Please cry for me, Argentina!

Dear Argentinian Embassy,

I hereby wish to apply for political asylum in Your highly developed country. In my homeland, I belong to a minority who is denied medical treatment and correct papers of identification. I’m an illegal man in the eyes of the Norwegian state. It  is my hope that Argentina will be my new homeland.

Kind regards,

Tarald Stein

(P.S. Unfortunately I can’t afford the plane ticket (I’m an author), but if You could spare a one way ticket Oslo-Buenos Aires, it would be very apreciated!)

Argentina adopts gender identity bill

Madonna and me

Here I would insert the non-existing picture of me and the pop star.

Years ago, before I started my transition, I wrote a blog post in Norwegian with this same title. I had just heard Madonna state that she was a gay man in a woman’s body. I had also heard Annie Lennox statement about being reincarnated in her next life with a penis.

Both these statements by well known musicians made an overwhelming impact on me. At the time I knew I was gay and that my body felt weired, but I had not yet taken any steps to transition. I felt very alone, very depressed. I thought I was the only one feeling this way about gender and sexuality. All the transmen I’d heard of was very masculine and straight. Les videre

Happiness ruins blogging

I really shoul blog more often. I have a lot to blog about – actually so much that it’s totally overwhelming to start. I’ve passed my one year on testosterone and will probably go to Thailand for surgery within a year. I have kind of a job – a very interesting transactivist-job. And I found a boyfriend – the most wonderful man on earth. No, I didn’t hit him in his head and drag him back to my cave. I am not that violent and I tried to be more subtile than my instincts told me to. Les videre

International meeting for transactivists

The 21th Biennal Symposium of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is held in Oslo June 17.-20. LLH has taken initiative to gather all the transpeople attending the conference. Time: Thursday June 18th at 6 pm Place: Nordal Bruns gate 22, central Oslo

Agenda
Presentation of participants (short)
Open discussion of following topics:

WPATH in relation to activism
Standards of Care – working for or against transpeople?
Access to treatment
De-psychiatrisation
Strategies in trans-activism

I am afraid that this meeting can just scratch the surface of these topics, but hopefully we will be able to keep in contact during the conference and after to continue discussion. I know a lot of us will be very busy during these days, so we should do our best to keep the meeting short (1-2 hours).

"I only like the real stuff"

That’s what he said. And it came casually, like it wasn’t directed at me specifically. But I think it was. Not that I had come on to him or anything. Yes, he is good looking, but that attitude; that of course I want to have sex with him, is just a total turn-off to me. He had just told us about his new boyfriend, and there is now way I want to intrude on a happy monogamous relationship.

Since it came out so casually there was nothing I could say. I told myself that there was no need to feel hurt. He just revealed himself as a big jerk. It had nothing to do with me. And I prefer people to spell things out, to be clear from the start. So really; no need to take it personal and get hurt.

I guess it hurts because I suspect that a lot of people feel the same way. It hits me in a soar spot that I’m not concidered «the real thing», or at least my private parts isn’t, and that it is true. That’s the thing that hurts the most. And I guess it’s just something I have to accept and try to move on.

Why I'm not a feminist

I’ve discussed this a lot during summer. I believe that every human being have equal rights. I’m against opression on all grounds, including gender and sex. I find conservative gender-roles repulsive. But I do not want to call myself a feminist. Feminism is a set of theories of what is wrong with the world and what to do about it. So of course men can be feminists.

And still I don’t label myself a feminist. Les videre

Going to EuroPride

I’m leaving tomorrow, heading for Stockholm and EuroPride. I have responsibility for two events:

  • A session in english called «Transwriting» where I speak about my writing, how I was met by the media and society at large. Included reading some of my poems in both Norwegian and English. See description here.
  • A writer’s workshop in two parts, where the first will be held at PrideHouse on Monday and the second at RFSL on Thursday. This will be in Norwegian/Swedish, unless someone  english-speaking  wants to attend.

I’m so delighted to have this opportunity, thanks to Punkfairy! It is a bit scary, but mostly exiting. I get to spend the week at his place. There are so many interesting workshops and other events going on that I like to attend!

Why did it take me so long?

Aaron H. Devor has written an article called Witnessing and Mirroring: A Fourteen Stage Model of Transsexual Identity Formation in Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy, 8 (1/2), 41-67. I recommend it. It’s well written and quite easy to understand.

The article got me thinking again about why I didn’t realize my transsexuality at a younger age. I try not to regret it, not to be bitter, but it’s hard. Time after time I was told at the Norwegian Gender Clinic, that if I just had realized throughout my childhood and at least puberty; then I would have fit the transsexual box. Then I would have gotten the treatment that I need. So why was I so stupid that I didn’t understand what was wrong with me?

1. Cildhood. Nobody ever tried to push me into a girl-role. I was just me and didn’t get much trouble for it.

2. Puberty. Too much happened at the same time in my life. My family moved when I was 12 and I didn’t make any friends. I’m still not sure as to why, but probably my failure to be a proper girl did have something to do with it, along with a lot of other reasons.

3. Books. So for the next 6 years I lived my life in the books. I forgot I had a body. That didn’t matter when reading anyway. A Norwegian author named Elin Brodin had a lot of «female» protagonists falling in love with gay men. I identified strongly with those «women» and bought their rejection of altering their bodies in any way. If they could live like that, I could too. As soon as I grew up and could move away to a city.

4. Sexual orientation. I always knew I liked guys. And for a long time my sexual identity overruled my gender identity. At the same time I was unable to see myself as a straight girl. I felt like a gay man, but everyone and everything told me that was untrue. All the transmen I saw in the media was really macho and presumably heterosexual. If I had to like girls to be a transsexual man, then I had to be a girl, although I didn’t feel like one. Thanks to Lukas for revealing that transmen can be gay too!

To deal with this I have two options:
1. To blame myself and my past. I should be angry at my parents for accepting me as a child, be angry at myself for taking refuge in the books and hating myself for being gay.
2. To blame the image for transsexuals that I was presented and still have to fulfill to get diagnosis and treatment.

I’ve always preferred outward anger to inward anger; hate the world rather than myself. Until I can get to a point of peace, I will continue so. Inward anger is the path to destroying myself. I refuse to blame myself for not having enough problems in my childhood and puberty. Outward anger is hopefully the path to destroying the GID-clinic and the narrow concept of transsexualism.

See also:

Reasons I once had not to transition

T-boy Jacky: I was never  tomboy

Matt Kailey

First week on T and my fellow T-mates

I noticed some changes today. I think it is happening really fast. I experienced increased acne few days after I started. My voice is pretty low to begin with, but today I noticed that I was unable to reach the higher tunes without a great deal of stress on my voice. I experienced a lowering of the voice during the first half of 2006. I did’t get my hormone levels checked, as I thought it was just a ever lasting cold. But now I wonder if that may have been some sort of high testo or just a mental effect of coming to terms with my gender identity. It might even be that when I allowed myself to be the man that I am for the first time, it sparked some weired changes in my hormone levels. I guess I’ll never find out for sure.

I also thought I noticed some increase in the hair growth on my stomack, where I apply the testogel, but that seems to be just imagination. Otherwise I would end up in fur before the end of summer. But the skin in my face is really changing, and not only because of acne. All my pores seems bigger.

Today I also got my first experience of what a male sex-drive might be like. Very strange. I’ve concidered myself as male in that respect for a long time, but today was different. I felt my whatever-you’d-like-to-call-it getting hard and everything happened faster than I’m used to. It has also grown a little bit, I think, but I’m not sure.

We are four transmen at WordPress starting T roughly at the same time:

Jacky started T may 26. Today he writes of his changes, including the sex-drive.

Ryan started T may 29.

Gender Outlaw started T april 2.

And me, june 5.

It’s kind of a similar feeling as I got the first time I met someone born the same day as me. Way cool!

We have different doses and brands. I believe I’m the only one on gel?

I’m 30 y.o., Gender Outlaw is 34, Jacky is 35 and Ryan is 22.

Ryan lives in Australia, I live in Norway, Jacky in Canada and so does Gender Outlaw.

Almost ready for Transfabulous!

I’m very excited! This weekend will be my first trip to London. I’m invited to keep a workshop (actually a speak and reading poetry) at this fabulous festival for transart. The title of my workshop is «My body is my logo», a quotation from Framandkar.

I’ve worked on translating a lot of my poems the past few days and realize that I should have done it a long time ago. As you may have discovered; I don’t write english flawlessly… I’m doing my best. Hopefully someone will see the need to make better translations and publish some of it in english. And actually, I’m doing better at the translations than I thought I’d do originally.

Les videre

Support Norwegian transgender doctor!

Those who has been reading here a while, know that the Norwegian GID-clinic has a monopoly and abuses their power. This has caused Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, who is transgender zerself, to take action and help several people in need of treatment. Esben Esther is the best known transgender activist in Norway. Ze is now at risk of loosing zer licence to practice bacause ze helped one person to get mastectomy. This would be devastating for the norwegian transgender population, as several people are dependant of zer courage and will to help transpeople in need. I urge you to take action and sign the petition!

English translation:

I who sign this agree that:

1. Esben Esther acted on strong ethical gounds when he broke the law and that all charges should be dropped.

2. The GID-clinic’s national authority should be examined and questioned. They should only have monopoly on the surgically altering of genitals. Competent doctors should be made useful and more doctors should be taught trans-competence.

3. All gender/sex/body relted treatment should be on the gounds of the applicant, who should be treated individually. «The genuine» transsexual is a outdated theory and should be recognized as such. A variety of needs and ways of understanding gender should be included in the service of treatment.

Please sign!

Caring about this moment

Jacky and Ryan writes about how it shouldn’t matter if being queer or trans is a choice. And I agree. His bottom line is this:

I’m not that concerned about the WHY of things. I am more concerned with my life as it is right now.
Why I’m trans doesn’t matter. Whether or not its a product of nature, or nurture, or just a particularly convincing delusion I am under, it really doesn’t matter.
My choice is all that matters.

There’s nothing wrong with being queer… so why does it matter if I choose this path?

We choose to act or not to act. I’m not concerned either about the why. It also reminds me of something the psychiatrist at the GID-clinic said. They were not convinced that my gender identity will stay male. I am convinced, of course, but that doesn’t matter to them. And who can predict anything about the future with certainty? Me neither.

But if I choose to change my body to make it look more male, I know that will feel better than to have a female body. I never wanted a female body, I just accepted it as my destiny for far too long. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever want that body back, but if so, I should be mature enough to take responsibility for my own actions. Judging from my experiences, that won’t be a problem. Feelings of regret are almost non-existant in my life so far. Not because I’ve always taken the best decisions, but because I’m able to see that I didn’t have the means to handle the situation  better at the time. I intend to keep it that way.

What I care about is making the best possible decisions today so that I can have a better life in the future. And, yes, it should be mine to make.

Genderbending the Eurovision Song Contest? Reporting realtime

I’ve given into the pressure and decided to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Especially since all my friends see it and nothing fun is going to happen anyway.

I was struck by the genderbending aspects of the opening show: First a person I would presume was FTM in a suit and a person I presumed was some kind of biological man in a wedding dress. Then the dress goes off and reveals a woman in a suit. For most of the song, the singer («FTMish») is surrounded by dancing women in half black suits, half white dress. It gives the impression that they are half men, half women. And the coreography makes it seem that they change – one minute female, the next male. I loved it!

Les videre

How to Respect a Transgender Person

I don’t think this should be necessary. Basically it just explains that common sense also applies to interacting with transgender people. But it seems that especially journalists have a hard time with social rules, so I’ll post it anyway.

Please, do not try to print any of my former names! And I’m getting sick of being asked about that. Some time in the future, when everyone can see that those names don’t fit, I’ll tell everyone without hesitating, but for now, I don’t feel comfortable with even hearing them, and really ain’t able to get them over my lips.

Thank you!

How to Respect a Transgender Person

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

If you have recently learned of a transgender person in your life, you might not understand their identity and you may be unsure of how to act around them without offending or hurting their feelings. The term «transgender person» in this article means a person who does not fully identify with the gender they were assigned with at birth. There are transgender people all over the world (e.g. US, Mexico,[1] India[2]) and in a wide variety of cultures (e.g. Native American,[3] Thai[4]). For such people, it is not always easy to explain their gender situation in today’s society. Here’s how to understand and respect someone who challenges your ideas about gender, and who does not easily fall within the category of «male» or «female».

Les videre

Femininity/masculinity

I really thought I was going to be a feminine man. After all, I enjoy looking good, nice clothes, identify as queer and I’ve always been attracted to feminine men. It turns out I might be quite regular. And it bothers me.

Les videre

TransPride-poem

I found this over at Ryan’s blog and liked it so much that I’ll add it here too. Most of all for myself to see when my existence is being questioned.

If ever a real man existed
He was trans

You know why we rock YOUR world?
Because we’ve seen the best and worst of both

We are fighters.
Champions
Survivors
Lovers
Listeners
Boulders

Not just because we were made this way
But because we chose to carry on

We don’t need your pity
We don’t need your accusations
Or your psychological analysis

We know who we are
And we’re probably a lot more stable than you will ever be

If you had the power to stand
When chains were dragging you down
The power to survive alone
When no one was around
If you had found compassion
In no one other than yourself

You have become a real man
Without the pity of someone else

just gimme some freakin T.

From The Hottest Transbois