Tag Archives: transition

Adventures in Binding Pt. 2

10 Aug

While Girlfriend visited we went shopping, and in several stores we were shopping, in essence, for the invisible man. The sales people would ask us things like “What does this guy look like?” and “Do you think this is too wild for him?” and we would glance at each other and I would try not to burst out laughing, because, of course, we were shopping for me. (And yes, that tie was far too wild.)

Honestly I didn’t mind being the invisible man. Though I’m absolutely positive that not everybody identified me as straight, it was smoother to shop for somebody who wasn’t there than to tell them that tie was for me. (One guy was clearly thinking “Look at the baby gays!” when trying to get me to open a store credit card account, though.)

Read more. (For review, it’s an Underworks’ 998 XL in white)

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Adventures in Binding

1 Aug

Note: If you’re interested in binding and haven’t read anything on it, I recommend Hudson’s Guide and this article from TransGuys as basic primers. They both describe binding options and where to buy or find binders.

Binding is something I’ve been thinking about, I guess, for around a year. Until now I’ve held off on it because I’m already pretty indecisive about buying clothes, and because I have a few assorted worries about it. I haven’t worn the binder much but since in my search for one I realized there are extremely few reviews from bigger people in the plus size range, I want to chronicle it in case someone needs the resource.

The reasons I held back were that I worry maybe excessively about hurting my ribs after all the reading I’ve done. Also, it’s hot where I live, and I don’t imagine heat making binding easier. It’s averaging 94 Fahrenheit (34.4 Celsius) during most of the day right now, about to crank up a few degrees this week, and typically it doesn’t cool down until October. Sometimes it’s still hot by Halloween. A couple of years ago I wore shorts on Christmas. You get the picture.

After a lot of discussion with Girlfriend (and being talked out of a last-minute reversal on the decision of getting one), I ordered a binder off Underworks a week or so ago. It took a lot of review-reading and deliberating but I settled on a 988 XL in white. A coupon saved me a few dollars (I Googled ‘Underworks coupon’). ETA: It cost $38.24 with shipping and the coupon, promo code under10, saved me $3.50.

Under the cut: description of the binder and its effects, and also some brief description of my size, which probably not everyone wants to read about.

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Transition Plans

3 Jun

I am neutrois, which means I don’t feel connected to male or female genders or androgyny, and that I also feel gender dysphoria. Medical science, having progressed past the barber slash surgeon stage, has a few options available to me to alleviate this dysphoria.

My plans are mostly dreams at this point. I don’t have anything concrete, because my entire future is a little uncertain at the moment. Among other things, I’m not sure where I’ll be living next month. It’s also hard to tell whether I’ll be able to keep up the full-time-student thing or whether I’ll drop a class and pick up a part-time job, the latter of which would push my graduation date. Then I don’t know how long it’ll take for me to actually move and settle into a new city and a new job in a new part of the country. I’ve come to believe that cross-country moves are not an easy endeavor.

So there’s a lot of things in the air, is what I’m saying. I do have some mental sketches for how my transition is going to progress, though. Graduate at the end of 2012, work for two years, move in with Girlfriend Drake, get top surgery sometime in 2015.

I don’t particularly want to put it off for four years, but I feel like that’s how long it’s going to take to save the money and have a comfortable place to recuperate in.

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My full name

15 Mar

I have been going by the short version of my name for a few months now, which for the purposes of anonymity I’m going to say is Alex as opposed to Alexandra (neutral as opposed to feminine). The other day I was filling out yet another online form, which asked for my “full name.” I reflexively typed Alexandra.

Then I felt hot all over, and vaguely sick, and started at the blank for much longer than necessary before saying “Fuck it!” and changing it to Alex. I immediately felt a bit better … but the uneasy feeling lingered for several hours.

This is the first time my dysphoria has been triggered by my full name. In this situation, I had the benefit of not really needing to put my full name, because it wasn’t asking for the name on my credit card or my social security card. It was just an online poll and potential gift card win.

But this isn’t the usual situation. In most situations where I’ll be asked to write my name on a form, I’m going to have to put my full legal name. Apparently I’m going to be tripping over dysphoria every time I have to fill out an official form.

I would go out and change it this year, but I’m moving in with Girlfriend in a few years, and we’ve already decided to change our names when we move in together. I don’t want to have to change my social security card, bank info, etc., twice in such a short amount of time. I guess I could go ahead and hyphenate my last name with hers, but I was looking forward to doing it alongside her.

My impression of the process is that it’s not that difficult, legally, although there’s tons of paperwork. I assume that because I’m just shortening my name, rather than changing it entirely or to a definitively masculine name, it will be easier to convince a judge to let me change my first name. Since Girlfriend and I will most likely be living in a liberal area, I also assume getting our last names hyphenated without a marriage certificate will not be that difficult.

I know that others do not have those privileges, and I feel awful knowing some people must face transphobic judges. I know I also have an easy time of getting people to call me Alex and don’t have to fight about it. My family has been doing it for years, and my offline friends were mostly just slightly confused and then accepting because hey, it’s still kind of the name they’ve always been calling me.

Which makes the road easier, for me. Hopefully it won’t be too long until the paperwork issue is also sorted out, and I have one less thing to trigger the dysphoria.