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Hypothyroidism Version 2

1 Aug

This is a long-awaited update about my current health issues with fatigue, my thyroid, sleep apnea and being on Testosterone.

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Preferred Name and Pronouns at Work Part 4

1 Dec

Today, after many month (well almost a year), the General Manager of my workplace has posted the following statement on the organisation’s intranet today: (more…)

Preferred Name and Pronouns at Work Part 3

21 Nov

misgender

mɪsˈdʒɛndə/

verb
gerund or present participle: misgendering
1. refer to (someone, especially a transgender person) using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.
So after emailing my work colleagues, and posting, about my preferred name and pronouns at work here and here, some people are still continue to struggle and using ‘she’. It was all a little surreal as during this period of time, a couple of days actually, the training coordinator, and fellow queer, approached me about diversity training and to check how I was doing.
The first occurrence was when a manager referred to me as ‘she’ when chatting to a client (e.g. “I am sure that wasn’t her intention” and “I’m sure she wouldn’t mind at all”). I’ve raised this once in supervision when I had a client ask me if I was a boy or a girl, which I didn’t respond to and continued to focus on their issue and needs (I work mostly over the telephone or via online chat). I admit right here and now that I struggle so much with advocating and standing up for myself in terms of my gender identity and pronoun preference, however that’s another story.
The second occurrence, which happened on the same day, was when an older 70yr old colleague asked “How are you pretty lady?”. I responded that I was doing ok and enjoying my weekend at work, and also clarified that I don’t identify as female. I believe my response challenged him a little, and maybe I could have not said anything, because as soon as I had uttered that he told me about a recent experience:
He’d entered a workshop that he was presenting at and addressed the room with “Good morning guys!”, which wasn’t welcomed as enthusiastically as he’d hoped by the room full of mothers. Following that he tried “ladies”, which again didn’t go down too well, and ended with “Well how would you prefer I address you as?”. Their response was for him to use their name, which he was quick to explain that he didn’t have the time, having just walked into the room, to have asked.
I got his point and frustration, yet he failed to have learned from this experience. To add injury to insult he calls all the men “guys” or “mate”, which clearly highlights that he see’s me as female. I am yet to talk about my Team Leader about this, more because I would like to find another way to communicate to work colleges about this.

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Preferred name and pronouns at work – Part 2

10 Mar

Yesterday I was approached by one of my work colleagues, who happens to be a gay male, wanting to discuss my recent email. He wanted to know why I sent it, what gender neutral pronouns were and how on earth you would expect someone to use ‘they’ while you could just use their first name (ok valid point). He then progressed into asking me if I was a hermaphrodite… At that point I was caught between thinking “what the… did he just say that?” and wondering if I should explain to him how:

a) that term is perhaps not appropriate;
b) explaining the difference between intersex and trans*; and
c) that is none of his business (which I didn’t in fact think about until this morning).

Throughout the last week several counsellors have thanked me for my email, asked me about it a little further and also helped educated others who have not felt comfortable enough to approach me. I however, wrongly, assumed that some of the queer staff at work would have some idea about gender diversity. By the end of yesterday I actually felt quite upset and angry that I allowed myself to be so vulnerable and didn’t have my wits about me to say how that question was both inappropriate and non of his business.

Overall however I had over 15 emails acknowledging my request, congratulating me and supporting me. One person asked, via email, if I could clarify whether I would like my preferred name and gender neutral pronouns to be applied only when dealing with clients who may refer to me by name and/or in general. Thankfully my response didn’t reflect my thoughts and feeling of ‘what part of preferred name and pronouns do you not understand!?’.

Preferred name and pronouns at work

26 Feb

In my last Team Leader meeting I asked if it would be ok for me to request for my preferred name to be used in all IT systems at work (e.g. email correspondence, case note records and within the programs we use to manage client information). I also asked if I could send out an email to staff to let them know about my preferred name a pronoun change. Here is the response I got after it needed to be discussed with the Team Manager: (more…)

Genderqueer is my lived experience

27 Aug

Interrupt me if you’ve already heard me saying this… I saw my psychiatrist a few weeks to a month ago. It was a catch-up from seix-months ago when I last saw him and not much was said really. I feel pretty much the same about being on T and have no current desire to undergo any surgery. I did however learn that I had spoken to him six-months ago about this ‘tiredness’ that I have been feeling. His suggestion was to take two of my Vitamin D tablets in the morning, which I have done. I also mentioned that I wanted to increase my dose of T slightly to see if it helped with my energy levels at all. I checked with my Dr and should my results from tomorrow’s blood test go well I will be increasing to 200mg. I was going to start tomorrow but I have a busy day and an appointment at the dentist – too much for one day.

I bought myself a beard trimmer, thanks to help of my partner who has had some experience with these things. The electrical item is however still in its package and will probably remain so until I absolutley have to use it. I don’t mind being slightly scruffy and I really dislike having to shave/trim, however I do so I don’t stand out too much as so it’s not too noticable and other people freak out over not knowing what to say.  My shoulder hair however is something I would like to remove completely but again I lack the energy or enthusiasm to do so. In winter it is fine to just let it go, but my remedial massage appointments have created some anxiety for me in not knowing what the other person thinks.

What other people see and think about me is both important and unimportant. I used to desperately need to be seen as trans*/queer/genderqueer in order to feel I ‘fit’ or received some kind of acknowledgement. In a way I still need that, or at least I find myself wanting it when I feel invisable next to someone who is trans*. What I mean by that is sometimes I feel that being genderueer/me, choosing not to bind and keeping my name, my pronouns aren’t respected and I am overlooked when someone might be asking for a trans* opinion. Take for example recently being asked to be involved in a project where the organisation was wanting a trans* perspective. A trans* peer was asked and consulted with one other person, that other person wasn’t me. I admit I find it hard to stand up for myself at times and I do not discount that this plays a part. I knew choosing to take T wasn’t going to be easy and I think in a way it shows how hormones can help, but won’t suddenly change everything and make it better.

Something else that came up for me in the last month is how much I miss friends from overseas and the worry of how they will react to some of my changes. I’ve not spoken or seen some of my friends in more than three years. While we exchange the odd photo now and again they are completely unaware , toether with my family, about my decision to start T and identify as genderqueer. One of these friends is more of a brother and I love him to bits. I was always his little sister and he was my big brother. I still feel the same and still want to be what we are to one another, but I have no idea how he would feel about me being genderqueer. That sense of loss is unimaginable for me.

As I reflect on how my gender identity is part of my everyday life I am sad to be loosing another GLBTIQ ally at work. This person has been of such great support while I suggested changes to our policies and procedures relating to sex and/or gender identity, as well as my own personal disclosures to staff and team leaders about my pronoun and name preference. I feel like I am the only genderqueer in the village/at work, and in a way I think I am.

 

Cccchanges

28 Nov

I will be starting fortnightly injections next Friday. It is a trial to see if I feel more stable and also to see how my body reacts. Thinking about it now I am not quite sure why I am doing it. Maybe it was because my last blood results showed my T levels had dropped and I also reported that I had some anxiousness during my third week. Only time will tell!

There is another counselling appointment tonight and then a psych one next Saturday. I find the counselling very helpful as I have space to talk, not just about gender and trans* issues, but also about my anxiety. The psych appointment seems to be more about him and/or the process. I don’t find it useful and I often find myself needing to think of content that I have already resolved.

Yesterday evening while playing netball a friend noticed my facial fuzz/hair, they know about my starting T, while another commented on my voice being croaky, this one isn’t aware of me. I am managing to mostly skim over these comments but I am wondering when they will be unavoidable. I’m already noticing that I am getting tiny hairs on my shoulders and around my nipples, while my facial fuzz continues to spread and is now causing a few pimples. I am plucking for the time being until I am needing to take action with a razor or hot wax! My voice continues to fluctuate but hasn’t settled as yet, which I don’t mind. A friend told me while ago, after one of my T shots, that I needed to drop my voice so it isn’t so squeeky. For one I had no awareness it sounded so obvious, secondly I was hurt that her didn’t get that I am not wanting to sound ‘manly’ or ‘pass’. I am happy as I am!

I’ve not contacted the training coordinator at work yet, mostly because I am a little lazy, but also because I am not sure if I want to go ahead. Yetsrday changed my thoughts on that a little though. I was approached by one of the counselling managers who had a question to ask me. My heart jumped into my throat and I panicked that he was going to ask me if I was trans*. The question was something else entirely though so disaster averted. I wonder however what I would have said if that was the question?

Anxiety and work progress

20 Nov

I received a reply from the training coordinator at my work. Basically it read “Can we arrange a time to discuss how you would like to proceed with this further, as I think it’s a very important topic?” followed by what days they were available to speak and meet. That was last week and I still haven’t called, partially because I am not sure if I want to go ahead and bring attention to myself now that I am transferring to another counselling service. I will think about this a little more and see how I go.

Work has been one place I can go and relax. When my anxiety is up or I am feeling stressed I find distraction at work. I am wondering how this might change if I choose to go ahead and ‘come out’ to come work peers? I am thinking perhaps the education on genderqueer could be for the staff and not my work peers who offer the counselling…? A plan for my supervisor and team leader to understand my want for gender-neutral pronouns etc. Maybe…

In other news my anxiety is back up and although I was concerned it was due to my hormone levels in-betweeen three-weekly shots I am fairly certain it is also due to my ‘normal’ r’ship anxiety I’ve always experienced. I won’t go into the who and why but I will elaborate by saying that I often feel isolated because I don’t know who I can talk to about this stuff. So many people roll their eyes when you launch into your love-life dramas that I’ve stopped talking about them, in-fact I have stopped talking about anything personal, and yes I have sought out a counsellor, but friends are always better because you can do it over a coffee.

Anyhow I am not in the right headspace (due to my anxiety levels) to write anymore today – thanks for dropping by though!

Dreams, genderqueer allies and work

30 Oct

The day started with me waking up from a dream with Antony Hegarty from Antony and The Johnsons. I am unsure if they were living with me or visiting, but it was a warm sunny day. Antony was wearing a colourful knitted jumper and took it off, which caused bangles on their wrist to ring sweetly. Antony was writing something so I asked if perhaps thy might like some tea, to which they replied “Yes the fruity one please”. Not much to the dream when it is put into words, yet the imagery was beautiful and I spend the rest of the morning in a daze.

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