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Old 08-31-2011, 03:46 AM   #576
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As far as I know, the only surgeries that are covered by healthcare (well, Medicare to be exact) are the non-elective surgeries.

Gender reassignment surgery is seen as elective surgery, unfortunately.

I'm not sure what Medicare could do about estrogen pills and all the stuff leading up to the surgery however. It might be able to lower my costs, but the surgery is still going to have to be paid for in full, as far as I know.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:07 AM   #577
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I thought Australia had social healthcare? Does it not cover gender identity disorder?
It's rather common for insurance companies and even governments to claim transition is "elective." The American Medical Association, WPATH (world organization for transgender-related medicine), and several other groups have written statements that it's not elective, but ignorant, cost-cutting greedy bigots don't care about science.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:34 AM   #578
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Yeah, I think down here it's elective because it's seen more as "breast implants" than "heart transplant". Ie. as if it's just something to do because you want it, not because you need it.

Which I disagree with.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:13 PM   #579
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As far as I know, the only surgeries that are covered by healthcare (well, Medicare to be exact) are the non-elective surgeries.

Gender reassignment surgery is seen as elective surgery, unfortunately.

I'm not sure what Medicare could do about estrogen pills and all the stuff leading up to the surgery however. It might be able to lower my costs, but the surgery is still going to have to be paid for in full, as far as I know.
Hmm, kinda makes me feel extremely lucky for being in the UK. Everything's on the NHS. Medication, CTA, SRS, etc. I even know of a case where electrolysis was covered. The only thing they don't do is facial feminisation, because they deem it cosmetic.

Although, there is an awful lot of opposition from "taxpayers" regarding SRS and how it's "cosmetic" and not "essential." Gotta love the taxpayers.

Cate, you don't really need money to transition. Transitioning's free (save for the expense of new clothes and stuff). You kinda just have to go for it. Each day you don't transition is a day you won't get back. The only 'cost' is what can go wrong, which I guess is something only you know. My mum flipped out (and she had 10 years of both me and my dad telling her it was going to happen) and it took her until I was 19 to finally get over it. I guess it's normal. She went from a flipout, all the way through to tolerance and then acceptance. Now, she's kind of overaccepting, telling me I'm not female enough. I should wear heels, apparently. I hate heels. I'm tall enough without them.

Anyway, that's me saying things without knowing much about your circumstances. Feel free to tell me to shut up. I just know it's extremely terrifying and the fear of everything going wrong is intense. But people tend to surprise you. Maybe think about telling a few friends you trust? My friends were invaluable during my process, giving support and the occasional kick up the backside. Had I not had their support, and had I kept it quiet, I probably would've done it much later.

Anyway, yeah, also, I'm back at university this year as well (transgender people and adult education seems to be common). Different university, different course. This time, people won't know I'm trans. If they find out, and if I get lecturers telling other students I'm on the same medication as paedophiles, and how sexual deviance and gender dysphoria is closely linked (cough, old university, cough) I'm no longer 18 and stupid, and I won't tolerate it.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:21 AM   #580
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(That last paragraph makes me sad. Some people, apparently even lecturers, can be real idiots. Sorry you had to go through that the first time around.)

Anyway, to your other point, I will now share a little of my circumstances.

My dad is a homophobe. I don't think he'd be very accepting of my being trans. My step-mum might (she used to be a nurse, so there might be a higher chance that she understands (in principle) what I'm going through. So she might be able to talk dad through it. She's also a really nice person, as it happens. When I visit them, I much prefer talking to her than talking to dad.

My grandparents are pretty old-fashioned. Grandad seems rather prejudiced against a lot of people. A lot of it is racism left over from World War 2, but I know he's made viewing choices on TV occasionally based on if he knows the MC is a gay actor. I don't think either nanna or grandad would be alright with my decision.

Sister takes after dad. She seems rather prejudiced about a lot of things. She uses gay slurs as insults a lot.

Brother... well, I hardly know him. I have no way of knowing what he would think. He's a lot older than me, and lives on the other side of the planet. I've spent maybe 15 days with him in the space of about 8-10 years.

So that just leaves mum, who I live with. I honestly have no idea how she might react. On the one hand, she doesn't seem to be homophobic. On the other hand, she seems to be a control freak. So if she did have a problem with my being trans, chances are she'd do everything she could to make sure I didn't go ahead with it. It would make my living situation unbearable, and that's if she didn't flip out and throw me out (at which point I'd have nowhere to go, assuming the rest of my family felt the same way).

So that's why I'm waiting till I have my own place and enough money (and a secure enough job) to be comfortable.

(I used homophobia and prejudice as guidelines, because transsexuals don't come up often in conversation within my family. But it's a similar enough thing that I think the comparison is useful.)

Who knows - I could wind up being pleasantly surprised by my family. But I'm not in a position to risk it.

As for friends... well, I did come out to friends years ago. Some of the women seemed to be very supportive, but nearly all the men were totally crap about it. I don't think they really understood where I was coming from, and they didn't make the effort. Most of the time they didn't talk about it, even if I was wearing a skirt around the house that day.

Then I cut all those friends out of my life, mostly because they were all on drugs and had generally all wronged me, whether significantly or only in a small way. I needed to clear my head, so I stopped seeing them.

So nowadays, I don't really have any close friends. I have some acquaintances, people whose houses I've never even seen, but not friends.

I guess I have an emotional block in my head, telling me that if I make friends and start opening up, it'll just end badly like last time.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:15 AM   #581
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*major hugs for everybody*

I wish I could be more helpful than that. I hope the recent media attention on transgenderism increases and gets more and more accurate, but that's the main way that a lot of these problems will stop.

Oh, and someone asked about my transition earlier, I think? I'm apparently going through "mid-transition funk," which I'm informed is pretty common. Where the initial enthusiasm wears off, and the effects of hormones slow down for a while, and you start feeling lazy about everything and insecure. But I've been feeling better the last couple of days, so hopefully I'm already getting out of that zone.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:16 PM   #582
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Hopefully everything gets back to that awesome place for you soon, Mara.

(And it was me who asked, btw. )
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:05 PM   #583
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Yeah, it was real high-level transphobia. They didn't win, though. Of the 200 people in my class, nobody treated me any different - apart from two girls. One came up to me and said "Are you going to make a complaint about that or what?" and the other was all overexcited about meeting an actual real living, breathing transsexual. Asked me loads of questions ranging from "What made you do it?" to "Who renamed you?" Never had the "Have you had the operation?" question, despite it allegedly being popular.

I did make a complaint to the head of department. Her response: "Get a sense of humour." You know, like, because we're all oversensitive and stuff. I had a choice: take it to the Dean, or drop it. I had evidence, witnesses, and about 5 or 6 major supporters in my class. But then I realised having 80% of the faculty reprimanded would pretty much end my academic career (and I was being graded fairly so I kept quiet).

Those idiots didn't even come closer to my school counsellor. She delivered the gold medal lines: "I've met boys who think they like other boys, but I've never met boys who think they're girls." and "Some people want to live in a society where people like you don't exist." I don't think anyone will ever top that, especially when talking to a 16-year-old. I regret not reporting her, especially because the teachers in my school were amazing. I just hope she's still not there, infesting other students with her bigotry. It turned into a bit of a game towards the end, because she was sure she'd make me detransition. She was really angry when, on the final day, I told her I was continuing.

Anyway, no idea why I'm rattling on about this. They're a small minority who deserve to be ignored.

Cate, I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. I'm not really sure about family, because mine weren't really like that. I do know homophobia and transphobia come from different people. I know homophobes who had no issue with me, and transphobes who have no issue with gay people. The thing is, transphobia tends to stem from the media, and a few bad apples who the newspapers love to report on. When people actually meet a transperson, they tend to realise pretty quickly it's a non-issue. It doesn't help that post-transition, most people go stealth, meaning these people interact with transsexuals without knowing it, and have no idea. (A guy once told me that he always checks for an Adam's apple before sleeping with someone. He was horrifed when I told him they're removed in a 20-minute simple procedure.)

I guess you have to ask yourself: why are they like this? Is it religion, are they intimidated, or are they just not nice people? The first two are sometimes easier to convince. Are they homophobic through ignorance, which would be corrected by meeting someone who can set a good example? Are they the type who would prefer to cut off a family member? Will they be embarrassed to find out their comments have hurt you? I know I've changed people's attitudes. A lot of people I went to school with are probably more aware as a result of me. Hell, I even managed to get a kiss out of an openly homophobic guy when I was 16.

I kinda think the majority of problems occur further into transition. A lot of people, mainly guys, dislike the concept that someone can be born a man, change sex, and look so damn good as a woman. It makes them question the fragility of gender (which is a key foundation of society) and subsequently their own sexuality. Most of my guy friends have a "Don't remind me your trans. I don't want to know" attitude. If they're reminded of it, they get really embarrassed and sometimes hostile.

May be worth testing the water, somehow? Send out a few probes, see what you get back. Because if there's one thing I'm sure of it, it's that you'll kick yourself if you put it off, only to find out you could've done it sooner. If not, your backup plan idea sounds pretty good. And hey, if your mum's fine with it, the control freakness might be useful. Always good to have someone on your case.

When you say your friends didn't mention it, is it because they didn't want to talk about it, or because they were actually okay with it? I found people rarely wanted to talk about it, because it wasn't their business.

But yeah, I have no idea if this is helpful or rambling. Probably rambling.

Yeah it's pretty common, Mara. Mine hit me as I was at university, nicely coinciding with the lecturers' vendetta against me. Can't say it helped. Probably lasted about three months or so. The insecurity was awful, but it goes. I like to think I'm a pretty confident person now.

Oh, and Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars. Hopefully this'll be a good thing. ABC are getting their fair share of backlash right now, many of them going on about how "homosexuality is not something I want flaunted in my family's faces" (because they don't know the difference) while completely ignorant about Bruno, who's been there considerably longer.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:07 PM   #584
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My God, that's a long post. Sorry people!
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:00 AM   #585
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Don't apologise for that post. It has a lot of good points, and an important message.

And actually, as it happens, last night mum started a conversation with me about a TV show she had seen.

Basically, it was The X Factor (not sure if you have that where you are) a singing competition sort of thing. Anyway, mum was saying how there was this guy on there with piercings and tattoos, and he was 35 years old. The judges asked him why he'd waited so long to try this competition (which has been around for a while) and he said it was because he was born a woman and had only just transitioned. He got through to the next round (hooray!).

But while mum was telling me this, I got the impression that she wasn't transphobic. Like, she seemed alright with the whole thing.

So that's something at least...

I still haven't told her I'm trans myself. That would require more bravery than I have at the moment. But maybe she'd be alright with it?
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:39 AM   #586
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I guess you have to ask yourself: why are they like this? Is it religion, are they intimidated, or are they just not nice people? The first two are sometimes easier to convince. Are they homophobic through ignorance, which would be corrected by meeting someone who can set a good example?
I think a lot of it comes down to the way we think. So much of Western thinking boils down to putting things into discrete, mutually-exclusive categories. Someone is either male or female. If someone is male, they pair with females, and vice versa. If someone is male, they like sports, hate shopping, and are physically strong. If someone is female, they hate sports, love shopping, and are physically weak. Etc., etc. When these strict categorizations and the "rules" that define them break down, those who have followed them all their life get confused and scared and lash out at whatever has broken the system, and decide that it's not the system that is wrong, but rather this thing that doesn't fit, because the system can never be wrong. Because the system is so deeply ingrained in their way of thinking, anyone who tells them the system is wrong is wrong.

It's not enough to force a grudging exception for a specific case. It's an entire method of thought that must be forced to recognize itself as flawed and incomplete, and must be changed. Because the world, when closely examined, is not discrete. Such discrete categorization works as an approximation, as a limiting case, but it's never the truth. Yes, the cat can be both alive and dead. Yes, the same person can simultaneously have both male and female features. Yes, someone with X parts can, when the wave function of sexual identity collapses, truly be Y instead. It's a leap in the very way we think with which not everyone is comfortable and ready to make, but must necessarily become more widely-accepted as we progress as a species, or else we will stagnate and, ultimately, cease to evolve.

Yes, I'm making a case that changing the way we think to incorporate transsexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, etc., into the common rationality is not only desirable, but vital to the survival and long-term development of homo sapiens sapiens as an intelligent species in this universe.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #587
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*claps*

Very well written.

Say... Kuwi... Do you feel like writing my sociology essay for me, maybe perhaps?

Just kidding. I'll do it myself. But you just reminded me what sort of way I'll need to think when tackling these assignments.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #588
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Don't apologise for that post. It has a lot of good points, and an important message.

And actually, as it happens, last night mum started a conversation with me about a TV show she had seen.

Basically, it was The X Factor (not sure if you have that where you are) a singing competition sort of thing. Anyway, mum was saying how there was this guy on there with piercings and tattoos, and he was 35 years old. The judges asked him why he'd waited so long to try this competition (which has been around for a while) and he said it was because he was born a woman and had only just transitioned. He got through to the next round (hooray!).

But while mum was telling me this, I got the impression that she wasn't transphobic. Like, she seemed alright with the whole thing.

So that's something at least...

I still haven't told her I'm trans myself. That would require more bravery than I have at the moment. But maybe she'd be alright with it?
Yeah, we have The X Factor here. I think we have a transgender contestant this year (not sure yet). I heard one of the judges called her a 'tranny' and subsequently received harsh boos from the audience.

Yeah, that's a good sign with your mum. But I can pretty much guarantee she won't like hearing it, but it's not necessarily because she's transphobic.

When I told my mum, even though she's not transphobic, she initially opposed my transition because:

- She was worried how I'd cope at school, whether I'd be bullied

- Whether I'd ever have a stable relationship

- Would I ever find a job?

- She'd worry that whenever I went out with my friends, something bad would happen

This type of thing. She was worried about her child, and she wanted me to serious contemplate remaining a boy but being 'feminine'.

The answers to all four, were yes. But I'm alive, employed, and engaged. So her fears have pretty much gone now (she still worries about me when I'm out at night though, even though I'm in my twenties. Guess that's natural.)

On top of that, there's also an awful lot of guilt. An awful lot. My mum soon realised that transsexuality is caused in utero, and she mapped out her pregnancy and found that she was having problems the same week my sex was probably being decided inside her.

Then she felt horrible about all the times she forcibly shaved my head, stopped me playing with girls toys, forced me to play with boys, not letting me wear the clothes I wanted, etc.

That's the biggest issue with parents, I think. When the reality sinks in, it can really hurt. And you kind of have to reassure them it's not their fault and they did the best they could at the time.

Some people liken it to a grieving process. Saying goodbye to a son and hello to a daugher.

But yeah, definitely a good sign. Do you think your mum has any inclination? Sometimes they do, but block it out their head. Some parents are excellent at not seeing exactly what's in front of them.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:35 PM   #589
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I think a lot of it comes down to the way we think. So much of Western thinking boils down to putting things into discrete, mutually-exclusive categories. Someone is either male or female. If someone is male, they pair with females, and vice versa. If someone is male, they like sports, hate shopping, and are physically strong. If someone is female, they hate sports, love shopping, and are physically weak. Etc., etc. When these strict categorizations and the "rules" that define them break down, those who have followed them all their life get confused and scared and lash out at whatever has broken the system, and decide that it's not the system that is wrong, but rather this thing that doesn't fit, because the system can never be wrong. Because the system is so deeply ingrained in their way of thinking, anyone who tells them the system is wrong is wrong.

It's not enough to force a grudging exception for a specific case. It's an entire method of thought that must be forced to recognize itself as flawed and incomplete, and must be changed. Because the world, when closely examined, is not discrete. Such discrete categorization works as an approximation, as a limiting case, but it's never the truth. Yes, the cat can be both alive and dead. Yes, the same person can simultaneously have both male and female features. Yes, someone with X parts can, when the wave function of sexual identity collapses, truly be Y instead. It's a leap in the very way we think with which not everyone is comfortable and ready to make, but must necessarily become more widely-accepted as we progress as a species, or else we will stagnate and, ultimately, cease to evolve.

Yes, I'm making a case that changing the way we think to incorporate transsexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, etc., into the common rationality is not only desirable, but vital to the survival and long-term development of homo sapiens sapiens as an intelligent species in this universe.
It's a shame we still live in a conformist society, but yeah, you're right. When I transitioned, I was expected to confirm to female gender norms - immediately. Luckily, I had no problems with that. I'm quite a girly girl, and I don't have any male-orientated hobbies or interests. I wonder if that's why I have an easy time of it.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:51 PM   #590
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Sometimes I think mum has some sort of realisation that this could be coming. But there's nothing concrete.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:15 PM   #591
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Sometimes I think mum has some sort of realisation that this could be coming. But there's nothing concrete.
Gotta be a good thing, right? Although she may think you're gay. It's easy to confuse those two things.

Good luck, whenever you decide to tell her
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:50 AM   #592
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Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:24 AM   #593
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My article "Ex This" about the experience of me and a transgender friend in the ex-gay ministry has been published in The Windy City Times! Check out my signature link if you want to read it. (I have been told how to make that look cleaner but for some reason it never works for me when I try it myself.)
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:07 AM   #594
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Congrats!
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:34 AM   #595
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Originally Posted by Kim Fierce View Post
My article "Ex This" about the experience of me and a transgender friend in the ex-gay ministry has been published in The Windy City Times! Check out my signature link if you want to read it. (I have been told how to make that look cleaner but for some reason it never works for me when I try it myself.)
Kim if you tell me what you want the links to say, and give me permission, I'll fix them for you.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:50 AM   #596
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I saw a snippet news article yesterday that Australia will now allow people to choose male, female, or X (intermediate/asexual/queer/transsexual/etc) on their passports. Can anyone verify this? It'd be great -- one small step forward.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:58 AM   #597
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Oh, I've not heard anything about that... But then, I don't keep up with the news very much.

I'd prefer it if a trans girl like myself could put F on her passport, regardless of position in the transitioning process. But baby steps.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:59 AM   #598
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The other awesome news is that in the US, the Social Security Administration is dropping gender from the identity verification process. Even if someone supplies it, they won't confirm it either!
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:35 PM   #599
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I saw a snippet news article yesterday that Australia will now allow people to choose male, female, or X (intermediate/asexual/queer/transsexual/etc) on their passports. Can anyone verify this? It'd be great -- one small step forward.
Here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14926598
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #600
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I'd prefer it if a trans girl like myself could put F on her passport, regardless of position in the transitioning process. But baby steps.
There are advantages to it. Only a very, very lucky few look passable straight after transition. Most of us had/have the awful purgatory moment where it's obvious we're trans, or sometimes worse than that. And there are horror stories of transwomen going through immigration control and the officers pull them because they "look like a man but dress like a woman and this is a woman's document so this is probably a false passport." Generally very distressing and embarrassing. An 'X' solves that, at least right at the beginning.

Over here you're either M or F, and your passport changes pretty much as soon as you transition. I can't complain about that, but it does make some transgender people quite nervous at airports.
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