A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Archive for April, 2010

On the search.

I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to ask here, but really, I just want to know where all the transguys hang out online.  I’ve come across plenty of forums, but there’s never really anyone online at the time I show up.  The most I’ve ever seen in an FTM chatroom was 4, myself included, and they were mainly idle.  Is it just that FTM’s tend to be lone wolves, or am I looking in the wrong places?  Because I KNOW there must be some place out on the interwebs where I can go to chat and there are at least a few dozen transguys on there at all times, having lively conversations about crazy things, just like every other group I’ve ever been involved with.  There’s a vibrant chat room out there for everything that I can think of.  I mean, I know there are more of us than it must seem like, so why, when I go looking, is it always so DESOLATE?

All I really want right now is a sense of community.  I want to have somewhere I can go, that when I step in the door, I feel comfortable and have a sense of communion and family- where I can look around and think, “these are my people.”  I feel like I’m a member of an endangered species.  And I’ve looked everywhere I can think of.  I’d join the youtube community if I had a camera, because that’s the closest thing I can find.  But I figure, if there’s a chat room out there for people like us, I’d better just start asking around, because I haven’t had any success looking myself so far, and I’ve been looking for a year.

I feel more alone these days than I’ve felt in a very long time.  I just want to be with my people.

Feeling pretty down.

So I’ve broken up with my boyfriend.  The gap between where I’ve been changing and where he hasn’t been changing has finally gotten wide enough that we’re basically incompatible in every way.  He wants things from me that I can no longer provide, and I need new things that I didn’t need a year ago, things he has proven repeatedly that he won’t be able to bring to the table.  I’m not happy, and neither, I suspect, is he.

Nonetheless, I hate being lonely- but settling for less than what I need has consistently proven to get me nothing but hurt, and I’d rather fight through this alone than with someone who’s going to do nothing but drag me down.

I’m now feeling very alone.  I’m shedding elements of my past from the inside out, and I’ve reached that area where I’m losing old friends and lovers, and if I don’t reach out and move into a new area with that, then I’m just going to sit in a pool of isolated stagnation, so I guess it’s time to get back on the old bike.  I’ve had my pity party for a couple of days and now it’s time to get up and dust myself off.

Of course, that night after the breakup, I went with the cliche ending and got very good and drunk.  I said a lot of things to one of my old flames, and got turned down flat.  It seems like losing two people in that way in 24 hours can really deflate the hell out of your tires, and I can only take so much rejection in a short time.  I’ve spent a lot of the last couple days reeling from that one-two combo punch, just trying to stay on my feet.

A while back, I spent a couple of days in a house with two people who called me by Tommy and used male pronouns.  It was obvious that it was forced, but nonetheless it brought a smile to my face to feel that someone cared enough not to call me by things that hurt me.  It was like a vacation.

Now I’m back home again, with parents.  I’m very close to having a job and thereby a place of my own, which I’m very grateful for, because I’m feeling very worn and thin, and that’s not a good place to be in when the pronouns floating around are “daugher”, and “she”, and “her”, and That Name which I’d almost somehow forgotten was mine.  At first, it feels like someone’s talking about some long lost cousin of mine who I hated as a child, and then I remember that’s supposed to be me, and I get that sick, green feeling deep in my stomach.

Normally I can deal with mispronouning with some sort of grace and brush it off, just dismiss it because “the poor ignorant things don’t know any better,” but when you don’t have the mental stamina and inner strength to deal with the little things, every mispronoun feels like a swift kick to the gut with my hands tied behind my back.  I don’t even want to talk to my parents because I know that every time they refer to me, I’m going to feel sicker and sicker.

What I really want is just to get away from these people, these “friends” and this “family” and people who I have loved and who seem to love me but can’t turn around without hurting me in my darkest times, and I just want a break from them so I don’t wind up hating them for what they don’t know.  I want to spend time with people who understand, maybe even other trans people, and soak up some strength and rejuvenation so I can get my life back on track without so many migraines and so little energy.

I just want to even TALK to people who understand.  Even on the internet, it seems like every time I look, I can’t find any other trans people online when I need to talk to someone.

I hate feeling alone.

Getting in shape.

I’ve been feeling like it would be a good idea to start focusing on some area of self-improvement that’s less trans focused.  To be honest, there hasn’t been a day in the last nine months where achieving “maleness” wasn’t on my mind at least once every few hours.  To be sure, my life has improved because of the switches I’ve made, but it seems unhealthy to be so obsessed with one aspect of my life, and frankly, I’m getting tired of it.  Not to say I’m tired of being male- far from it, and there’s no way I’d ever go back.  But sometimes, I just want a break from gender entirely.

BUT, there are few respites from that kind of personal awareness- either falling into some form of substance abuse (and I have to admit, I’ve had my share of alcohol since my birthday, which I’m now generally staying away from), or focusing my energy somewhere else entirely- doing something challenging enough and consuming enough that I have little time to focus on the things that I want a break from.  Since my job hunt is continuing to go nowhere fast, and I’m almost entirely creatively constipated (I’ve been trying to partake in Scriptfrenzy, to little avail), I’ve chosen to start trying to get in shape.

It’s no coincidence that this decision came about the time my family decided to buy a Wii.  About a week and a half ago, when we got Wii Fit with the balance board, etc., I decided to go on a rigorous and serious workout regime accompanied by my personal form of dieting.

Exercise tends to come out to about an hour a day, with half of it aerobics and the other half yoga and strength training.  I wanted to start by getting my body fat back into an acceptable range, and then do a lot more strength training and bodybuilding to build back up, only with muscle.  I’m working on a lot of cardio and endurance, and the yoga is making me almost as flexible as I was when I was 13.  It feels pretty damn good- don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t work up a sweat on the Wii, because you can if you look for the right exercises and work at them long enough.

The dieting portion is turning out to be somewhat less enjoyable.  I call it the “water diet,” which isn’t nearly as horrible as it sounds.  You start by keeping your system constantly flushed with water, which over time can help by removing toxins.  Also, I learned that much of the time, when your body is telling you that you’re hungry (especially if you’re used to eating a lot but not drinking much), it’s really just saying that it’s thirsty.

The second element is calorie content.  I did a little research and found that, generally, if a woman wants to lose weight, the safe range of calorie intake is  1200-1500, and for men, it’s 1500-1800.  I try to hover around 1500 a day, eating a balanced composition of all food groups.  The leeway of the men’s side of things is also a lot easier, at least at first.  I’m still getting used to eating smaller portions and I wind up kind of lightheaded a lot of the time, but my body just needs time to get used it.  I’m not really changing WHAT I eat by too much, other than to add in more fruits and veggies, and cut out most of the soda and junk food, but I am changing how much of it I take.  It’s all about portion control- I’ve learned in the last week that the serving sizes of things tends to be about half of what I pour in my bowl!

The point of this diet, in a nutshell, is to consume exactly the amount of food that I need to remain healthy and working at top performance, no more and no less, and replace the rest of what I would normally eat with water to remain hydrated, so that my body will eventually get used to processing only the calories that I need without storing a bunch of them away.  I know my stomach size must be distended, because I’m used to eating probably twice as much.  So over time, my stomach will hopefully physically adapt to the amount of food I’m putting in it, and shrink a little.

To be honest, though, I think I’m taking it a little too quickly here at the beginning.  Last time I did this diet, I didn’t really count my calories too much, and I actually lost about 20 pounds over the course of several months, without even exercising.  But that was several years ago.  This time, because my body weight has settled into a higher bracket, and I’m seeming to have a harder time taking it off (probably because I’m 21 and not 16), I’ve been cracking the whip at myself pretty hard.  Most of what goes into my mouth comes out of a measuring cup, and meal time becomes math time.  And I’m finding a different result some of the time with drinking the water than last time.

I’m accompanying my meals with a lot of water, and by the end of it, my stomach feels full, greatly so, but sometimes I’m actually finding myself lightheaded, dizzy, and… how to put it… hungry in my head, like I actually do need more fuel as opposed to more “full”.  I think I really should take it a little easier from this point, and start to listen when my body is telling me it’s hungry, especially when I’m drinking craploads of water.

All that said, I’ve been on this about 10 days, and I’ve lost 3 pounds so far, which isn’t an unhealthy rate of weight loss if you’re doing it right.  I’m pretty happy with myself, since on the whole I actually feel stronger and more flexible.

I think the most positive thing about this is that it’s a form of self improvement that is gender neutral.  I know that women are generally more concerned about calorie content and weight, and men are generally more concerned with being toned and having muscle definition, but everyone wants to be healthy, right?  Not only that, but taking some pounds off will really help my awful knees.  Furthermore, it is tied in with transition in a somewhat obscure way- I’ve heard awful stories about gender surgeons declining patients because they were too fat, and while I don’t think that’s a HUGE danger for me, I do weigh a lot more than I look like I weigh due to my muscle content and bone structure, and I’m afraid that I might fall into the category of inoperable if I don’t at least take SOME weight off.

Long story short, I’d rather be all muscle and bone and weigh the same weight I do now than weigh 30 pounds less and be a pencil-neck, but at least some of this is fat and I need rid of it.

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