Now (age 37) and then (age 14), for Transgender Day of Visibility.

Now you know why I like to keep my hair so short, ha ha.

I didn’t start T until I was almost 33. My only regret was waiting so long. If transition is your goal, it isn’t too late. Stay strong. My Ask Box is open. 

Help fight Florida House Bill 583, which makes it a crime for trans people to use their preferred bathroom

It’s rapidly about to become a crime in Florida to use a bathroom that does not match your biological sex:

Specifically, House Bill 583 would require people using single-sex public restrooms to have to prove their gender or face arrest. It would prohibit a person who knowingly and willfully enters a single-sex public restroom “designated for or restricted to persons of other biological sex,” according to HB 583. According to the bill’s synopsis, the measure would provide private cause of action against violators.

“‘Sex’ means a person’s biological sex, either male or female, at birth. For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'male’ means a person born as a biological male and the term 'female’ means a person born as a biological female,” the bill says. It goes on to say, “a person who knowingly and willfully enters a single-sex public facility designated for or restricted to persons of the other biological sex commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.”

Rapists and molesters are not politely waiting on anti-discriminatory bathroom laws to pass in order to commit crimes. In addition to being bigoted trash, HB 583 has no foundation in crime stats. States that have anti-discriminatory laws see NO increase in bathroom assaults: http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/03/20/15-experts-debunk-right-wing-transgender-bathro/198533

Experts in 12 states – including law enforcement officials, government employees, and advocates for victims of sexual assault – have debunked the right-wing myth that sexual predators will exploit transgender non-discrimination laws to sneak into women’s restrooms, calling the myth baseless and “beyond specious." 

What can I do?

We still have time before this bill could become a law!

Follow Equality Florida and sign the petition to repeal this bullshit: http://www.eqfl.org/NoOnHB583

Be aware of "trans panic” “jokes” and comments and work to put a stop to them. Educate people about how it’s trans people who suffer the most violence in bathrooms, and that a cis man posing as a woman is an utterly absurd scenario. This is exactly what happens when “jokes” and misinformation breed a culture of fear. Decades ago, the panic was all about  gay men “recruiting” in the bathroom. Now, the panic is about cis men disguising themselves as women in order to rape and molest.

Protect your trans friends. Be aware that even those who pass 100% will have reason to be paranoid. If this comes to pass, consider only patronizing establishments that have unisex/family bathrooms. Even then, start spreading the word of the need for unisex facilities.

The only people who stand to benefit from this law are bigots. Those who stand to suffer are trans people, especially trans women.

I used to think it was self-indulgent to head-canon a fictional character as trans. Because I thought it would take away enjoyment of the character from other fans if they knew I felt that way. Because I felt it was too weird or twee or overly complicated.

And you know what? That’s the EXACT same attitude that initially kept me from transitioning (10 years of waiting!) and set me down a long, dark road of deep, deep depression that nearly destroyed me. Yeah, being trans is a little weird and complicated sometimes, but so is every other manifestation of the human condition.

If you don’t head-canon a character as trans, fine. You’re entitled to your own interpretations. But fuck off if you turn that into something that makes other people feel unwelcome, and ultimately, unsafe.

FTM Passing Tips

I’ve been asked for some first-time clothes shopping tips for FTMs. Here is a very good passing guide, though it heavily favors guys with a certain body type: http://ftmguide.rassaku.net/ Still, if you’re looking for logistical tips and tricks, check it out.

That aside, here is a little collection of my own personal epiphanies:

1) Learn how men’s clothing works and what looks good for your body type. This sounds glib, but men’s clothing tends to fit very differently than women’s, plus you have a whole host of new measurements to learn (neck size, inseam, etc.). Learn your true measurements (have a friend measure you) and don’t give in to wishful thinking; chances are, it’ll make you look like a kid playing dressup.

Theres lots of sartorical websites out there dedicated to teaching how men’s clothing should fit, what to look for, etc. In general, a tailored fit is going to help you pass more than baggy clothing. Tailored != skinny; it means clothing that is flattering to your body type.

2) Expect to get it wrong. A lot. I’m still figuring out what does and does not work on me, and tend to shop at inexpensive places like Old Navy, Kohl’s, H&M, and yes, Goodwill.

While not as bad as women’s clothing, men’s sizes vary WILDLY across brands, styles, and even materials (fun fact – men’s waist sizes are usually unrealistic – thank marketers for this – so your measurements from #1 are going to be guidelines in a LOT of trial and error).

Shop in person as much as possible to ensure a good fit; most people don’t give a second glance at presumed females shopping in the men’s department because they assume you’re shopping for a relative/partner. Take advantage of this.

3) Passing guides are passing guides and focus more on social expectations of gender norms, rather than your own self-expression.

For example, I’ll be the first to say that a completely buzzed head is almost always going to contribute to getting you misgendered, because it draws attention to how much rounder our skull shape tends to be compared to cisgendered men. BUT. If a buzzed head is something you really, REALLY want, then maybe that need is more important than ticking off that particular box in your passing checklist.

4) There really isn’t a silver-bullet, “one simple trick” to passing. Passing is a collection of many, MANY gender signifiers, everything from what your body looks like, to how you walk/talk, to what you wear.

Do what you can with what you have and try not to be too hard on yourself. For every dysphoric trait you have, chances are, many cisgendered men share it. That being said, I fully understand that dysphoria is seldom rational (For example, I have a small bust, but still dress in multiple layers because of massive chest dysphoria. But I also try not to get too hung up on the fact that my personal style is heavily influenced by said dysphoria. Because I *like* being a tweedy professor, dammit.).

5) If medical transition is in your future, you are going to have to replace a good chunk of your wardrobe, so hold off on expensive purchases.

Also, if you’ve been hesitant to adopt certain styles because you’re afraid of being misgendered, take heart – once your body and face start to change shape, you’ll be able to get away with a *lot* of looks that would have previously worked against you.

6) Buy clothing that makes you feel good. But also be sure that you’re buying clothing because it looks good on *you* and not just the model. This is an insidious little behavior I’ve noticed in myself, which causes me to buy clothing I don’t need and/or fits poorly because of dysphoria.

7) Don’t wear pleated pants. Just don’t.

The one in which I wax poetic about a fictional character and what he means to me

Some weeks back, lament-for-boromir wrote a wonderful post about how the character of Newt Geiszler led her down a road of self-discovery.

Let me do the same for Hermann.

::deep breath::

Keep reading

FTM air travel observations

So I did a bit of air travel (Orlando, Seattle) this past weekend and noticed the following:

1) I register my boarding passes as male despite having “F” still on my ID. I experienced no problems with this.

While the TSA recommends you register under your current official gender marker, I consider this a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of thing and prefer to register how I present. Do be aware that I have a gender-neutral first name, so I’m not sure how many people really notice my gender marker. YMMV.

2) I’m pretty sure my binder (half binder from GC2b) triggered one of the nudie scanners at MCO. I glanced at the readout and saw it flagged the bottom part of the binder as a suspicious zone, on both the front and back of my torso. The TSA officer put a flat palm on my chest and back real quick and ushered me on my way. (Note: I do not pack and even if I did, would not at the airport – I’ve heard too many stories of packers triggering the nudie scanners.)

In both cases, my air travel was smooth, but the nudie scanner is something to take note of as a trans person, because they are getting more sophisticated at detecting “anomalies”. (The scanner has also detected when I’ve had some cash in my back trousers pocket.)


DIY Silhouette Project!

This is an easy weekend project and good for filling up wide spaces with some artwork. For a variation, use your cutouts to make a zoetrope!

Materials to buy:

  • $2 for 8 sheets of 8.5 x 11" card stock (I made a lot of cutting mistakes calibrating my cutting machine)
  • $6 for 18 wooden bases (I used 17)
  • $10 for 40 acrylic rods (I used 17)
  • $8 for a tube of JB weld (I used less than half)

Other materials:

  • Paint for bases
  • Vinyl/cardstock cutter or exacto knives


  1. Take a short video clip, ideally in slow-mo.
  2. Convert your video to an animated gif. Here’s some online tools:
  3. Open the GIF in a program like Photoshop that uses layers. There will be a *lot* of layers. Evenly discard the ones you don’t want to have a manageable number of “frames”.
  4. Roto-scope the silhouette of each key frame onto a new layer.
  5. Assemble and smooth out your silhouettes.
    If in Photoshop and doing this raster, you can use select>modify>smooth as one of your tools.
    If you didn’t start with vectors, you can use a tool like vectormagic.com to vector-ize your art. (This will also smooth it some more and help with scaling.)
  6. Scale the art to the desired size.
  7. Print to cardstock and cut.
    If you’re lucky, you have access to a Cricut or other card stock / vinyl cutting machine. If you’re like me, and primarily cut vinyl stickers with a non-crafter machine, get yourself a Cricut “cutting mat” – it is a thin plastic sheet with a tacky surface that allows you to cut paper shapes without them falling off the mat.
  8. Attach the cut outs to some clear acrylic rods. Tape works well and is light. You may need to clip some of the rods with shears.
  9. Get some bases. If they don’t have holes, drill some.
  10. Using an epoxy putty (JB Weld, etc.), fill the holes and insert the rods. Work in small batches.
  11. Paint the bases. Number the bottoms so you can easily put your display in order.
  12. Display!
Restart the clock! (Adventures in surgery)

I just got done with my phone consultation with Dr. Garramone, who will be performing my top surgery. Interesting tidbits:

- He prefers physician letters to therapist ones and my obgyn/endo will work out just fine.

- I have to have a mammogram because I am over 35. Ugh. Time to find a trans* friendly center.

- Because it’s not too bad a drive, I don’t have to stay in a hotel the entire week between surgery and bandage removal, so that saves me money and lets me convalescence at home.

Pending approval from my boss tomorrow, my surgery date will be Sept 18th! I wish it were sooner, but that gives me time to get a little better in shape. I am getting the double incision (just barely don’t qualify for keyhole). If I don’t care for my scars, I will get a chest tatt.

Hell, I may be fine with my scars and *still* get a chest piece.

I better start some designs…

So, one Otakon, I completely forgot to bring “normal” clothes except the ones I drove up in which got really gross from a 15hr drive with no AC and all I had was pocket change to find a T-shirt I could wear out to a restaurant and not feel too embarassed and out of place but all I could afford was this shirt which I still have for some reason.