jeudi 27 mars 2008

Archive 2008 and final

17 Mar 2008
Living full time
It as now been two weeks since I have been living as a woman full time and a month, since I took my own place, away from my love. I already went to a lot of business gatherings as a woman but now, I am one for 100% of my waking time (I do not sleep with my breast prothesis since my growing buds are aching and need time to breath). So far it as been quite good. I have had several men calling me "sir" but a few called me "madam" and every time, it makes me very happy or upset, depending. My friends are telling me that I look like a mix between a cross-dresser and a woman. I am neither one of them yet. My hair grew and I do not have to wear a wig anymore (what a relief) and my friends and clients are still there and supporting me. My sisters are still making me an outcast but I am less affected by it than I use to. I also moved away from my love but you still see each other every week-end and she now started to go out in public with me. She is still trying to figure out if she can love that new person, but the worst case scenario is that we will be friends for the rest of our lives and the best one, is that will get back together. Although we spent our whole week-end together, there is still no certainty about that. i also am thinking of closing thyis space and opening a French blog that will document my transition since my first goal in opening this spot was to get to no you guys, but I must recognise that the interaction and readership has been very scarse, to say the least...

28 Jan 2008
My coming out post
I won't beat around the bush. This post is translated from my original French post Je n'irai pas par quatre chemins.From birth, I have lived with a timebomb in my head, a bomb which exploded one Saturday morning in August 2007. After this precise moment, I was only sleeping three or four hours a night, I had lost 15 kg (33 lbs) and my life had been turn upside down to a point which was unimaginable to my partner, my near-and-dear, and my circle of friends.Broadly, since I was a child, my brain tells me that I am a woman. To manage this situation, I had developed very strong denial mechanisms. I became the model of "manlyness". I went to the Royal Militairy College (St John's Royal Military College) (and prepared to be an infantry officer), I played American football, and I was a bouncer. But, you see, once my denial mechanisms came tumbling down, I lived with depression that led me to consult a specialist for these things, in Québec.I suffer from gender identity disorder. When a person feels herself ill at ease with the roles or identity of her gender, the doctors say that she suffers from this malady; it is a psychiatric term describing a very grave mood disruption which implies sadness, anxiety, tension, irritability, and affects one in 30,000 people, according to medical statistics. In my case, it is a psychological state of a person who is unsatisfied with the sex in which she was born, and I was diagnosed a type II transsexual.In my situation, the only therapy is transitioning to be a woman. The only other alternative is to do nothing and the consequence of that choice is a severe depression which might lead to suicide.I asked my doctor if there wasn't anything else: injecting me with male hormones, aversion therapy, etc. He told em that for 50 years, all the alternatives have been explored (including electroshock) and that the only treatment which gave positive results was transition. One doesn't change the brain to correspond to the body, one changes the body to correspond to the brain.Furthermore, a scientific debate rages about if GID is an illness or a condition. GID is in the psychiatric bible (which is called the DSM-IV). But this reality might well change because science presents the hypothesis that it is instead a condition present at birth. It seems that during the 7th week of pregnancy, an abnormal hormonal influx happens, so that at the time of sexual differentiation, the body develops as a male, but the brain remains female (see here, here, here, here and here). After birth, amongst social pressures and life risks, the child will forge denial mechanisms which fail sooner or later. Thus, when they fail, the inevitable will become the only reality present at all times.The diagnosis is formal; I have thus begun hormone therapy two months ago, and I started to sleep again. It's another corroborating sign of the diagnosis that has been confirmed by many other health-care professionals and by my own self-knowledge. (I crossdressed in a non-fetishistic manner, in private, from age ten.)I take this news with many joys and sorrows at the same time.Finally, I will be the woman that my brain has always been, and I am very happy, but the anguish of the perceptions of others, the fear of being a freak, the aprehension of losing my lecturing contracts and the culpability of knowing the sadness that this news creates among members of my familly, weighs on me enormously.The most cruel aspect of my situation is having to leave my sweet darling, whom I profoundly love and with whom I have been together for thirteen years. She has supported me, listened, loved, and helped in an admirable fashion, but now I am at a stage which causes her enormous suffering. In order to spare her, I must now permit her to grieve for the man she still loves. This is the most wrenching part of my situation. In the next few months, I will remain (socially, legally, in business settings and otherwise) a man. But from a future time, which I will determine, and after I have undergone facial feminisation surgery, and am recovered from this operation, I will change my status to Michelle Blanc.I am reassured that I will survive, since my current clients and friends know of my situation and offer their support. I am happy to hear this from them and to be witnessing that friendship and professionalism can transcend the identity taboos of our society, and it makes me feel much more secure. I already know that I will be not-so-bad-looking woman. I don't want to be a man in a dress, but already, my friends tell me that I am a a much prettier woman than I am a man (in all subjectivity). I know I will survive this morally, because I have already grown enormously, and life holds for me many more positive surprises, such as being more emotional and able to express those emotions. Like my friend, Martin Lessard, who met me as a woman, said, it seems that I have become calmer and more "civilised". My friend Muriel told me that the shock was not to see me as a woman, but to see me as a man afterwards. She told me that I seem so happy, calm, and comfortable in my skin that afterwards, when she saw me dressed as a man, that it struck her how I had played a character all my life. Let's say that this encourages me.On the other hand, the defects and qualities which you think of when you think of me won't change. I'll probably always have a big mouth for example, and as one has just seen it, it will be "sounding off", without a doubt. As a woman, I don's know why, I don't swear any more and I'm a little more reserved. I'm also more emotional. Altogether, other than my outward appearance, mannerisms, and some minor character traits, I will be the same person who is passionate about people, work, nature, and the simple things in life.Now that the timebomb has gone off, know that I don't intend to go on about this subject here. I will create, in the future, another blog to furnish information about this phenomenon to other people who live with this problem and for those who are interested in the subject or who just want to understand and not be slaves to their prejudices.So, there you go.

03 Feb 2008
Another quite interesting coming out week
Last Monday, I was interviewed by Paul Arcand, Quebec's number one radio talk show host. The interviewis here (in French). After that radio show, the front page of La Presse and my coming out on my main blog, I am now officially "out there". I should mention that my blog readers know my face but the paper article and obviously the radio show did not carry any image of me. I know my readership is well exucated and that they have come to appreciate my brain and expertise. This probably explains why I have had such a warm reception with my comint out post. But I did not want to put my face out ther, in the traditional media, to become the transsexual freak they could easily do with my image. This is why I choose the media I would share my experience with and refused many others that wanted to surf on the news. I did not want to do any TV shows or any tabloid interview ans so far, the stories that came out were very respectful, understanding of GID and helped shape the positive outlook on what is GID. I am very happy about that and I received hundreds of emails from transsexuals that I have helped with my story or of people supporting of my condition. All in all it was a very good thing.

Having started to come out in such a public way, I could not stop there. Since I do have to be feminized to go see my orthophonist (every Tuesday morning) I decided to stay en femme for the whole day. I had a business lunch with a prominent client. It went very well and later that afternoon he told me that the image that was stuck on his mind after our lunch was how feminine my eyes were. On that evening, was the monthly gathering of business bloggers and business people interested in blogging that I started 2 years ago that was happening. I decided to go as I was. The reception was very warm. That cocktail meeting is mostly male and since I started the whole thing, they all know me (about 100 people). So many of them came to greet me and kissed my cheeks, others gave me a soft handshake and others gave me more macho handshake than they never did. Very few where too shy or embarrassed to come and say hello. So I went to them and greeted them. When somebody asked me what was different now that I was becoming a woman I joked and said that now, I can't park my car correctly anymore!

There were few woman at the cocktail and they all told me how good I looked and how happy they were to finally have one more woman to the group. I was very happy about their warmth.

The next morning I went to one of my customer in Drummondville to meet with his employee. When I got there they obviously all had heard the news (I was in male mode) and told me how proud they were of me and how supportive they would be. They insisted that for our next meeting, I should be dress as a woman.

This week-end is a bit sadder as I am packing to move out of my home and to split from my love. But yesterday, after a long and difficult emotional conversation, my love is now more inclined to see my moving out as just a transition pad were she will come to see me and probably get to accept its tenant as a full fledge woman. We joked that all my new furniture will look good in the lodge will purchase once we get back together…

21 Jan 2008
My coming out in Sunday’s paper Current mood: relieved
The article on Sunday's paper about my coming out was not so bad. A couple of things did bug me but all and all, the journalist presented GID in a positive manner and make sure to point out that changing sex is not a matter of choice but rather a matter of survival. The article Changer de garde-robe, can be translated by to change closet. The reactions to the article are very positive and can be found on the journalist's blog,here. This morning, I have been asked by the most popular Quebec radio show host, Arcand, to appear on his show next Monday. Since on the radio, nobody see's my face and I can therefore continue my daily routine without being pointed out by strangers, I'll agree to be there and I am sure it could help other…

20 Jan 2008
It’s four in the morning and I can’t sleep Current mood: stressed
In a few hours I'll receive the paper. I am very anxious since I'll be in it. I am use to be in the paper in economy or technology sections. But this time, I'll be in the human interest part of the paper and it it is going to be about the coming out I did on my main blog and about my condition. The journalist is one of the most read and polemist one in the province. But I know him, he is a blogger and I am sure that he did an honest piece about what I am living. He wanted to stress my "courage" but I told him that I did not really felt courageous. I rather felt that I had no choice but to come out now since I speak often of radical transparency, since I do not want to have to lie about my already visible physical changes and since I would have had to come out at some point or another. Anyhow, what stresses me is the fact that now, a whole lot more people will know about my issues and the other medias are bound to call me all day to also get their piece of the action. Besides reading what will be said about me, this also is a major stress factor. So far, my own communication about what I am living has been received overwhelmingly well. I have received numerous email and comments of love, acceptation and so on and I am now afraid of the possible new spin and following reactions to the story. I am now controlling nothing of the communication channel and that's scares me (in a PR sense). I'll see as the day unfolds…

16 Jan 2008
My coming out reactions Current mood: blessed
I'm ecstatic. The reactions on my main blog about my coming out post were overwhelming. I have received 45 comments on the blog, hundreds of email and several dozens of Facebook comments and mail. All of them were profound and quite positive. I certainly know that there are people who are thinking I am a freak and a deviant and so on but none of them had the guts to speak their mind on my blog. Then again, they would have been trash like there's no tomorrow. Anyhow, this really lifted my spirit. Last night was my first public happening after my community heard the news of my dysphoria. I was out as a man (and I'll be like that until my FFS in June) and the reaction of support and love I received in person was quite touching. People were move by my coming out and they let me know. they also had questions and were intrigued by the whole thing. It was a very interesting and uplifting happening.

The other good news is that I finally found an orthophonist and I'll start my first session today….

Life can be good

10 Jan 2008
My public coming out
Next week I'll do my public coming out on my regular French blog. I cannot hid3e the fact that I am living this transition and I do not want to hide or pretend that the changes my body and spirit are experiencing are not true. Furthermore, what I am living is not my fault, I did not choose that and I should not be ashamed of this condition. I will therefore step up and tell my world about it. for those of you that reads French here it is in avant-première

Je n'irai pas par quatre chemins.

Depuis ma naissance, je vis avec une bombe à retardement dans la tête. Elle a explosé un samedi matin du mois d'août 2007. Comme suite à ce moment précis, je ne dormais que 3 ou 4 heures par nuit, j'avais perdu 15 kilos et ma vie a été chamboulée à un point qui était encore inimaginable pour moi, ma conjointe, mes proches et mon entourage.

En gros, depuis que je suis enfant, mon cerveau m'indique que je suis une femme. Pour gérer cette situation, j'ai développé de très forts mécanismes de négation. Je suis devenu un modèle de « mâlitude ». J'ai fréquenté le Collège Militaire Royal de St-Jean (et suivi la formation d'officier d'infanterie), j'ai joué au football américain et j'ai été bouncer (videur). Mais voilà, une fois mes mécanismes de négations tombées d'un coup, j'ai vécu une sorte de dépression qui m'a amené à consulter l'un des spécialistes de ces questions au Québec.

Je souffre de Dysphorie d'identité de genre. Lorsqu'une personne se sent mal à l'aise de façon persistante avec les rôles ou identité de son genre, les médecins disent qu'elle souffre de cette maladie : c'est un terme psychiatrique décrivant une perturbation de l'humeur très grave qui implique tristesse, anxiété, tension, irritabilité et qui affecte une personne sur 30 000, selon les statistiques médicales. Dans mon cas, c'est l'état psychologique d'une personne qui est insatisfaite du sexe dans lequel elle est née et on m'a diagnostiqué transsexuel de type II. La bombe

Dans mon situation, la seule avenue thérapeutique est la thérapie transitoire qui fera de moi une femme. La seule autre alternative est de ne rien faire et la conséquence de ce choix est la dépression profonde qui peut mener au suicide.

J'ai demandé à mon Docteur s'il ne pouvait pas plutôt m'injecter des hormones mâles, m'offrir des thérapies d'aversion, etc. Il me répondit que depuis 50 ans toutes ces alternatives ont été explorées (y compris les électrochocs) et que la seule thérapie qui donne des résultats positifs est la transition. On ne peut pas changer le cerveau pour qu'il corresponde au corps, mais on peut changer le corps pour qu'il corresponde au cerveau.

Par ailleurs, un débat scientifique fait rage sur la question à savoir si le GID (Gender Identity Disorder) est une maladie ou une condition. Le GID est dans la bible des psychiatres (qu'on appelle le DSM-IV). Mais cette réalité pourrait bien changer puisque la science présente l'hypothèse que c'est plutôt une condition présente à la naissance. Il semble qu'à la 7e semaine de grossesse, un influx hormonal déficient au f--tus, fait en sorte que lors de la différenciation sexuelle, la morphologie devient mâle, mais le cerveau reste femelle. Donc à la naissance, en fonction des pressions sociales et des aléas de la vie, l'enfant se forgera des mécanismes de négations qui tomberont tôt ou tard. Puis, lorsqu'ils seront tombés, l'inéluctable deviendra alors une réalité présente à tous les instants.

Le diagnostic est formel, j'ai donc commencé la thérapie hormonale il y a déjà deux mois et j'ai recommencé à dormir. C'est un autre outil confirmant le diagnostic qui est aussi confirmé par plusieurs autres professionnels de la santé et par la connaissance que j'ai de moi-même (je me travestis de manière non-fétichiste, en privé, depuis l'âge de 10 ans).

Je prends cette nouvelle avec beaucoup de joies et d'angoisses à la fois.

Finalement, je serai la femme que mon cerveau a toujours été et j'en suis très heureuse, mais l'angoisse de la perception des autres, la crainte d'être un freak, la peur de perdre mes contrats de conférencier et la culpabilité de savoir la douleur que cette nouvelle crée chez certains de mes très proches, m'accaparent énormément.

L'aspect le plus cruel de ma situation est de devoir quitter ma douce chérie que j'aime profondément et avec qui je suis en couple depuis treize ans. Elle m'a supporté, écouté, aimé et aidé de façon admirable, mais aujourd'hui je suis à un stade qui la fait énormément souffrir. Afin de la ménager, je me dois de lui permettre de faire le deuil de l'homme qu'elle aime toujours. C'est réellement la portion la plus déchirante de ma situation. Dans les prochains mois, je demeure (au niveau social, légal, d'affaires et autres) un homme. Mais à partir d'un moment que je déterminerai et après avoir subi une chirurgie de féminisation faciale et m'être remis de cette opération, je changerais mon statut pour celui de Michelle Blanc.

Je suis rassuré quant à ma survie puisque mes clients et amis connaissent ma situation et m'offrent leur soutien. Je leur en sais gré car de savoir que l'amitié et le professionnalisme peut transcender les tabous identitaires de notre société, me sécurise énormément. Je sais déjà que je serai une femme pas si moche que ça. Je ne veux vraiment pas être un homme en robe, or déjà, mes copains me disent que je suis une plus belle femme que je ne suis un bel homme (en toute subjectivité). Je sais aussi que je survivrai moralement à tout ça, parce que cela m'a déjà énormément fait grandir et que la vie me réserve encore de nombreuses surprises positives, dont celle d'être maintenant plus émotive. Comme me le disait le copain Martin Lessard qui m'a rencontrée en femme, il semble que j'en deviens plus calme et plus « civilisée ». La copine Muriel quant à elle, me dit que le choc ce n'est pas tant de me voir en femme que de me revoir en homme par la suite. Elle me dit que je semble si heureuse, calme et bien dans ma peau que par la suite, lorsqu'elle me voit en homme, ça lui saute dans la face à quel point j'ai joué un personnage toute ma vie… Disons que ça m'encourage.

Par contre, les défauts et qualités auxquels vous songez quand vous pensez à moi ne changeront pas. Je risque fort de toujours avoir une grande gueule par exemple, même si, comme on vient de le voir, elle sera sans doute mieux « embouchée ». En mode femme, allez savoir pourquoi, je ne sacre plus et je suis un peu plus réservée. Je deviens aussi plus émotive. En somme, outre mon apparence extérieure, mon maniérisme et certains traits de caractère mineurs, je serai toujours la même personne qui se passionne pour les gens, le boulot, la nature et les choses simples de la vie.

Maintenant que la bombe à retardement a éclaté, sachez que je n'ai pas l'intention de m'étendre sur ce sujet ici. Je créerai, à un moment donné, un autre blogue pour fournir de l'info sur le phénomène aux autres personnes qui vivent le même problème et pour ceux qui ont un intérêt pour le sujet ou qui tout simplement veulent comprendre et ne pas être esclaves de leurs préjugés.


Reflecting on my holydays
I haven't written for a while since the holidays were an ecstatic and difficult time all together. There where very good times such as Christmas when my wef's son came over with his girlfriend. He had asked for me to be feminized cause he knew this would make me happy and he felt that he was ready to see it. But he warned my wife to tell me that he might not be able to refrain from cracking out laughing out of nervousness and he did not want me to get offended by it. I did not mind and I certainly could understand nervousness laughing. I myself had already lost it at a funeral so I can certainly relate. But, at Christmas, when he got home with his girlfriend the where both stunned and could not talk for at least three minutes. It seems that I was much more good looking that anything they had imagined. They were completely surprised by it. Let me tell you that it really relieved me. Then the same thing was repeated for my birthday with friends and acquaintances. One of my friend later told me, you know, you do not look like a transvestite and you do not look like a woman yet. You seem to be in between a transvestite and a genetic woman. Another friend told me that I was more civilized as a woman. Overall, everyone seemed to like the new persona they were meeting and this really lifted my spirit.

But I also had discussion with my sister that bared me from my family Christmas this year and it did not went to well. There were also the question of my half-sister, her husband and their two children that are really dear to me. I am the godfather to the eldest and mentor to the youngest. Now they told them about my situation during the holidays. From what I know, they do not want to see me anymore and they cried for hours when they learned the news. I sincerely hope they can come around and I am very sad not being able to talk to them to tell them my side of the story (since I have no clue of knowing how they were told). Finally, my wife and I have come to the conclusion that we were going to split in order to let her grieve her man and to let me express more my feminine side until I start living full time.

24 Dec 2007
An unexpected Christmas
This year I thought that it was going to be my last Christmas as a man. But my sister that is holding the family party this year, does not want to see me and my family for Christmas. This really hurts me for myself but also for my wife and her son since that for the last 13 years, every two years we were the ones providing the setting, food and drinks for Christmas. My wife had always been very generous with my family and all those years, we easily spent at least a thousand bucks per Christmas on food and drinks alone. But this year, since I am now officially a freak, my sister along with the approval of my other sister decided that they did not want to see me. They need some time to accept my dysphoria! Their argument is that since it took me 46 years to accept my condition, they too need a lot of time to do the same. They're getting ready for this by cutting me off from their little perfect lives.

The good news in all of this is that I believed it was going to be my last Christmas as a man but it is going to be my first one as a woman. My wife son asked his mother if I could be dressed as a woman for the little Christmas we'll have together. He said to her that he believed it would really make me happy (which is the case) and that he was very curious to see what I looked like as a woman. He and his girlfriend thinks they are ready to see me as I see myself and therefore, we'll have a family Christmas supper and I'll be the woman I always believed I was. Although this makes me very happy, it does not help me forgive my sisters reactions.

On another front, it's been more than a month that I am on HRT. I also now have a new hormonal regimen since I now have the TS medical specialist, thanks to my cousin that his one of his acquaintance. I can now see my breast grow but I do not feel them yet. My nails keeps breaking up easily and I now see my female waist line for the first time. I also fell very angry and edgy but my therapist tells me it is more related to my family matters than to my HRT. I also received my facial feminization surgery computer simulation and it really scared me. If I look like what had been projected by that so called specialist, I would really hate myself. I hope the surgeon that will operate me will be far better than what I have seen. but it also makes me realize how much of a leap of faith it will be to give my face to a surgeon for that transformation. What will I really look like? Will I be able to live with the results? Will this really improve my life and passing possibilities? Many questions that I'll have to reflect upon.

A merry Christmas to you all and I wish your family will be more accepting that mine is…

10 Dec 2007
I love my wife Current mood: jolly
This morning, she asked me to stop looking for a new place to stay. I spent the week-end en femme and she is now more and more accepting of that fact. I also think that seeing the movie Normal together, has had an effect on how she sees me and herself. For now it is just a delay from the moving date but I see that as a way to better accept my condition and possibly keep living with me no matter what…

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