Saturday, October 22, 2011

What about love, sex, and relationships?

One of the big taboos in talking about transsexualism is mentioning the word sex as in "doing the nasty" as some would say. If you jump around the trans blogosphere the most common word is asexual and that I find bizarre. I am amused by that concept because if there is one thing we humans are it is sexual by nature and anyone that says otherwise is lying to themselves. Sex has been important for both procreation and as important pleasure and here is where we get to the interesting part of those of us born transsexual.

For girls and women sex is about penetration. I always thought this was a heterosexual girl thing but one of my best friends in England is a lesbian and tells me it is most certainly not. I have received an education from her on the subject because like me she was a child when she realized she was a girl and despite her attraction to girls she wanted to be penetrated.

The big taboo for both of us was we could never have sex with a girl as a boy.  In fact it was so abhorrent to us it frightened us because like most young transsexuals we hated that thing and using it on another girl was disgusting. I honestly believe a high percentage of women are bi-sexual in a way. We have no issues showing extreme affection for each other.

Since I was born in the mid 40's I sort of grew up or was raised in an era or repressed sexual expression but was lucky enough to have parents that loved each other openly and warmly. I knew as a child I wanted my Prince Charming to Ride in on his great white steed and take me off to happiness.  Like most kids of my era I really had no clue about sex but by 12 I knew I liked boys which was weird because most boys seemed to want to hurt me.

The first time I saw a vagina was in one of my brother's porn books when I was around 11-12 and I knew that was what I needed and my brother gently told me what boys did with the thing I despised and it both shocked and intrigued me. It shocked me because my initial thought was why would god give me this thing I had when I was a girl and needed one of those vaginas to be a "real" girl. It intrigued me because my instincts before that moment told me I wanted a boy inside me. Don't ask me where that came from because I had no clue. The irony of the porn book was my brother hid my girl fashion and teen magazines with his porn and my grandmother, a sleuth of amazing ability, found the full stash and left the porn and threw out my fashion magazines.

My brother's playboys and other porn was okay because it made him a healthy young male but my magazines marked me as something significantly less. Eventually my mother let me hide my magazines in her room where not even Inspector Grandmother would tread. The concept that a boy would stick his "thing" in me was weird at first but as I became sexually aware that I liked boys and they were cute it actually increased my intense need to just be a "normal" girl with the correct body parts which included breasts, hips, and this vagina that I needed to be complete.

The other weird thing was my almost instantaneous realization that no boy was touching that thing between my legs nor was  any boy going to have access to me unless I was a girl or treated as such. The sick irony about a lot of this is that these feelings would precipitate the one suicide attempt I had where pills of some sort were not involved.

I was with a noted Psychiatrist in Massachusetts who had told my mother he could help me.  She was writing to Harry but she wanted me cured somehow because what Harry told her seemed impossible to grasp and in all honesty I really understand her rationale. My life would have been a lot easier if I was just a normal boy and even though mom was thinking of me more as her daughter she did have this one last hope.  Harry had told her not to do it but she did.

I was 13 at the time and I had a boyfriend. My belief that nobody knew about us was a myth because everyone in both families knew about us and maybe that was my mothers reasoning for this new Psychiatrist. I will not go into details but I told this man all my desires and feelings about boys and the fact I was "really" a girl and that somehow I needed to get "corrected" and lets just say he was less than kind to me. He was appalled when I told him I wanted to be able to have sex with a boy like girls can and if I remember correctly this was what he said.

"What man would want to have sex with a freak like you? You will always be a boy to everyone."

In my world that was crushing and after some not so gentle pushing a week later on Thanksgiving I did my best to kill myself and came damn close despite the failure of my initial attempt. By this time in my life I knew how wonderful it felt to be held by a boy and kissed by a boy.  I also knew that was not enough.

When I learned from Dr. Benjamin that doctors could create a vagina for me it was liberating in so many ways. My boyfriend was a complete gentleman, I was far from ladylike at times, and we had a deal that the second I had my surgery wherever he was I was going there when ready and we would have sex. It is kind of a weird thought process but by then he knew or at least we felt we would be together forever. Teenage love seems that way but it was not to be.

After his death while I was in college I had two other boyfriends that knew everything about me and dated me despite the obvious issues. I was a sucker for seduction in the stacks of the large on campus Library. I found not being complete very frustrating but they were gentleman also and I do thank them for that.

Working in Houston was even worse because those flyboys are gorgeous and I went from one secret crush to another until I met one particular man and I eventually needed to leave because what I wanted I could not have and despite the fact they all knew about my state relationships were not possible.

When I eventually arrived in NYC it actually got worse. Now I was totally transitioned and to be honest boys for some reason found me attractive and I found myself frustrated beyond words. Well, Harry would not say beyond words because I talked about sex a lot and he often commented on it in his amusing way.

I was so put off by the Tranny Chasers I stopped going to the Tranny clubs quickly. It was weird because I had young men constantly hitting on me while I was trying to push them away because it was becoming more and more frustrating for me. Eventually I had surgery in January of 1971and in my little girl way I had this dream of finding Mr. Right. Lord was I wrong!

I no longer had to worry about a guy touching me somewhere I didn't want to be touched but things got weird because I suddenly realized a lot of the guys I looked at fondly were cretins. There was also the thoughts about would a guy know it was not "real". My guitar playing friend ended that worry when in his usual brash manner he showed up at my place about 2 months after surgery and bluntly asked to see it. With his 'seal of approval" that it passed muster that thought was gone. I will admit I would have liked him to be the first but they were off touring or recording so I was still looking.

Every genetic girl dreams about her first sexual encounter. My girlfriends and I have talked a lot about this and it turned out my feelings were the same as theirs. I was nervous and scared I would not please a guy but I was also so anticipating it and dreamed it would be magical which it unfortunately is often not.

I think this need for sex as a girl might be part of the internal belief I was always a girl and sex with a guy is a natural part of being a girl in my world. It was actually getting weirder because I wanted the first guy to be someone I wanted to be with and my first choice was off doing what he did best. Like most girls I wanted to be romanced but by June of 1971 I just wanted a decent guy to take my girl virginity.

I met that man at a Cuban party and he really did seduce me and that part might have been the most amazing event in the evening. I was so scared and so nervous at first I did what came naturally, I sort of blathered about silly things and said some dumb stuff. I started with "I am a virgin" and ended with "I am not sure what to do" and you can fill in the blanks with sillier things like "I am not sure how well I lubricate" but Rico was on a mission to deflower me, his words, and he did. In reality it exceeded everything I ever wanted in many ways but it was disappointing because I thought I had small orgasms of some kind but not "the big one". In retrospect I was just too tense to have one and in the back of my mind I was wondering was the surgeon right that an orgasm was something I would probably never have or was the other surgeon correct that I would be fine.

I pushed Rico into a second try or at least initially I thought I did and by the time I dozed off there was no orgasm but damn it sex was so much fun. I got kissed and held and fondled and everything I could imagine and then I was penetrated by this man's beautiful warm penis that felt so much better than that stupid dilator. Even if an orgasm never came I loved the process of making love or having sex. Heck, I loved the foreplay a lot but being held and caressed afterwards was just as amazing.  The one feeling I distinctly remember was that I wanted him deeper when he was in as far as he could go.

I fell asleep naked in his arms and that was as amazing.  I no longer had to be ashamed of my body and Enrique or Rico made me feel amazing.  The first feeling I had the next morning after nearly two hours of sex the previous evening was that every part of my being seemed to ache. It seemed like it took an hour to make it to the bathroom and I might have needed crutches except for a long hot shower.

I did have my first orgasm during our next liaison and that was so cool and amazing. The orgasm actually got more and more intense as I healed and they were the first orgasms I had ever had. Rico initially did not know of my transsexual past and when he found out it ended badly and that was my fault.

I thought all sex would be like that but it of course is not. For the time we were together sex was a big part of our life but not the only part of the relationship. The intimacy that two lovers have is a key thing for me. I like the feeling of giving myself to him knowing he will love me and not hurt me. I loved the hardness of the male body in contrast to the softness that was me. I love being his girlfriend and his lover. I love everything about the relationship that develops between partners when they connect.

Sex is very important in a healthy marriage or relationship. It is along with the interpersonal relationship that develops the glue that initially binds a couple. I have no concept how anyone could exist in a relationship without the intimacy of sex. My only sexual experiences are those I have had as a girl and woman. I never wanted to or thought about sex as a boy with a girl and most of my friends are similar.

I do have a friend who was married and had kids very young and she has told me she has no idea how she did it. Harry said they had sex by pretending they were the girl but it is all beyond me what fantasy let it happen but it did and does. Immediately after her SRS she met a guy and as she says fucked his brains out and felt correct for the first time. Maybe it was the chemistry of estrogen at work but she never looked back.

This brings me to those individuals that like to claim  being transsexual has nothing to do with sex as in physical sex between adults. In Harry's vision of transsexuality the Type V transsexual was often asexual before SRS but not afterwards. Many were married as both men and women which might relate to the belief that women are inherently bisexual. Maybe my friend in England is correct.

The ones I do find a bit humorous are those that have SRS and stay with the wife and claim they are asexual. The asexual part comes before the SRS and it can get a little interesting after SRS. I can name more than a few that are now expressing interest in men and sex.

I have been thinking about those that stay with their wives after SRS and I wonder if it has to do with the female need for a relationship of some kind and maybe even an asexual relationship is better than no relationship at all. I just have a hard time understand the dynamics of a relationship that seems so static but then I was an early transitioner and they are late transitioners. we are so very different in many ways but alike in some and if they have SRS I will not deny them any longer.

After Enrique I learned the hard lesson many girls and women learn. Most men are so clueless about how to make love to a woman it is pathetic. I went from bad sex in a first marriage to indifferent sex in relationships, some were great also, til I reached the point where I decided love would never come into my life again.  I was of course wrong.

When that man swept me off my feet I learned what love really was. He was the one and I knew it from day one. Sex was a big part of our marriage but it was far more than that. It was so much more than sex it is hard to put into words. The only way I can put it is to say that when he died from a stroke I thought my soul had been ripped from my body and crushed. I felt my very being had no meaning. He was as much a part of my being as I was. It took over two years to partially recover and maybe that is why some transsexuals stay with their wives after SRS. It is hard to lose something that is so much a part of your being.

This brings me to the bigger question. How can some claim they are transsexual and keep a penis. Of what value is a penis to those that claim they are transsexual and women while keeping their male parts on purpose? There is one noted loon that claims men like her 7" neoclit during sex which implies she uses it on them which means she penetrates them I assume. Sounds more like the local she-male hooker on the corners in certain areas of NYC than the actions of a woman.

I get this feeling that these individuals do not want to give up the concept of penetration from a male perspective. I'll even give Sandeen points for having an orchiectomy since I assume that makes her penis less than functional. In most cases the only reason you keep the male bits is because you want to use them as a man does and unless I missed the class that makes you still a man because women are penetrated even in most lesbian relationships.

Who do these self described women with a penis get intimate with? Are there women out there that find a woman with a  functioning penis attractive? Isn't someone living as a woman with a penis and liking women really a heterosexual transvestite? What kind of relationships can they have? Do you really believe them when they tell you they are asexual?

Just seems to me it is another way for men to invade women's spaces yet keep his penis, yet delude others into giving them rights as women, yet leaving them the option to return to functionality as men if they want. Typical man actually.

I do understand some just cannot have surgery but the concept of not wanting surgery and then claiming womanhood with a penis when they have not even gone through the process of girl to woman is infuriating.

These are the ones that claim sex is not part of the transsexual equation but like their penis they are deluding themselves in both cases.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Diagnosis of Transsexualism

I deleted a comment late in the previous post because the individual did not sign the Anonymous comment but what was said was interesting and explains perfectly why there is so much confusion and about who is and who is not transsexual. It involved the diagnosis of transsexualism or more to the point who can transition and change BC etc.. These are actually separate issues and the first part is actually the key to everything.

The term is transsexualism but the condition is clearly known to all that were born that way. The DSM and certain idiots in peripheral communities would like you to believe a doctor diagnoses one as transsexual but that is totally incorrect. I will get to this point shortly but let me first explain why this is now an issue when it never was before.

The condition defined as transsexualism has been redefined and not for the better. Now all some fool has to say is I have basically had gender dysphoria for a few years at 55 and bingo they are transsexual despite never having any issues earlier. They will change the narrative to fit more accurately into the classic definition but some are both honest enough and arrogant enough to be truthful. I cannot tell you how many times on a blog I have read some man say his therapist convinced him that he was transsexual and off to the surgeon they march. I even read someone that claimed thier transsexual minister convinced him he was transsexual.  Misery needed company in that case I guess.

The problem with all of this is simple. In many ways being transsexual is self diagnosed. I can only speak for my friends and I that were born transsexual.  Even today the kids I deal with on a personal basis diagnose themselves because quite simply we believe we are girls and want to complete the steps necessary to physically be female. I knew I was a girl and Harry Benjamin just placed a name to my self aware condition. All of the transsexuals I have known have always known they were or should be girls.

In the modern world one would need to be living under an iceberg in Antarctica not to know what a transsexual is or to have heard the terminology somewhere. We know what is or was wrong with us. We are girls and physically we need to match our bodies to our needs and desires as girls. Transsexuals do not go to a doctor to be diagnosed. Transsexuals go to a doctor so they can be cured through hormones and surgery. It is a lousy analogy but it is not unlike breaking your leg and going to the hospital for help repairing it. Transsexuals are seeking help not a diagnosis. A transsexual might not know what it is called but they know what is needed to fix the problem and the doctor provides that solution and not the diagnosis.

In fact it is almost impossible for a doctor to diagnose someone as transsexual. Parents of young transsexuals in today's world notice differences in a child and take them to a doctor and in reality the child diagnoses themselves.  The simple concept of "I am a girl" or "I should be a girl" is enough. It is impossible to diagnose transsexualism without those thoughts. Liking dolls, dresses and other girl things does not make one transsexual.  The child could be transsexual, a transvestite, gay, or even gender questioning and all should be helped but the transsexual child knows.

If anyone says they were unsure and were diagnosed as transsexual then they are not transsexual. Being transsexual is not something gray although lots of those in the transgender community not transsexual wish it was. It is quite simple actually. You either are or are not transsexual. There are super transvestites, Benjamin classified them as Type IV, that stop getting the need satisfied just dressing and some actually try and morph into transsexuals. Only a masochist would want to be transsexual which ironically fits more than afew transvestites.

 Even Benjamin diagnosed his patients by their narratives and at least in his day the concept of the "learned narrative" was unknown so his case history is pure since these patients sought out Harry with great difficulty. The one truth about all his transsexual patients is they wanted to "change their sex".  There was no concept of keeping one's penis and being transsexual.  Transvestites kept their penis. Now certain people wish us to believe this has changed but it has not.

I have over the years had people tell me it was a privilege or a gift to be transsexual which means immediately to me they are not transsexual because as Harry said in his book "nobody is more miserable than a transsexual". Harry did have the Type IV transsexual he consider non-surgical but they were more the super transvestite. Wanting to change your sex made you a "true transsexual" or it certainly did at one time.

I have jumped out on several limbs when dealing with certain individuals over the year plus time-frame I have had this blog. I have on occasion made an assumption whether someone was transsexual or not and in almost all cases I have done it after reading their personal blogs or sometimes their comments where they describe themselves. Their own self diagnosis can be revealing and damning. When it is obvious or I get upset at some nastiness I respond. In most cases but not all I am the respondent and not the instigator but I am by no means innocent of any fault. When someone knows the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual and describes themselves as a transvestite then they are what they say they are.  They self diagnosed themselves and it is what they are.

Anyone that went for help and did not want a sex change is not transsexual in the classic way. Sometimes the old way was more accurate than the new way and this is one of them. I wonder how many of you transsexuals out there that read this blog would claim they never wanted a sex change?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The truth about California Bill AB 433

Before I reacted to California Bill AB 433 which according to Autumn Sandeen made surgery unnecessary I decided to contact California Assembly woman Lauren Robinson and Danny Kirchoff in the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.  I appreciate how quickly they returned my emails in such a rapid manner. I do admit I implied I needed to or wanted to change my birth certificate and identified as a MTF transsexual in order to elicit a response.  I did not feel that an antagonistic query was warranted. I just wanted the truth.

I need to add something. Lauren Robinson claims the bill did not change the existing law but it did in some key ways. This is from the Congresswoman here.

Under existing law, whenever a person born in this state has undergone surgical treatment for the purpose of altering his or her sexual characteristics to those of the opposite sex, a new birth certificate may be prepared reflecting the change of gender and any change of name. A petition for the issuance of a new birth certificate is permitted to be filed in the superior court of the county in which the petitioner resides. Existing law requires the petition to be accompanied by an affidavit of the physician documenting the sex change and allows for the filing of objections by any person who can, in those objections, show good cause against the change in birth certificate.
This bill would instead authorize a person who has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition to file a petition in any superior court to recognize the change in gender and, additionally, if applicable, a name change and request for a new birth certificate. The bill would make the physician’s affidavit conclusive proof of gender change if it contains specified language. The bill would delete the provisions of existing law that authorize the filing of objections, and would require the court to grant the petition if the affidavit shows that the petitioner has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition. The bill would also make related changes.

I agree with the removal of the right of objections. Not even Sandeen should be put through that kind of scrutiny and public nastiness.  I know of parents that would do this to their own child. If a doctor says it is done then it is done.  The law is the law and that is a good change.

The following is a document sent to me by Lauren Robinson.

AB 433, Vital Statistics Modernization Act
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current law regarding court ordered gender changes and new birth

Since the 1970s California has had a law allowing transgender people to (1) obtain a court order recognizing a change of gender and (2) obtain a new birth certificate reflecting who they truly are. Unfortunately this law contains numerous procedural barriers that make this process onerous and confusing.

What does AB 433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act do?

The Vital Statistics Modernization Act makes a number of procedural changes to make the process for getting a court order gender change and new birth certificate more accessible. Those changes include:

Clarifying that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit a gender change petition in the State of California. This codifies a unanimous 2009 California Court of Appeal decision on this issue, Somers v Superior Court. Accordingly, this is not a change in a law, rather it makes the law clear to potential petitioners.

Making clear that the law allows for both a court order recognition of a change of gender for any California resident AND issuance of a new birth certificate for a petition born in California. Again, this is not a change in the law but simply a cleanup of confusing legal language.

Including a sample physician declaration that the individual has undergone “clinically appropriate treatment” to obtain a new birth certificate to reflect their gender. This makes the process more clear and conforms California law to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports.

Why is this bill necessary?

For transgender people, recognition of their gender is a matter of basic human dignity. In order to live as their authentic selves in a safe and stable way, transgender people need identification that is consistent with their gender identity.

The Vital Statistics Modernization Act would alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when they have identity documents that do not reflect who they are.Does this bill eliminate the requirement that one undergo surgery in order to get a new birth certificate or court ordered gender change?

This bill ensures that medical decisions are made by an individual’s doctor, not by the government. The bill requires an attending physician to submit a declaration that a petitionerhas undergone “clinically appropriate treatment.” This is the same standard used by the US Department of State for changes on passports and birth certificates issued to US citizens born abroad. This is also consistent with current medical standards regarding transgender health.

What the intent of the bill is and how it will be used by some could be problematic.  The intent of the bill was NEVER to redefine what F and M mean on a birth certificate from Assembly Woman Robinson's assertions but to leave the decision in the hands of competent physicians which is probably in theory a rational concept.  In reality we will find out and it depends on the moral ethics and medical ethics of a physician.  I do see a cottage industry potential.

Sandeen will still need a physician to provide an affidavit in order to change her birth certificate. I would guess she will use the flawed document her mindless physician from Oregon provided even if he did not intend for it to indicate she has undergone "clinically appropriate treatment". the reason Sandeen is waiting until the new year is quite simple. Nobody can challenge her petition for a new birth certificate after the new year starts and that is quite apparently her primary motivation and in all honesty I do not blame her.

Will some slip through the cracks and get birth certificate changes that should not?  Yes they will but that has been happening for quite a while now. Will there be a cacophony of screaming men in dresses clamoring for new birth certificates?  I do not believe it is possible although there is the chance of it based on the assumption there are unscrupulous physicians out there. I hope not. Does the simple process of feminization through hormones enable on to change a birth certificate. Possibly under extreme conditions but I do prefer medical professionals making the decision over politicians.

Is this the end of the world as we know it?  Not really in my humble opinion. If a physician provides a false affidavit he is still subject to penalty and I would hope they do not. The intent was not malicious so let us all hope it is not abused. Okay, I know it will be abused but by how many?

The simple fact a notarized affidavit is required  provides some control. I do believe part of the motivation was for those transsexuals whose conditions prevented further surgery whether that be an FTM brother or an MTF sister. All in all this bill is not the worst bill although I would have liked some clarification over what attending physician can provide an affidavit.  Other than that I am not going to get involved in some shitstorm over a legal bill passed legally by a State Legislature. It is the Law now and it is what it is.

The following are the emails I received from those I contacted. They speak for themselves and again I appreciate the prompt and courteous response from Lauren Robinson.  I am prohibited from showing the email from The Transgender Law Center. Lawyers will always be lawyers I guess. To prove I received one I will provide the header and trailer information below.

From: Robinson, Lauren []
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 5:25 PM
To: Elizabeth T
Subject: RE: AB 433

Hello Elizabeth,

I’m not sure if you can get a US passport before treatment is completed.  Under CA state law (including our new provisions in AB 433 that will take effect January 1st, 2012) you would still have to complete “clinically appropriate treatment” before you can petition the court for a new birth certificate.  This will require a doctor’s avadavat to the court stating that you have completed “clinically appropriate treatment.” Depending on the treatment prescribed by the doctor this may not require  an invasive surgery to still receive clinically appropriate treatment. 

I’d like to give you the contact information for the Transgender Law Center, who was one of our sponsors of the bill, they can assist you in the process and walk you through the steps on how to obtain an updated birth certificate.  (415) 865-0176.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any further  questions.

Thank you,

From: Robinson, Lauren []
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6:07 PM
To: Elizabeth T
Subject: RE: AB 433

The individual’s treating physician will make the determination as to what qualifies as clinically appropriate treatment and when that person has completed treatment.  I attached a fact sheet from the Transgender law center and a letter from WPATH regarding surgery.  The state is not issuing temporary birth certificates.  I also attached the updated passport policy.  They do still offer the 2 year temporary passport but they do state that they are following the guideline offered by WPATH. 

From: Danny Kirchoff []
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:43 PM
Subject: RE: AB 433

Dear Elizabeth,

Danny Kirchoff
Client Advocate
Transgender Law Center
870 Market Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94102
Fax:     (877) 847-1278
This email message and any attachments are intended only for the use of the addressee named above and contain information that is privileged and confidential.  If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this email is unauthorized and strictly prohibited.  If you received this email in error, please immediately notify the sender by replying to this email message.  Thank you. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

AB 433 and California Birth Certificate Law

There are some inconsistencies in the way the new law in California is being represented. I pulled the following from an activist site and I cannot say I disagree with much of it because discrimination is not something I am in favor of and the financial burdens can be rough for some transsexuals but there are issues with how California has implemented the birth certificate change based primarily on the erroneous claim it matches US Passport Law.

 They are talking about AB 877 which prevents discrimination and AB 433 which in theory simplifies altering your birth certificate to match your new gender. Read the following and my discussion will follow below.

  1. We found that California’s nondiscrimination laws were often not accessible to those who needed them the most. Employers, health care providers, housing authorities – even transgender and gender non-conforming people – were unaware that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender Californians. Our legal rights were hidden within the definition of “gender”, leaving many people in the dark about their rights, and many institutions out of compliance responsibilities. This had an especially severe impact on low income and trans communities of color who tend to face employment discrimination at higher frequencies within transgender communities.

  2. We heard from many transgender people who were unable to change their birth certificates and other identity documents due to financial and medical barriers. Onerous and outdated standards for court-ordered gender changes created unfair and damaging barriers that disproportionately impacted trans people of color, immigrant trans people, low-income trans people and others who could not overcome the many hurdles to securing basic identity documents. These are identity documents we all need to work, travel, and be our authentic selves.
With the help of your input and our partners at Equality California and GSA Network, we came up with two legislative solutions to these problems.
  • The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender and spells out “gender identity and expression” as their own protected categories in our nondiscrimination laws. By making these protections explicit, people will more clearly understand California’s nondiscrimination laws, which should increase the likelihood that employers, schools, housing authorities, and other institutions will work to prevent discrimination and/or respond more quickly at the first indications of discrimination.

  • The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433) will alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when we have identity documents that do not reflect who we are. The bill will streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit gender change petitions in the State of California. The Vital Statistics Modernization Act conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports, and it makes common-sense changes to the law that ensure the process is simple for qualified petitioners to navigate.

The actual meaning of the new AB 433 Law is found here.

I pulled the following to clarify things.

Transgender people born in or currently residing in California can submit a petition for a court order recognizing a change of gender and the issuance of a new birth certificate. The current statute states that a gender change petition must be submitted in the jurisdiction of a person’s place of residence, despite the fact that case law has clarified that gender change petitions can also be submitted in the jurisdiction where a person was born. Additionally, current law conflicts with the medical standard applied by the US Passport Agency and current medical understanding of what is required for obtaining identity documents that reflect the appropriate gender.
The Vital Statistics Modernization Act would alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when they have identity documents that do not reflect who they are. AB 433 would streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit a gender change petition in any jurisdiction in the State of California. Neither of these are changes in the law; it is simply a matter of making the process accessible to those who need it. AB 433 would also allow people who were born or live in California to use a simplified process that requires medical certification from an attending physician that the individual has undergone treatment as determined by their physician to correct identification documents to reflect their gender. This change conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the federal Government.

The problem is the US Passport service issues a temporary  two year passport to ease travel for those that are transgender,  they really mean transsexual, which is not how the transgender crowd want to view this. Does this mean the birth certificate in California is a two year temporary document? Well actually if you read the above section it kind of says they must have medical certification and that the existing law, requiring some form of surgery, has NOT been altered or modified.

The real question is if they have not redefined what constitutes a sex change or the documentation required to change the sex/gender on a birth certificate then how does this law allow Sandeen and those like her to obtain a female birth certificate with a penis? It appears those in the transgender movement are trying to blur the real meaning of AB 433 but maybe that is me. In my world stating "it does not change the existing law" means exactly that but somehow they believe it does not.

Based on a post on another blog, Enough Nonsense, where I am barred from commenting, that is weird by itself, one would get the impression California had redefined what a female is and initially I thought that was true until I did my own investigation and research. Not even Jerry Brown would be stupid enough to redefine what female is but it seems many think California and its legislature have done just that.

I have sent out emails asking for clarification from multiple parties involved. I kind of doubt I will receive a response but let us hope I am incorrect.

I will add I did run this by my younger brother who is an Attorney and he believes the initial law that requires valid documentation stands but he is a Massachusetts lawyer and not California.

I figure before I have a rant it might be a good idea to find out what is and is not true. There seems to be a lot of gray here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not forgotten.

My friend was murdered 41 years ago either late on October 10, 1970 or early AM October 11, 1970. The link to my blog post tells the story but she will always be missed. Lana and I will never forget you sis.


I have a comments on my two guest posts by a dear friend who in many ways is a reason I exist today. I have been asked why I posted the first two parts of "Notes from a Different perspective. The answer is both complicated yet in many ways simple.  The easy answer is I was asked to by someone I deeply care for but the real reason is complicated.

When I was in the clutches of the medical insanity of a certain mental institution and was forced to undergo aversion therapy I might not have made some things clear enough so I will now. I lost a lot of my childhood memories but not all. I remembered events but had no recollection of how or exactly when they physically took place. Some of those memories were never recovered but many came back over time.  I will not go into details because that part is quite painful sometimes but Mary was both an independent viewer of my early childhood and then a key part of my teenage years against her will at first.

I have read everything she has written and memories have been nudged into consciousness and some are good and many are bad but above all I now know how much that boy really cared about me which means a lot to me personally. I also found it both disturbing yet enlightening how this boy's mother went from questioning my existence to actually helping me which she certainly did not have to do.  She could have turned her back and taken measures to break up what she realized early on was happening. Ironically she realized before I did that her son liked me as a girl. I was too blinded by both fear and anger to allow anyone inside my firewall that I had built around myself.

I admit I was attracted to him but what girl my age would not be attracted to a star athlete? Of course my problem was anatomically I was not a girl even if I felt I already was a girl. I feared boys despite being attracted to them.  I hated girls because they had what I wanted far more than I wanted my life.

It was not me that told the kids in my school I wanted to be a girl it was that boy. It was not me that told the kids in my school I was transsexual.  It was that boy. It was my mother with a gigantic help from his mother and her family that got me to Harry Benjamin. It was his mother that convinced my mother that the "cure" she wanted might be at hand but not in the way she wanted.

Life is very complicated for all of us. It is incredibly complex for child transsexuals that are too intense to be subjugated by what society expects of them. For us then and for those today help is what we needed then and what they need today. I think it is kind of amazing my help came from a woman whose son cared for me.  I think it is even more amazing that she overcame her own prejudices towards a child like me and instead of forcing her son to move away from me she let her son make the decision. I absolutely never knew any of this and if anything makes me cherish the time we had together even more deeply.

Mary is my closest friend in the world and I know because of her advanced age that friendship has limits. We have spent a lot of time talking over the time I have been in this area and I admit I was initially reticent to even read what she pulled from her diaries but I did and I am glad I did. I actually learned a lot about people and it made it clearer to me that kids like us may face big hurdles in life but one of them is not acceptance if people know the truth. There will always be those that hate anything like this, even in kids, but most people will accept and understand children.  I have seen this in the kids we have helped over the years.

Of course these posts are very personal and in many ways describe the painful times in my early childhood through my early teens but they also opened my eyes to the issues I caused my own family and Mary's family. My younger brother and I had grown apart after our mother passed and it dawned on me my two brothers spent a lot of their own childhood keeping me alive as I tried to end my life. I reconciled with my brother because I called and just told him I was sorry for what I put him through and I am. I thanked him for saving me from me and we reunited.

Those are not my memories in those posts. I have always felt I closed the book on my childhood when i attended my tenth high school reunion where I intended to get even for the pain I suffered only to learn how confused they were by me and how sorry they were for some of the things that happened.  When a grown man stands in front of you in tears and apologizes for what he did it has a lasting result. When a woman tells you if you had let the wall down we could have been friends it gives you reason to think about certain things. In truth it helped me forgive them but one thing you have to learn to do is forgive yourself. I don't think I ever really did even if I have led a productive and enjoyable life.

I have told close friends, some online, that I have always felt guilt over Kevin dying in Vietnam. I felt I should have done something. What I could have done is unclear. Mary came back in my life a while back and I am grateful for that. She met my second husband and her first comment was, "He reminds me of Kevin", which struck me as odd until I thought about it. I always did like boys in uniforms.

In many ways life has come full circle. My life began to have meaning because of this woman's kindness and her sharing of this information gives insight into my life and why I got involved helping kids like me. Subconsciously it probably relates to what this very kind parent of a boy did for me nearly 53 years ago when there was no rational reason to help me. The smart thing would have been to avoid me.

She helped me realize what happened was  just how it was intended to be because without the events of my childhood I would not have been driven to be who I really was nor would I have been so driven as an adult.  Much of what Mary wrote was intensely personal to her and in many ways harder because the end came with the death of a young man in Southeast Asia which altered both of our lives.

A lot of what I have written on my blog is personal and intense because that was how it was. Mary was a second set of eyes that followed my life until I was 17 1/2 when both our lives were ripped apart. My mother was very limited in how she could help me and she did the best she could but Mary gave me some help in at least having some clue what it was "really" like to be a girl in the times I spent up North with her.  Even when Kevin could not make it she dragged me away so I could get some comfort as me and she hugged me when I cried my heart out because I had to back to Massachusetts and be 1/2 the girl I wanted to be.

When I asked her why she wanted me to post this she said it might help someone to understand that the child you are looking at that appears so weird and unusual could just as easily be yours and putting a hand out and trying to help is not the worst thing an adult can do for a child and for kids like me it might be life saving.

Now if anyone needs to ask why or how I could put this in a blog I suggest you read everything I have posted and get a perspective or simply do not read this blog at all and do not comment.  Blogs are in many ways personal and mine can be intensely personal and I have a tendency to get away from that when faced with issues that tick me off and maybe it has taken away from my blog sometimes but opinions aside if being born transsexual is not both personal and intense and you blog and are not willing to show how personal and intense it is then it begs a major question.  Why blog?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Notes from a Different Perspective Part Two.

More from Mary.


Saturday May 9, 1959

First time I have seen his tutor since that horrible day. He looks fine and is even sadder if it is possible. I think he recognizes me from the hospital but I am not sure. Kevin seemed to dote on her. Weird! Very weird! If am I honest with myself this is very hard to deal with. We try to be understanding but how understanding does one have to be to accept this? What kind of a mistake brought this child into this world? He seems so totally lost.

Thursday June 11, 1959 (P)

We needed a weekend to ourselves. My husband has been stressed beyond belief and I have been a ticking emotional bomb. We are going to the Cape for a long weekend and leaving Kevin alone against my better judgment. He said he has a big test on Friday and what boy wants to be with his parents on a hopefully romantic getaway for us. Guess that answers the question.

Sunday June 14, 1959 (P)

Disaster or it would appear so.  We got home late Sunday afternoon and Kevin was waiting for us and I am not sure how to put this in a diary. Details are too weird to write down but yesterday Kevin and his tutor took the step any parent would be worried about. My head is whirling and my poor husband is sitting there with a stunned look and I guess I am also. I think female pronouns are appropriate from now on. Probably just to keep my sanity.

Kevin kissed his tutor under rather unusual circumstances and she had just fallen apart and opened up to my son like he was her father confessor. She had done something for them pretending to be a girl and I gather she pretended quite well because Kevin has fallen for her, not that he probably already had not. Something about she is a girl, heard that from her mom, and wants to be a girl, very weird, and would rather be dead than have to live her life as a boy. Pretty deep stuff for a just turned 17 year old and god she is not even 14. First time I have seen my husband cry in years.

I told him one kiss was not a big deal and Kevin said it was not one kiss and I had visions of ugly things but they only made out when they got back to our house which somehow doesn’t seem as bad when I consider the ugly thoughts I had.

God, what are we going to do?

Monday June 15, 1959 (P)

Martha called around 8 PM and said we needed to talk. What an understatement that is! We arranged to meet on Wednesday.

Tuesday June 16, 1959 (P)

Shortly after school was out Kevin’s tutor came looking for Kevin. Kevin was doing an errand and I told her to go to the Study and wait.  I think she could sense the edginess in my voice because I was not friendly to her. There was an ugly bruise on one of her arms and she had been crying. God I have never seen a child so sad. I had to leave for work before Kevin made it home but I thought I heard her crying in the Study.  This is really sad and I cannot believe it but I feel guilty for being so curt with her. I so want to say him.

Wednesday June 17, 1959 (P)

We met with Martha and she was quite distraught. We had seen the photo in the paper on Monday and she handed us an old photo of herself and her son looks exactly like her and that was what had been bothering me. I recognized the child but I didn’t recognize the child as the spitting image of my best friend in High School.  I just could not make that connection. Martha was the prettiest girl in school, cheerleader,  Homecoming Queen and all that kind of stuff. They could be twins.

Martha told us she was writing to a doctor in NYC named Benjamin and he called her a transsexual. Wasn’t that what Jorgensen was? Did not know this was something that could happen to a child.  It is beginning to make some sense now.

Martha wants her son cured but what kind of a life can a boy have when they look so convincingly female? Would it change with puberty and testosterone?

Martha asked what was going on or if anything was going on between Kevin and her son. I suggested for decency sake we should consider the child a girl for now.  That was not an easy decision.

She had told Martha over a year ago she was attracted to boys.  I guess it fits if she is a girl. It is very confusing for all of us. I told her what we knew and she did not seem surprised.

The term awkward does not do justice to what just happened. 

Wednesday July 1, 1959 (P)

Kevin has been very quiet. His tutor is off on a vacation with her two brothers and Martha in Europe and Kevin misses her. We are just going to have to deal with it somehow. I keep forgetting she is not even 14. It has been a rather miserable summer vacation in Quebec. Kevin is moping around and his father and I are in a state of shock. Our son likes a girl that is not a girl. God help us all!

Sunday August 2, 1959 (P)

Kevin seemed more upbeat and happier this last week or so and I know why. Martha called after they arrived home yesterday and she said we needed to talk this week. I asked how the vacation went and the only word she emphasized was “enlightening”. We arranged to meet Wednesday evening.

Monday August 3, 1959 (P)

Kevin borrowed my husband’s Corvette without permission and a friend told me he witnessed Kevin and a pretty blond girl heading south on Route 3A near the shipyard.  That darn car is my husband’s pride and joy. I think he washes the car 3 times a week in the summer. I was not home when Kevin got home but his father was and happy is not how I would describe him. 

What is happening to our son?

What did they do together?

Wednesday August 5, 1959 (P)

What a surprise we had meeting with Martha. She brought her to the meeting. The difference in this child from our last interaction and today is striking. Even the waitress assumed she was Martha’s daughter. She is strikingly beautiful up close and weirdly I do not believe she has a clue she is. 

What a sweet girl was my immediate perception. In a weird way the sort of male cloths she wears make her look more feminine if that is possible. Talking to her is a one way street. I talk and she says nothing unless Martha encourages her.  I think she is afraid of me.

She is just so delicate and feminine. How can this be? I tried to get information on transsexual at the local Library and asked several doctors and nobody had a clue. It is obvious this is just not a boy or certainly a different kind of boy. 

Kevin Sr. shocked me when he whispered she seems so sad I feel like I want to just hold her and tell her everything will be okay. God I think she sort of seduced my husband. Yikes!
I fear nothing okay will come out of this.

Friday August 7, 1959 (P)

What a shock today. Kevin sat down with me and told me some in depth details about how confused and hurting his tutor was. She told him she was not growing up to be a man and would make sure of that. She had told him there was no help for someone like her and she would never be what she was not. The poor child does not know she is transsexual while her mother does. Maybe Martha does not believe it?

I called Martha and asked why she had not told her son about Dr. Benjamin and that she was transsexual and I realized Martha was trying or hoping to cure her “son”. She then drops the bombshell that her son has basically the same testosterone levels as a girl her age and now it makes some sense. I could not get an answer why she had not told her.

We are all so afraid of the unknown. I should heed this advice myself.

Saturday August 14, 1959 (P)

Martha came to our home and we had a long talk. Poor woman was in tears most of the time. She thanked us for not hurting her daughter. Yes, she said daughter. Shocking in a way but not shocking in other ways.

She told us her daughter was seeing another Psychiatrist but regardless of what he said she wanted to arrange a meeting with this Dr. Benjamin in NYC but it was really impossible with the situation in her home. Martha’s mother is a piece of work. Remind me to never get on her bad side.

We offered to help if we could.  I hope that is not something foolish.

Sunday October 4, 1959 (P)

First time I have seen Kevin’s tutor in a while and she is even more beautiful if possible. Kevin lights up whenever I see them together. If possible she seems to be even sadder. The only time she seems to smile is when Kevin is talking with her.

Whatever happens will happen I guess. I feel like there is a bomb in my house and when it goes off my family will be destroyed. I wish I never asked the school for a tutor.

A strange thing happened when she left today. She turned to me and said she could never hurt Kevin and ran out the door. There were tears in her eyes and it was the first time she has looked directly at me. I think she knows how concerned we are for Kevin. I sometimes wonder who is concerned for her!

Thursday November 12, 1959 (P)

I received a strange call from Martha today. Seems the latest Psychiatrist had said some hurtful things to her daughter and she wanted us to tell Kevin to keep an eye on her.
What have we gotten ourselves into? Martha is worried about another suicide attempt. Not sure I want Kevin around this if it happens.

Friday November 27, 1959 (P)

It was just a nightmarish Thanksgiving yesterday. I was so exhausted when the day was over I fell asleep on the couch with Kevin crying his heart out.

I am not sure what happened but from what Kevin said relatives had said some ugly things to Liz (Kevin calls her that now) and she had run away in the afternoon and everyone knew she was going to try to kill herself.

That child is so desperate it breaks your heart. It was a big media event because of who the family is.

Kevin found her trying to throw herself into the outbound tide at Black’s Creek near the bridge which was a certain death sentence. Kevin stopped her and drove her home and got into a fight with someone.

The poor boy cannot understand why she does not want to live. How do you explain this to a 17 year old?

It got even worse.  Martha called me and told me her daughter was rushed to the hospital this morning and is very sick. By the time I got to hospital she was in Intensive Care with double pneumonia with complications caused by asthma so she is on a mechanical ventilator which is an ominous sign.

Kevin insisted on coming with me and his red eyes were a tell tale sign of his emotional state. 

Monday November 30, 1959 

Things are quite ominous. One Doctor told me she does not seem to have the will to live which I always thought was a silly concept but I am not so sure any longer.

She actually went into cardiac arrest late today and was revived. I had a priest friend give her the last rites. I swear to god if she survives I will do anything to help her.

Wednesday December 2, 1959 

She seems to be slightly better but has not woken since being admitted. Among the staff she has become “the boy that should be a girl” which is beyond weird to hear but just so true. She is the talk of the entire staff. 

Friday December 4, 1959 (P)

Was talking with my brother Henri in Montreal and I mentioned the child and to my shock Henri said Maurice my oldest brother knew Dr. Benjamin quite well. I asked why and Henri said because as Physicians it interested both of them because of a paper they had read by Benjamin. Maurice had reached out to Benjamin and had visited him in NYC. Okay now it is really getting weird!

We had a very long talk and I finally understand what a transsexual is or at least I might have a clue. 

Her older brother Ray has not left her side when he is allowed to get near her. There is a very special bond there. He might be the most aware one in the family.

Saturday December 6, 1959 (P)

She is over the worst and has been moved out of Intensive Care. I tried visiting her but she will not talk with me. She seems even sadder if that is possible.

A Nurse friend said Kevin visited her and she perked up a little. I lied and told her Kevin was visiting his tutor but by the look they know it might be more than that. Now that is just wonderful!

Tuesday December 7, 1959 (P)

I had my own Pearl Harbor today. Another nurse asked why Kevin visited her every single day. I told her it was because she was his tutor but I could tell she knew it was not just that. Well I guess it is out there now. I kept getting these stiff smiles from all the staff.

It seems Kevin was, after her mom and brother Ray, the only one she was talking to. 

Thursday December 9, 1959 (P)

Talked with Maurice for an hour and explained everything. I then asked if there was any way he could help this child. I told him the mother had been writing to Benjamin. Maurice said he could arrange a meeting in Canada after learning of the family situation. The grandmother from hell needs to be kept in the dark. The kind of political power that woman carries around this area is very scary.

Saturday December 11, 1959

The child is recovering rapidly and should be out of hospital shortly. A nurse said she perks up immediately when your son shows up. Gee, thanks for that tidbit.

Sunday December 12, 1959 (P)

After Mass Kevin asked to talk with us about her. I kind of expected what was said.
He told us he thought he really liked her like a boy likes a girl. Look kids have no clue about love but I believed him for some obvious reasons. It was totally obvious it was true. Scary thought but maybe it is sympathy love. God, I hope so. I just used the "love" word. and in this scenario what good can possibly come from this kind of love?

Monday December 13, 1959 (P)

She was released today and I have never seen Kevin this happy. 

I called Martha and we met that evening and we decided together we needed her daughter to meet Benjamin or she would be lost eventually. I called Maurice and asked him to see if he could arrange something for the Xmas vacation that began December 23.

I told Martha I think Kevin is in love with her and she said if you had seen her in Europe you would realize boys like her and she likes boys. Okay, that was weird was my thought. What did she do in Europe?

Wednesday December 15, 1959 (P)

Maurice called and said he could arrange a meeting with Benjamin on December 27 if it was alright with the parent. Benjamin would fly into Montreal on the 27th and we would meet at the Ski Lodge that evening.

Martha was okay with that but said she could not possibly take the time off from work because of missed time because of the child’s illnesses. I volunteered and Kevin Sr. agreed we would just take her with us on our Xmas vacation skiing if she could get the Doctors to say it was okay.

The real question is how the child will handle all of this.

To be continued ....