Monday, July 19, 2010

Life. Revisited.

Yesterday was one of those days.  Not good or bad - actually, just another day.  Somehow I think we tend to take quiet days where nothing really happens for granted.  Not me.  It was a day where nothing hurt, where I was mentally in a good space, and where the pressures of some of my current realities never really crept in far enough to ruin things.

Outside it was hot - again - although the Heat Advisory that we've had in effect all week finally ended last hight.  It only got to 108 out there yesterday and again today.  And, last night we had some pretty impressive thunderstorms roll thru so I saw the first rain here in a long time.  There was much more show than blow, though, because according to the news the "official" rainfall here was 16/100 of an inch.  That's, like, almost nothing.  The rain never made it to the airport so it doesn't even count as "official" rain.

I hiked up Squaw Peak yesterday morning.  By the time I got there the heat of the day had already set in so there were only a half dozen cars in a parking lot that I'm used to seeing full.  It was actually a very pleasant hike - the heat really doesn't bother me.  I took a little video of it all so don't be surprised to see something here soon.  There was a story on the news this morning that a couple of people had to be rescued from the trail because the heat....

As for the balance of the day - I took care of a number of things I've been wanting to do.  I brought all of my drums in from the garage.  It's the first step to actually getting them set up which I hope to finish over the next week or so.  I've got two bikes - a road bike and a "hybrid" between road/mountain bikes - both of which needed air in their tires so I can ride them.  I got that done, too.

I found a website worth mentioning.  From time to time I see a YouTube video that I wish I could extract the audio from.  Well, there's a website that does that (visit it here).  Provide the URL of the video and it creates an mp3 of the audio and downloads it to your pc.  It really works, and I've used it a number of times.

There's a story this morning worth mentioning.  It's titled "When Is It Too Early to Decide to Change Genders?" (read it here)

The decision to transition from one gender to another should be among the most private matters. But when you’re the offspring of Hollywood power couple Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, it becomes a matter of public debate -- especially when you are 18 years old. Kathlyn Beatty, eldest child of the acting duo, had privately confided that she planned to transition and become a man. Once the tabloids got a hold of the news, the conflagration quickly ignited the Blogosphere.
The U.K. Daily Mail has reported that Kathlyn plans to go by the name Stephen and reportedly has been living as a man for two years. 
Some question whether an 18-year-old, though a legal adult, is old enough to make the drastic decision to transition.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the answer to the question of what age is appropriate or advantageous for transgender youth to transition is neither easy nor universally applicable. A number of factors -- such as the youth’s family, school and social environments -- are at work in influencing such decisions. Many transgender advocates argue the issue is often sensationalized in mainstream media and largely misunderstood by the general public.

This is, of course, a difficult question.  But it's an important one, as well.

I personally feel that by the time many of us from my generation - I'll call us "middle-age transitioners" - who recognize at a young age that we are some flavor of "trans" end up dealing with more issues caused by the debris of a lifetime of dealing with the guilt, shame and fear that our "secret" causes as anything specific to the "secret" itself.   Physical symptoms, failed relationships, dangerous behaviors, addictions, depression - there are lots of ways we deal with it, and they in turn can have profound consequences.  All too often we spend our lifetimes treating the symptoms and not the root cause, so to have the opportunity to proactively address it at a younger age is healthier all around.

In addition, coming to terms with this at mid-life involves overcoming challenges caused by a lifetime of hormones and physical development in a body that just doesn't fit.  How nice would it be to live in a world that provided the freedoms to avoid much of that and make the decisions necessary to move in the right direction earlier??

On another topic:  For those looking for information about some of the new rules/procedures for changing your gender marker on your passport or other official documentation, the MTPC has put together a toolkit to help.  It's available from their website (see it here).

To get out a bit tonight I decided to take one of the bikes for a ride.  It was actually very pleasant.  It reminded me of younger times in my life.  My wedding anniversary passed quietly yesterday - it would have been 29 years - and my ex and I texted back and forth a couple of times to mark the anniversary that never was.  I didn't have a car when I first met her so I rode my bike all the way across Syracuse from the campus where I lived to Fayetteville to see her.  I'm lucky I didn't get killed along Erie Blvd. - it was not a smart place to be riding a bike.  Even younger than that - I had a green 10-speed Schwinn that I rode everywhere during the summer.  I couldn't imagine why anyone would need more than 10 speeds.  Funny - the bike I rode tonight has 24.  Progress?  I suppose.....


Gwen said...

Couple of notes on the gender change for passport (since already been there, done that): NOTE that the fee has gone from $75 to $110 ($130 for brand-spanking new ones)
If the letter from your MD (note: psychologist letters are NOT accepted) states that you are still in (vs COMPLETED) transition, you qualify for ONLY a 2-yr temp passport and have to go thru the entire process again, including a new letter and more $$$, after 2 years. And make sure you send it to PHILLY -- the address printed on the form, not the SC address that NCTE used to advise sending it to. If the latter, State will just forward it to Philly (with attendant delay).

Vanessa Law said...

I go back and forth on how old someone should be before they transition. I'm 31, will more than likely transition in the next year or two, but I honestly didn't have such a certainty about it when I was younger. I knew something was up, but having an option so readily available may have caused me to take the leap before I was emotionally prepared.

I understand the arguments in favor of allowing transitioning earlier, and they're compelling. I think we need to be careful that children aren't being diagnosed as having gender dysphoria too easily. The side effects are more pronounced than other over diagnosed childhood ailments like ADHD.

But, FWIW I think 18/19 is old enough to have know and to be able to build the emotional fortitude through the transition process.

Anonymous said...

As always, best to you!

Caroline said...

!8 is already too late. In the UK you will not even be considered for treatment until that age, that includes treatments which can halt puberty and all the horrors that will bring.

We are still being subjected to illogical sets of rules which are constantly changing, dictated to us by those who can never truly understand what we go through but make a really good income from messing us about.

Official rain! And such accurate measurement of it too.

Caroline xxx