If you’re gonna self med, do it safely. (recommendations for trans women) [I AM NOT A DOCTOR, these are just my opinions]

`My recommendations. Don’t do progesterone unless you’re with a doctor, There are too many side effects to worry about.

I recommend starting with pills. Estradiol valerate 2 mg pills. (several brand names and generics are available) common dosage is 2-6mg. (source) Start with 2mg, if that isn’t enough, you can increase. Self medding with injections is a bad idea unless you’ve had them before and know how to do it.  Take the pills sublingually. That way they don’t pass through the liver twice. It’s more effective and healthier in the long run. These are what mine look like. (link) I’m currently on 6mg after 2 years. I started the first month with 2mg, moved to 4mg, then recently upped them to 6mg. I’d have probably stayed with 4 without having a doctor.

Here are the common side effects that can occur. Another tab at that same link has drug/food/disease interactions for estradiol.

I can’t really recommend cyproterone acetate (Antiandrogen) if you live in the U.S. and plan on getting a doctor eventually. It is a better drug, but I have no general experience with it. If you are in Canada or the U.K., ask around, you’ll get better advice from someone there.  I use Spironolactone. This is what it looks like. (interactions and side effects are also at that link) I’ve been on 200mg since I started. 1 pill in the morning, one in the evening. Common dosage is 100-200mg. (source)

Spiro is pretty dangerous. It’s a potassium sparing diuretic. Drink lots of water. You’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough water soluble vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and salt without having too much potassium intake. It’s hard to eat healthy. You’ll start cramping up really badly if you get too much potassium. That’s your warning sign.

I had to lower my spiro dosage temporarily because I was getting dizzy spells. So watch out for those too.  A lot of people start with 100mg. I started with 200, and I’ve been ok, but I’m also a larger person.

It is important to get your hormone levels tested. There are services that will do this for you. Certain labs are walk in, others need an appointment. It costs around $300-$400 usually without insurance. Sometimes more. Here are what normal hormone levels are for treatment.

Additional resources here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/932389/Trans/Stepping%20Forward%20-%20Clinical%20Protocol%20Guidelines.pdf (some of the links are broken in that one.)

Last thing, please be safe and get your meds from a reliable source. It’s still not legal, but it’s safer.

I guess I’ll speak

I guess I’ll speak.

With my lost voice

Of what is gone

And nothing gained.

Shadows rule

And all is lost

We still run

But relentless hunt

All is lost

All is lost

Let’s talk about institutional trans-misogyny.

Notes: I use trans-feminine to refer to trans women and non-binary camab trans folx I use trans-masculine to refer to trans men and non-binary cafab folx. They aren’t perfect terms, but they’re what I’ve got to work with.

Time to Kick the Hornet’s Nest

Oh HAI there. It’s been a while since I wrote an explicitly political post. Since some people seem to think that trans-misogyny is just trans women being upset about fucked up queer space dynamics (that some folx don’t even believe exist) I thought I’d go on and tell you a little of how trans-misogyny fucks over trans-feminine folx in favour of trans-masculine folx.

for decades, all the big women’s colleges accepted trans masculine folx, but not trans-feminine ones. Most still have exclusionary practices. And some of the few that actually accept trans-women have policies in place to make it extremely hard for trans women to be accepted. One of the least horrible about it has wording requiring trans women to present full time and be accepted as women in their daily lives. Yes, they will be judging us by our femininity, and while they accept non-binary cafab folx without reservations, they don’t allow non-binary camab folx. These schools employed Janice Raymond.

If access to education isn’t bad enough, let’s talk about Planned Parenthood and access to lifesaving healthcare. Many Planned parenthoods all across the southeast US will prescribe testosterone but not anti-androgens and estrogen for trans feminine folx.

Now let’s talk about crisis centers and women’s shelters that allow trans-masculine folx while trans feminine folx sleep on the street. Yeah. Trans women have died in the fucking cold because of this.

I’m not saying trans masculine folx shouldn’t get services. I’m saying trans-misogyny specifically is real on an institutional level and costs lives.

So don’t anyone ever come to me saying I’m whining about dating circles and queer cliquishness when I talk about trans misogyny and the ways in which trans masculine folx are privileged over trans women and CAMAB trans folx.

Do you know why I like flowers?

Do you know why I like flowers?
Because they’re pretty and useless
Broken off from their roots
And falling apart day by day
Just like me

The effort of keeping the facade
Pretending normality while I’m panicking again
Falling apart
Pretty and useless

Surgeries available for trans women and CAMAB non-binary folx.

A 101 guide to get you started.

Not everyone will want or be able to have any or all of these procedures done.

Part 1. Genital surgery

A. Orchidectomy: the removal of the testicles, a surgery that can be done on its own, or as part of another form of genital surgery. It is the procedure with the least amount of risk, and least amount of recovery time. As with any procedure, there are risks including but not limited to chronic pain and infection. If done prior, it can complicate some forms of vaginoplasty, but it will not prevent you from being able to get a vaginoplasty later should you so desire.

B. Vaginoplasty: the construction of a neo-vagina and vulva. Prep includes getting permanent hair removal via laser hair removal or electrolysis from the penis and scrotal sac. Each surgeon will have their own guidelines for this. And each surgeon will have a slightly different proprietary technique.All of these procedures have risks including but not limited to: chronic pain, infection, and death. Typically you will need at least 2 letters from different licensed psychologists and another from your doctor to be able to receive a vaginoplasty. Following are the most common procedures

      1. Penile inversion: The penis is disassembled and parts are repurposed for the clitoris and vaginal lining. The urethra is shortened, and the scrotal tissue is used to form the labia. This is the more common technique used in North America and Europe
      2. Scrotal inversion: Sometimes cannot be done after having an orchidectomy prior due to problems with skin elasticity. In this procedure, the scrotal sac is used to create the vaginal lining and parts of the penile tissue are used for the clitoris and the labia. This is the most common technique used in Thailand.
      3. Shallow canal vaginoplasty: Harder to find, and how it works depends on the surgeon. This is useful if you have certain health problems that won’t allow you to have other forms of vaginoplasty or if you aren’t interested in penetration. Healing is easier and quicker than other forms of vaginoplasty. More commonly available in thailand, but I believe Dr. Marci Bowers performs this technique as well.

Other non-standard genital surgeries are available but extremely hard to find, and usually are more expensive as well. Also they entail more gatekeeping.

Part 2: Breast Augmentation.

Also known as Mammary augmentation. Not recommended for people who haven’t been on hormones for at least 4 years. Your breasts will still be growing in that time, and that can severely mess up the results. Many types of implants and techniques are available, so consult the surgeon you will be working with. The three main materials used for augmentation follow.

      1. Saline: one of the safer materials. If your implants pop, it will be absorbed by the body.
      2. Silicone: much more dangerous but can create a more “realistic” feeling breast.
        1. Multiple types of silicone implants are used
      3. Fat transfer: Liposuction is used to take fat from another part of the body which is then implanted in the breast. Creates a natural feel, but can only be used for small size increases.

Part 3: Other procedures

A. Voice feminization surgery: Raises the pitch of your voice. Voice training is generally more effective, and doesn’t carry the risk of complete vocal loss. Vocal feminization surgery alone will not change the way your voice is perceived. Over half the women I’ve talked to who have had the procedure have regretted getting it done.

B. Tracheal shave: Reduces the appearance of the adam’s apple. Sometimes performed as part of facial feminization surgery. Voice needs to rest for 3 weeks after the procedure.

C.Facial Feminization Surgery: A group of surgeries performed together to increase the femininity of the face. Can include but not limited to

      1. Rhinoplasty: commonly referred to as a nose job
      2. Forehead contouring: removal of part of the bone from the head, eyebrow lift, and a scalp advancement
      3. Cheek augmentation: to create fuller cheeks. Multiple techniques are used.
      4. Mandible contouring and chin surgery: to create a more feminine jawline.

Part 4: sources.

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-augmentation.html#content

http://www.supornclinic.com/

http://marcibowers.com/mtf/

all the various trans women I’ve known over the years

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginoplasty

http://professionalvoice.org/feminization.aspx

http://brownsteincrane.com/facial-feminizing-surgery-ffs/

She said she didn’t want me

So this is what dating someone

Then no longer dating that someone feels like.

I should have seen this coming

And parts of me wonder if she was ever really interested.

Or if she was just going along because I was.

I know she found me attractive once…

I know that it was real

I know I still love her

But not in the way I did

I care deeply still

But the romantic feelings vanished

In the very moment

She said she didn’t want me any longer

I already miss her

And what we had

But I don’t want to be with her

AIN’T THAT SOME FUCKED UP SHIT

So pain will be pain

A nice clean heat

Burning in place

Of the fire I once had for her

Until it consumes itself

And once again

We’ll be friends

Like we were in the beginning