Wednesday, November 29, 2006

post-surgical post-it notes to pre-self

  1. Masturbate, masturbate, masturbate!
  2. Invest in a top-quality, realistic strap-on dildo - both for post-recovery period dilation purposes and for our exploration - any recommendations people?
  3. Get a double-ended dildo for double the pleasure!
  4. Find a decent gynecologist with experience in ts physiology
  5. Ritually burn last pile of shitty male clothes
  6. Give parents and gf giants hugs for their endless support and love

As my date with the scalpel gets closer, I find myself thinking more and more about what happens after I wake up from the anesthesia and have to live my life free of the last physical vestiges of my old, unwanted self. Basically, my post-surgical life is a giant, black-hole unknown. I know I'll still have a job I enjoy for the most part, a beautiful, loving girlfriend, and loving family and friends. But that's about all I'm sure of.

The biggest question mark for me is how this final physical change will affect my sexual relationship with Jenn. Right now, while the sex is sensual and gratifying and effective, I think it's sort of in a holding pattern. Let's face it, I don't quite have the right plumbing to snugly fit into the world of lesbian sex and we sometimes find ourselves having to do work arounds or stop at the edge of some regions of exploration that just aren't physically possible. She is somewhat uncomfortable with my thingy to begin with and I am not entirely comfortable using it in our sexcapades either. For now, while we do our best to work with what we have, sometimes that aspect isn't as satisfying to me as I know it can be once I have the physical tools that my psyche knows I should have.

The problem is that I have little idea of what to expect sensation-wise. While I believe I've had a taste of extended female-like orgasms a couple times in the past, instigated by lengthy and extensive all-over body touching and kissing and sucking, I have no idea how close to vaginal orgasm they were. My past experiences were low-level prickly-intense and lasted several minutes, each time sending my body into enjoyable shutters, shakes and perma-smiles. But that experience has been hard to reproduce and I suspect but a pale shadow of the real thing.

I worry a little about the real possibility of decreased sensation down south, although it must be said that the sensation level on my outtie for the past several years or so has been low anyways. Besides, I'm not one to fret about factors I have no control over.

Jenn has expressed her fear that somehow getting a vagina will suddenly turn me into a man-hungry nympho - but I have assured her that has zero chance of coming to fruition. Of course, I didn't help my stance by wondering out loud to her one night what it might be like to bring a live dick into our bed for one night - to be shared by both of us, of course. Needless to say, those purely theoretical thoughts outside the box (lol) did not go over well with mi amor. In reality, I've done my (failed failed failed!) experimenting with men and I never want to go back there.

I think every woman about to undergo this surgery goes through a similar process of soul searching. We've jumped through endless legal and medical hoops and survived ostracization and ridicule and the all-encompassing fears of rejection and now, at the very precipice of final closure, we find out that this final step isn't really a final step at all. There is still a wide, wondrous world out there to explore and experience and live free from the confines of society's gender-bondage...

Monday, November 27, 2006

crimson and clover

Jenn and I took a trip back to the 80's (which she only barely remembers being but a child back then) last saturday when we went and saw Joan Jett and the Blackhearts at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY. I can tell you, Joan's even hotter (and far more lez) these days than when in her 80's prime or even during her shaved head, blossoming lesbian/DJ era a few years back (although I thought that look was very hot as well). And she can still rock to boot.
Jenn and I arrived around door opening time, but since there was a line a mile long, we stayed in the car and decided to wait it out occupying ourselves with scream-alongs to Hedwig, Tegan and Sara, and Bright Eyes songs. An hour later the line had only grown in size, so we headed off to McDonalds to pee and then the gas station because I wanted a 40oz. Back at the show, the line was only inching along so we stayed long enough for me to suck down my 24 oz can of molson (hey - what can I say - this is the 'burbs - all they had were these wimpy cans of beer!).

Turns out the line we worked so hard to avoid was for those who hadn't yet purchased tickets; ours were ordered online days prior and waiting at will call (.e., the other door) and so after standing in that line for 10 min we had to go in the other door where there was no line at all! D'oh!

We missed a good portion of the warmup band, which was a good thing, because they sucked for the most part, especially the (albeit cute) lead singer - she was only a couple more off notes from canine melodies. The rest of that band was decent, once they got fired up. The crowd was a strange mix of balding men and preppy, greying couples and younger punk elements - for once, I didn't feel so old! By the time JJ&BH came on we had positioned ourselves stage right about 6 people deep, with a decent view, although a jackass in front of Jenn insisted on wearing his hoodie throughout the performance.

Anyways, Joan rocked the house, to spout a too-oft used cliche one more time; rolling through a good mix of her classic tunes (I Love Rock n'Roll, Crimson and Clover, Cherry Bomb) and stuff from her new album. I especially liked the tune "Androgynous" which playfully (and earnestly in my view) explores gender and transgender alike. The show had a real punk feel to it, even during her more traditional rock tunes, and her leather and latex outfit (she looked alot like a slightly older Shane ala season one) and backing tattoo-encrusted, spike-haired band helped play up that image. The Blackhearts rocked as well - the guitar player especially. It helped that JJ seemed to stare right at Jenn and I (perhaps the only outwardly obvious non-traditional/lesbian couple out in the crowd) during a lot of her more raunchy lines all through the show. I guess she has that knack for making each audience member feel special. It worked on me...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

ultimate showdown

Check this out - amazingly funny animated video with a catchy tune:
The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:

warning: this is a bit disturbing and violent...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

mapping the medical necessity minefield

First, some definitions, noting that there are widely divergent definitions for all these terms and none are perfect or uncontaminated by the biases of the medical establishment. I picked those I most agreed with:

  • Sex: either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures.(Merriam-Webster)
  • Gender: the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex. (Merriam-Webster)
  • Gender Role: A set of behavior patterns, attitudes, and personality characteristics stereotypically perceived as masculine or feminine within a culture. (Dictionary of Psychology, Oxford)
  • Gender Identity:A sense of awareness, usually beginning in infancy, continuing throughout childhood, and reaching maturity in adolescence, of being male or female or somewhere between.
  • Gender Identity Disorder: A mental disorder characterized by a strong and persistent identification with the opposite sex, coupled with persistent discomfort with one's own sex or gender role, causing significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. (Dictionary of Psychology, Oxford)
  • Medical Necessity: Services/procedures which are approved in accordance with recognized medical standards as effective and appropriate and are essential to retard, reduce or eliminate an impairment. (Dictionary of Psychology, Oxford)

Imagine for a moment the image of a little boy, deformed from birth, burdened by twisted limbs and looking forward only to a lifetime of social rejection and revulsion. Or consider a boy whose face is ravaged by burns, subjected to the full force of society's skin-deep judgements. Fortunately, modern medical science can often offer these children a remedy against that dour future through complicated and often expensive surgery. Would you think that surgery "medically necessary?" What insurance company would turn down covering the costs of the procedure for such an innocent child? What kind of monster would deny that child the right to live peacefully and happily for the sake of saving a little money? The answer is not many at all (but the fact that I can't say "none" speaks to the fatal flaws in our health care system).

Now imagine that you woke up tomorrow morning and your physical body had been switched to the opposite sex you had all your life, but your mind was still of that original sex. A man suddenly forced to live with a female body against his will, indeed, against his very core idea of self. What if there were a surgery, expensive but available, that could fix this dissonance between mind and body and restore the proper bodily sex organs to that man? Most likely, insurance companies would consider this surgery "medically necessary" as well and cover it's cost to the unsuspecting victim, right? What insurance company would deny a man the right to get his proper body back? The answer is again not many at all.

Finally, imagine a little girl, deformed from birth, cursed with a "boy's" physical body - one totally at odds with her self-image. Forced to live life in a gender completely incongruous with her desires and personality because we as a society do not check in any way for this type of disorder in our children. So that girl is forced to live out society's strict "male" gender role and scared to death of the consequences of revealing her true self despite the internal pain, shame and turmoil it causes. Fortunately, it is possible for this girl to overcome these massive cultural obstacles and come to embrace her true gender. And there is a (fairly expensive) treatment for this disconnect between mind and body as well. What insurance company would deny such a girl the right to correct this debilitating physical defect? The answer, history shows us, is almost always the same: complete coverage denial...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quote of the week: right wing conservatives

"Indecisive and deaf or dumb
tongue-dried in the sun
nervous speech and your mental health
drunk on every detail
loosened up from the moral slide
as though there's nothing to hide
it corresponds with your secret view
and never weighs upon you"

Helmet, "Speechless" [1994]

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Face it: we Americans are the real bad guys

Oh yes we are! Here is yet more evidence that we are the true bad guys in this world. Some stats to prove my point:
  • Of the more than $17 BILLION worth of arms sales to the developing world, the U.S. was by far the top supplier, selling $8.1 billion in 2005 (45.8%, Russia was second at15%) to such shining examples of stability and democracy as Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, Chad, Eqypt, Colombia and Angola. 18 of the 25 developing countries we supply weapons to are involved in an ongoing war!
  • Last month at the U.N., the U.S. was the only country (out 0f 166) to vote against a proposition to study the possibility of a new treaty to regulate the sale of conventional weapons.
  • The U.S. is only one of a small handful of countries to reject the 1997 Landmine Ban Treaty (151 countries have signed it) [est. # of reported landmine casualties in 2005: 15-20,000; there are estimated to be 60-85 million unexploded landmines around the world].
  • The U.S. was the first major power to unilaterally withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
  • The U.S. (under Bush) opposes proposed provisions in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would provide inspections and verification to ban production of nuclear weaons material. We have also rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. [we wonder why other countries turn up their noses at as when we demand they get rid of their nuclear arsenals - fuck, we are dumbass mutherfuckers, ain't we?]
  • The U.S. and Somalia were the only 2 countries not to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which tasks countries with protecting and ensuring the rights of children.
  • The U.S. is among a small handful of countries (incl. Iran and Sudan) that has not ratified the Convention on Discrimination against Women.
  • We are one of the few countries to reject the Kyoto Protocol on Gobal Warming (and we are by far the biggest polluter and greenhouse gas producer)

If that isn't enough proof for you, my guess is that nothing will change your mind and that you'd best just go back to watching Fox News. We can however, change our bad guys statusd by voting in a new (and sane) president in 2008 and demanding that our government work openly, peacefully, collaboratively, and transparently.

For more information about these statistics:

Friday, November 10, 2006

lost in the ethernet

I just spent the last hour+ writing up what I thought was a fairly inciteful and eloquent dissection and analysis of the temper-tinged mood funk I've been immersed in the last few days. As is my wont, it was a lengthy entry, but illuminating (at least for me) and self-medicinal. I had dug deep into my fears and the cathartic action of exposing some of these fears and worries was helping alleviate them.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fatefully, if you like), as I finished proofing said essay and was about to hit the little submit button in my blog system, my brand new work-supplied laptop burped out a light click and inexplicably powered down...

All lost...
Temper back....

the missing constant

Just a sloppy little poem I put together thinking of mi amour this morning...we haven't seen each other in almost 2 excruciatingly long weeks and 1 week more to go...

the clutter horn sounds and I scramble to hold you
a constant assault on my senses
from space and time-warped worries uncontrolled
this unsolved equation controls me

so my free dreams struggle to summon you
and your fireplace warm embrace
that fanciful place with your arms gently around me,
and your bonny eyes fixed upon me
and we slumber and laugh and sweat and live
comfy and cozy beneath a soothing, swaying heat

this reverie-desire so graceful, so perfectly rounded
so perfectly desired
that I break sound and bend light and kill time
and wiggle my way through this wormhole of worries
to get to you, to be the woman I know I can be

only with you

hoping you patiently wait on the other side
until gravity and the laws of relativity
and the absolute truth that is us, come together

Love you, miss you, love you more,

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

casting the first, I mean ballot

Our hero awakened with a start to the blaring sound of the Red Hot Chili Peppers blasting from her radio alarm. She showered, walked the pooch, and hastily donned her corset, crinolines, bell-shaped skirt, lace up boots, gloves and bonnet in preparation for casting a vote in the local magisterial races. The colonial governor was in a heated race for one of those revolutionary rebels who were calling for democracy and freedom from tyranny and our protagonist favored the plucky rebel simply because he wasn't quite as corrupt or venile as his Tory opponent.

That's how I felt once I opened that curtain at 6:30 am to discover that, just like 2 years ago, our precinct was still using voting machinery that was invented in the 19th century! Yes, the venerable pull-lever system was being employed, and it's set-up was jury-rigged in all kinds of creative ways. Not only we the levers not correctly aligned with the offices listed at the top, but the Republican candidate was listed first in every instance. Adding to the confusion was the bizarre practice of the same candidate being listed 2 or 3 times for the same race. When I chose the independent candidate, was that somehow counted differently than if I had chosen the same name under the Democratic moniker above it? I wish I had the foresight to bring my camera and take a picture of that monstrosity, but maybe these pics will give those of you whose counties have moved on to the advanced (but probably not more accurate) technologies of punch cards and beyond:

It looks so clean and clear cut in the idealized picture above, doesn't it? I guess those robber barons at least knew how to run a smoothly fixed election while at least still giving the appearance of logical ballot organization. As it was, I think I was able to successfully choose from 3 Green candidates from among the 9 races (the Green candidates were listed 7th from the top, below even several parties (Independence, Conservative, Working Families) that were filled with duplicate repub or dem names). I stuck with the dems for the rest. This picture is more like what our machine looked like - dozens of levers placed mere centimeters apart and having no correlation to the labels denoting which race it was for above them:

My only consolation was that I got to the polls early and so had no wait at all. I did not have to show ID, but just had to sign a book and then vote. I went to all the trouble of bringing my passport and name change document just in case some bastard repub poll watcher challenged me. All told, it took about 5 minutes, counting the time it took me to park, walk in, sign in, decipher the machine setup and carefully pull what I thought were the correct levers. I can only hope my votes were recorded accurately.

Now we wait and see if all the fears (which I share) about widespread voter suppression and easily tampered with electronic machines turns the probable (dems winning at least the house and probably also the senate) into the impossible (the repubs holding on to both houses of congress). Ahhhh, ain't one-party autocracy, errr, I mean democracy a peach?

Monday, November 06, 2006

All my girlfriends are turning into candarian demons

She finally delivered! - here are a couple EVIL pics that we took just before heading off to the swanky Halloween party last week:

Here is your intrepid zombie crack whore giving Columbia the kiss of death:

Smiles all around - we both get turned on by the scent of blood...

Here I am channeling the pure energy of "the goofiest smile in the world" - perhaps because Jenn herself has turned into an eyeless Candarian Demon and is now giving me the kiss of eternal irislessness:
Yes indeed, Satan was a lesbian...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On the Shortbus to Sin City (October Travelogue)

Ah no, unfortunately, I have not yet moved down to NYC, although I do hope to be down there permanently by the spring. But I do get down thataway once or twice a month to see mi amour, so here is a little catalog of events we've attended/participated in recently:

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch shadowcast: last show we put on (yep, I am now officially part of the performing shadowcast troupe, The Midnight Checkout Queens) was in September and the next one is slated for the first weekend in December. It's a total blast to see and even better to participate in! Hedwig rules the fucking universe!

  • Shortbus: John Cameron Mitchell's new movie is simply majestic. It's heartfelt and earnest and smart and funny and revolutionary all at the same time. And the fact that it's frank and honest depictions of sex and relationships piss off the tight-assed religious wing-nuts puts it in even higher regard in my eyes.

  • Evil Dead: The Musical: simply the funniest, bloodiest musical I have ever witnessed! My trusty sidekick and beautiful love, The Culinary Assassin, despite her morbid moniker is more of a theater traditionalist and did not enjoy it as much as me. She hadn't seen the movies, so that didn't help things and was made worse when a spout of blood was aimed directly at her during one scene. I got a good amount of gore on me as well. It;s a sign of the superior quality of a play when they hand out ponchos to those of us sitting in the "splash zone" of the 1st 3 rows. It goes without saying that I refused such a shameful shield against truly experiencing the extravaganza...

  • Green-Wood Cemetery - Jenn and I visited this historic Brooklyn cemetery and park in search of the soul of Leonard Bernstein. Instead, we found the goddess Minerva, and ancient pyramid, and the grave of vice-president and killer of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr. It was weird being amongst all these decaying but still grandiose tombstones and crypts and yet still see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. We took lots of pics, which you can see on The Assassin link above and even more here on my Flickr page.

  • Halloween parties: Jenn went as the luxurious transvestite alien Columbia from Rocky Horror and I went as either a dead crack whore or else a dead Courtney Love - take your pick. The party was at the luxurious studio of a friend of one of her roommates, a new transplant from Buffalo who obviously has some moola. They had access to a roof with a sublime view of the city. It was too cold to stay up there long, but I'd be living up there come summer if that was my place. Jenn and I were the most extravagantly costumed and were the recipients of many compliments on those as well as our usual sickingly lovey-dovey way of acting in public. I'd post some pics, but my photographer/gf has yet to send me any we took with her camera. We also held a costume party up here on Tuesday at The Bridge, the local LGBT community center I'm involved with. It was lots of fun, and I do have a pic from that showing myself and the center's director, Andrea:

  • Cabaret Macabre: I was really excited about this dinner theater and cabaret/dance event, but was mostly let down. The meal was pedestrian, the drinks were outrageously priced ($24 for a glass of cheap chardonnay and a cosmo?!!!) and the venue was horribly arranged. It was sit-down, and so we couldn't see anything below the waist of the performers. From what I could tell the dancers were excellent, but this seating arrangement was a poor excuse for seeing an artistic performance. It wasn't helped by the woman sitting in front of us who insisted on wearing this ridiculously tall white furry hat with ears on it! If I didn't have on my ankle-length hobble-skirt that only allows half steps when walking, I would have shoved my motorcycle boot up her ass...

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch - stage production! - this was my first ever time seeing the original stage version rather than the movie version. It featured the wonderfully talented (and based on what I saw in the spandex tights scenes, hung) David Colbert as Hedwig/Tommy Gnosis and the equally great Petra as Yitzhak). We had front row, aisle seats for the show and it was spectacular. The venue was small and intimate and so we got to experience every little nuance of the virtually flawless performances and music. It should also be mentioned that Mr. Colbert also served as the original Hedwig in the first ever performance of the Midnight Checkout Queens. Needless to say, this show more than made up for the disappointment of the previous night's cabaret fiasco. The show was on monday night so afterwards I had to head back up to Saratoga, get 3 fitful hours of sleep at my parents and then head back to work.