Allo!

Postby JessicaSideways » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:10 pm

Hello,

My name is Jessica, I am a 23-year-old post-op transsexual woman (started transitioning at 20) who intends to become a doctor. Right now, I'm going through hell, I mean pre-med and I hope to get into a Medical Scientist Training Programme (MSTP) for two reasons: (1) tuition will be paid for so I won't go into severe, crippling debt during medical school and (2) so I can discover new procedures and technologies to improve and enrich the lives of all transsexual people.

I've been reading Jennifer's comics and websites for a few years now and I love her work. I think she's awesome and a model for a good early transition, except for the fact that I suck as an artist but that's okay because Medicine is my calling.

Warmly,
Jessica
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Re: Allo!

Postby Idiot Glee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:14 pm

Howdy! Welcome to the forums, glancing at your blog I can see you've found kindred spirits. ^v^

We welcome you!
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Re: Allo!

Postby JessicaSideways » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:04 pm

I'm glad to hear it, especially since I'm a very harsh critic of heterosexism, heteronormativity, Christian "love" (love like being hit with a velvet hammer), pseudoscience and lies. ^_^
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Re: Allo!

Postby Zygote Jr. » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:55 pm

...lies are the ketchup on the meatloaf of Life.
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Re: Allo!

Postby Idiot Glee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:56 pm

JessicaSideways wrote:I'm glad to hear it, especially since I'm a very harsh critic of heterosexism, heteronormativity, Christian "love" (love like being hit with a velvet hammer), pseudoscience and lies. ^_^


Most Christians I know are mellow about it at least, and I'm not too quick to criticize their intent. Most obnoxious ones genuinely want to do good and are just plain wrong. The path to hell paved with good intentions and all that. That's not to say certain strains of it aren't just out and out scams, The prosperity gospel "god will make you rich if you tithe to me" churches, and the politically reactionary "family values"* crowd have been more or less shown to be mostly scams though. Also I take philosophical issue with original sin and the concept of an essentially flawed humanity, but that argument could span pages.

That said, plenty of Christians are decent people, they tend to be the quieter ones who live by example, and not the louder ones who give speeches decrying sin and go straight to a hotel room with a rentboy in it.

I was raised by atheists and grew up around hippy Christians and leftists though, so make of my opinions what you will. I've seen good people who believe things I disagree with and not be total assholes about it though; these people have not made an enemy of good sense or human decency so I'm willing to defend them as at the very least innocent until proven guilty.

I agree with you more or less on the Falwell's of the world, but it's a tad counterproductive to say Christian love is only a cudgel when many more people could be reached by explaining the problems you have with it, and being more conversational than confrontational, more argumentative than aggressive. Your message is agreeable, but the temperament is hotter than is useful.


*Those groups annoy me in two ways. 1, they're "professional movements"** where the leaders salaries come from heading the non profit organization. The more fuss they raise, the more donations they get, the bigger the group is, the more money the leader draws in salary. 2, family means a lot to me, family values are not a cudgel to force political stagnation, repression, and regression. They are bonds that should be maintained to people you love and cherish. I love my family, and I'm there for my family, but my family values don't include hating people some con artist tells me is threatening them with nonsensical and falsified "evidence".

**"Professional movements" show up at all levels of the political spectrum and power, Lyndon LaRouche is a good shorthand example, as are the various little NAZI groups and Maoist groups, and so on... Many of these people are better off in bowling leagues, they provide the same community aspect with less craziness and money drain.

***I'm really opinionated and annoyed by extremists and the illogical too. And I'm at least proficient at extemporaneous essay writing. ^_^'
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Re: Allo!

Postby Idiot Glee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:58 pm

Zygote Jr. wrote:...lies are the ketchup on the meatloaf of Life.


The truth, however, is the crumbled saltine binder of the meatloaf of life!
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Re: Allo!

Postby Zygote Jr. » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:03 pm

...saltines? Madness. Toasted and crumbed rye bread.
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Re: Allo!

Postby Idiot Glee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:07 pm

Zygote Jr. wrote:...saltines? Madness. Toasted and crumbed rye bread.


I'm sorry to say that I'm reduced to making my life loaf on a budget.
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I've been a wicked girl," said I;
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"

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Re: Allo!

Postby JessicaSideways » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:24 pm

Yeah, I will agree that these people do try to do good but I still have a hard time seeing it when they tell me that I'm a horrible, sinful, evil person for daring to transition and that my best friends and their relationships are evil. It's irritating and frankly, insulting.

I guess I also get the "either or" attitude from being raised in a fundamentalist Christian hellhole. I was sent to "ex-gay" camps when I tried to come out to my family when I was in my teen years and going through the hell of puberty. In that respect, Jennifer's description of testosterone is exceedingly accurate.

Idiot Glee wrote:
Zygote Jr. wrote:...saltines? Madness. Toasted and crumbed rye bread.


I'm sorry to say that I'm reduced to making my life loaf on a budget.

Which is totally why I'm going to medical school. ;-P
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Re: Allo!

Postby Coda » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:27 pm

>.>

<.<

*waves* Hi, I'm a transgendered Christian.
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Re: Allo!

Postby JessicaSideways » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:36 pm

Coda wrote:>.>

<.<

*waves* Hi, I'm a transgendered Christian.

I guess what I meant by that post wasn't effectively communicated - I *am* trying to stop painting Christians with the broad brush of being fundamentalists because logically, I know they're not. However, I guess I'm still recovering from having been in a very fundamentalist sect of Christianity and enduring the accompanying spiritual abuse that you get when you are in a fundamentalist sect of Christianity and you are transsexual. I recognize that there are welcoming churches and denominations and if I offended you, I apologize.
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Re: Allo!

Postby Idiot Glee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:19 pm

I'm a transsexual and a wiccan of sorts (I'm utterly terrified of practicing magic, it's well beyond me, but I do like the ethics and morals of wicca, and I have my own theories as to the nature of the divine).

I only went on the rambling reply path out of a bit of a kneejerk disgust with people I tend to agree with bashing religion as a universally harmful evil in the world. Some people have done good in the name of God, I've met devoutly religious people who've been good friends and great helps in my life. I defend these people out of genuine respect.

I apologize if I went too far about this, I can get pretty heated.
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I've been a wicked girl," said I;
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Re: Allo!

Postby Coda » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:43 pm

JessicaSideways wrote:
Coda wrote:>.>

<.<

*waves* Hi, I'm a transgendered Christian.

I guess what I meant by that post wasn't effectively communicated - I *am* trying to stop painting Christians with the broad brush of being fundamentalists because logically, I know they're not. However, I guess I'm still recovering from having been in a very fundamentalist sect of Christianity and enduring the accompanying spiritual abuse that you get when you are in a fundamentalist sect of Christianity and you are transsexual. I recognize that there are welcoming churches and denominations and if I offended you, I apologize.

Nope, not offended, just saying hi. I also consider myself relatively fundamentalist, in the sense that I believe in the fundamentals ("love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind", and "love your neighbor as yourself", and "whosoever believes"), not what the "fundies" call the fundamentals.
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Re: Allo!

Postby Plasman » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:56 am

Hello, Ms JessicaSideways! Welcome to the forum, and we hope you have a good time here.

PS. Sorry you had to go through that awful "attempt to un-gay" stuff. :( It sounds like you're moving on and progressing with you life now, at least.
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: Allo!

Postby JessicaSideways » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:03 pm

Plasman wrote:Hello, Ms JessicaSideways! Welcome to the forum, and we hope you have a good time here.

PS. Sorry you had to go through that awful "attempt to un-gay" stuff. :( It sounds like you're moving on and progressing with you life now, at least.

You know, a professor told John Steinbeck that he would become an author when pigs fly. And now, his books have the words "Ad Astra per Alia Porci" on them, meaning "to the stars on the wings of a pig"...

My mother said I would be a girl when pigs fly... I wonder if that would make a nice addition to the footer of my website. ;-P
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Re: Allo!

Postby strange_person » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:28 am

I realize it's not what she meant, but the level of wetware engineering necessary to add functional wings to an adult pig would probably also make it possible to grant full female reproductive function to a human born with a Y chromosome.
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Re: Allo!

Postby Mitsukara » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:32 pm

My mother liked to say I'd "make one ugly girl".

I also avoid using the term 'fundamentals' and 'fundamentalist' because, growing up in a christian household... I still have no idea what the heck it means! Nobody seems to entirely agree about what the term means exactly, and that makes it a confusing and iffy term to throw around because you might give people the wrong idea about what you meant in saying it. Or so I think, at least.

My view of christianity/related religious practices is, you've got two basic parts to consider; the actual beliefs/belief system at play (which comes in all kinds of different artificial fruit-flavored versions), versus the extensively varied, case-by-case individuals who follow some degree of one of those belief systems.

The beliefs themselves are... frankly, I kind of dislike the whole system really, the central root of the thing (the old testament) is just rotten. I mean, have you read that stuff???

From there, people have added and interpreted their own extensions and sometimes have texts to correspond (the new testament, the book of mormon, what have you). Sometimes these extensions have some nice stuff, but they're always ultimately trying to tie it onto that damn root system somehow, so it doesn't really hold up very well in my opinion.

But then, coming at it from the opposite direction, the individuals who hold the beliefs... everyone is different, and more or less nobody is trying to be cruel or horrible. It's always about trying to do what the person thinks is right... but that's always shaped by whatever experiences they've had in their life, the people they've had to look and and consider, the things they've felt for themselves. It's all personal opinion, and what people decide to do with their own.

So of course you get nice Christians... there's always nice individuals out there. There's also assholes.

The trouble is, I personally tend to think that the nice, kind, accepting Christians are that way out of the goodness of their own hearts, and not out of the core doctrine they're ostensibly following. They're great people, but not so much thanks to the books.

At least, that's what I think. But as for myself, my parents believed things like "if you tithe, god opens up a 'window from heaven' and 'pours out his blessings' on you!" and "gay people burn in hell the same as murderers" and they liked 'speaking in tongues' and thought that the best way to heal someone from a terrible disease was to 'lay hands on them' and pray in gibberish, so... yeah.

I'm agnostic, not utterly atheist (although I do have a pretty strong fear that there's nothing waiting in death but non-existence, as the cells I used to be gradually become food for other things that, though it does cheer me up a bit to think, will go on to have lives of their own using me as energy), but I seriously, seriously doubt christianity is right... I don't completely rule out the possibility, but, in my opinion- which I do not consider to be a fact because it's unprovable, as far as I can tell- it's a steaming load of crap. *shrugs*

Basically, if you're nice to other people, and let them have their own opinions and ways as long as they aren't causing tangible harm- like hitting people with an axe kinda harm, or seriously, provably brainwashing people kinda harm, not 'moral harm' by way of having ideas you don't like- then good on you, whatever your personal beliefs are, because all that really matters is being kind to other people. :)

Of course, I'm also strongly of the opinion that parents should try to give their kids an option about what to believe in instead of trying to drill them to follow their own specific beliefs in some ways- and at the very least, accept it when their kids choose something different than what they wanted them to- but that's a whole 'nother issue.
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Re: Allo!

Postby Plasman » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:41 am

Mitsukara wrote:My mother liked to say I'd "make one ugly girl".

Did she say this to you before or after you "came out"? :( That's a little bit sad either way; I'm sure you'll turn out to be a lovely girl!
(are you still going through with the transition, Mitsu? or am I thinking of someone else...?)

I used to cop the opposite; people (family members and friends, mostly) would say that I would make a nice woman - my sister once said i'd make a good drag queen. (Not the sort of stuff a guy wants to hear when he's going through adolescence, by the way.) :frown:

I really ought not to complain, since I know that there are many others reading this who would appreciate the value in passing for the opposite sex, but I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

tl;dr - don't worry too much about how you look, so long as you're comfortable with it. ;]
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Re: Allo!

Postby Mitsukara » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:37 pm

Hmm... well, I do not would like to totally derail the thread, but I suppose a brief summary of my relationship with my parents couldn't hurt too much.

As a child, early enough that my memories start to get kind of vague and cloudy, I often had leanings towards doing girly things. I wanted my hair long, I hated cutting my nails short, I liked girly toys (though my access to them was pretty limited), and I remember pretending to be female characters from things (the Princess of Moonbrook from Dragon Warrior II on the NES, for instance...). My parents would continually try to discourage me from such things, laying down rules and forcing me to get haircuts and constantly badgering about the nail thing and soforth.

By the time I was 11, they had me convinced, arbitrarily, that gay people were bad and would burn in hell and that I should have nothing to do with them and that they were to be shunned and soforth and so on.

But then I hit puberty and my internal femininity broke that particular dam all to hell, so when I was 12 I got really, really curious- though it was hard to get my mind to open to the notion of it as being a real possibility, and I was ecstatic when I learned just how real it was- about how the whole 'sex change' thing I'd so briefly heard about from TV worked. So I did a little research, found some site called transsexual.org...

I knew in my heart what I wanted, who I am, and I decided to try to make it really happen. I also knew just how serious of a problem it could be if my family disapproved, which seemed likely, although I also knew I could get something done about it sooner rather than later if there was some chance they were willing to help.

So, I very carefully and casually tried to lean towards what girly things I thought I could get away with. I tried to fight for my hair, talked about growing it out long, about ways of styling it; I experimented a little with the boy clothes that I had, tying a flannel around my waist like a skirt. I also asked some beating around the bush questions to try to figure out how much they knew about the whole subject and more specifics on what their feelings about it were.

Then one day (when I was still 12), I was in the car on the way back from the grocery store with mom. She told me to cut my nails, as often, and I squirmed around uncomfortably, obviously unhappy with it- a routine going all the way back to childhood.

We got to the driveway, the car parked, and mom looked me in the eye and asked, in the most threatening tone possible, "Are you gay?"; panicked, I said "What? No!", and she said "Good, because if you were, your father and brother would have to beat you, and I might help them."

That was the whole discussion and, for years, we never spoke of it again. I started furiously hiding everything I cared about. My parents made me get my hair cut really, really short the next year, but I sort of freaked out and we had a series of fights about it, and they kept trying to tell me I'd get another haircut soon, which somehow turned into begging me to be okay with getting a haircut, which turned into dad suggesting giving me money as a reward for getting a haircut, which ultimately resulted in me successfully avoiding ever getting another haircut until I willingly got a very light trim a couple years ago to try to clean up on split ends.

Other than that, the hiding thing seemed to work, and they were perfectly happy to deny the whole thing out of existence in their heads most of the time, so I got by until I was 18, when I moved out without telling them and without initially giving them any address with which to contact me, leaving a letter explaining why I left and what I was going to go do.

I've kept in touch mostly by e-mail, sometimes a phone call or two; they never want to discuss it. They're waiting for me to 'get better', I think. They stopped writing as much when I told them about being on hormone replacement therapy, and they didn't even answer when I told them about my legal name change. Oh well.

To answer your question, the "one ugly girl" comment- my mom used it a few times, I think, it really felt a lot of times like she was trying to stomp my personality out of existence, with little insults and guilt trips and things like that, other comments of that sort- came in those awkward years between 13 and 18. When they probably knew what was going on, but liked to pretend I was getting better and that they'd cleared some of it up by putting the 'fear of god' in me or whatever.

Other than a negative reaction (read: severe constipation) to spironolactone (my anti-androgen- testosterone blocker), my transition is going great, though; I'm out to my employers and work as female, my legal first name is Jennifer, and my middle name Mallory, now (last name withheld for privacy, of course), I have a ton of awesome clothes (mostly from the thrift store, some from Wal Mart- both have great, cheap clothes), and my body shape is improving and my breasts are developing and I'm looking into an orchiectomy/other alternatives to spironolactone. I'm also looking into undergoing the full surgery sometime within the next 5 years.

Most importantly, I feel great, like I'm being me, and like things are considerably less wrong now! Who cares what mom and dad wanted me to be; I'm me, and I'm really happy now. :)
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Re: Allo!

Postby Plasman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:42 pm

Mitsukara wrote:Hmm... well, I do not would like to totally derail the thread -

oops... my bad - I'm still getting the hang of this internet-thingy, hope I didn't upset you Jessica. :oops: But then again, this forum is unique in that this sort of thing is actually tolerated.

Mitsu, I'm happy that you're in a really good place in your life right now! :D I hope you are too Jessica!
(see? see? I segued back on topic!)
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