30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 22

9 Feb

Discuss how your clothes do or don’t reflect your gender.

I am so pleased I got asked this question because it has been on my mind since I had a discussion with a friend about gender, clothes and femininity. We had begun to talk about starting T and I talked about my own experiences and how initially I felt I was trying to be ‘seen’ as genderqueer, which meant changing what I wore and binding my breasts. Now I dress less masculine, however I am still not 100% comfortable with wearing dresses or skirts again, unless it is for a fancy dress event. As we were talking my friend mentioned that they had a female jacket that they didn’t feel comfortable wearing yet because it was too feminine. Somewhere between them telling me about the jacket and my brain mulling it over I realised how sad it was that clothes were being perceived to have a gender.

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30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 21

9 Jan

Your first queer crush or relationship?

I cannot remember exactly who my first queer crush was, but the following names come to mind:

– a queer person I met online who I later met and now know personally
– Hilary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry”
– Veronica who used to catch the school bus with me in Rome ( I have no idea if she was queer but it was her androgynous look that I liked)

As for my first queer relationship, that would have been someone who I met online through a website called Mogenic. It was a brief relationship, solely due to my own stupidity, but it was one that taught me a lot about myself and who I wanted to be.

My first queer crush was probably on a few drag kings that would perform at the Star Hotel on Hoddle Street on Friday nights back in the day. In those days there were many drag kings that would then become men and genderqueers, making me wonder if it was a crush or a secret knowledge that I wanted to be like them in some way.

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That ‘time’ of the ‘month’

30 Dec

I stopped getting a monthly menstrual cycle after three-moths of being on T. I’ve occasionally had period-like cramps, especially when I’ve been late or missed my next shot of T.

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When Dr’s don’t understand

3 Dec

Yesterday I had my first negative experience with a GP around my gender identity and choice to be taking Testosterone.

I went to my local GP, who I’ve seen a handful of times, to try and get to the bottom of my extreme fatigue. I normally travel into the city to see a trans-aware GP at Northside Clinic (and I can now understand why one might be unable to see their local/normal GP). My local GP would have most of my records since 1995 and I still utilise them if I have a bug/virus or other concerns not relating to taking T.

A few month back I visited another local clinic where I go to the physiotherapist and who share their records with the other medical clinic, and started seeing a new GP. Dr R, who I had explained everything to, was initially surprised by me informing him that I was on T and asked questions like “Why do you take testosterone?”, “Was this done though a reputable GP?” and “Where do you get your prescription for T from?”. Although he wasn’t too up to date with individuals who transition or are taking T, he was friendly and willing to explore this ongoing tiredness that I was experiencing. Just recently Dr R left the medical practice and I was left to try and find another GP to continue these investigations with.

So yesterday I made an appointment to see a GP I felt I could open up to and talk to about this fatigue. I got in to see the Dr at 10am and from when I sat down I felt something was a little odd – he wasn’t making eye contact with me or seem to be very interested. I explained why I was there and that I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism since approx 2012 and have been on the same dose of medication for the past year or so. His first question was to ask about my diet, “Do you eat meat?” he asked, to which I replied that I am mostly vegetarian and had a balanced diet and no history of anemia. The second question was about my menstrual cycle, which I explained I haven’t had for the past two years. Well that set him off on a tangent of “Well that isn’t normal! What do you mean you haven’t had a period?” etc. I was of course quick to explain that I have been on a low-dose of T for the past 2.5yrs and that my menstrual cycle stopped shortly after that. I had obviously said the wrong thing as he began to become very agitated and stated that “That shouldn’t happen, even on a low dose” followed on by “Why would any GP prescribe a normal health woman with testosterone?” and how over time it would have masculinising effects, which is where I said “Yes I know, it is what I am wanting”. From there the GP didn’t settle and seemed unable to hear anything else I was saying. It was then when I felt this huge wave of panic, wondering why I hadn’t just gone to Northside and avoided being treated like an ignorant person with no common sense.

Throughout the consultation I explained that I had gone through a GP, seen an endocrinologist and had regular blood tests. He eventually got up from his seat and rather exasperatedly stated he had only seen me a handful of times and knew nothing about this kind of stuff. After a quick poke and a listen to my lungs he seemed to focus onto my sleep and suggested that if after blood tests, an ECG and X-ray there was no clear cause to my tiredness that he would order a sleep study. Here I was inquiring about my Thyroid levels, wondering if I could tweak my medication and all this GP is obsessed about is my sleep, not having a menstrual cycle and taking T!

I did some investigating today and received some very useful advice via some of online blogs I visit and post to. I will be getting all my results yesterday and will raise the possibility of me changing my Thyroid medication dose a little – even a small tweak could help.

Hypothyroidism + Low-dose T

10 Nov

I am seeking other trans guys and genderqueers with a low thyroid to so we can discuss and compare the effects of hormones on how we are.

A little bit about me: Around the same time as I started a low-dose of testosterone, 2+ years ago, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid). I am currently on 75 micrograms of thyroxine daily and 125mg of Primoteston every 3-4 weeks.

Taking T or Thyroxine hasn’t helped with my energy levels, and just recently I found out that my loss of hair could not only be due to testosterone, but also because I have an under-active thyroid! I tried speaking with my doctor, endocrinologist and other sufferers of Hypothyroidism but have always found that I cannot talk about being on T and Thyroxine – no one gets it!

In Pseudonymity Veritas

4 Jun

I’ve had the pleasure to be involved in a new interactive mixed media project titled “In Pseudonymity Veritas”.

 

(Re)framing Gender

17 May

Last night I prepared a short piece for (Re)framing Gender fundraiser and IDAHOBIT event. Originally it must a much larger piece that I had submitted to ‘Letters for my Siblings’, which got turned down. I re-wrote the piece in place of not having had enough time to develop a drag/gender performance for the night.

I wanted to share it on here as I’m needing to shorten my ten-minute piece down to five minutes to ensure no-one is left out. This is what I would have read if time allowed…

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Reducing T and sexual health

21 Apr

I’ve gone back to half-a-dose of T every 3-4 weeks (depends on how busy I am) and want to ideally stay on this or lower. I’ve contemplated using the gel/cream but I am worried that I will start getting a monthly cycle again, and that’s the one reason I am staying on the injections. Being on a higher dose did make me less tired but it also made me realise how much hair I was loosing (correlation or not) and also questioning why I was staying on T almost two-years on. It is so hard not knowing what this stuff is doing to me now and what effect it will have on my future. I am really thankfull of friends who are in a similar position to me and the various blogs I follow. This has kind of given me a bit of idea however, maybe a way to collect this info and be able to share it with others.

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Topical forms of T in Australia

16 Apr

I recently answered a voicemail message from someone seeking information about topical forms of T available in Australia – in particular what info to give to their pharmacist who doesn’t seem to have a clue.

So with some searching and asking I received the following info that I have been given permission to share:

The three topical forms of T available in Australia are Testogel (comes in sachets, included in the PBS; messy and I found it didn’t absorb so well), Axiron (roller applied underarm – new last year on PBS, haven’t tried it) and then AndroForte/AndroFemme, available from http://www.lawleydirect.com.au (cream, seems to absorb pretty well).

The first two should be available everywhere even if the pharmacist has to order it (see http://www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/8830R and http://www.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/2341F), whereas AndroForte is only available in Western Australia but they ship it (I’ve been doing this and it’s worked fine). If it’s not possible to get T on Medicare due to gender marker issues, then AndroForte may be significantly cheaper on a per dose basis.

* I don’t use topical cream personally, so the comments are not mine.

Low dose vs. high dose

19 Feb

I went to the Dr today to have a chat about my T levels since starting the upped dose of 200mg from my half dosage of 125mg. My last blood tests from Dec ’14 show that my testosterone levels are higher (12?) than my previous tests where the were at a 9. He informed me that they like T levels to be around 14(?) as these are within the ‘normal’ male range. Of course this range is to continue masculinizing effects…so what about me?

I upped my dose a few months ago to see if it would change my energy levels and libido. Since the end of last year I have taken some time off over Christmas so feel rested – is it the T or the break that helped me feel less tired? In-between all of this my libido hasn’t changed, I’ve never felt that urge that other trans* guys talk about. One worry is my hairy back and how much hair I am loosing in the shower! To add to this list is whether my voice will change if I stop T all together, as in will it get a little higher? A big reason I don’t want to stop T completely at the moment is not wanting to deal with having a period again.

For now I am staying on the same 200mg dose for another three six shots and then have a blood test.