Monthly Archives: June 2011
My what a title! Yes…it’s true. We all have what I like to refer to as “titty attacks” from time to time, which are basically just hissy fits with a catchier name. Being a trans-woman, though, these attacks tend to occur more frequently as our female hormones, which we have to take for life, mean we’re basically in a state of perpetual PMS. Sucks, but what’re you gonna do? As such, I wanted to write a little something about this topic, because it effects many different people. First and foremost, it effects us trans-women because we’re the ones dealing with the constant mood swings and fits of histrionics, and secondly, it effects the people close to us, because it can be grating having to deal with such emotional roller-coasters. So if you find yourself in one of the aforementioned pools of people, then pay attention because I’m going to give you some tips on how to deal.
Tip 1 – Calm it down girl!
OMFG, this jerky guy I met on the internet just totally blew me off, I’m almost out of hormones for the month, my brow-ridge is RIDICULOUS to work with and they’re discontinuing my favorite opaque foundation! We’ve all been there. Step 1, calm it down. It’s not that serious, despite what you may think, or what your hormones may make you think. Breathe full, deep, cleansing breaths. In through the nose, letting your stomach fill up with air, and then out through the mouth releasing the air and pulling your stomach in. Self-talk is one of my favorite ways to calm down and no one even has to know you’re doing it. Mentally talk to yourself about things that make you happy like a favorite book, Starbucks or even hardcore sex. This will counter the dark storm clouds hovering over you with a rainbow of positivity and distract you enough to allow yourself to calm down.
Tip 2 – Take it from where it’s coming from
So, imagine this, someone just blurted out something totally insensitive about you or worse you got READ and you just can’t take it. You’re having an attack! A titty attack! The first thing you need to do is calm the f*** down. People say nasty things all the time, it’s in their nature. But whatever anyone else thinks of you is within them, it’s their own issue…not yours, you have more important things to consider. Don’t waste your time. Being read can be devastating to any trans-person’s self-esteem. Here you have two distinct approaches to dealing with this. One, try to think of it as a learning experience. What can I do in the future to not be read? Two, don’t give a flying F*CK! So they know? Who cares. I’m proud of myself and what I’m doing and if he/she/they aren’t, then f*ck ’em.
Tip 3 – Always monitor your hormones!
Always, always, always have a doctor check your levels at least once a year, just to make sure everything’s alright. You don’t want to over-do it with these things. Frequent break-downs may be a sign that you’re taking too much and need to ease it on down. I took my starting dosage for three years, only to find that by the end of my third year, according to my estrogen levels, I was at twice the normal level for a biological female. No wonder I was completely insane! It was like having a soon-to-be-mom and a bratty tween on her first period battling it out inside of me over an eclair. Never ignore what your body tells you.
Tip 4 – Take a moment to think
Estrogen can make us impulsive. This can be a not-so-good thing. Make sure you always think before you say or do anything when you’re in titty attack mode. You can turn into a really malicious bitch when your emotions are in a tizzy and you don’t want to say or do something that you’ll regret after you’ve calmed down. I still struggle with this fairly regularly and need to remind myself what’s appropriate to be spoken about, when and with whom and what’s better left unsaid altogether.
Tip 5 – Remind your circle
It’s not an excuse, but remind your circle of friends/lovers/foreign exchange students that you are going through some very serious changes and that these changes effect your emotions tremendously. Most ts people have some sort of underlying emotional vulnerabilities (usually insecurity or lack of self-esteem) and these things are magnified ten-fold by hormones. But…we need them to achieve our goals and they need to understand this. Explaining it may make it easier for people around you to deal with your mood-swings and hysterics. Or it might not…in which case you employ…
Tip 6 – Cutting your losses
Some people just won’t understand, won’t be tolerant or just won’t want to stick around and deal with your drama. Honestly, that’s their right. But if they’re that quick to eject you from their lives, then they simply aren’t worth latching on to, so whack ’em like weeds! Identify who is just frustrated for the moment and who really has no patience for you whatsoever and get rid of the latter category. Patience is a virtue in most cases, but in our situation, it’s a necessity in both ourselves and in the people we hold dear.
So there you have it…as always, visualization is a magical thing…so if you’re really flipping out, just visualize it being over and MAKE IT HAPPEN!! But remember, you’re trying your best in this battle, and for the most part, you’re going it solo…so be proud of that and try not to be overwhelmed by it all. Just do your best 🙂
Sorry I haven’t had a chance to update in a while, I’ve been super-busy with work and various other mundane activities that are hardly as fulfilling as this blog, so for that I must apologize. Now, where was I?
Oh yes…it was December of such and such year and I was working at a well-known department store as a cosmetics “expert.” Anyway, there was this bulldog of a lesbian (closeted, of course, and therefore quite nasty), who decided she hated me because I didn’t want to associate with her. There were two reasons for me not wanting to associate with her, 1) She was positively the crudest thing on two feet at that mall and 2) she always talked absolute garbage about my best friend at work. “Unacceptable!” I declared and henceforth never spoke to her except for the occasional “Hello.” Now, this pushed her to the limit and I also think the fact that I was by now very free and open about what I was doing (transitioning and all) kind of miffed her too, because she was adamant in her claims of being straight, though really it was quite obvious that she was anything but. My openness bothered her, as it bothers most people who are not open for whatever reason. Our openness is like a bright, shining, neon light that we’re flashing into their dim, dank, dingy closets. So…she hated me. And the feeling was reciprocated. One day, things boiled over when she tried rudely telling me what to do (she’d recently gotten promoted to a customer service rep, but that gave her no authority over me) when we were closing down the store and I told her I wasn’t intimidated by her or the little walkie-talkie she was issued, to which she replied that I walk around like a princess and should choke on my own dick. When she wasn’t promptly fired, I decided any business that retains employees who are capable of such low thinking don’t deserve to have me pushing $30 eyeliners and mascaras for them, so I walked out during my next scheduled shift. They tried in vain to get me back, but I’ve always been a woman of strong principles, and when something leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I refuse to just choke it down like most people.
Here I was, a new year beginning, a new me beginning and no job prospects in sight. In a way, though, looking back it was the best thing that could have happened at the time. Transitioning while on the job is very difficult and to be without the hassle of having to explain your motives to other people every five minutes or deal with constant harassment and strange looks is a blessing. The downside of unemployment though is boredom. And I was bored! So what did I do? I used the internet to fill my boredom. At first it was great, sleeping in, and wasting time, reading, writing, shopping; well, window shopping (as you might expect, since I abandoned my job I wasn’t privy to receiving unemployment benefits). Eventually though, it wasn’t enough. I was lonely since all my friends had jobs or school to keep them occupied and for most of the day I had the company of my cats and dog and that was it. My parents were a great emotional and financial support even giving me money for my hormones which I purchased via website (which is not recommended at all until you’ve seen a doctor and had all your levels checked, but back then I didn’t have that luxury). Still, I longed for fulfillment on a different level and that led me to on-line dating, which is arguably, the best way for transsexual women to meet men and the safest. However, the kind of men are open to interpretation as you’ll see in my next entry…
Ok, so it’s time for memoirs again. After I dropped out of beauty school, my family and I were faced with a bit of a dilemma; that is, the bill. I had to pay the school back for the few months I was there and I think there was also a penalty fee of some sort for not completing the term and giving them even more money. Anyway, whatever, I’ve never been too gifted with finances, but luckily I have a mom who is, so she basically figured out everything that needed to get paid when it needed to get paid and told me she and my grandmother would help me, but I had to start looking for a job so that I could help out too.
My search brought me to the nearest mall where I instantly caught the eye of the HR lady at this very prestigious department store. She was a soft-spoken, fashionable, chain-smoking cougar who lived for young, foreign men. Unfortunately, as I would come to find out on many a cigarette break, these young, foreign men were seldom very good to her and usually ended by soaking all her money up like a sponge, beating her or a combination of both. But anyway, this memoir’s about me, so let’s get back to it 🙂 So, HR lady hired me and I began working at this department store in the children’s section as a part-time associate. Part of the dress code was having to wear a suit and tie. My grandmother bought me two suits to start out with (I’d acquire more later), one was a gray double-breasted one and the other was black. I’d always pair them with ties in a dazzling array of colors and patterns. As time went on, I was promoted during the summer to a Coach specialist (basically I just sold pricey purses). By then, I’d acquired many more suits and also had a habit of wearing satin-y shirts in very bold colors like royal blue, gold and scarlet. It was at this time, I remember missing my feminine ways…the eye make-up, the nail polish, the long hair (especially). It was more than “missing,” it was yearning. So, even though I knew I’d get flack for it, I began pushing the envelope little by little, day by day. I started wearing clear nail polish, though my nails were still kept at a reasonable length for a boy. I took up the black eyeliner I loved so much again, but used only a tiny bit on the lower lash line so no one would notice.
But people were noticing. I remember the week of July 4th that year, I was working and a little girl shouted up to her dad, “Is that a boy or a girl?” I hadn’t heard comments like those since my school days when I was first beginning to cross-dress. At that time, hearing those things was an everyday occurrence. This time though, instead of annoying me, it filled me with a feeling of wonder. Wonder at how easily I’d be able to pass if I did decide to go all the way with this. I mean, here I was in a suit and tie with the barest trace of make-up, short hair and nails and still people thought I was a girl. This little incident prompted me to do something more. One day, during inventory, I removed my tie. I was sick of wearing it by then, it was just another symbol of my slavery to this male body and everybody’s perception of me as male. So I tore it off right there and didn’t put it back on. There were a few raised eyebrows and one older lady I worked with told me I’d get in trouble if I kept breaking the dress code and I did. I remember breaking down one day because I just couldn’t take it anymore. The frustration of everyone around me being so close but having no idea what kind of thoughts were swirling around inside my head.
By the fall, my manager could see I needed to be shifted somewhere else. As luck would have it, a good friend of mine who worked at the nearby Lancome counter, decided she was going to leave to become a flight attendant, and she recommended me to her mananager. I had to interview with her even though I already worked for the store, and she seemed icy but pleasant enough. She hired me of course, and as I moved into my new position I was able to breathe easy in knowing the suit and tie dress code no longer applied to me, as I was a make-up artist and we basically just wore black anything. As a make-up artist, I learned so much that would help me out on my closely approaching transition, but I was also tempted on a daily basis being so close to all those cosmetics! Sometimes I’d take some lip gloss from a nearby juicy tube sample and just put some on with a q-tip and see if anybody noticed. Then lip gloss gave way to lip color…and soft eyeliner, to mascara and eyeshadow. My nails and hair were growing out and I knew something was happening, coming forth if you will, whether I wanted it to or not. Eventually my manager, who turned out to be a very nice lady and fairly tolerant of my antics, told me I had to “tone it down.” Such trite advice would be handed down to me over the years more times than I can count, but I didn’t want to “tone it down,” I wanted to “tone it up!” She tried to give me some excuse like make-up artists shouldn’t have long nails because they might poke someone in the eye while applying foundation, but I knew it was just her way of telling me, “You need to cut your nails because you are a boy and boys shouldn’t have long nails.” So, I refused. In my hotheaded youth, I saw it as a hindrance to my journey (although admittedly, I wasn’t quite sure what that journey was or where it was taking me). Despite this, though, I was happier doing make-up than I had been the whole year prior, peddling children’s clothes and then Coach bags. It was just something I enjoyed and enjoyed learning about. But my “education” was about to be cut short by an obstacle that was already at that point, very familiar to me, the schoolyard bully. Though that’s a topic for next time!
So sorry I haven’t posted in a while, life’s been keeping me busy with so much utter crap it’s unbelievable. Anyway, I wanted to segue for a moment from my typical memoirs to a little matter that makes me extremely pissy. Ignorance, specifically ignorance from people you’d think would know better than to be so ignorant. Now, I’m not like militant when it comes to enforcing proper political correctness at all times regarding all terms and acronyms or anything, but I find it completely rude when people just show utter disregard for the journey we as trans-people go through and refer to us using pronouns of the opposite gender. Being included in the LGBTQ umbrella, you’d think that gay people would be a bit more conscientious, but honestly some of them are just as bad as the most dumbass of straights.
I’ll give you a “for instance.” I was at a club yesterday (which is a rarity) and honestly the whole experience made me realize why I don’t frequent clubs…they’re noisy, crowded, sticky and full of ignorant, drunk assholes. This one female asshole in particular was a lesbian who made a pass at me. She asked me if I was straight and I told her that I was trans. I was under the flawed misconception that, as a lesbian, she’d be at least respectful and semi-knowledgeable about the whole thing. But all night long she kept trying to touch my chest to see if it was real or not, and kept asking me in disbelief if I really was a “guy.” Now, I have met wonderful, knowledgeable, sweet lesbians who are just completely lovely and I’ve met shady lesbians who are crude and nasty like this one. So I know there’s good and bad in everything, the thing that irritates me though is that if we can’t have some semblance of cohesion within our community, how do we ever expect to thrive and change other people’s stance on us? I don’t know, the whole matter made me feel depressed and distanced from the LGBT community. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt that way either…I feel like being the “T” at the tail end of that acronym is more than a coincidence…I feel like we’re the least valued and most overlooked members of that already marginalized group. It just sucks to think that we’re the bottom wrung of mainstream society’s ladder, and (for the most part) we’re not much higher up on our own. Maybe it’s because there *is* a distinct difference between sexual orientation and gender identity and that’s the reason they feel we don’t belong in a group united by the commonality of variant sexual orientation, maybe they’re right. Honestly, the only real kinship I feel with gay people, as a straight transwoman is the benefit of a similarly open mind and accepting nature…but when you don’t even have that to show for yourself, you’re just another jerk.
Meh, next week it’s back to my memoirs! Stay tuned!