About:

It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman who also happens to have bipolar disorder. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that myself and others like me, face every day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Transwoman assaulted at Kohl's Department Store in Jackson, TN

Stef showed me this article earlier that was posted on http://grand-divisions.blogspot.com/ . So I thought I would re-post the article here to give it a bit more attention.

"Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving Day) is known for being one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Intrepid shoppers appear hours before the doors open at retail establishments across the country in search of deeply discounted merchandise for holiday gifts. We hear stories each year of customers storming the doors when they open to ensure purchase of an often limited supply of items on sale. Sadly, holiday cheer and good will is sometimes in shorter supply than the merchandise being sought.

Such was the case at Kohl's Department Store in Jackson, TN on Friday, Nov. 26. A transgender woman and her mother were assaulted by other shoppers as the store opened for business. When store personnel unlocked the doors to the store, Akasha Adonis and her mother of Humboldt, TN made their way to one of four entrances where there was no line. As they were entering the store, a girl from another entrance where there was a line ran up to Akasha's mother and another woman and attempted to ram through them into the store. When Akasha stepped between the girl and her mother to protect her, the girl jumped into Akasha's face and began cussing at her. At the same moment, a man attacked Akasha and another woman at the entrance. The assailant hit Akasha and pulled out her hair as he pulled her through the door into the store. The man then shoved his hand in her mouth with his thumb, tore three of her teeth out of socket, and broke her jaw as he forced Akasha to the ground. The assailant then stood up and walked into the store to shop as Kohl's staff stood idly by greeting other shoppers.

The other victim who was hit by the assailant called the police. Four Jackson Police Department officers responded to the scene. Officer Ashley M. McCullar interviewed Akasha, her mother, and the woman who was attacked. At first, Officer McCullar treated Akasha with respect. But Akasha noticed a marked change in attitude towards her when the officer learned she was transgender (Akasha's photo I.D. lists her name as Johnathan Quick):

"When the officer first arrived on the scene and asked about the assault, he addressed me as she then asked for my i.d. and my name. [When] the officer saw that it was a male name, and I was a male to female transexual, he immediately changed his demeanor in how he treated me and the other witnesses. He rolled his eyes and turned his back to not look at me and said that he had 'other places to be.' There was no more conversation directed to me but to fellow officers and [other] people. He was short and rude/dismissive to witnesses and to the officers I was the 'He not She.' The officer told my mother that the case would take a few days to write up and he would get the surveillance tape and then walked away. In the officer report he put in that "the black male then defended himself and put Quick in his place."

After learning that Akasha was transsexual, Akasha states that the officer made no real attempt to apprehend the suspect nor cared to view the surveillance video knowing that the suspect had not yet left the store.

Akasha's injuries were so severe
that her teeth could not be saved.
Akasha received medical care from a local emergency room and oral surgeon after the assault. None of her teeth could be saved and corrective surgery for her teeth and jaw will cost $6000.

Akasha's mother posted about the incident on her Facebook page. A Kohl's employee posted a comment in response which read: "no it happened before I got there. i got there at 5 AM. they said it was a guy and a guy dressed up as a woman . they said the he/she/it got its wig knocked off and some teeth knocked out." The employee may not have realized that Akasha's mother was relating an incident about her own child. The employee later deleted the comment from Facebook, but the comment was preserved in a forwarded Facebook email. The comment provides evidence of insensitivity and bias against transgender people on behalf of Kohl's employees.

Since the incident, Akasha and her mother tried to call attention to this gruesome attack, the lack of response by Koh'ls Store employees, and the bias exhibited by the Jackson Police Department by contacting local media (including WBBJ and the Jackson Sun newspaper). In a Jackson Sun report on Black Friday, Jackson Police minimized Akasha's injury:

"The damage to Kris’ ankle is slight and likely not as painful as the punch in the mouth taken by one shopper at Kohl’s. Jackson police said two people got into a fight at that department store sometime before its 3 a.m. scheduled opening. Police said one person was socked in the mouth, but there were no serious injuries."

No. Serious. Injuries. Does the Jackson Police Department believe that permanent jaw damage and the loss of three teeth is not a serious injury? Are permanent injuries sustained by transgender persons not as serious as those suffered by others?
Akasha reached out to friends who put her in touch with Tennessee Equality Project. TEP's Madison County Committee Chair Drew Baker contacted Akasha to help and advise her on how best to proceed.

Akasha and her mother filed a complaint against the officer and asked for a written copy of the police report. The report given to Akasha omits a statement collected from an "unknown witness" cited in a separate section of the report recording the observations of Officer McCullar. The Officer recorded that the unknown witness said "Quick was outside in line and became upset with the black male subject and Quick then threw the first punch, the black male then defended him self and put Quick in his place." It appears that Officer McCullar is witholding part of the report that may shed light on whether the officer was recording his own transgender bias or that of the unknown witness. The other witness was the other woman attacked by the assailant at the entrance. What reason would she have to say that Akasha had been put in her place?

When Akasha and her mother contacted the Jackson Police Department to complain about their mistreatment, they were informed that JPD could not obtain a copy of the video surveillance from Kohl's without a subpoena. Since when is a subpoena necessary when a crime is committed?

Kohl's contacted Akasha today to request that she visit the store to complete an incident report for their company. When Akasha informed Kohl's representative of JPD's statement about needing a subpoena for the surveillance video, she was told that the police were welcome to a copy. Kohl's appears to be responding more appropriately at this stage, but the company appears to share liability for allowing an uncontrolled mob to put its customers at risk on store property. Let's hope that Kohl's cooperates in a full investigation of the incident by sharing the video and offers some assistance to Akasha with her medical bills.

This story is still unfolding, but several things are clear. Kohl's staff stood idly by while one of its customers was brutally attacked by an assailant who was allowed to walk freely into the store. Comments from store personnel demonstrate transgender bias of employees. The Jackson Police Department demonstrated bias in their treatment of Akasha, their minimization of her injuries, and in their reporting of the incident. JPD bias immediately following the incident may make it impossible to find the assailant and bring him to justice.

At this time Akasha is considering options on whether to pursue civil rights complaints."

This is fucking ridiculous! Does anyone give a shit about us? This is so wrong, I have no words to describe the depths of anger and sadness I feel after reading this. Re-post this article if you can, on a blog, on facebook, where ever you feel it will get the most attention. The only way to prevent things like this from happening is to call attention to it and let everyone know that we will not stand by and do nothing. The person responsible for this needs to be brought to justice, and the police need to get off their asses and make it happen. The only reason this case isn't solved yet, is because she's trans, no other reason. If it had been anyone else this guy would be sitting in jail where he belongs right now.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving and Such

I spent Thanksgiving with Stef last week, which went pretty well, all things considered. We had dinner with both sides of her family, so we got to eat 2 times that day, both within 2 hours of each other. Needless to say, I didn't go hungry. Her dad's was probably the most interesting one, interesting in the sense that I could tell our mere presence made people uncomfortable. Her grandma was really the only person that tried to be nice to us, and her dad's girlfriend had the fake smile on saying it was nice to see us. As soon as we walked in her uncle got up and left the room and went downstairs in the basement until it was time to eat. I think he was one of the last people to get to the table also. Once again her grandma was the only person that really spoke to us at all. The uncle gets up before everyone else, I don't even think he was done eating, and left the room again to go outside and throw a baseball around with his kid. Her own father never even said a word to her the whole time we were there. The tension was so thick in the air you could have cut it with a knife.

Her mom's family wasn't that bad in comparison, at least they spoke to us and made us feel welcomed. I stayed until Sunday so we would have as much time together as possible before she had to go back to work. She took me through the old town part of Fredericksburg and I went in a few shops. Of course I found the ones that were selling civil war relics and she got me a few small things to add to my collection. She showed me where she grew up and different places around town, and even took me out to eat at outback. The only bad part of the trip is that her jeep started having transmission issues, which worries us both. Right now we may not get to see each other for a while since her finances are pretty stretched because of that. We're not sure how much it may end up costing to fix. As it stands either a fairly quick and simple $600 fix will do it, and if not it's $2500 to overhaul the transmission and she may just try to trade it in for something else. Only time will tell, I suppose.

I forgot to write about how my doctors appointment went on the 16th. Yes, I finally got another one at the clinic. The person I saw was actually someone who had been there before anyway, but aside from her and the guy that runs the TG clinic everyone else was different. I found out that the new doctor is starting in December, and that they're actually going to try to improve things with the care we get. So it all seems to be working out well so far. Everything checked out normal for me, so I don't go back until February.

Aside from a few issues going on I think things are doing fairly well. I'm hoping they're issues that can be resolved quickly and without too much expense. Anyway, that's about all for now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance

It's that time again it seems. Sadly there are still new names to add to the list of transgendered people who have been murdered in the past year. I wasn't able to attend any formal services for the day of remembrance today due to prior engagements and financial issues, but if nothing else I feel like I need to write something on here. I don't know what exactly to say, but never forget those who have been taken from us by hate. It hits home especially hard for me this year, I was in the area near Philadelphia earlier today only to learn after I got home that a trans woman, like me, had been murdered there just last month. I'll be honest, it creeped me out to know I was that close by to one so recent. There was one in North Carolina too, even closer to where I live than Philly. It does worry me at times, but I will never live my life around the fear that I will be attacked for being trans. I am who I am, the same as any of those who were killed. Rest in peace brothers and sisters, you will not be forgotten so long as there is still breath in my body.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Taken

Things have been busy as hell around here lately. I finally have the time and inspiration to sit down and write something on here. Things are still going pretty well, dare I say down right great. As of Halloween Stef and I are officially dating, so I finally found someone. She treats me way better than Megan ever did, to say the least. I sold that one painting for 80 bucks and am currently working on a few more things that I hope to sell too. There really is that much going on that's worth writing about. All it is these days is running around on errands with my aunts and trying to get a little time to work on my art.

I spent the last few weekends with Stef, and had an amazingly awesome time too. We decided to skip a couple of weeks for sake of money and stuff, and have me come up there and spend 4 days with her for Thanksgiving so I can meet her family. Things with us are going well so far, I've got no complaints. Honestly I think she's the best thing to happen to me in a long time. She treats me very good, and isn't a psychopath like the last one. I like having a girlfriend that's trans too, there's just something about being with someone else that's going through the same things I am that's comforting in a way. I don't know where things will go with us, but I love her, so I'm willing to find out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Doing Well

Things have been pretty busy around here lately. I sold 2 paintings last Monday instead of just the one that I was planning on. He had showed interest in my abstract expressionism experiment, so I threw that one in for 30 bucks more.I also found out that one of my 80 dollar paintings sold too. I'm probably going to go get paid for that sometime within the next week or so, I just have to wait for the guy that's buying it to get the money. I'm happy to see my stuff selling, it makes me think that I just might make a career of this yet. They also brought up the idea of redesigning their shop sign. I don't have any real experience in that area, which I told them, but I said if they can come up with an idea I'll see what I can do with it.

My friend Stef cam to see me again last weekend. I think I can say we had our first official date. It wasn't anything too special, she wanted to check out this little sex shop place nearby. We got a few things, but that's all I'm saying about that part. After that we went out to dinner again, which was great. We had a pretty good time at Kings Dominion Saturday too, aside from a few stares people threw our way. She won me a big skelanimal kitty at one of the game booths. She got me on a couple of roller coasters and I held on to her in the haunted house thingys we went in too. We're happy together, so I hope something good comes from it. Life isn't perfect, but it's finally starting to get better.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Recent Events

I haven't posted for a while, so I thought I would give some updates on things. Last weekend was amazingly great. I had one of my trans friends come and stay the weekend with me, and we got very close pretty fast considering it was the first time we had met in person. I'm not giving all the juicy details, but lets just say we may end up dating sometime in the near future. We just mostly cuddled and watched tv, but we did do a little shopping. She bought me heels and took me out to dinner, and I showed her this little shop nearby that I like going to. We didn't do a lot, but we enjoyed just being with each other a lot. She's coming again next weekend and going with me and my aunts to the Halloween thingy they do at Kings Dominion. We're both looking forward to seeing each other again. I'm not sure where things will take us, but I guess we'll find out in time.

On another note, I've officially sold my first painting to someone that's not a family member! The guy that did my tattoo is buying the small one I did on paper earlier this year about Megan. I just asked for 20 bucks and he's willing to pay that. Not bad for something I did on a sheet of printer paper about a back stabbing ex. On top of that, he wants me to bring some of my bigger pieces with me on Monday when I see him again, and he's going to pick out two to carry in the shop for sale. I get to name my own price and he's going to add to that to get his cut. So I'm guaranteed to get my price on each one, and he's only adding enough to it to get 15%. He's interested in buying my big phoenix painting himself if it doesn't sell very quickly, and he also wants to hang the one he's already buying from me in his work space at the shop. So that's great publicity for me if anyone comes in and asks about it.

I'm hoping this may get me somewhere with my art. I've slacked off on it lately, but I'm going to have to start painting again soon. I'll admit I got a little depressed that I couldn't sell much, but this is boosting my confidence a bit. I need to get into some more abstract stuff seeing as it's rather popular with the guys at the shop. I told him I do commission work too, so maybe he'll throw some ideas my way at some point. It's definitely a start, I've got a fan of my work that's buying from me, so I've got no complaints.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finally Got Some Answers

I finally got a call back from the clinic yesterday morning. The guy I left the message with is apparently also leaving, at least according to the woman that called me. I asked if I needed to call them to make a new appointment or if they would call me, and I also asked about if my scripts are still good or not. She told me they would call me up by the end of October and that my scripts are still good. She also said that they were in the process of hiring a new doctor, so it worries me a little if they don't have anyone new lined up yet. I have a feeling some shit went down, otherwise I would expect a doctor to give more than a few days notice of leaving. The woman I talked to also seemed very annoyed that I was even calling, and kept asking if I read the letter that it explained everything.

I said that I had, but I really wanted to lay into her about it. I didn't, but it was tempting. Excuse me for being a little confused by a letter I suddenly get 5 days before I'm supposed to see my doctor saying that she's gone now and I'm on my own until they find another one. It's not like I saw it coming, not to mention the letter was slightly vague on a few things that I wanted to clarify. It seems like they don't plan on screwing us over, but I can't help but worry. Lately it seems as though when shit goes down, trans people are the ones screwed the worst by it. All I can do is wait and hope for the best.

Oh yeah, I got another tattoo over the weekend that I hadn't thought to mention until now.













Yes, it's on my wrist! :P

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Losing My Doctor

So yeah, I got letter on Thursday from the free clinic informing me that my doctor is leaving to "persue other interests". That all TG clinics for the month of October would be canceled. My appointment was supposed to be next Tuesday on the 5th, so I found this out less than a week before I was supposed to see her again. They say clinics will resume in November with someone new, who, I have no clue. All I know at this point is what the letter tells me. I called Friday and left a message with the guy in charge of making appointments to find out what the hell I need to do about making a new appointment. The letter made it sound like they would contact me about it, but I want to hear someone in charge say that, and find out if my scripts are still good to go or not. I'm pretty worried at this point to be honest. I'm sure they're not just going to leave me out in the cold, so to speak, but I'm going to try to stay in touch with someone that knows what's going on until I know when I'm coming back. What really sucks is that I was trying to get a friend of mine into the program and then this came up.

It sounds like they have things under control and figured out at the clinic, so I'm going to call again and see if I can get any extra info out of them and just hope for the best. If my scripts are still good I've got 6 months worth of them easily thanks to my script hording. Apparently my fears were not unfounded seeing as whats going down right now. All I can say is I hope everything resolves itself soon, and in a good way for me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Inhouse Pharmacy No Longer Shipping to the US

It came to my attention earlier today that inhousepharmacy.com is no longer able to ship to customers in the US, all thanks to a lovely little site called LegitScript.com. The following is from the site itself.

"Important Notice to United States Shoppers

We regret to advise that this site is no longer able to supply to shoppers residing in the United States.

After recent action taken by LegitScript.com we have had to stop supplying customers within the USA. LegitScript.com are actively closing down hundreds of sites that operate from outside the United States. We have been targeted as we operate on a no prescription required basis.

We appreciate that most of our customers have been very loyal long term shoppers and we deeply regret being unable to supply you from this site."

This deeply troubles me, even though I currently see a doctor and have a prescription for my hormones. That wasn't always the case for me though. I started my HRT by ordering hormones from inhouse 3 years ago, and I self medicated for 6 months before finding a doctor willing to help me. I credit that site with saving my life in a big way. I never tell anyone to go DIY with hormones unless as a last ditch effort when all else fails. I'm all for going legit, but the option to self medicate should still be there. I may make some enemies saying that, but so be if I do. Not everyone has the same options available as everyone else.

I agree with this legitscript site that online pharmacies should be monitored for quality, but shutting down a site which has for years been known as a hugely reliable site is going too far. I know quite a few trans people that have been using inhouse as their HRT supplier for quite some time. Not a single person I know of has had trouble with them, or the meds they received from them, of any kind. If anyone that reads this has, tell me, because I'd like to know. I'd like to know why a perfectly legit online pharmacy was regulated into not being able to ship to the US.

I know why, competition! Their goal isn't to shut out dangerous online pharmacies which sell fake products, it's to shut out all foreign pharmaceuticals that don't require a prescription. Regulate the hell out of narcotics and antibiotics for all I care, but since when is estrogen or spironolactone abuse a problem? They just don't want the competition. An online pharmacy can supply someone with the medicine they need for a fraction of the cost here in the states, and without a prescription too. There are always people out there that will abuse that ability, but the majority of people who use these sites legitimately need the medicines they order and otherwise could not afford them.

Trans people have it hard enough, don't take yet another option away from us when we have so few to begin with! Making something illegal doesn't prevent it's being available, it merely jacks up the price people will pay to those who are able to obtain it and bring it to them. It makes criminals out of otherwise perfectly law abiding people. It angers me to see this happening.

http://www.legitscript.com/ This site is about to ruin, derail, and possibly prevent many transitions in the US. I for one do not support their campaign of paranoid, indiscriminate, prescription drug monitoring. Go monitor the sites that send people fake meds that can possibly kill when taking a seemingly normal dosage and leave the ones that genuinely try to help people alone. You're ruining lives legitscript! Speak against my opinion if you must, but it's just that, my opinion. I don't give a damn about some doctors bottom line, what I care about are all the people who suddenly may have no hope left, not everyone has a choice to go get a prescription. Those are the people I speak for. It's where my roots are, and I will always support the right to self medicate if someone chooses to do so.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Moving On

Well things are still looking up for me. It's been a rather hectic few weeks lately, but everything is coming together for me. I've made a few new friends, who are fucking awesome by the way, and finding new interesting places to go. I love living this close to the city now, so much is finally within reach it's like where do I start first. I even found out a good friend of mine is now living pretty close by and wants me to come with her to the fine arts studio and get my hands dirty working with some clay. I won't life is perfect, but compared to hellhole middle of nowhere it's 10 times better. I'm trying to find a way to go see my girlfriend sometime soon. She's a few hours away, so I may just take a bus seeing as I'm right here at Richmond now where there's plenty to choose from. I just have to find a way to make the money for a ticket and find out which is best to go with. Things seem to be doing pretty well with us so far at least.

On a side note, I'm sure quite a few of you remember the case of cyber harassment brought on by my ex and her little crony earlier this year. Lets just say karma has come full circle on that little issue. Don't screw with a practicing witch; I'm leaving it there. Otherwise I can't say I have many complaints aside from the usual transition related stuff. I'm enjoying living here, and hoping things keep on how they've been going. I'm finally moving forward, and I'm done looking back.

"You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise...." -Maya Angelou

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Progress!

Progress is definitely being made! The last week was pretty hectic for me. I went back to the grandparents on Tuesday since I needed to see my psychologist again and let her know about me moving and everything. I don't think I've ever seen her as happy as I did that day when I said that I moved out. I'm only going to see her once a month for now until things get settled here. I want to keep her in the loop in case I can pull a miracle out of thin air sometime soon with surgery.

I went back to the grandparents after that was over so I could pick up some more of my stuff. I got to bring the desktop with me, and my aunt got a wireless card to put in it for me. So now I have my awesomely great desktop hooked up to high speed for once. I call the desktop my baby, so this only makes me like it even more. I grabbed most of the rest of my clothes and whatever other art supplies and random crap I decided to bring along.

There was a letter from social services waiting for me too. I had to fill out something related to me getting a job and them helping me with it and send it in to them by Friday. That had me worried since I'm an hour away from there now, but my aunt suggested faxing it in. I called up social services the next morning and got everything taken care of. I faxed it to the right person, and told them I where I was moving to, and I got a letter in the mail on Friday saying that my case was transferred. So now I just wait for a phone call to see who I meet with here and I should be good to go. The next thing I need to do is get in touch with my voc rehab case worker and tell them I've moved. Considering they haven't checked in with me since fucking March, I suppose I have a lot to fill them in on.

Things are coming together for me, finally! It's just going to take a little time to get everything to where I want it to be. To be honest, it feels like I've been locked away in a mental hospital for the last 6 or 7 years and am now just getting out. That's how trapped I felt there. It's scary in a way, but I know it's for the better. It's hard to just pick up everything I can and leave the place I've lived for the last 17 years of my life, but it has to be done. I will never get anywhere so long as I live there, there's no questioning that. I know I'm doing the right thing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Long Time No Post

So yeah, it’s been a while, something like 3 weeks if I’m not mistaken. I’ll be honest, I just haven’t really felt like posting much of anything new lately. I’ve also been pretty busy as well. I’ve been holding back from talking about some things on here for a bit, but I’m going to start opening up about them some now. So I’m sure everyone is wondering what I’ve been up these last few weeks, well sit back and get ready to read, I’m about to fill you in.

Here we go with the first big topic of interest that I’ve been reluctant to open up about; my love/sex life as of lately. It’s not something I’ve really brought up before, although I’m sure plenty of people have noticed hints of it or possibly even know about me, but I’m pretty into the BDSM (bondage, discipline, sado masochism) lifestyle. As if being trans isn’t enough with the misconceptions. The big subject there would be the fact that I have a girlfriend/mistress now. It’s all still in the beginning stages of things, but I’m hoping it turns into something good for the both of us. She’s a trans girl as well if I didn’t mention that yet. I’m not revealing too much more info on the subject simply for privacy sake and because I once again don’t feel like talking about it. Ha! Maybe later ;)

The big huge topic of interest is that I’m officially moving out of my grandparent’s house. Things got really bad over the last few weeks with my depression, and it was beginning to take its toll on both me and my art. It was mostly over the fact that I felt like I was going nowhere so long as I lived there in that town. I asked my aunt last Tuesday after a small break down in the offer to live with them was still good. She called me up and could tell that I was still pretty upset and decided that she was going to come and get me within 2 hours. So for now it looks like I’m living with them until I can work out something. Which helps me out so much, gets me out of bumfuck nowhere, pretty close to Richmond, high speed net, and the best of all people that accept me as I am and that I can talk to about anything.

I’ve got a new trans girl friend that lives in Richmond and goes to the same doctor as me that I’m hoping things work out well with. I’m close enough that we can actually hang out now, and best of all she knows a lot of people and can help get me into the BDSM scene in Richmond. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, but I’m hoping with a little work I can turn the opportunity I’ve been given into something productive that moves me forward in life. I’m not out of the game yet, hell, I’m just getting started. I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot the last year and a half from being back with the grandparents. It feels like I have so much catching up to do, but for sake of my sanity and potential career I have to keep going.

I’ll try to write some more in the next few days, I’m staying fairly busy here, but it really helps. I’m trying to deal with what may possibly be some undiagnosed psych issues, so it’s one day at a time for now. I’m staying optimistic about the future, I’m hoping things keep improving.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Little Progress

It’s been a busy week for me this week. Since Monday I’ve gotten my meds refilled, had 2 doctors appointments and a psychologist appointment and did my grocery shopping. My doctor had taken me off of my blood pressure meds that my hormone doctor had put me on since she thought it was making it drop too low. She switched me over to a beta blocker that’s supposed to help with my heart rate more than anything. It was working alright but she upped my dosage a bit since it was still just a little high. I also had her take a look at a cyst that I had on the back of my neck for as long as I can remember. I wanted to get it removed, which luckily she said she was able to do for me. I went to have that done yesterday and everything went really well actually. I found out that after just 2 days on the higher dosage of the beta blocker my heart rate looked perfect, so there’s one less worry on my mind. The procedure to remove the cyst went pretty well too, wasn’t overly painful and just felt really weird more than anything. She said it didn’t seem to be infected at all and that it closed up pretty well when she stitched it. She put me on some anti biotics to take for 10 days until the stitches come out just to be on the safe side. Aside from a little pain that a couple of ibuprofen every now and then are keeping under control I’m doing pretty well.

Yesterday was also one of those days where I’m glad that I’m open about myself with people. My doctor and my nurses were joking with me about different things I guess to keep my mind off the fact that someone is cutting into my neck. At one point I just came out and said it’s ok if it hurts a little since I’m a masochist, which I think surprised them a little. Then again I do have chain linked around both of my wrists, so I guess that probably answered a question they all had but didn’t want to ask. I was stretching me legs out a little right before they stitched me up and they were telling me I could a bit more if I wanted to; I told them that was nothing after sitting in the same position for 3 hours to get a tattoo leaning against the back of a chair. Which made everyone want to see it and in the end they’re all telling me they love it when I come. I told them I seem to have that effect on people.

I’m taking it easy with the painting for a few days just to give myself time to heal a little without jerking my arms and neck around too much. Well ok it’s hard to sit and do nothing so I’m getting back to it tomorrow since I had one nearly finished that just needs some light work done on it. That’s about it for now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trying to Get By

It’s been a while since I wrote anything, I know, I’ve had a lot of stuff keeping me busy lately. I’m still working on my art related projects in hopes of getting my work out there, which is progressing as slowly as always. I did meet another trans girl a couple of weeks ago who I’ve been talking to quite frequently ever since. She’s an artist too, so she’s given me a bit of inspiration in my work recently. I guess it’s also just nice to be able to talk to someone about art related stuff and have them know what I’m talking about. There is also definitely an attraction to each other too, and I guess at this point we’re just seeing where that leads us. I don’t want to say too much on here since I’m not sure how much she would be comfortable with me saying.

Aside from that I stayed at my aunt’s house for about a week until last Thursday. They helped me get a business license so I stand a good chance of possibly getting permission to sell stuff at the VA hospital and anywhere else I need a license to sell. They also helped me get some more art supplies. I came home with 10 16x20 canvases and a glass painting kit. I think I’m pretty well stocked up at this point; I just need to get stuff produced and ready to either show a gallery or outright sell to someone. I need to make friends with a gallery owner or someone that’s in close with one or something. I’m sure if I hang around the right places it’s possible it could happen.

On another note my aunt found out about how my grandparents treat me and talk to me and said that if it got to be too much or they kicked me out that I have a place to live. So that might be the break I’ve been looking for. If I can get out of this town I’m in now and closer to Richmond it will seriously increase my chances of getting some people interested in my art. I’ve delved into some more abstract styles lately, so I guess we’ll see how that goes. I have to balance out my own ideas with what’s going to sell to your average person. I want enough to sell and make some decent money, but I also want a body work to take to a gallery for consideration that’s got more behind the image than “that’s pretty”.

I want to make people think with my art, and I love doing pieces that provoke a reaction both good and bad. I’m all for doing art that anyone can understand the meaning behind, but at the same time I have a desire to create some more some more abstract concept pieces that are more difficult to interpret. I did my first abstract expressionist pieces the other day in hopes of seeing how I liked it. I did something rather Mondrian reminiscent but made it my own at the same time with primary colors. My original goal was just to do something different with primary colors, but it turned into something more once I got going with it. Anyone can draw or paint a picture that shows how they feel, I went full out non objective and let the colors and the way they fell on the canvas do the talking. There was this certain sense of release I got when it was done, and I know I’ve done my best when I feel that way.

I guess that’s really about all there is to say for now; I’m just doing what I can and letting things in my life play out however they decide to go. Aside from a few restrictions I’m going where ever the wind blows me, so to speak. I just hope it’s in a good direction. I’m hoping to make use of some of my recent inspiration and do great things with it. I’m going to take some risks, but I’ll never get anywhere without taking one. I also plan on updating a little more frequently again or at least try to when things aren’t too hectic.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Trying New Things

I finished a painting today, and it's definitely different than any I've done before.
I decided to give the whole thinkism art movement a try. The basic idea is to bring attention to certain social, political, environmental issues and so on. I kept this one simple and to the point, although I'm making the next one a bit more complex. I like the idea of using my art to make people think about issues that are important to me, so I started with one of the biggest. It pretty much explains itself, I'm thinking of calling it "Our Reality" but I'm open to other ideas. Anyway, here it is.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

A New Lead

I hung out with a couple of friends yesterday and we randomly decided to take a trip to Richmond. We walked into this tattoo shop and I talked to the guy in there a bit about my artwork and he told me that they display stuff on the first fridays at walk. So I get a chance each month to possibly get something displayed. He was telling me that it's a lot easier to get stuff showed somewhere with that, and said to get in touch with him on facebook to see about getting some stuff in on the next one. This may be my chance to make some more cash on my art. He said most of the people buying stuff are art students so 50 bucks is usually the most a lot of things go for. So if I can get maybe 10 pieces to put up for sale, something like some 16x20s, put $50 on each and that's 500 bucks if I can sell them all within a day. As far as I know I keep all of the profits, even he agreed with me about that gallery asking for a 50% commission rate being just ridiculous. It's the small shops that are looking for almost anything that are going to get me out there right now, so this sounds like a big opportunity for me. I've got 2 paintings in the works now and plenty of canvases left, with any luck I can get enough stuff ready within 2 weeks to get something in for this month, and if not there's always next month. There were paintings on the wall in the shop, so who knows, maybe I can trade paintings for some tattoo work if he's in the market for anything.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Expanding My Work

It was a good weekend for me. We stopped by Michaels on the way home yesterday to see about getting a few more art supplies. They had a sale on canvases and I managed to grab a 5 pack of 16x20s for 15 bucks. They also had a coupon to get 40% off of any one item in the store, so I picked up a 30 dollar beginners glass etching kit for 15 bucks. It's got everything I need to get started, and I played around with it some today. I've got a bit of learning to do, but I got fairly good results from my first try considering I just freehanded some doodles on a piece of test glass. I have stencils, but they're one time use, so I only want to use those on something I'm going to sell. It's as simple as sticking them on the glass like a sticker, smearing the acid paste on them and wash it off after 5 minutes. I can take a 3 dollar wine glass from Walmart and turn it into a 25 or 30 dollar glass for next to nothing. I also picked up a little 6 inch tall poseable wood drawing model for something like 3 bucks. I'm set on art supplies now, I've got 9 canvases, 2 new brushes, a #1 painting knife, portfolio bag, glass etching kit, and the little wooden drawing model, and my aunt gave me a binder with plastic sleeves that I can use to turn into a pretty nice portfolio. I just need to grab a business license and order some business cards and I'm ready to take my stuff to the VA hospital and sell them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Prospects

I went and checked out 5 different places today about showing my art. Being a Saturday I didn't have amazing luck with actually showing anyone any of my work. Everywhere I asked they either wanted me to submit stuff online or not everyone that needed to see them was there. I did get the suggestion to go check out a coffee shop across the street from one of the places that has monthly art exhibitions of local artists. I actually talked to the person in charge of that and got her email to send pictures and she can get back to me. It sounds promising there at least, the girl was even kind of cute. Luckily there were about 4 different places all within a block of each other on both sides of the street, so it made getting to a bunch really easy.

We went to this art supply store that actually has a gallery and framing shop upstairs. My aunt could see that I was looking like a kid in a candy store and offered to get me a few things. I got a bunch of stuff that was on sale. I got a painting knife, a couple of really good brushes, a 16x20 canvas for less than 4 bucks, an 8x24 canvas for 7 bucks, and a big 24x24 canvas for another 7 bucks. These a good canvases too. Triple gesso primed for oil and acrylic, back stapled double framed and the bigger ones even have middle frame bracers. On top of that my aunt decided to get me a portfolio bag that I could use to carry my paintings in to a gallery. It's really nice, I can fit a painting up to 24" wide in it, and I can fit up to 4 16x20s in if I put 2 on each side. The best part was I got an artists discount since I was talking to one of the employees about stuff I'm working on. Everyone was really nice and helpful there, so if you're an artist in Richmond VA, I highly recommend Main Art Supply and Gallery. They have reasonable prices on a lot of stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and people there.

It was a very productive day for me. I got a lot of information about about the particular galleries I visited and things going on in the area. Not to mention I'm set with my art supplies for a bit now. I have enough to do 4 more paintings as of now. I also found one gallery that I'm highly reluctant to deal with. They offer some classes there at reasonable prices, but oh my god they really stick it to the artists on commission rates. They ask for 50% commission rate, and also that you deal only with them and no other gallery in the Richmond area. Granted the cheapest painting I saw on display was 800 bucks, but if I'm going to sell something through a gallery I want more than half the profits. I mean I made the damn painting, it's my time and effort expended, I should see the majority of the profits. Oh well, I've got a few more options now, so we'll see where things take me. My fortunes are looking up all the time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Busy Week

It's been a very busy week for me so far. I had my appointment with my hormone doctor in Richmond on Tuesday, which went pretty well. My friend and I had dinner at the Cheese Cake Factory before my appointment and I felt like I gained 5 pounds from that meal alone. We went by the mall next door afterwards and I got to check out an art gallery. I didn't have any of my work with me to show at the time, but I talked to one of the people that worked there and found out they deal a lot with local artists. It's definitely worth going back with some stuff to show sometime. They have online submissions set up, so I may just go that route. I had a pretty nice conversation with the girl I talked to, and most of the work in there seems to be very impressionistic. It seems to hold promise for the future. I did another painting on Wednesday since that was the only day I really had to do whatever this week. I'll post pictures of it at some point, I did a simple rather impressionistic red and yellow flower. I got the idea from some pieces I saw at the gallery Tuesday night.

I had my second doctors appointment with my new primary care doctor Thursday afternoon. That proved to be a real adventure and a half. The first news I got was that my insurance decided to bullshit my doctor like they did with me. She said she called them up and tried to get some information out of them about what exactly she needed to go about doing to get the surgery approved for me. They told her that it was my policy so it was privileged information, and the bastards wouldn't even fucking tell me. Someone is blowing smoke somewhere, and I'm going to find out who the hell it is. She said we can try again, but I need to call them up again and ask what exactly they want from her. If that doesn't work I'll ask them if they'd like to explain it to a lawyer. I'm sick of this shit, even my doctor got pissed off at them and agrees with me that getting a lawyer involved may help. ACLU here I come.

I also got taken off of my blood pressure medicine since my BP was down to 102 over something. At the suggestion of my hormone doctor they switched me over to a beta blocker to see if that can slow the heart rate down. She mentioned something about if it works too hard for too long my heart could become enlarged, so I decided it was worth trying to take care of it now instead of later. Both my mom and aunt have the same thing and are on nothing for it, but apparently my aunt's doctor tried to put her on the same thing as me and she wouldn't take it, so I don't know at this point. All I know is it may not be a problem now, but it could turn into one farther down the road if it's not treated now.

I came to my aunt's a day early this week, and so far it's been pretty fun. I went with my aunt in law to her physical therapy appointment at the VA hospital today and found out that I can apply to come there on certain days and sell some of my art. They only take a 20% commission fee, and the rest of my profits are mine. I just need to get a business license, which my aunt offered to pay for, and then I'm set to go turn my application in and show them some examples of my work. It sounds promising so far. She's taking me to check out a few galleries in the area tomorrow and show some of my work to them, so I hope it turns out well for me. I guess I'll update again tomorrow about how it all goes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

No Luck Today

Today was both a good and a bad day for me. I went to a couple of galleries in Williamsburg to see if I could stir up any interest in my artwork at all. The first place I went the guy said they just didn't have the space to display anything else for now, but he did suggest a couple of places to check out that dealt a bit more in original paintings. Luckily one was just a few doors down and I went there next. Talk about intimidating; I walked in the door and there are these two guys that I'm sure are at least in their 50s, pretty well dressed, and looked like your classic art critics and dealers. They didn't deal in photo prints, so I never got to show my photography portfolio, and at first he didn't even want to take a look at the pictures of my my paintings on my camera. I didn't give up and he said he would take a look at a few since I was there already. He seemed a bit impressed by the beach scene that I did, but said they didn't really deal that much in local art, but gave me the names of a couple of people at 2 other galleries that he thought would be more interested in my work. One was the same as the first guy gave me, so apparently these other places deal more with local artists.

I was kind of disappointed, but I told the guy that I was just trying to see what my options in the area are and trying to get a start. He said don't stop looking to keep trying, and wished me good luck, so I guess it's still a bit up in the air. I really need to get to work on more paintings. Today's experience proved to me that I'm going to make a much better impression if I show up with paintings in hand rather than pictures of commissioned works that I no longer have. I have a couple of canvases still and enough money to buy a few more, so it's all about getting ideas now. I'm not giving up on this, 2 galleries is hardly enough to say there is no interest at all in the area. I'm going to get turned away before things really take off anyway, so I was prepared for it. I can at least get some information and advice from people along the way though. Things will take off, it's just going to take some time.

The good thing about today is that I was able to do a bit of shopping with my commission money. I got my hormones for the month, and then hit up a couple of thrift stores. I got a pretty nice shirt and even nicer brand new pair of dress pants for less than 5 bucks, and a nice skirt at the second place for 2. I can definitely put together a good job interview outfit now, or even use it for taking my stuff around to galleries to look more professional. I picked up a small little table top tripod for my camera for a couple of bucks. It's not much and it's cheap, but it's something, so I'm giving it a chance. The best buy of the day though was a nice aluminum portable easel that I got for 20 bucks. It's fucking awesome considering I was using a drum stand and music stand to sit my canvases on when I was painting before. I love it, I can fit up to a 33" canvas on it, and lock in place so nothing wobbles around or falls off.

In all it was a good day, in spite of the small disappointment with the galleries. Hopefully things take a turn for the better for me soon. For now I'm going to get to work on some more paintings and work on refining my photography portfolio a bit more. I'm headed to Richmond tomorrow night, so maybe I can check a few galleries out while I'm there. I guess we'll see what happens.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Looking For More Work

I finished my last commission that I had today, I'm hoping that tomorrow I can make it to a couple of galleries to try to see if there's any interest in my work. I should be seeing another aunt of mine too, so maybe I'll get some more work from her. There isn't a lot to talk about. I see my hormones doctor on Tuesday and my new primary care doctor on Thursday, so it should be a busy week. I'm hoping to hear some kind of decision about surgery from insurance on Thursday. I'm not holding my breath if my doctor hasn't called me by now with any good news. I guess I'll find out soon enough. Anyway, here's a picture of the painting I finished today.
Assateague Island Lighthouse

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Good Weekend

I’m a little late writing about it, but I actually had a pretty good weekend. I went to my aunt’s house Friday morning so I could have an extra day to spend with her before my mom and her boyfriend came the next day. She loved the painting I did for her; she even hung it up that night in the living room. I got my 30 bucks from her and the 15 from my mom the next day, so it was a fairly profitable weekend for me. My aunt even said she would talk to a few people she knows that may be interested in my work to help me out a bit. So I’m hoping I may have some more work coming way before long. My other aunt told me about this site I could join and get really good prices on photo prints. I joined that while I was there and I get my first 50 4x6 prints for free, so I ordered prints of my entire portfolio so I can make a hard copy to carry around to galleries. I just had to pay $3.61 for the shipping, but that’s pretty good for 50 4x6s. I got work done on sizing some 8x10 prints while I was there too, I want to have a small stock of them ready in case any of the galleries take an interest in my work.

Things are looking up right now with my art career. I made enough money on the commissions so far that I can start getting some prints of my photo work ready to sell and get some extra art supplies. I’m considering what I get at this point an investment in my future career. I’m hoping that at some point I can branch out into sculpture work as well. The more mediums I can do well in the more chances I have of making a living off of this.

My hand is feeling a bit better. I had apparently been putting some extra strain on it compared to normal with all the painting and my wrist had gotten sore. I can thank my many hours of self training with knives and swords for originally doing the damage to my wrist. It’s when I hold it in a very specific knife thrusting position that it hurts at this point. I’ve been wearing a brace on it and icing it at least once a day, so I’m hoping that continues to help. My aunt is a nurse and I talked to her about it while I was there. She said it sounded like some kind of inflammation of the soft tissue in the joint, so I’m at least going to bring it up with my doctor when I see her on the 15th.

On another note, my aunt brought up the possibility of me moving in there at some point, maybe in the fall. I don’t know what’s going to come of that, but if it works out it may just be break I’ve been waiting for. I would have my own room, cable, wireless internet, and the most acceptance I’ll get from any family member I’ve got. Not to mention there are many places of potential employment within decent walking distance of her house. It’s just an idea at this point, but I definitely won’t pass up the opportunity if it seriously comes my way. They seem to like having me there a lot more than my brother, which is no surprise. Having some time there without my mom and her boyfriend around I think gave my aunt and I time to get a bit closer. We talked about a few things we hadn’t before, and at one point were talking about psycho ex girlfriends we had each had. I think it would be a good thing for me if I do end up living there at some point; they understand a lot of what I go through and are completely supportive of me. I guess we’ll see where things go; I’m going back in a couple of weeks to stay the weekend again, so who knows where it will take me. I’m just going where the wind blows me for now and hoping it takes me in a good direction.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One of My Best Works Yet

I finally finished my next commission, a beach scene for my aunt. This was the biggest painting I've done so far, an 11x14 wood framed canvas. I'm going to see her tomorrow and I should get about 30 dollars out of it, I'll be getting another 15 from my mom for one I did for her too. This stands to be a profitable weekend as of now. I'm hoping to go by Walmart or somewhere soon and make some 8x10 prints of some of my photography work and take them to some local galleries. I know a few in the area that deal in photography, so if I can get some fairly cheap frames and they accept any of my stuff hopefully I'll make some more money on them. I want to show up at these places with paintings and photos in hand, that way they can't blow me off. It also looks good on my behalf if I show up with examples of my work on the first visit. I guess I'll see where things take me, I stand to make quite a bit of money if my work gets some good exposure on the local level. There's even one gallery that's partnered with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that I really want to get some stuff into. It's got a long waiting list for applicants, but it's worth the wait since the exposure for my work would be priceless at a place like that. Anyway, that's about all for right now, here's a picture of my painting. I think it's one of my best paintings yet, it was worth the frustration I had trying to paint it.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Three Years

I just realized that today makes 3 years since I started on hormones. It's hard to believe it's been that long already. If you asked me 3 years ago if I thought I'd make it this far I probably would have said no. I guess at least I have that to be proud of, I made a choice and I've stuck with it. I wish I could say I feel like celebrating, but I realize I've still got so much farther to go. I guess waiting for an answer about surgery is one reason that makes me reluctant to let myself get too happy. My answer to anyone who told me back then that I would regret this one day and change my mind is, it's been 3 years and I haven't. I'm still glad I made the choice to transition, it's the one choice I've made in my life that I know 100% for sure was the right one to make.

Things are looking up for me right now, but I'm still dealing with a bit of depression. I think it's just from me being worried about surgery. I know worrying won't help at all, but it's one of those things that creeps into my mind one way or another even when I try not to let it. At least I have my painting and my photography to keep me busy. I've finished my next commission and started on another, so I stand to make 40 or 50 bucks by the end of the week. I've got another lighthouse request from my grandparents too, I'll do it even though I'm getting a little tired of lighthouses. I did one of cape hatteras for my mom, I didn't put it on here but it's on my website if anyone wants to go look at it. That's about it for now, not a lot really to talk about I guess.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My First Commisson

I just finished and was paid for my first commissioned painting today. It was for my grandparents so I only asked for 20 when I'd charge just anyone around 40 or 50. They get the family price since they did buy me the canvas and some paint too. I'm not asking for too much for the ones I'm doing now since I'm still growing as an artist. My techniques hasn't really been fully refined yet, so I'm reluctant to go too high on my prices. I'm hoping some family member I do one for has a friend or someone that wants one so I can charge full price and not feel guilty about it. I stand to make 30 one the one for my aunt next week and another 15 from my mom. It's not going to pay for surgery or anything, but for now it's money in my pocket to pay for hormones and whatever else I need until I can start charging more. Oh well, if anyone else on my dad's side of the family asks for one I'm jacking the price up a bit more. They criticize my being TG so they pay extra. Anyway, here's a picture of my work.
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Nothing special, but it beats the hell out of what some of my other money making options are. At this rate I should be able to get some stuff in a few local galleries.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Winding Down

I got home really late last night from Nags Head, I wish I could have stayed longer but I have a therapy appointment tomorrow afternoon. My last there was pretty fun. We went to the beach for a good part of the day, which I didn't really look forward to, but am glad that I went. I just sat under the umbrella most of the time, I'm not much of a sun person. Some wild horses actually wandered up on the beach while we were there and I got some decent pictures of them. I spent most of the day taking pictures of the waves breaking on the shore and trying to get shots of any birds that landed nearby. I even found a bunch of shells and rocks while I was there to bring home. I spent a good part of the afternoon once we got back home checking out the yard around the beach house and taking a few shots of flowers and trees. It was a pretty fun trip, despite the sun and heat. I got plenty of time to talk to my aunt about things, it was a very relaxing weekend. I needed it with all the stress over insurance and surgery I've been going through lately. We're talking about possibly doing it again next year only going and staying with my aunt for the full week. Anyway here's a couple more pictures from the trip that I'm adding to my portfolio.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Unexpected Vacation

I was supposed to stay the weekend with my mom and her boyfriend at their place this weekend, but plans changed at the last minute. My aunt invited us to come down to Nags Head and join them on vacation. I'm very glad I decided to come even though I'm not usually much for beaches. She got a nice big full size beach house that we have all to ourselves, with cable and a wireless connection. Not only that but I get my own room, own bathroom, and a full size bed all to myself. This weekend was definitely worth the long ride and hassle of getting ready. I got to go take pictures of a lighthouse yesterday which yielded a nice shot for my portfolio. We went and looked for shells on the beach at sunset later on and I got yet another great shot of the sun setting behind the sand dunes. I've been carrying the camera all over the place with me while I'm here and getting some good stuff.

This is exactly what I needed, some time to relax and a nice change of scenery. I have 2 new painting commissions too, one from my mom also of a lighthouse, and my aunt asked if I could do a beach scene for her. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me now, but they're both willing to pay me. My mom was also telling me about some small art gallery that was near her where someone was looking for new artists to showcase. She's going to show her some pictures of my work and see if she's interested at some point. Maybe good things will come of that.

We're heading home today unfortunately, I'd love to stay here for a week or so. Oh well, I'm happy, and definitely very inspired by the scenery. My family is talking about doing this again next year, I can only hope that happens, I want a sunrise over the ocean shot if I can drag myself out of bed early enough. That's about it for now, I'll leave you with my lighthouse shot.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Creativity Continues to Flow

I'm on a roll lately, I've got another new painting for my transition series. I think this one is going to be the last one in the series. It's definitely a brighter and much happier themed painting than the rest. It's not the last one period, just the last one in the set that tells my story. I still want to add more to it if I can in the future, this is just sort of like the last chapter of the story being written before the middle is done. Anyway, here it is.
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I made this to represent what it's felt like for me to transition. I wanted to give a sense of freedom and happiness. I thought what better way than to combine a female figure with a butterfly. I also have my first painting commission, well sort of. My grandma saw a picture of a nearby lighthouse in the newspaper the other day and mentioned something about wishing she could get a local artist to do a painting of it for her. I volunteered to do it for the cost of the canvas and some art supplies. Not exactly going to pay for my surgery, but it's a way to get a couple more canvases and supplies to do more work with.

I've been checking out a few local small art galleries online lately that feature work by local artists. I'm thinking if I can get some more work done in the next few weeks it might be worth seeing if they'd be interested in any of my stuff. I'm still waiting for a call back from my doctor about insurance, it's still kind of soon though. Honestly, I'm painting so much lately as a way to keep my mind off of things so I don't sit around and dwell on worrying about it. That's about all I have to say for now, there isn't much else going on.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Phoenix

Well this time it's not some clouds that I took a picture of. I started and finished the newest painting in my transition series today in about 45 minutes, counting time to let it dry. I had the idea to paint a phoenix, and the colors were actually inspired by a phoenix painting that my ex boyfriend's dad did. Anyway, here it is.
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I wanted it to appear firey and as though it's rising out of the darkness. Personally I wish it had came out looking less like a seagull, but I'm happy with it. It looks good in the picture, but even better in person. I just picked up a canvas today and started making some pencil sketches on it after I painted in the background. The next thing I knew I had a phoenix in no time. It's definitely one of the fastest paintings I've ever done, but I guess the fast pace matched the movement in the picture. I have several others in the works right now, so I'll be posting them up as I complete them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Time to Wait and See What Happens

I saw the doctor in town this morning, and thankfully she was 100% accepting and understanding of me being TG. I explained about the orchi and everything and she agreed with me that I seem to know what I'm doing, so she would feel comfortable telling insurance that I do need it. She said she couldn't promise anything, but that she's going to look into getting my records from the therapy office and the clinic in Richmond. Once she has those she'll give insurance a try for me. I couldn't believe I got this lucky, at the very least I've found a primary care doctor that's close by and pretty knowledgeable and accepting of me. She seemed to at least know what I was talking about and referring to a lot of the time with hormones and transition related things, so that kind of shocked me. She just got her medical degree 4 years ago and I'm guessing is probably in her early to mid 30s, so I was hoping that might mean she's a bit up to date on more things and open minded.

It looks like my gamble payed off. She was really nice, and even the nurse that took me back and helped fill out the rest of the paperwork was fine with things. She was asking me at one point about any kind of health problems they should know about and I said it wasn't a health problem, but that I should probably mention that I'm transgender. She just said yeah that's not a health problem and to just relax that it was ok. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to find such understanding people this close by. Once again I find acceptance when I least expect it. My doctor didn't waste any time apparently. I went to my therapy appointment at 2 this afternoon and she had already called them to get copies of my records and I just had to sign a release and that was set in motion. Now that's what I call service, action taken within 3 hours of saying they'll do it. I think I've found a good doctor, and a good doctors office at that.

Now the big question is will insurance bullshit her about surgery too. They asked to talk to a doctor who could say I need this, I'm giving them exactly what they asked for. A full MD medical doctor to call them up and say they agree with me, and my psychologist that I do in fact need this to improve the quality of my life. I gave her a copy of my old medical files from last primary care doctor, which covers the suicide attempts. I mentioned my past self injury and recent relapse of that a few months ago, anything to convince her that being TG has caused me significant distress in the past. If she can't convince insurance I need this, maybe a lawyer can. All I can do now is wait and see what happens, and also keep my fingers crossed that I get lucky. I'm making things happen, I just hope all the hard work doesn't go to waste in the end.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flashback Time

I don't have much to really talk about tonight, so I'll leave you with another flashback to pre transition.

May 22, 2006
"The last few days have been amazing! My friend Tracie helped me get some clothes, I haven’t felt this happy in years. I know now that trying to stop this is what caused my depression. It only makes sense that after trying to stop all the problems happen. I told my mom yesterday and she was ok with it too. I can't believe I'm so lucky right now. I've cure my depression and it feels so good. I feel like I've been set free, and I like it. I'm back, and I'm never turning back. I'm a crossdresser and proud of it. I love this feeling and I'm done suppressing it. I've got help now, so there's nothing that can stop me."

At this point I was just begining to come out to selected friends. I told a friend of mine from school who turned out being ok with things. I asked her at some point to help me get some clothes because at the time I was too embarassed to get them myself. I gave her the money and she paid for them for me. That was the first time I can say anyone reached out to help me. I had finally made a very solid connection to my depression being mostly caused by suppressing my desire to be more feminine.

When I came out to my mom I remember we were sitting in her car, and after about 10 minutes of me beating around the bush the first thing that came out was "I'm not gay". That turned out to be wrong, at least in the lesbian sense, but things went fine when I told her. Her words were "that's it". Needless to say that shocked the hell out of me, I was expecting at least some hesitation to accept me, but then again my mom is pretty cool about a lot of things. I mean I talked her into buying me a tattoo sometime this year, so you get my point.

It was a bit of a leap to say that I had cured my depression, but I had definietly found the root of it and was ready to do something about it. It was a very freeing feeling to finally just admit to myself that what I had been doing and feeling for all those years was ok. It felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of me to say that it was ok to feel like a girl and to wear the clothes too. It didn't get me too far at the time with transition, but in retrospect it was the first real step I took towards it.

Looking back at this reminds me of how far I've come in just 4 years, but also of how much farther I have to go. I'm into this for life, so I've got a lot more time ahead of me than I do to look back on. I would never have imagined back then that I would be where I am now, so I can say that in a way I've done a lot more with my life already than I ever expected to before. It was a short journal entry, but I had a lot to say about it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A New Addition to My Work

I finished a new painting last night to add to my transition series. I did it on an 11"x14" canvas so it was too big to scan, at least on my scanner. I was forced to take a picture instead, which has been giving me mixed results. I've got a picture of it, but the left side may seen a little too dark. Trust me though, it looks a lot better in person and not quite so dark to the one side. Anyway, here it is.

I made it as a perspective image to show what the girl in the first painting would see in front of her. It's mostly a representation of how much of a choice it was for me to decide to transition. I hate to hear people say that what I'm doing was a choice, so this is my answer to that accusation. I'll attempt to get a better shot of it at some point, I have to get the lighting just right or it comes out too dark or took bright.

I plan on trying to do more work soon. I've been studying my influences a lot lately, so I've been looking up artists that I like and looking at their work to get some inspiration. I like to consider myself a bit of a modern day impressionist, but it's hard for me to really put a label on my painting style. I have so many influences in a few different styles, so it's like a combination of impressionism, expressionism, symbolism, fauvism, and surrealism. That's just naming main "isms" that I gain inspiration from. I'm experimenting with some different stlyes lately, as you can probably tell by my last painting. I went more expressionistic and less subjective with it, mostly since I was trying to convey a feeling more so than any kind of asthetic appeal. Oh well, with any luck I'll have some more work to show in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Found a Doctor

I called that doctor's office this morning and luckily she is taking new patients. I didn't get to talk to her myself, but I talked to her nurse and made an appointment for next Wednesday. I don't know if she's going to have any issue with me being TG, but I guess I'll find out. It's just a few hours before my therapy appointment next week, so hopefully I'll leave there with some good news to tell my psychologist. Things are moving painfully slow with trying to get someone that can approve me for surgery, but I guess it's not all that bad. I do want to talk to my doctor in Richmond before I have any kind of surgery, and I don't see her until the 13th of next month. I mostly just want to talk to her about how my meds and stuff should be dosed after and just know that she's aware of everything. I guess I also want plenty of time to do my research a bit more and make sure I really want to do this before SRS. It's not exactly the ideal situation I'd like to be in, but I have no clue when I can afford SRS. Everything I've looked up has said that despite some minor cons, it's usually not a bad idea to get an orchi if SRS isn't in the picture for a few years yet. Oh well, I'm following this path until I see where it takes me.

On another note, I finished a painting yesterday. Well I didn't so much finish it as I did cover up a spot of white paint I had accidentally smudged on it. I finished it probably last week sometime. It's the one I mentioned before that I had planned to represent everything I went through with Megan and the stalker. I went pretty abstract with it and used some pretty contrasting colors and sharp lines. It's not that great, but then again it's not meant to be great. It represents something I considered to be wrong and very hurtful, so I wanted it to be crappy looking.

I also have decided to add to the series of paintings I did earlier in the year about my transition. I went out and got some bigger bottles of paint, sponge brushes, and a few 11"x14" canvases the other day. I'm going to scale up my work from printer paper sized works to potentially some in the range of 2'x3'. I have a friend that works at Walmart who said she could grab some of the big pieces of cardboard and stuff they trash all the time for me, so that should allow me to scale things up more. I've got inspiration for a quite a few new works, and it feels so great to be painting again. I guess it distracts me from everything stressing me out in my life, and there's something I just can't explain about it that I'm attracted to. I guess art is where I feel at home. That's about it for now, there isn't much else to talk about.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I've Got a Plan

I went to my psychologist today to talk about everything that's been going on, and I think I have a plan. She suggested that I look for a primary care doctor here in the area and see about getting an appointment with them to talk about things. I'm not quite sure how that's going to go, but it sounds better than trying to get myself committed in order to see a doctor. My doctor in Richmond had suggested looking for a primary care doctor that was closer by anyway, so I guess I can possibly kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak. There apparently is a new doctor in town anway that should be taking new patients. I'll probably just schedule an appointment to meet with her for the first time in regards to taking me on for primary care and also mention to them that I want to talk to her about getting an orchi while I'm there too.

It looks like I have another plan, so I'm hoping it works. When one plan fails I have to keep making another until one works. For now I just have to take things as they come and not stress out over stuff that I haven't gotten to yet. I have to focus on finding a primary care doctor that would be willing to sign off on me getting an orchi, that's the main objective for now. It's one step at a time until I get what I want. I have to jump through all the hoops and prove once again that I'm not out of my mind. It honestly would be so much easier if I just had the money to outright pay for it myself. Then a couple of shrinks and the surgeon performing the surgery are the only people I have to convince of my sanity. Oh well, this is the hand that life has delt me, so I better keep trying to make the most of it. I won't give up until I get my surgery, that I swear.

That's about all there really is to talk about tonight, not much else is really going on. I got my food stamps card, and aside from a little trouble with using it the first time, that's working great now. I guess for now I know what I need to do, so it's time to take action and get shit done. I've got a long way to go, and the sooner I get going the sooner I get to where I want to be.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Insurance is Pissing Me Off!

I called and set up an appointment today to see my psychologist next Tuesday. I’m giving her a shot at the insurance company to see if anything she says can persuade them, if not I may have to put my plan in motion. As it stands now, my only option would be to schedule a date for surgery and then hope that insurance bails me out of the majority of the bill at the last minute. If they don’t I’d be either stuck with a huge bill that I can’t pay off of or I lose over 600 dollars that I would have already spent and cancel it. I don’t like either option involved in going that route.

I looked at on their site last night for something that one of the people I talked to told me to look up. It was the online version of the member handbook. It said that it didn’t cover anything related to “gender transformation”. Don’t you love their wording on that one? Everyone I talked to said it wasn’t covered unless I could get a doctor to call them up and convince them that I needed it. So it’s sounding like my chances are good if I can just get a doctor to somehow be on my side and convince them for me. That’s just to find out if they will cover it or not, I would still have to find out if I could get it through Dr. McGinn like I want to.

I don’t want to go the route I’m thinking of, but I may have to. If nothing else works I’m making a few cuts on my arms, drinking a bit if I can manage to spare some cash for alcohol, and taking 8 or 9 tylenol and checking myself into the mental ward at the nearest hospital on a 72 hour hold. That should be just enough to not cause any physical damage to me but convince them that I’m depressed and suicidal. If I go in there and say I want someone to get the growths out of my body that have been poisoning me with testosterone before I do it myself, someone will listen. That should get a doctor on the phone to my insurance company pretty quickly. I’ll do it a few times if I have to.

They picked the wrong trans girl to attempt to screw over. I have no job and a ton of free time to check myself in and out of the hospital and cost them all kinds of money. Their decision is going to be either pay for an indefinite amount of time to hold me in the hospital or pay for $4300 surgery and have no more problems with me afterwards. I have not yet begun to fight for this. If they want to play hard ball then that’s what I’ll do until I get some straight answers from them. If I have to I’ll throw a few pretty powerful acronyms their way too, such as AMA, APA, ACLU, and lawyer! I’m sure there’s nothing more that a very TG friendly ACLU lawyer would love more than a crack at an insurance company that’s trying to stone wall me. That’s a pro bono case if I’ve ever heard of one.

I’ve never been in the military myself, but the trans girl who originally helped me out was a former army ranger. I picked up the phrase one hundred percent and then some from her, and that’s what I’m doing about this. I’m putting everything I’ve got into it and then some. I’m sick and tired of stingy intolerant insurance companies denying us what for the last 15 years has been considered a medical necessity by the AMA and APA. If a fight is what it’s going to take to get this then I’ll fight and I’ll win! They haven’t heard the last of me, not by a long shot.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Indecision Day

Today was more like indecision day than judgement day, as I had taken to calling it yesterday. I called the insurance place to see about getting surgery covered. On the first call they told me that it was excluded from my plan unless I could get the doctor or surgeon to call and talk to them to say that I needed it. So, I decided to call Dr McGinn's office to see if that was something I could possibly get her to do. They told me that they don't do pre authorizations because she isn't contracted with any insurance places, so I would have to schedule the procedure first before she could make that call. So in other words I would have to pay for the initial consult and surgery deposit before I find out if insurance might cover it. They also told me that a few people had managed to get their insurance to cover things before, but it was never anything cut and dry and they had to kind of fight for it a little.

I decided to call a different number at the insurance place and ask again about an orchiectomy instead. I got the same answer I did for SRS on that too. A doctor has to call and talk to them so they can determine if it's necessary. I talked to a friend of mine that suggested seeing if my psychologist could make the call. I called them back at the insurance place for a 3rd time to ask specifically about that. They told me that it had to be a medical doctor, not a psychologist or psychiatrist to make the call. So basically it's like they're telling me maybe on the coverage question. They didn't say yes and they didn't say no either.

I could try to get my doctor from the clinic to call, but she's technically just a nurse practitioner. They gave me the impression that they want to hear from a full MD doctor. At this point I'm starting to think my best option is to check myself into the mental ward at the nearest hospital after making a few cuts on my arms and drinking a bit and complain that I'm seriously depressed. Maybe then I can get a doctor to make a phone call to my insurance place and say I need an orchi before I attempt to perform one on myself. I'm not actually at any kind of suicidal stage, but I can fake it if it helps my cause.

At this point I'm just going for an orchi. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not in a decent enough financial situation to handle the post op care for SRS. I also think I have a better chance of getting insurance to cover a $4300 procedure as opposed to one that's over 17 grand. It gets me halfway there and saves me money on meds in the long run. I've heard all the stories about shrinkage and stuff, and honestly if I were to lose a couple of inches on depth for later SRS I'll be fine with that. Six inches is the ideal, but I've heard that the average for post op trans women is around 5 anyway. I've head of people who were less then that and way more than that, so I guess it's just going to depend on the person. I'm lesbian anyway, so a couple extra inches won't make much of a difference to me. I care first about functionality and how it looks more so than how much I can shove in it. That's the one that I feel is least important, though still important none the less.

I don't know what's going to happen in regards to surgery and insurance, I guess only time is going to tell. I'm going to make another appointment to see my therapist next week and see where she thinks I should go from here. I'll decide after that if I need to commit myself for any length of time in order to convince anyone that I need this. I'm ready to put up a fight to get this. They never told me they won't cover it, so until I get a definite yes or no I'm going to keep trying.

I also heard from an ex girlfriend of mine last night. We dated before I started transition a few years ago, and I've been hearing from her off and on lately. Things haven't been going so well for her from what she told me last night, so I told her that I had never stopped caring about her and that I was still here for her when she needs me. We talked a good bit and then some more today also. She admitted last night that I always had a place in her heart and that she had really cared about me and wasn't sure why things ended like they did. Today I told her I thought I was an idiot for saying it, but that if she ever wanted to give things with us another try that I was willing to. She told me that I wasn't and said it's possible, but that she wants to take things slow since she's happy about us talking again.

I don't know where that's going to go, but I'm hopeful. She's always been supportive of me transitioning since I've known her, and she obviously still has some feelings for me on some level. I was only 6 months out of high school and she was in 10th grade when we dated before, so I'm hoping us both being a few years older might help things work better if we do give it another try. We both went to the same school, and she's not that far away, so my chances are good. I guess all I can do is keep the lines of communication open between us and hope for the best.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Figuring Things Out (Flashback Post)

There isn't much to talk about tonight, so I'll leave you with another flashback post.


May 3, 2006
"I told her, finally, and damn am I relieved, she was ok with it! I told her on the 30th, I just haven't had time to write since then. I shaved my legs for the first time today, and I'm pretty happy with it. It feels kind of weird right now, but I guess I'll get used to it. I love how they feel, so I think I'll keep them this way."

May 15, 2006
"I've got to watch that movie on the 19th. There's just been so many signs today, like I'm being told don't forget it. I don't know, I'm scared, this is all just so new to me. I can never tell my grandparents. Why the hell does this torment me so damn much? I can't get to the store to get anything, and I can't order online. I'm being shown what's there and basically told I can't get it. I don't know, I want to be myself, but right now who am I? Am I a guy, or am I a girl?"

My girlfriend at the time ended up being ok with things when I told her. I did only come out as being a crossdresser, so I had a feeling things might go south if I should ever take it farther. I was just beginning to experiment with things and see what I liked and what I didn't. Shaving my legs was just something I could do without worrying about getting clothes or anything.

The movie I talked about was A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story. I remember being at my aunt's house and seeing a commercial about it when I first heard about it. I went home and looked up some information about it and decided that I had to watch it. I had a feeling that somehow it may help me, but I've always had a thing for movies with some kind of gender variant character. I guess it being a true story made me want to see it even more. I was very conflicted at the time about being TG. I wasn't sure if I was happy with crossdressing or if I wanted to take things farther. I had done a lot of research at that point, so I had a very good idea of what I could do. I was just worried about losing my girlfriend since she had reacted badly to me mentioning the possibility of taking hormones.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outed

I got woken up this morning by a text message from my mom, which I ignored for about half an hour before getting up and reading it. She wanted me to ask my brother’s girlfriend if anyone else around here knew about me being TG. She didn’t say why and I texted my brother’s girlfriend and said that my mom wanted me ask. She said no one aside from her, my brother, and her mom. Apparently mom wanted me to pretend that I was asking for myself and not mention her, but she called me after that and said that my soon to be ex step dad found out. I responded by saying I thought he would have found out a long time ago. He apparently had called my mom and left messages saying he didn’t know what was going on or what to call me.

Personally I really don’t give a damn if he knows or not. I’d have let him know a while back if my mom had wanted me to. He’s a dumbass alcoholic jerk that I want nothing to do with anyway, so I couldn’t care less what he thinks of me. I told my mom that if he really wants to bitch at someone to give him my number and tell him to call me, I’d give the bastard an earful. I don’t care what he does to try to seem like he’s changed, he’s still the guy that beat my mother up to me. I don’t know how he found out, but it’s not a big leap to say my brother probably told him or he found out from someone that saw me online.

It’s not really a big deal to me; he’s out of my life, for good I hope. I’ve got more important things to worry about than what soon to be ex family think of me. I need to focus on figuring the insurance information out and looking into that housing program. I want to look into the insurance first, just for sake of possibly getting surgery before I move away from home. It would be nice to know I’m coming back somewhere after that I’d be taken care of. Things will go how ever they’re going to go; I just hope it all turns out well for me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview + (flashback)

I had my food stamps interview today and it went pretty well. The TG issue never actually came up, so I'm considering that a good thing. It was mostly just going over the paperwork I had turned in the other day and making sure I understood how things worked. It was relatively uneventful, I qualified for it and I should get my card in the mail within 30 days. There isn't much else to day about it really. I'm hoping I can use this as a first step towards being more self reliant and getting out on my own. I probably won't get much more than 200 a month, but I guess that's enough to live off of if I spend wisely whenever I get my own place.

Since I really don't have much else to talk about tonight I'm making the rest of the post a flashback one. I'm putting up two journal entries this time since they were both rather short and written within a day of each other.

"I found a transgender message board today at school and joined. I don't know how helpful it'll be, but I have to talk to other people like this someway. I need advice on what to do about this. I haven't been doing it as often, but only because I don't have much to use. I'm scared to go out and buy anything myself. I want to tell Angel so bad, but I don't know how she'll take it."
April 28, 2006

"Well I told my friend Megan about this today, and she at least was open and accepting of it. I've got to tell Angel whether she likes it or not, it's part of me and she has to know. I really like the forum I found, everyone there is so nice and willing to talk. They're all so open about things; I can only hope that one day I can be that open with this. It's hard figuring something like this out. I guess I want to be completely sure that this is enough of a part of me that she needs to know. Oh well, I guess I can't ignore this."
April 29, 2006

It was my senior year of high school when I first started exploring my options. I was still hoping it was nothing more than crossdressing. I used a lot of the free time I had in slack classes to use the school laptops to look up information without my family knowing. There was a lot less monitoring of individual students computer use back then, so I could just grab any latop and use it when I had the time. I wasn't sure whether to tell my girlfriend, so I came out to a friend or two at a time just to test the waters a bit. At the time I was still mostly in the closet, so finding a message board so I could talk to people was a big deal to me. I guess I can say that was the start of my trying to be open about myself, or at least my realization that I wanted to be one day. I was confused as hell at the time about what was going on with me. I had purged my collection of clothes a few years before and only had one or two things left. I was way too scared to attempt to shop for anything on my own yet.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Dull Life

I finally went and turned in the food stamps application today. I was nervous as hell I was going to get questioned about my gender, but no one said anything about it to me. I did hear some laughing while I was waiting for them to make copies of everything, but I don't know what it was about. It went pretty well and I meet with someone on Friday for the interview. I'll probably get questioned about being TG then, I'm sure it's going to come up at some point. I don't know if I'm going to get this, but it's worth the effort to try. There isn't much else going on that's really worth talking about. I don't see my therapist until next Wednesday since she's on vacation, so the insurance stuff has to wait. I'll probably use some of my old posts like I did before in the meantime, or at least until something that's actually interesting happens.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Planning and Thinking

I've decided to hold off on trying to figure out the insurance stuff until next week. I want to talk to my therapist about things before I go trying to make appointments and saying I'm ready for surgery. I need her help regardless if I want my letter, so I think it's best to bring my grandparents in with me next time. They're the policy holders, so I need their help as well to get this done. It's not a sure thing whether this will work out or not, but I have to at least try. I'll be kicking myself later if I don't, the worst they can say is no. A friend of mine asked me last night if I was excited about it, but I can't say I'm excited yet. I'm nervous more than anything, because there is a good chance they're not going to cover it. For all I know I may be the first person to ever attempt to get this company to pay for SRS. They only deemed it medically necessary at the end of last month, so I may have a lot working against me. I'll be excited after they say yes they'll cover it for me.

This week is mostly going to be about getting the food stamps application process over with. I've got as much of the form filled out as I can interpret myself, parts of it I'm going to have to wait until I go back and ask them to help me with. Surgery won't come fast anyway, right now this is the more immediate need. I've waited 3 years so far for surgery, another week won't kill me. I'm not looking forward to having to out myself, but I don't have much of a choice if I want it to even have a chance of happening. For the first time earlier today the thought crossed my mind asking if I'm sure I'm really ready for surgery. I'm not holding my breath on it going through and happening, but I know I'm going to be a bit scared if it does. Once it's done it's done, I can't change my mind later. I know it's what I want, but I guess if I'm not having second thoughts I don't really know what I'm doing.

If full SRS can be taken care of and not still cost me a ton of money I'll go for that, if not I'll go for an orchiectomy. I need to do what my finances dictate right now. I'm worried about not being able to get SRS later if I have an orchi, but I think Dr. McGinn will still do it if you have one first. She does them for people that aren't able to get SRS for a while because of finances, so I'm assuming that means she will do it later. That's something I need to make a phone call to find out. I don't know where this is going to take me, all I know is I have to try. The worst that can happen is nothing, so I stand only to gain something by trying.