this week and signing the lease. I can’t wait to have those keys in my hand. Life finally feels like it’s going in the right direction after back tracking for so long.

As for things transition related go, I have some stories to tell you! For one thing, I am not a fan so far of male doctors. For the last 3 weeks I had been having some kidney and bladder pains. Thinking I had a UTI (which is sadly common for me) I went ahead and nabbed a spot at my doctor’s urgent care after hours in the office. My doctor wasn’t working at that time but I thought since a decent amount of trans patients frequent the clinic I shouldn’t have too many issues.
I was so very wrong.
I pay my fee and get called back to do the usual scale, blood pressure, quick questions with the nurse. All is going well. I get in the room and soon the doctor comes in. Old, white, cismale, Russian doctor. Now I know my brain shouldn’t jump to conclusions but my stomach did. It felt like a rock got dropped into it as I watched him enter and him try to make a joke right off the bat.
Him: “Hello! How are you today?”
Me: (taking a typical knee jerk reply) “I’m ok”
Him: “Well why are you here if you’re ok?!”
Me: “laugh nervously, stammering, “Oh well.. I mean..”

Yeah so, that aside. We go through the usual questions. I tell him I believe I have a UTI. He turns and gives me an odd look and asks why I think I have one. I go on to say this is actually quite common for me and my kidneys/bladder had been hurting me. (This is the part where I hadn’t realized he didn’t look at my medical sheet at all. He genuinely thought I was a cismale through and through. And UTIs are NOT common for cismales)
He explains that IF I were to have one that the urine sample I gave should tell us in a few days and said he’d prescribe me a quick antibiotic for “just in case” and then proceeded to finally turn on his laptop to over look my medical file. This is where shit hits the fan.

After looking at my listed medications, which Testosterone is listed, he makes a remark about it saying I was on a significant dose. And I said yes, I’m seeing Dr Glass because I am a transmale. The look of partial mortification and then power shift was enough to make a cinema movie producer gasp.
The gears turning as soon as he realized that I had a vagina was immense. I’m not even exaggerating here. The look across his face was the most grossest thing I’d seen in a long while in person.

As he starts putting two and two together as to why I suspected my self of having a UTI and reconfirming that with me, he started to ask questions that made the hair on my neck stand to end and my blood pressure rise.
I shit you not the man asked five times all phrased differently on how I had sexual relations with my husband and how my vagina worked while I had sex with him. I was so mortified I just kept trying to stammer through the scientific answers in my head and just put it bluntly how it’s like every other one out there.
At one point the nurse came in to hand him some files and I swear when I locked eyes with her I was internally screaming for her to save me.
Finally after either mutely peaking his perverted interests or he finally had had enough of me, he recapped what I already knew about my antibiotics and then asked if I would remember all of that, cause ya know, I have a vagina now and apparently my memory also goes out the door. And told me I could leave.
As I’m exiting the door he whistles and does a finger curl as to motion me to this back door he was standing by. This is when the full frontal assault of a panic attack ensued. My head got so dizzy in those few seconds as images of him assaulting me or worse ripped through it.
Thankfully as I reached him he opened it and it was a quick way out of the office building, which I  took and almost sprinted to my car. Thinking back on this though, it was a fleeting thought he could of been pushing me through the quick exit so no one in the waiting room would have to see my “transness” but alas, that’s my paranoia kicking in for that two cents as for all I could know he does that to every patient.

Needless to say the very next day I called up to the office manager and made a very stern complaint about my experiences. She tried to jest that he was asking about my sexual relations because sexually active women tend to get more UTIs as to which I had to explain over and over again that the more appropriate question would of been, “Are you sexually active?” and not what he said which was, “How do you have sex with your husband?”
Those are two entirely different questions and one was not even remotely appropriate! So she assured me she would have a talk with my regular Dr and see if some transfriendly talks could happen among the staff. I sure hope that they have because I honestly don’t ever want that to happen again.
Long story short, I did end up passing a kidney stone last week. That.. sucked ass. I’m ok though!

Now, onto the more lighter of transition news. I have been taken off the shots! This is a good thing for me I assure you. I spoke with my Dr about the severe anxiety I was having whilst giving my self my shots and we both agreed to try the gel instead. After some pharmacy confusion, some sneering phone tag between the Dr office and the pharmacy that compounds it, I finally got my two pumps of gel in the mail the very beginning of March. I can report that I LOVE the gel. Even if I have to apply it every day and wear a shirt to bed, I don’t even care. By the time I would prepare my self for my shots, 5 minutes had passed. By the time I was actually ready for the shot my hands would be shaking, sweating and I would be light headed and well into a mini panic attack.
With the gel, I lift my shirt up, one pump of gel goes to one side of my ribs and I do the same with the other. I fly around my shirt for a minute or so, wash my hands, place shirt down and done. I go to bed and I am the happiest man alive.

Though funny story. I don’t know if anyone else has experience in this and if you do, how the heck do you deal with this?! PMS sympathy pains! I thought my gel wasn’t working it got so bad! I haven’t lived with another matured women who had menses since I lived with my mother. I haven’t had a shark week in over a year now. When my girlfriend had hers this past month I thought I was going bonkers! I had every single symptom down to the hot flashes but with no red. I was about to call my Dr office and ask if maybe the gel wasn’t compounded strong enough I was that freaked out.

It has been a crazy 2 months people. And it’s only going to get a bit crazier. Since we’re looking at moving to the new house next week, I’m going to be busy packing like it’s no one’s business. Between that, getting the kids registered with the new school, me looking into getting my gender/name finally changed over so I can get a new ID and start looking into college, I’m not going to have much free time for anything. If I happen to fall behind here, I apologize. I will try and update as I get time. I hope everyone is well!
Who’d a thunk I’d be here after reading what I wrote just last January? Time flies when you love your self I guess. ❤

Have a good spring everyone and if you’ve made it this far, have a photo on me!

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