About Integrity – Om Integritet

FB

This picture is two months old and due to the hormones I don’t even look like this any more. But I thought it proper with a friendly face to this important and slightly stern text.

Jag hoppas att alla som följt min resa kan ta sig ett par minuter att läsa följande korta inlägg, en uppdatering av mina förväntningar på dig som vän och allierad. (In English below)

Den goda nyheten är att jag har börjat passera som kille!

“Passera” är ett ord som ofta används för att beskriva att en person av andra uppfattas så som hen känner sig. Att passera är inte något alla transpersoner strävar efter men för mig har det varit en otrolig lättnad att komma till den punkt där jag kan få vara något annat än transkillen som ni känner.

Det är inte längre lika uppenbart att jag har en ovanlig historia att berätta vilket betyder att jag kan få fokusera på annat. Jag kan välja när jag vill vara transaktivist. Jag kan välja om jag vill berätta privata saker om min könsidentitet, min transprocess, min kropp. Det betyder att jag får energi över till annat och gör att jag mår mycket bättre.

För att jag ska ha den här valmöjligheten behöver vi prata om integritet, du och jag. Jag är fortfarande “öppen” som transperson men det är upp till mig att prata eller berätta om det. Jag blir ledsen på riktigt om du “outar” mig som trans och du har ingen aning om vilka konsekvenser det kan få.

Många av er kommer att tycka att det som följer är självklart. I så fall får ni ta tillfället i akt och klappa er själva på axeln, det är ni värda. Men om något du läser idag är nytt för dig så är det inte konstigt det heller. När du läst färdigt vet du och behöver inte oroa dig för att göra fel. Det är för din skull som jag kommer att ge tre exempel på saker som hänt nyligen och som jag vill att du framöver är extra noga med att undvika, av respekt för min integritet. Kanske kan du med ledning de här tre punkterna komma på fler och om något är oklart får du gärna fråga mig privat.

1. Nämn inte mitt gamla namn. Referera inte till det så att någon hör eller ser.

Jag skulle gärna slippa konfronteras med den delen av mitt förflutna om det inte är väldigt viktigt, slippa förklara om jag inte väljer det själv. Om du vill prata gamla minnen, använd det namn du känner mig vid nu. Om du till känner till att det har funnits en blogg med mitt gamla namn i adressen, då vill jag att du säger “din/Emils gamla blogg”. Mitt namnbyte i sig är från och med nu ett olämpligt samtalsämne i de flesta grupper. Om det är något som gör att du verkligen behöver nämna mitt gamla namn, var diskret eller ta det privat.

2. Jag är ingens dotter, syster, exfru, gudmor eller före-detta flickvän. Jag är mina föräldrars son, mina syskons bror, mina partners pojkvän, min hunds husse och min exmans ex. Det är så jag vill bli omtalad.

Det här kan vara svårt, jag vet. Det kan kännas som historieförfalskning eller som att jag förnekar en del att mitt eller vårt förflutna. Det kan kännas orättvist att jag nu säger till hur du ska tänka om mig om du minns mig som någons syster eller den kaxigaste tjejen på lajvet där vi träffades. Men alla förändras vi över tid, min förändring är bara mer ovanlig. Om du talar om mig som att jag inte alltid varit den jag kille uppfattas som idag finns det situationer då det inte bara kränker min integritet utan också äventyrar min säkerhet. Transfobi är på riktigt. Hatbrott och diskriminering händer i verkligheten, tro mig. Jag vill ha rätten till min egen historia, jag vill kunna välja tillfället då vi pratar om den.

3. Om du inte redan gör det, ansträng dig för att tänka på mig som kille. De flesta andra gör det och det blir lite skillnad.

När jag uppfattas som kille utesluts jag ur vissa sammanhang och får tillträde till andra. Vissa saker funkar helt enkelt inte längre. Jag kan inte göra damernas omklädningsrum  otryggt genom att dyka upp där med min håriga rumpa, fjuniga kinder och målbrottsröst. Föreslå inte att jag ska hänga med till platser dit jag inte har tillträde. Jag är inte “en av tjejerna” och ditt förslag är ett sätt att “outa” mig som transperson. (Och åt andra hållet, det finns manligt kodade saker och platser jag inte är bekväm med heller, vi får försöka vara lite lyhörda mot varandra.)

Å andra sidan gynnas jag av patriarkala strukturer och andra snubbar håller mig om ryggen. Det betyder att jag måste tänka på vilken sorts kille jag vill vara och försöka leva upp till det. Jag behöver uppmärksamma mina nya privilegier, tänka på att lämna plats, hålla tyst och lyssna lite bättre.

Jag blev uppfostrad till en högljudd tjej med vassa armbågar. Jag har haft väldigt kort tid på mig att försöka bli en ödmjuk och lyssnande person som lämnar plats och talutrymme till andra. Det är tur att jag har resten av livet på mig att träna på det. Jag hoppas att du vågar påminna eller hjälpa mig om jag gör snedsteg så att jag förhoppningsvis kan reparera skadan eller göra bättre nästa gång.

Sammanfattningsvis: Jag lägger nu ett nytt och tydligare ansvar på dig som är min vän och allierad. Från och med nu ber jag om att få slippa konfronteras med mitt gamla namn, mitt vid födseln tilldelade kön och den kvinnliga könsroll jag offrat så väldigt mycket för att lämna bakom mig. Vissa samtalsämnen är inte längre lämpliga om jag inte lyfter dem själv, på samma sätt som det är olämpligt att direkt fråga någon annan om jobbiga saker de försöker lägga bakom sig eller sorger de måste leva med. Om det känns svårt att leva upp till det här så har du min fulla förståelse men jag ber dig att försökKortedalaåsena.

Tack för att du förstår och för att du läste ända hit!

In English:


About Integrity

I hope that everyone who has been following my journey can take a few minutes to read the following update of my expectations on you as friends and allys.

The great news is: I now pass as a guy!

“To pass” or “passing as male/female” describes that a person is genderd correctly or perceived by others as they identify themselves. Passing is not something all trans people strive to do, but for me it has been an incredible relief to get to the point when I finally do. It is no longer obvious that I have an unusual story to tell, which means that I can focus on other things. I can choose when I want to be a trans activist. I can choose if I want to talk about private things regarding my gender, my body and the process I’ve been trough. The freedom to have this choice makes me feel so much better.

For me to be able to enjoy this new freedom, you and I have to talk about integrity. I’m still “open” as transgender but please remember that it’s up to me to decide when to talk about it. You have no right to “out” me and no idea about what consequences it will have for me if you do.

From now on I want you to be extra careful out of respect for my privacy. In this post I’m going to give you three examples of things that I’ve struggled with recently, things that I’d like you to think of. On the basis of them, maybe you can think of others? If anything seems unclear, feel free to ask me in private. Also, many of you will feel that what follows in this post is old news to you. Great! You’ve done well! But if you learn something new today, don’t be ashamed. This is not stuff everybody knows but I believe you can make good use of your new skills once you’ve read this post.

 

1. Do not mention my old name and do not refer to it in public without caution

I want to be able to choose the time and place for any explanations out of the ordinary. I would therefore like you to avoid confronting me with my past, unless it is very, very important. If you want to talk old memories, use the name you know me by now. My change of name in itself is from now on an inappropriate topic for conversation. If you really have to mention or refer to my old name, be as discreet as you possibly can.

2. I’m nobody’s daughter, sister, ex-wife, godmother or ex-girlfriend so never refer to me as such. I am the son of my parents, my siblings brother, my partners boyfriend and my dog’s daddy. Use the right words, even in past tense.

This can be difficult, I know. It may feel like I deny a part of my own or our common past. But I want to have the right to my own story, I want to be able to choose the moment when we’re talking about it. It may seem unfair given that you maybe still think of me as someone’s daughter or the most badass girl on the LARP where we met. But we all change over time, my change is just a bit more unusual than most. If you reveal that I have not always been seen as the guy I am today, you might not only violate my privacy but also jeopardize my safety. I mean it. Transphobia is for real. Hate crime and discrimination happen in real life, believe me.

3. Do your best to think of me as a guy, if you not already are.

When I’m perceived as a guy I get excluded from certain spaces, lose some privileges and gain access to others. Some things just doesn’t work any more. I can’t have access to the women’s locker room if I look male. I have no right to ruin others safe spaces, even if I happen to lack my own. Don’t suggest that I come with you to separatistic spaces meant for women, it is not including but a way of “outing” me as transgender.

On the other hand, passing as male I’ll benefit from patriarchal power structures. That makes life so much esier but I also have to think about what kind of guy I want to be and then try to live up to that. I must pay attention to my new privileges and denounce those I can spare, constantly remind myself to keep quiet and listen a little better. But I was raised as a competative and outspoken girl with sharp elbows. I have had a very short time to become the humble and listening person I’d like to be. Fortunatly I’ll have the rest of my life to practice these skills, so wish me luck. And I hope you dare to give me a friendly reminder if need be, so that I can hopefully repair the damage or do better next time.

In summary: I want to clarify what I expect of you as my friend and ally. From now on, I ask you to avoid outing me as transgender. Don’t confront me with my old name. Don’t mention the fact that I was assigned female at birth, it’s nobody’s business to tell but mine. Some topics are no longer appropriate, just as it is inappropriate to directly ask others about the difficult things they are trying to put behind them or sorrows we all have to live with. There are off course times when we need to talk about these things with people we trust, but until such a time we must carry the confidence of our friends with utmost care.
If it feels hard to live up to this, you have my full understanding, but I ask you kindly to try.

Thank you for reading this far!

Skogspromenad i Göteborg

Advertisements

Morphing phase

The time since my last post has been challenging and rather eventful. My body is in a testosterone induced state of speedy morphing and it turns out that this part of transitioning is much more difficult and strenuous than I had imagined. Six weeks on T and I’ve literally turned in to a 32 year old teenager.

I’ve been totally exhausted and gained a fresh understanding of what it is like to be a growing teenager. Struggling to get out of bed, getting things done in time, eating proper healthy food and keep a civilised tone towards other people at all times (no matter how much they annoy you). I see now that it is not about being lazy, because I’m really not. Neither am I lacking the morale or experience and the discipline it takes to do things “the adult way”. I used to manage just fine, but things are different now.

Being a teenager is as I remember it (among other things) about getting to know a body that is changing and experiencing the world from a slightly different perspective than you did before. I have discovered that being a “transgender teenager” is somewhat similar, only much more intense. It’s about growing in such a pace that you really, really crave food with the highest possible energy and calorie content. (I’ve had mad cravings for pizza and milk chocolate.) It’s about struggling to get out of bed in the morning, one or two meals behind what your body needs to function as you didn’t get up and eat in the night. And then there are the mood swings due to swaying hormone levels in combination with the lack of understanding from the part of the world who rightfully have other things on their mind than your feelings and what state you are in…

Today I got my second T-injection and I’m very curious about what effects it will have, since the experience was so overwhelming the last time. I actually noticed that it was time for a refill. I’ve been rather moody the last few days and something felt slightly amiss. It reminds me of how I experienced PMS before, except it doesn’t hurt because I wont bleed again. Thanks to the testosterone my body is over and done with that and it may be the best thing that has ever happened to me. PERIOD IS PERIOD!

Also, the spectra of feelings I go trough is slightly different compared to my old pissy PMS. Testosterone doesn’t change your personality, but it enhances certain drives or emotional responses. For instance I now tend to get more angry or irritated for things that used to make me feel sad and low. Off course it could also be that I feel empowered and more emotionally energetic because things finally are going my way, or a combination of both.

Other things that has changed since my last post is that I’ve just recently gotten the appetite I need to keep my body going a bit better than the first few weeks. Now when I’ve unlocked the ability to eat more than I’m used to, I hope I’ll feel less exhausted. Other news is that my voice now is totally out of control, varying wildly between really dark and almost like before T. I literally never know what will come out when I open my mouth to say something and it can be embarrassing, but it is also really cool how deep it sounds sometimes!

Not all trans men on hormone treatment are happy with how their voices end up after “puberty”. How dark or deep someone’s voice will become is hard to predict beforehand and differ from one case to another. After a year or so the voice has “landed” and become more stable. Most guys are satisfied and have voices that doesn’t differ from other adult males or in the higher range of what is common. But some feel that their “new” voice sound to feminine, still too high pitched or worry that it makes them sound to young for their age. Some are missgenderd because of it and that can be both impractical and offensive, not to mention the general patriarchal tendency to not take people with high pitched voices seriously.

I hope that I’m not one of the unlucky ones as my voice will be an important tool for me in my profession as a speech- and language pathologist. But I am a bit worried about that it could happen. I’m so small compared to my peers and there is a scientifically documented correlation between the collar-size/neck circumference in “female-to-male transsexuals” and deepening of voice due to testosterone treatment. Only time will tell if I’m an exception from this tendency or if all my voice training from school can help to compensate. Right now, there seem to be no reason to worry.

To sum it up so far – I’ve been feeling extremely exhausted and I need to eat a lot more and more often. My period is gone. My voice is shaky and my emotional responses are slightly different compared to before T. But the most dramatic changes are physical and clearly visible for others.

I’ve gotten a whole new profile, much more masculine. IMAG6285 But first impression is not as much “male” yet as ” teenage boy” or maybe more like “ambitious androgynous gym rat”. My upper body is so much wider, I’m all shoulders and arms now and it’s really cool how fast that happened. But I’m not only getting bigger, parts of me are also melting away. My silhouette is getting thinner, contours sharper. Waist straightening out, breasts almost gone, thighs, hips and butt are… different. Private parts are private, so I’ll say no more than that major changes have been noted. I’ve also gotten a bit more face- and body hair. I’ve never liked the look or feeling of my own body hair, but I strongly suspect that it will be something I’ll have to learn to live with in the near future.

All things considered, I like most of the effects of the testosterone so far. But it is more than a little stressful and scary that my entire body is morphing so unbelievably fast.

Insanely exceeded expectations.

I know I signed up for my body to change a little bit under the next two years. But I was definitely NOT prepared for this. Two weeks now on testosterone and I don’t know what to say about the effect the treatment has had on me without sounding like I’m exaggerating mad as hell.

Trans guys like me tend to be the most self-conscious people for a period in their life’s, carefully noting all possible changes in social interaction related to gender and watching over the growth of every hair on their body. But what is happening to me now is no subtle or imagined change. I’m literally gaining functions (and almost fucking body-parts!) I didn’t have before. At the same time I’m loosing parts or shapes that has been with me most of my life, since my first round of puberty.

Now in the beginning the difference is such that anyone close to me can see it happening from day to day. Easy to see, hard to believe. Why didn’t anyone tell me it was going to be this intense and dramatic? Is it because it is unbelievable, something nobody could wrap their minds around? Is it supposed to keep expectations down? Or is it so simple that what I’m experiencing is unusual or extreme? I’ve never heard of any trans guy that has got such an immense response so soon.

7 hours after the shot my vocal cords started itching with growth and my voice dropped accordingly. I was not expecting it to happen so soon. Now my voice gets deeper every day, but I can’t control it yet and my friends and loved ones find it immensely amusing.

I sweat more and smell different to. That came almost immediately and took about a week to get used to. At first it felt like I was constantly wearing a boyfriends used sweater – I couldn’t emotionally connect to my new scent, couldn’t understand that it was me, even if I knew. It was something weird with the pheromones that made my skin all tingly, constantly on alert. That has passed now, but the sensitivity of my skin is actually changing and I know it will continue to do so for a long time. Some parts of my body are more sensitive now, others less than before. Without going too much in to detail that makes many sensual experiences somewhere between slightly up to very different, including sex.

After the shot I’ve been extremely tired, almost as I’ve been down with the flu or something, but I haven’t. My body has just been very, very busy with its new constructional project, rebuilding itself. I guess that I haven’t eaten enough to support my new and more effective metabolism, so my body made do with the fat reserves it already had.

As an effect of that, 2 days after the shot my breasts had reduced in size approximately 75%. That was somewhat of a chock. They were admittedly on the small side to begin with, but it is still extraordinary. The little fat I had on my hips are also quickly melting away and the same with cheeks and tummy. My jawline is sharper than I remember it, my chest almost flat and the contours of a very unexpected six-pack is beginning to show. All those changes came extremely fast and are mostly because of the reduction and re-distribution of fat that I’m experiencing.

I guess the fat somehow goes to fuel the muscle growth that is happening at the same time. My shoulders, calves and biceps are literally swelling. The first week I gained almost a kilo a day; I went from 56 to 59,5 kg on five days.

But I can’t see any increase of fat anywhere on my body, rather the contrary – it is all muscles. My back is getting ridiculously broad and I’m impressed by how the silhouette of my waist is changing rapidly, straightening up because of the muscle growth. I’m so much stronger already, in total chock and awe over what is happening to me, with me, in me.

This puberty thing is so much more speedy than I could imagine, extremely intense and it makes me very, very tired. I don’t have energy for even the most basic things I’d like to do. I struggle hard to eat enough to make things better. I can’t and I won’t tell you everything that has changed, some things are only for me and my closest. Most of the changes I experience are indeed positive, but they are not all good and I can’t just pick the ones I want and leave the rest. But it’s worth it. I’m glad and grateful to finally be where I’m now, heading where I’m going.

PicsArt_1432597527285[1]PicsArt_1432597676878[1]PicsArt_1432597368081[1]

These pictures from the first week on testo are already totally outdated, but they are all I have at the moment. I’m getting skinnier by the day, neck and shoulders swelling. (Nudes would be SO much more illustrating, but don’t get your hopes up.)